Sputniks, squirrels, skeletons and sculpture gardens: Joburg has it all this June

Loads on in Joburg

From space travel, to wild-life photography, to outdoor sculpture to the workings of the human body – four blockbuster exhibitions are currently showing in Johannesburg. Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse currently has guests staying who are amazed by the current Joburg offerings – they are so pleased they are staying in such central accommodation and are making sure they get to all of these exhibitions.

Gateway to Space at the Sandton Convention Centre


Gateway to Space opens today 1st June at Sandton Convention Centre and will show until 31 July.  Exhibits include the first space craft; a battery operated space vehicle that transports astronauts around the moon; Yuri Gargarin’s 1961 space suit; a space shuttle cockpit; space food; moon rock and lots more besides. There are at least 40 explanatory videos and an interactive space area. Tickets for adults are R180; under 18s R120; Seniors R150 (weekdays only).



Body Worlds at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre Newtown

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre Newtown
Sci-Bono Discovery Centre Newtown

At Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown until 30th June is Body Worlds showing Dr Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated bodies.  Don’t be put off by the fact that these are real bodies and actual body parts on display – their presentation is in no way macabre or sensationalized and you won’t feel squeamish at all.   (Apparently there is an oversupply of people wanting to donate their bodies for this kind of educational initiative). When I visited the exhibition, there were busloads of school children leaving. What an opportunity to learn about biology and the human body in an absorbing and fascinatingly direct way.

Tickets are R140 for adults, R110 for seniors and students, R90 for the young  between 6 and 17 and R400 for a family booking.

Wildlife photography of the Year at the Sheds, 1 Fox St

Fox Junction before any development and upgrade
Fox Junction an amazing industrial heritage site, before any development and upgrade  Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse



Remaining in the city centre, there is another international exhibition of a completely different order: Wildlife Photography of the Year is currently on a global tour from London’s Natural History Museum. Showing at Fox Junction 1 Main St (further south of Newtown and formerly Sheds@1Fox), this exhibition showcases some of the very best wildlife photography taken around the world during the past year and includes all the winning images and finalists from the 2015 awards. On until 31st July. Entrance is R50 with children under 6 free.




Winter Sculpture exhibition at Nirox in the Cradle

Nirox 010

And if you want to get out into the country away from the urban buzz, (only 45 minutes from Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse) the grounds at Nirox Foundation are quite sublime and they are only open to the public when there is an event or an exhibition.  So make the most of  Nirox’ winter sculpture exhibition A Place in Time (until 30th July) curated by Helen Phebey, Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The best news of all is that entrance is free. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy some wonderful art works and a breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful landscape setting out in the Cradle of Humankind.


Desperate for things to do with children over school holidays (schools break up on 24th June)?  You can see there’s lots for locals and tourists to do during these shorter winter Jozi days. (And watch this space for more kids holiday activities.)

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