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Johannesburg

Affectionately known as ‘The City of Gold’, at first glance this sprawling city may seem utterly impenetrable to a visitor. But just beneath its busy façade, lies a fashionable and electric city teeming with sights, and is no longer the ‘safari stop-over’ it was once known for.

After almost 20 years of decline, Johannesburg (known by locals as Jo’burg or Jozi) is now undergoing an incredible renaissance. The centre of town is the place to come for the best shopping; sleek malls are bursting with designer clothes and glossy shops, and bustling local markets sell all sorts of curios, ornaments and trinkets. The upmarket Sandton City, a highly regarded shopping mall situated in Sandton, has in only 40 years established itself as home to the most exclusive restaurants and retail shops in Johannesburg. Adjoining the shopping centre is Nelson Mandela Square, where the world famous 6-meter bronze statue of Nelson Mandela can be found, and the mall and square combined, form one of the largest retail complexes on the continent.

Johannesburg is a cultural hub in South Africa, with a vibrant art and culture scene. The city is awash with superb museums and art galleries, and by wandering around the many modern art galleries of cultural Newtown and Braamfontein, you can see how emerging artists connect with the city's thought provoking past. If you're interested in discovering more about Jo’burg's rich history and troubled past, the poignant Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, are a must. Other historical attractions include Mandela House Museum, Hector Pietersen Museum and the hipster-friendly neighbourhood Maboneng Precinct.

In the evening, the city nightlife comes alive; trendy bars, booming clubs and buzzy restaurants draw in the vibrant crowds. Join the throngs to experience the buzz of Jozi by night, and we recommend seeking out the newest live jazz talent that Johannesburg is famed for nurturing.

Just outside of the city is The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's richest fossil sites. Here archaeological excavations have unearthed the skull of a humanoid, estimated to be around two million years old, and scientists have also discovered a skeleton which dates back 3.5 million years ago. There are also the world-renowned stalactite caves at Sterkfontein. The caves were accidentally uncovered in the 1890s by gold miners, but today, they are one of the richest and most productive palaeo-anthropological sites in the world.

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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

Client Testimonials

I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India

From our Instagram

"They've spotted us!" 🦒 #OkavangoDelta in #Botswana
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One of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world. Reigning over 15,000 Square kilometers of land - there's no wonder that its home to 200 different species of mammals!
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If you'd like to be in with the chance of spotting one of these for yourselves, get in touch to start planning your safari adventure! 📸 @ravalli1 @mlabgol @mo_naser 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
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Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
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Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
#SriLanka has just been awarded the title of #WorldsBestIsland by @travelandleisure 🇱🇰
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We couldn’t be happier that this spirited country is getting the recognition it deserves!
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Travel with us to get under the skin of this spectacular country 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
As the Rugby World Cup kicks off in #Tokyo this weekend,  and #Japan will soon begin to bloom into its world renowned Autumn season, we want to be there more than ever! 🇯🇵🍂
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Attracting three million tourists every year, the #tokyotower has quickly become Tokyo's international symbol since its opening in 1958. 🗼
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If you'd like to see this Eiffel Tower-inspired structure for yourself, speak to one of our specialists today!
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📸@jungraphy_
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A team of Ampersander's have officially landed in #Rajasthan. First stop, the Capital - #Jaipur 💗
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Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
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For more inspiration and to follow the teams journey through the Golden Triangle, keep an eye over on our Instagram stories and get in touch if you want to begin your trip!
. 📸 @chrsschlkx
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
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Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
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#AmpersandTravel 
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
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A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
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📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Welcome to the gateway to #Asia! #Singapore is the perfect stop over destination 🇸🇬
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A colourful city packed full of contrast and a variety of ethnic districts ready to be explored!
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#LittleIndia, originally a division of colonial Singapore. Today a vibrant district with a mix of Hindu and Chinese Temples and The House of Tan Teng Niah - one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the Indian enclave
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If you'd like a taste of #India and #Singapore on your way to #Asia, get in touch to start planning your multicultural trip!
. 📸 @bellabellalara @travel_with_han @melbrammer_travel @climbintogether
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
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📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
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#Vietnam #AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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