The Virtual Tour below gives you a great view of the Zoo Lake
JACARANDAS - JOBURG'S OCTOBER GEMS!
Johannesburg is often referred to as the New York of Africa (see here). This conjures up images of traffic, road rage, stress, work and a mad rush in general. Not so - at least not in October! Spring time brings with it a completely different air to our beloved city of gold. Spring time in Joburg is simply magical – with sunshine in the day, and thunderstorms at night – these make for a truly wonderful climate.
This is when Jacaranda trees come into their own! Take a walk through the streets of Pretoria (The Jacaranda City) and Johannesburg during spring time – stop and take a proper look at these beautiful, rich purple floral marvels. See how they create a canopy throughout the towns and take in the fragrance and splendour of this species. From a distance and at an aerial view, one may see these as an expanse of blue and purple.
According to Wikipedia, Jacarandas start to bloom during ‘exam time’ at Pretoria University, and, legend has it, that should a Jacaranda flower drop on your head, you will pass all of your exams.
So, next time you are in Joburg or Pretoria in October, appreciate the Jacaranda trees, and welcome them as a sign of a new Summer on its way!
THE SOUNDS OF JOBURG
When one departs the quiet suburbs, Joburg possesses a ‘white noise’ of sorts – penetrating from the highways in the distance. Meanwhile, just a short distance away, is the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, tucked in the heart of Joburg .Guinea fowls are one of the many birds that inhabit this space. In the earliest hours of the morning, before the day begins, these white-spotted creatures commence with their calls of ‘ah, ah, ah, ah’ under the rising sun.
As I get into my car, and join the other commuters, I hear the sounds of radios blasting in the midst of morning traffic. During lunch time, I take a walk through the economic hub of the Sandton CBD, where the fast-paced footsteps of business men and women are heard; amidst the mad rush, the ‘clip clop’ becomes increasingly louder, with a flurry of fancy shoes and high heels hitting the pavement.
While I drive back home through the suburbs, I hear the sound of jacarandas popping under my tyres, running shoes thumping against the tar, dogs barking in the quiet streets, and the wind howling through the trees. Once I arrive home, a storm begins to brew. Ah, a typical summer thunderstorm, which Joburg happens to be renowned for. The heat of the day dissipates; the white clouds turn to grey. I hear the gentle pitter-patter of drizzle on tin roofs, which eventually builds up to a heavy outpour filled with the sounds of grumbling thunder. Lightning flashes, the rain becomes hail, falling on cars, thudding like mini boulders on every surface it hits.
On Saturday, I chill by the Westcliff, where I can hear the sound of the lions roaring at Johannesburg Zoo, and, suddenly, it is as if I really am in a jungle, a concrete jungle. As I ponder about the diversity of this city, I look out at the horizon, accompanied by the sound of the city’s skyline.