The Johannesburg Explorer Book
Peter Delmar

There is no city anywhere in the world quite like Johannesburg. Despite all its flaws, its failings, its filth and its potholes and poverty, Johannesburg remains the most economically and culturally dynamic city in Africa.

Whether you're visiting Joburg for the first time or have lived here all your life, whoever you are or wherever you come from, The Johannesburg Explorer Book is the one (very affordable) book that tells you, in detail what it is that makes Joburg so special – what makes it – the book's authors believe – the most remarkable, most interesting city in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mike Alfred, a born-and-bred Johannesburg amateur historian, and Peter Delmar, a best-selling travel author and born-Capetonian (who today proudly describes himself as a Johannesburger) have spent years researching and planning easy-to-follow, safe routes that take you into the historic heart of this, the world's great City of Gold, to explore its golden origins, its upheavals, tragedies and triumphs, its pivotal role in the liberation struggle and its contemporary importance as the economic heart of Africa.


Lavishly illustrated with both historical and contemporary photography as well as maps, The Johannesburg Explorer Book contains six tours of old and modern Johannesburg that are as short or as long as you choose to make them, plus a section on Joburg's museums and galleries and another on the authors' suggestions of the best, most atmospheric and most authentic of Joburg's restaurants and bars.

The city of Mandela, Gandhi, Rhodes, Milner and Sisulu plus countless heroes, saints, sinners and scoundrels, Johannesburg is less than 130 years old; impossibly young for a city that today exerts such massive influence. If you have ever wondered what it was that made Joburg so successful, so vibrant and so strong so quickly, The Johannesburg Explorer Book will provide some clues.


The Johannesburg Explorer Book is available in the best bookstores and, as an e-book, at the Apple ibookstore and

An excerpt from the book's prologue, "A city apart"

Towns invariably became cities because of trade; all of the great cities of the world are located either at crossroads, at the coast or on navigable rivers.

Not so Johannesburg; it is the world's largest city not built by or near a river, lake or sea. Far from the ocean, at an elevation of 1 800 metres, Johannesburg sprung into life overnight on an almost treeless landscape of sprawling farms less than 130 years ago. It quickly became the ultimate City of Gold, the fabulous Eldorado that gold-seekers had dreamt of for centuries.

In a country divided and at war with itself for decades, the miracle that was the peaceful downfall of apartheid is, in a very real sense, a victory for Johannesburg and Soweto and all their people, their grandparents and those who went before them.

We are proud to call ourselves Johannesburgers and proud to share with you amazing stories of our home, the City of Gold

Mike Alfred and Peter Delmar

If your bookstore doesn't stock The Johannesburg Explorer Book, ask them to order it by emailing: