For most visitors Johannesburg, the country’s largest city and economic centre, is just a stop-over on their way to or from South Africa. It has all the attractions and trappings of a major city: from theatres, restaurants and a buzzing nightlife to museums, street markets and shopping malls. It does however, also have more than its fair share of crime (although this is in decline) and it's a city you need to know your way round to fully appreciate. For a safe and comfortable haven, The Peech in the leafy suburb of Melrose is ideal.
If you do have a couple of days to spend in Jo'burg, its main attractions include the Johannesburg Zoo, Gold Reef City (a reconstruction of Johannesburg during the gold-rush era), the Soweto Township and the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. Head to the trendy northern suburb of Melville for the hippest sidewalk cafes and boutiques; you might also catch the Melville Mardi Gras, when the streets are filled with buskers entertaining the crowds. The high streets of Parkhurst, Kensington, Rosebank and Greenside also have a booming bar trade.
To escape from the bustle of the city, head to the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam, a wonderful parkland haven. Some i-escape clients also recommend the Cradle of Humankind and Maropeng in Newtown - especially MuseumAfrika as well as the Market Theatre and the Bus Market - and the Main Street Mall and Oriental Plaza.