ITINERARY

PRE-EVENT (SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7)

Evening

After arriving at the Melrose Arch Hotel, Joburg’s hippest hotel, relax and join the AFAR team and fellow attendees for a leisurely evening of food, wine and conversation at the AFAR Experiences Welcome Loungesponsored by Emirates.

Enjoy an informal yet interactive wine tasting, courtesy of Wines of South Africa, with winemakers from the Cape area on hand to pour and discuss their latest releases.

day one (monday, october 8)

Morning

We’ll get special, exclusive access to the celebrated Apartheid Museum. Lunch to follow at the Museum’s adjacent, beautifully landscaped veld, with a special guest appearance by its architect, Patrick Watson.

Daily Breakout Sessions

Each day we’ll offer a variety of small group Breakout Sessions. You’ll have an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Johannesburg’s talented artists, historians, chefs, and designers. Choose from these exclusively curated, one–of–a–kind experiences:

  • Architectural Home TourVisit the stunning home and studio of renowned architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens.
  • Contemporary ArtVisit the top contemporary art museum in South Africa, Circa, and sit with owner Mark Read as he hosts an intimate discussion about South African artists in his striking gallery.
  • Fashion Design StudioMeet one of South Africa’s rising stars in the world of fashion design, David Tlale, in his new studio space. Be among the first to own a piece from his latest collection.
  • Bicycle Tour of Alexandra TownshipGet a true taste of township life on a bicycle tour led by one of the neighborhood's proudest residents. Meet the local residents and discover this historic part of Joburg from a very unique perspective.
  • Inside Chef’s KitchenGo behind the scenes and into the kitchen with Chef David Higgs at the luxurious Saxon Hotel for a personal cooking demonstration.
  • African Art and DesignThe Amatuli emporium is an interior design–lovers dream. Owner Mark Valentine will show you the latest objects he’s personally sourced from the African continent. Thankfully, his store ships to the US!
  • Wits Arts MuseumMuseum curator, Fiona Rankin Smith, will guide you through this stunning, recently opened space of the world’s leading collection of African art and will offer invaluable insight into the collection of both ancient and contemporary work on display.
  • Joburg CBD and Newtown Walking ToursLocal city expert, Gerald Garner, brings the city to life with his in–depth knowledge of the ‘central business district’ that will surprise and delight you with its historical buildings and open–air street markets.
  • Jewelry Design workshopGet hands on instruction in designing and creating your own custom African–inspired jewelry withBeauty Masawanganyi at Piece, the design shop exquisitely curated by Eugenie Drakes.
  • Brenthurst GardensVisit the breathtaking gardens of the famous Brenthurst Estate, home of South Africa’s leading family, the Openheimers, founders of Anglo American and De Beers mining companies.
  • Ububele Children's CenterVisit Ububele and meet director Getti Mercorio, who oversees the implementation of mental health programs for at-risk children and caregivers in Joburg’s Alexandra Township. You’ll also have a chance to meet and interact with some of the delightful children in their therapeutic daycare program.
  • Shopping TourJohannesburg trend spotter and retail guru, Craig Jacobs, will show you some of his favorite places to find beautiful and unique clothing, jewelry, and objets d’art created by local designers.

Evening

Liliesleaf Farm, former headquarters of the ANC and safe house to Nelson Mandela, will be our venue for an impressive dinner reception that will include opening welcome remarks from South Africa’s former Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. We’ll then hear a talk from Denis Goldberg, one of the ANC members arrested during the infamous raid on the farm. The evening will include musical performances and a special dinner menu created and presented by one of South Africa’s leading chefs.

DAY TWO  (Tuesday, October 9)

Morning

Breakout Sessions continue, offering a chance to participate in many of these intimate, specially curated experiences.

Afternoon 

We’ll head north towards the high veld and the Cradle of Humankind, home to the origin of our species and site of the discovery of 2+ million year old human fossils. Lee Berger, South Africa’s leading paleoanthropologist will lead us to Malapa, a private excavation site, for a mind bending talk about our civilization.

Evening

Near the Cradle, we’ll go deeper into the bush for a truly African experience. Celebrate under the night sky at this Bush Party featuring heart–pounding tribal music, bonfires, drumming circles, storytelling, star gazing with astronomers, and a traditional outdoor braai.

DAY THREE (Wednesday, october 10)

Morning

Hear from Edwin Cameron, well-known Constitutional Court judge, during this visit to Constitution Hill, the site of the nation’s highest courts as well as the Old Fort Prison complex, where South African citizens such as Gandhi and Mandela were once held. We’ll also hear talks from leading authorities in current issues such as education, politics, and employment:

  • Giles Gillette and Anthony FarrEducation activists
  • Nic DawesEditor in Chief of the Mail & Guardian
  • Kuben NaidooHead secretariat of the National Planning Committee

Afternoon

Urban developer, and young visionary, Jonathan Liebmann, will show us the city’s revitalized cultural hub (and his founding project), Arts on Main. We’ll visit the studios of famous contemporary artist, William Kentridge, and of renowned fine-art printmaker, David Krut. Spend time enjoying the market atmosphere, food stalls, boutiques and gallery spaces.

Evening

Home Dinners — In small groups, join local Joburgers at the homes of various dinner hosts. Share a meal around the dining table, hear their stories, tell them yours, and make new lifelong friends!

After dinner, everyone meets up to party at SHINE, for a glamorous evening of cocktails, DJs, cityscape views and fashion show by designer David Tlale.

DAY four (thurSDAY, OCTOBER 11)

Morning

Enjoy a relaxed and leisurely morning with free time, a walk through a local park, or participate in one of the final Breakout Sessions.

Afternoon

While at Northwards, a heritage mansion designed by Herbert Baker, futurist and scenario planner Clem Sunter will offer a fascinating talk about social, economic and political trends in South Africa today. Afterwards, we’ll hear from the exceptionally gifted Bongani Ndodana-Breen, a young operatic composer whose work often focuses on the history and people of Johannesburg and Soweto. Finally, we will have lunch on the property's beautiful grounds with a gorgeous bird's eye view of Joburg.

Evening

Our final night will be a celebration of life, freedom and hope as we head to Soweto, the former home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Renowned as the most famous black township in Africa, we will join the townspeople for a lively Soweto Street Party on famed Vilakazi street complete with powerful musical performances, street party food and drink, and plenty of dancing. Viva South Africa!