For clients who have already seen the key tourist sites in Johannesburg, or guests who are looking for something different, niche and local tours are what you need. Tessa Reed looks at three of the options.

  1. Gauteng Graffiti Tour

Inner-city Johannesburg is a canvas of local and international street art. For visitors looking to explore the graffiti culture in Jozi, Past Experiences offers graffiti tours.

“The Graffiti Tour is our most popular tour,” says Past Experiences’ Jo Buitendach. “It’s really an intro into Johannesburg graffiti and street art – the history of the movement and the sub culture.”

A 90-minute to two-hour Graffiti Tour gives visitors the opportunity to discover the city’s street art on foot. The tour can be tailored and there are options in numerous inner-city areas including Newtown, Braamfontein and Troyeville. “For the big graffiti fans, we can do driving full-day tours where we take them to all the areas,” says Buitendach.

Tours can also be booked with local graffiti artists, who share their art and life as a graffiti writers.

Past Experiences also offers graffiti workshops, which give visitors a chance to put their own graffiti skills to the test.

  1. Jozi delicious South African Cookery Class

Johannesburg Urban Adventures offers a seven-hour Jozi delicious South African Cookery Class giving visitors an opportunity to taste homegrown food and chat with locals.

The day starts with a scenic 45-minute drive to Soweto, where guests will visit a popular food market to pick up fresh ingredients. During the shopping excursion, a guide will chat about typical South African produce and dishes

After picking up ingredients, guests will learn how to create traditional local dishes alongside a local chef, with a beer in hand.

Some of the dishes prepared are potjiekos (a meal prepared by slow cooking the food in a cast-iron pot over a fire) and pap (similar to polenta), served with chakalaka (a spicy sauce). A chicken or vegetable version of potjiekos can be prepared.

“There aren't many food tours in Johannesburg or Soweto,” says Brand Manager, Divan Brits, distinguishing this tour from some of the more generic excursions on offer in the city. “This is a very different way for clients to experience the culture of South Africa via one of our traditional meals ie potjiekos and then interacting with locals from Soweto.

  1. Soweto Night Tour

The Soweto Night Tour by MoAfrika Tours takes guests to some of the liveliest shebeens (originally an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a licence). The tours are led by local guides

The tour runs from Wednesdays to Sundays and visits four bars, each with its own distinctive character and patrons. The five-hour tour includes transfers from Johannesburg and four drinks.

“Guests get to drink local beers including some brewed in Soweto, as well as Amarula (a South African a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the African marula tree),” says GM Claud Gaminara.