Of course you do. Otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this.
So you want to explore Jozi by night? There are plenty of hidden gems in Jozi. But where to find them? They’re hidden, duh. But thankfully there are cool local tour guides that can easily take you off the beaten path and up several flights of stairs in a rundown building in the pitch-black dark. And no, this time we can’t thank Eskom for the darkness. It’s apparently just part of the vibe. Eventually, those flights of stairs lead you into a door which leads you into an apartment turned hipster art studio/bar. Pretty edgy if you ask me.
Without divulging too much, what I can tell you is that you should book a tour with micro-adventures. Kennedy is the guy behind micro-adventures and from what I’ve experienced – he’s great at showing you around Jozi. You’re guaranteed to learn and see something you haven’t done before. The whole tour lets you explore Jozi by night but in a safe, informative and most importantly – fun manner.
I first learnt about the Magical Jozi By Night Tour on Facebook in January but to my frustration every time I attempted to book – it was sold out. I booked the tour around November and let me tell you, it was worth the wait. We went to places that I never dreamed existed.
The itinerary was as follows:
- The View Mansion
- The Rand Club
- Artsy apartment turned into gallery/bar (can’t remember the name)
- Zwipi Underground Bar
- The Marabi Club
The place that stood out for me was the opulent Rand Club. The club used to be exclusive to only those who are wealthy and influential. It was only till recently that those with tattoos and wildly coloured hair (fun fact: I’m writing this with bright blue hair) were allowed to visit. Pretty crazy right? There used to be saying that those who do not know where The Rand Club is should not be visiting The Rand Club. Thankfully the mentality of the members is not as arrogant of the members in 1887.
My favourite part of The Rand Club is the grand library. As soon as I walked in, I felt like Belle in Beauty and The Beast. The part where Beast is showing Belle the massive library after finding out she loves reading. You can spend hours sitting in those aged leather chairs getting lost in some old musty books. As soon as you walk in, you can smell the sweet leather-bound books and wooden bookcases. If you feel tired after reading, you can rest your feet up and nap right there. There’s space on the bookcases to put your feet up too.
Eating, drinking, dancing and exploring new places was the agenda of the whole evening. Dinner was served at The View Mansion which is one of the oldest houses in Johannesburg. After dinner, we were escorted to The Rand Club where we could order drinks and explore the club. We had a tour of the rooms and even got a chance to sneak in the bookstore downstairs to catch a glimpse of the monthly jazz night. If you need an excuse to visit The Rand Club then going to the jazz nights seems like a pretty good way to do it.
After our tour of The Rand Club, we had more drinks at the previously mentioned apartment turned art gallery. We then visited Zwipi Underground Bar. I wrote a blog post about this space as I have visited this space on a different tour and absolutely loved it. It was great visiting it again. Last but not least – we made our way to the Marabi Club. The cost of the tour included the entrance ticket to the jazz club. The Marabi Club will treat you to superb live performances and an incredible vibe. I’d love to go back and dance the night away again.
Sadly, the tour ends at the Marabi Club but you could always make your way to another spot in town.
What you should know
- Dress the part. You will need to look all dolled up for the occasion as you’ll be visiting some fancy places. It’s part of the experience!
- Dress up but wear flats. I was the only lady wearing flats on the tour. I didn’t want to kill my feet in the process so I wore sandals that can still be dressed up. There is a lot of walking and dancing so you don’t want your sore feet to ruin the experience for you.
- You’ll have to buy most of the drinks. Included in the price is dinner and one drink. The rest is on you.
- You’ll be in great hands. Kennedy organises a great tour and you won’t have to worry about a thing. The price includes all transportation. However, you should uber to the starting point. Parking is scarce and you won’t want to worry about finding safe parking.
- The cost of the tour (when I paid) was R650. For more accurate prices then check out the micro-adventures website
- Enjoy seeing awesome new (or forgotten) spots in Johannesburg. Have fun!