We arrived in Jo’burg a few days before our son and his family were scheduled to arrive. I felt that it gave us “older people” a chance to acclimate to the time change and to see a little of Jo’burg.
Months prior I booked the Uxolo Guesthouse through AirBnB. The guesthouse is located in a residential neighborhood north of the central city. In my correspondence with Karen Morgan, the owner, she recommended Norman, a driver that her guests use, for transportation to get us from the airport to her home. We contacted Norman and he agreed to pick us up at OR Tambo Airport and drive us to the Guesthouse for 350 Rand ($35 USD). As he drove us to the Guesthouse he pointed out the sights and gave us some history about Jo’burg and South Africa.
We pulled up to the Guesthouse and Karen came out to greet us. We walked inside and I was excited about the choice I made for our lodging. The decor was definitely South African. The home felt very warm and just what we wanted.
There was even a built in pool in the yard
We had a large room with a small courtyard with a working water fountain off our room. The down comforter duvet with the large overstuffed pillows was very inviting. Our private bathroom had a shower stall which we prefer. Most homes in South Africa do not have heat but there was an electric portable heater in our room if we needed it – which we didn’t.
There were many sitting areas in this home that made it comfortable for us. In addition, she had a pool table in a room overlooking the covered terrace where we would have breakfast every morning. When it was very cool in the morning, the shades would come down. Karen’s main rule is not eating in your room (she likes to keep it clean for future guests) so we would bring our snacks to the terrace area to consume.
Karen went out of her way to be helpful and accommodating to us though in speaking with repeat guests, she does this all the time for all guests when she can. While we were sitting on the terrace with Norman and Karen, she asked us our plans. Norman made a suggestion for dinner that night which we followed with an appointed time that he would pick us up. Karen also made arrangements for me to go on a Soweto Tour and that I would be picked up at the door the next morning by the tour company. Blogger Hubby wanted to go into Jo’burg to do the HoHo bus tour (Hop On, Hop Off) and Karen drove him to the train station, about 15 minutes away, to take the Gautrain into the city the next day.
The guesthouse is in a residential neighborhood. The first thing you notice is walls/fences and security around the homes with an armed response to a security alarm system. Our guest home also had a male employee who sat inside the front door all evening long. Now don’t let this scare you – we never saw any type of violence in South Africa in all the locations we were in but to deny that there is violence in this country would be a fallacy.
We were a five minute walk (and we felt safe) to a local mall that had two grocery stores inside, pharmacy, coffee shops with meals and clothing stores. We could pick up items that we left at home. One night we even bought our dinner there at the hot food salad bar section of the grocery store and brought it back to the guest house – and it was good.
The breakfast was a buffet of fresh fruit and juices, tea, coffee, eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausage – a delicious and hearty meal to begin the day off right.
I would highly recommend The Uxolo Guest House in Jo’burg.