Sandton, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a convenient base for exploring many fantastic family-friendly vacation destinations both within South Africa and in neighbouring countries. 

Here are some suggestions for family vacations that tourists can take from Sandton:


For a family-friendly day out without leaving Sandton, consider visiting the Johannesburg Zoo. It's home to a wide variety of animals and offers educational programs for children.


Explore the history and culture of South Africa by taking a guided tour of Soweto. Visit the Apartheid Museum, take a bicycle tour, and experience the vibrant street life.


The Gold Reef City offers a spectacular sight with countless theme park rides, historical antiquities, and marvellous golden exhibits. The unique spot hosts numerous edifices and businesses, including shops, stores, hotels, the Royal Theatre and Johannesburg's first stock exchange. For a family-friendly day out without leaving Sandton, Gold Reef City is approximately a 20-minute drive from Santon.


Take a short trip to the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its archaeological discoveries and interactive museums. Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves are must-visit attractions for families interested in human evolution


This dam, also in proximity to Sandton, is a great spot for water sports, picnics, and family-friendly boat trips. You can also visit the Harties Cableway for panoramic views of the area.


Located just northwest of Sandton, the Magaliesberg Mountains offer hiking trails, adventure activities, and beautiful scenery. Families can enjoy outdoor activities like horseback riding, zip-lining, and hot-air ballooning.


Located just a few hours' drive from Sandton, Pilanesberg National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for families. It is a great choice for families with young children. You can go on self-drive safaris or join guided game drives.


Also, near Pilanesberg, Sun City is a popular family resort with a water park, golf courses, a casino, and various entertainment options. It's ideal for families looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure.


While it's a longer journey from Sandton (around a 4-5 hour drive or a short domestic flight), Kruger National Park is one of South Africa's premier wildlife destinations. It offers incredible opportunities to see the Big Five and other wildlife species.


For a more extended family adventure, consider traveling to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Livingstone in Zambia. Witnessing the stunning waterfall and exploring the surrounding area is an unforgettable experience.


The Garden Route starts around four hours outside of Cape Town and terminates in the breathtaking Tsitsikamma Forest. One of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa, the Garden Route consists of 300 kilometres long, scenic coastline, lying between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay. The route flaunts a stunning diversity of azure blue lagoons, serene lakes, protea-studded slopes, evergreen forests, and pristine sandy beaches. Offering excellent hiking and bird-watching opportunities, this region attracts adventure junkies. One can also spot whales, dolphins, and seals from the seaside cliffs.


Known formerly as the St Lucia Wetland Park, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park consists of Mkuze Game Reserve, the Kosi Bay Natural Reserve, the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves, Lake St Lucia, and the Coastal Forest Reserve. This wetland park is home to over 450 bird species including storks, pelicans, the Madagascar fish eagle, terns, and herons. The park also shelters umpteen varieties of animals including black and white rhino, waterbuck, impala, kudu, giraffe, buffalo, elephants, sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and the Nile crocodile. One of the favourite tourist places in South Africa among adrenaline seekers, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers a host of adventure activities including deep sea fishing, diving, game viewing, whale watching, horse riding, hiking, bird watching, estuary fishing, and rock and surf fishing. (Location: KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa)


Spread across an area of around 29,000 hectares, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is a part of the Greater Drakensberg escarpment. This nature reserve is home to amazing natural wonders - Pinnacle Rock, God's Window, the Three Rondavels, and the Bourke's Luck Potholes. The reserve shelters over 1,000 endemic, endangered, and rare species of flora along with a wide variety of wildlife creatures including hippos, crocodiles, primates, Oribi, Kudu, Klipspringer, and Grey Rhebuck. The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve allows adventure junkies to indulge in a myriad of exhilarating activities, including white water rafting, abseiling, fly-fishing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, boating, kloofing, and hot-air ballooning. (Location: R543, Ehlanzeni, South Africa)


Merely 2 km away from Cape Town, Robben Island is often known as the place of banishment. It is believed that during the Apartheid times, social outcasts were forcefully fleeted to this spot. With its close link with the brutality, cruelty, and discrimination being practised during the Apartheid times, Robben Island holds utmost significance among Africans. Moreover, this site also used to be a prison for freedom fighters who dedicated their entire lives to the freedom struggle of their country. With so much historical significance, this island site has been now converted into a museum that attracts a plethora of history buffs throughout the year. If you are eager to explore the best historical places to visit in Cape Town, Robben Island is your go-to spot. (Location: Table Bay, Western Cape province, South Africa)


Lose yourself in the underwater world, as you revel in the beauty of the stunning displays of marine life in the Two Oceans Aquarium. Meet the crabs, the waddling penguins, streamlined and sleek predators, adorable crown fish and the giant sea turtles as huge as toddlers. If you are wondering why the Aquarium is called Two Oceans is because Cape Town is inimitably positioned at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The cold and warm currents mingle and give rise to an unimaginable diversity. Hence the Aquarium showcases this phenomenal array of marine life just like Cape Town’s coastline which is swarming with life. Home to over 200 species and 8000 creatures you get an opportunity to come face to face with the adorable monochromatic-feathered African Penguins, the grotesque & jawless hagfish, and several other endemic species like the leopard toad, spotted gully shark, and puffadder shy shark. Behold the otherworldly Ocean Exhibit, filled with 1.6 million litres of seawater, and watch the gentle stingrays alongside languid turtles, glide gracefully aloft. Fall in love with the shapeshifting jellyfish here, appearing to be blobs within a lava lamp, imparting a glow-in-the-dark effect. (Location: Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa)

Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, offers a wide range of tourist attractions and activities for foreigners to enjoy. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in and around Johannesburg:

Apartheid Museum: This powerful museum provides an in-depth look at South Africa's apartheid history, offering an understanding of the country's journey to democracy. It's an essential stop for anyone interested in South Africa's history.

Soweto: Take a guided tour of Soweto (South Western Townships) to explore the rich history and vibrant culture of this iconic township. Highlights include Vilakazi Street (home to two Nobel Prize laureates) and the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Lion Park: Located just north of Johannesburg, the Lion and Safari Park offers a chance to see a variety of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, and giraffes. Visitors can also interact with lion cubs and take guided game drives.

Maboneng Precinct: This trendy urban area in downtown Johannesburg is known for its art galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and street art. It's a hub of creativity and culture. and is located within the Santon area. The Maboneng Precinct lies in the city's heart and is a fantastic example of a successful mixed-use renewal project. You can find numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries and shops. The area is a bright combination of both commercial and residential buildings and imparts the cheerful vibe of the city.

Johannesburg Zoo: The zoo features a wide range of animals from around the world and is a great place for families. It also hosts various educational programs and events

Cradle of Humankind: Located about an hour from Johannesburg, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its archaeological finds and caves. The Maropeng Visitor Centre and Sterkfontein Caves are must-visit attractions.

Constitution Hill: This historical site was once a prison complex and is now home to the South African Constitutional Court. Visitors can learn about the country's journey to democracy and explore the museum and art installations.

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden: Located in Roodepoort, this beautiful botanical garden offers a peaceful escape from the city. It's an ideal spot for picnics, bird-watching, and nature walks.

Montecasino: This entertainment complex in Fourways offers a variety of restaurants, theatres, a casino, and even a bird park. It's a great place to enjoy dining and entertainment.

Mandela House: Visit the former home of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, which is now a museum. It provides insights into the life of the anti-apartheid leader.

Hartbeespoort Dam: Located a short drive from Johannesburg, this dam offers water sports, boat cruises, and scenic views of the surrounding Magaliesberg Mountains.

Eat and shop at local markets:

1. Rosebank Sunday Market is hosted every Sunday at the Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg. Although it hosts over 300 stalls, it is most famous for its food stalls that offer everything from elaborate curries to nacho cheeseburgers. Some stalls sell handmade arts and crafts, vintage items, clothing, and other apparel.

2. Prison Break Market also offers 7 unique sheds that contribute different offerings, allowing you to break out of your daily routines and experience a different world under the Sandton skyline. With a wide selection of crafters and designer stalls, indulgent and appetizing artisanal foods, creative crockery painting and interactive photo experiences, and a shed dedicated to distilling, brewing and wine tasting. Prison Break Market is nestled in the suburb of Glenferness, between Lonehill & Kyalami, approximately a 20-minute drive from Santon.

3. Fourways Farmers Market located is the beautiful Modderfontein Reserve, the second largest privately owned reserve in Gauteng, Fourways Farmers Market has re-established its reputation as the prettiest market in Joburg. The 265-hectare private reserve is the second-largest private park in Gauteng and includes portions of the Modderfontein Spruit, several dams, grassland, and hills. The market is located on an estate within the reserve and is a mere 10 minutes from Sandton. Newly built roads and access from Marlboro Drive and the N3 ensure the market is easily accessible.

Local culture - The Market Theatre is housed in a converted Market Building and has great significance in Joburg's culture, attracting several tourists. The theatre has four live theatre venues where the finest productions are held. The building includes a bookstore, art and gallery, and restaurants. The Market Theatre is approximately a 20-minute drive from Santon.

Gautrain - The majority of international flights into Johannesburg, South Africa land in Johannesburg at the O.R. Tambo International Airport. An efficient fast rail link, the Gautrain is available from the airport to Sandton Train Station. The Gautrain is an 80-kilometre (50-mile) express commuter rail system in Gauteng, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and O.R. Tambo International Airport. It takes 15 minutes to travel from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Sandton. Buses, shuttles and minibus services are available to transport passengers to and from the station.


These attractions provide a mix of cultural, historical, and natural experiences, making Johannesburg and its surrounding areas an intriguing destination for tourists from around the world. Keep in mind that safety precautions are essential in some areas, so it's wise to research and plan your visits accordingly.


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