10 January 2017 | Sandy Dube
I have always been a fan of the City Sightseeing red bus. It’s a safe and easy way to see the city and learn about its vibrant history.
This past week I had the opportunity to again experience the red bus. A new tour – the Green Tour – was recently launched and as the name suggests, visitors are taken through a part of what is often referred to as the “world’s largest man-made forest”. After getting my ticket from the new ticket office at The Zone at Rosebank, close to the Gautrain Station, I decided to get on the first bus which departs Rosebank every day at 9am.
Get your tickets for the Joburg red bus at the ticket office at The Zone @ Rosebank. (Image: City Sightseeing)
From Rosebank, the bus drove along Jan Smuts Avenue, and I began to see the reason why this new route was so named. I hopped off the bus at Zoo Lake and took a stroll around the lake. There were a few picnickers, some runners and birdlife to be seen. The next stop was at Johannesburg Zoo and the Ditsong National Museum of Military History. The museum is divided into several sections and has many artefacts, some of which date back to World War II. The collection represents conflicts in which South Africa was involved.
The Ditsong National Museum of Military History. (Image: Sandy Dube)
As the bus drove past Killarney and Houghton I was quite intrigued by the on-board commentary about the Randlords of the past, some of whom, such as Sir Herbert Baker, were architects whose work includes St John’s College and the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
The next stop on the tour is Constitution Hill, once a prison and today a museum and “Beacon for Constitutionalism, Human Rights and Democracy”.
Constitution Hill is the interchange for the Green Tour and Red City Tour and your ticket allows you to hop on the Red City Tour, which is what I did. Much to my delight the route had changed slightly since the last time I was on the bus.
The view of the Joburg CBD from the "Top of Africa" at the Carlton Centre. (Image: Sandy Dube)
I decided once again to go up to the “Top of Africa” at the Carlton Centre, after which I remained on the bus for the rest of the journey. I took a lunch break at Newtown Junction, then rode back to Constitution Hill and changed buses once again to return to Rosebank.
The Red City Tour has nine stops, and the best way to enjoy this is to plan in advance which places you might want to explore, and also to have some cash set aside for the entrance fees, although you can use your card at some stops. There is also an extension tour that takes you to Soweto. It is advisable to check the timetable in advance to avoid waiting for the shuttle.
A view of the infamous Ponte Tower from onboard the red bus. (Image: Sandy Dube)
Sandy Dube is an adventure-seeker who loves travel and good food, and cannot resist a good book. For more of her adventures, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @sandyd90.