Among the oldest of the city’s suburbs, and for years home to Johannesburg’s Jewish and Portuguese communities, the eastern suburb of Bezuidenhout Valley (better known as Bez Valley) has changed dramatically in recent years, with whites moving out of much of the old housing to make way for township and immigrant blacks. Cyrildene, to the northeast of Bez Valley, has become the city’s new Chinatown, with a fascinating collection of Chinese supermarkets, businesses and authentic restaurants along Derrick Avenue.

Most visitors to this area, however, come to Bruma Lake, an artificial stretch of water that has proved a disappointing attraction save for its popular and lively flea market. Nearby, and safe for walkers, joggers and picnickers, is one of Jo’burg’s more accessible green spaces, Gillooly’s Farm, a park set around a dam. The park is overlooked by a dramatic koppie that can be climbed in twenty minutes.

The suburbs immediately south of the city centre were traditionally the preserve of the white working class. After the repeal of the Group Areas Act in 1990, blacks started moving in; unusually in contemporary South Africa, many are wealthier than the original residents.

 

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

South Africa features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
6 reasons your next trip should be to Durban, South Africa

6 reasons your next trip should be to Durban, South Africa

Subtropical heat, golden beaches, craft distilleries and spicy curries: Durban is an intriguing mix of urban South Africa and the Indian subcontinent, with a ge…

25 Apr 2017 • Andy Turner insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook