One of the first places most people visiting Johannesburg wish to see are the South Western Townships or Soweto. Famous all over the world for the riots which took place there in 1976, Soweto contains some nice areas which are worth seeing. It is recommended that you take a professional tour there, however, rather than organise your own as you will not be familiar with the different areas of the region. Oh these tours usually lead to a shebeen or local pub for a drink too so you can really get to see what life there is like - or so the story goes. The city is also home to a wide variety of recreational activities. You will find numerous musems and galleries throughout the city including the impressive Museum Africa, the South African National Museum of Military History, the Bensusan Museum of Photography, the South African Breweries Museum, the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Nelson Mandela Museum. The zoo and botanic gardens are the perfect escape for those of you who want to hit the outdoors without leaving the city itself. And, if it’s watersports you’re after, head to nearby Vaal Dam where you can sail, water ski, fish, swim etc. etc. Finally, for the animal lovers among you, there’s a cheetah farm, snake parks and a crocodile farm where you can even purchase an authentic crocodile handbag if you so wish. It may seem a little wrong but rest assured, they are really good value. And on the subject of bargains, Johannesburg is also renowned as a shopper’s paradise and prices are somewhat cheaper compared to those outside Africa. If it’s conventional goods you’re on the look out for, head to Sandton City and Square, The Firs in Rosebank, the Carlton Centre or the Randburg Watefront. But, as we all know, backpackers are rarely after conventional goods so if you feel like haggling and searching for useless random items for hours on end, check out the flea market attached to the aforementioned Waterfront, the Rosebank Flea Market, the Trading Market in Yeoville or the Oriental Plaza on Bree Street. Each is home to hundreds of local traders selling authentic African goods and offers an excellent way to spend a couple of hours.