The beating heart of South Africa and the country’s biggest city opens doors to a host of arty cafes and hipster hubs. One of Johannesburg’s most up-and-coming suburbs is Braamfontein. Visitors can expect to rub shoulders with creative types in the city’s unusual museums, contemporary art galleries and quirky fashion stores. Meanwhile, music lovers should check out The Orbit, a dynamic live music venue and bistro that’s frequented by the city’s eclectic jazz performers.
Customers can now choose from six UK airports (Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff and most recently Gatwick) when they select a flight to South Africa with Qatar Airways. With frequent connections through the transit hub, Doha, there are daily flights to Cape Town, double-daily flights to Johannesburg and four per week to Durban.
For visitors looking to delve deeper into the checkered history of Johannesburg, they can do so at the Apartheid Museum or in Braamfontein, where they will find Constitution Hill. The complex’s four buildings – the Old Fort, the Women's Gaol, the Number 4 prison block and the Constitutional Court – tell the story of Africa’s darkest days and how South Africa emerged from apartheid with a bright, optimistic future. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Soweto – suggest a bike tour through the streets that were at the centre of the struggle against apartheid to see the new South Africa up close and personal.
The city’s international influences have resulted in a mouth-watering mixture of Indian-spiced samosas and seafood fished freshly from the Indian Ocean along with European dishes, Zulu recipes and flavours from a host of other African countries. Durban’s most notable dish is “bunny chow”, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled to the brim with the city’s signature curry.
Always looking for ways to enhance the travel experience of its passengers of all ages, Qatar Airways has recently launched Oryx Kids Club. It’s an onboard children’s programme offering the youngest travellers a new special toy, amenity packs and meal boxes, so that they’re entertained from the moment they board the aircraft.
Perhaps the best pairing for a foodie break, Durban is also an exceptionable base for active travellers. Offering the highest gorge-swing in the world, cage-diving with tiger sharks and rock-climbing, the area surrounding Durban is an adventure-lover’s playground; all experiences enhanced by the bush’s breathtaking scenery.
Maboneng sits on the eastern side of the city of gold. Young, free-spirited artists have created striking work that appears on the district’s streets as well as within its gallery walls, so suggest taking an art walk to admire the public murals and sculptures. Then, after an appetite has been worked up, recommend a Sunday brunch at Market on Main, where shoppers can also peruse pan-African crafts such as soft leather goods and vibrant wooden jewellery.
Table Mountain is, of course, South Africa’s most sought-after sight. A trip to the Western Cape wouldn’t be complete without boarding the cable car to the mountaintop, but there are also tons of things to do at its base and outside of the city. Recommend a wine tour to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek to savour superb food and South Africa’s signature grape, Pinotage. And don't let your clients miss out on a visit to Boulders Beach – recently voted the sixth most Instagrammed beach in the world – to visit the loveable penguins.
The rand is sitting steady at 17 to the pound, meaning that the destination offers better value for money on the ground than some European destinations. For example, a three-course meal with wine costs around £35 for two people (in Cape Town).
With more than 900 hours of specially selected films and TV series to choose from, and with up to 4,000 entertainment options available, the airline is confident that its passengers will find exactly what they want to watch and listen to on their flight.
For further information visit qatarairways.com/experiencesouthafrica