Price range, per nightmin R max R
Linden, Houghton, Lanseria, Midrand, Northcliff - Johannesburg, Melville, Kyalami, Fourways, O.R. Tambo Airport, Sandton, Melrose, Gold Reef City, Auckland Park, Braamfontein, Johannesburg (Joburg), Bryanston, Rosebank JHB, Sunninghill, Dinokeng, Sandhurst
Bensusan Photographic Museum, SAB World of Beer, Johannesburg Zoo, Satyagraha House, Hillbrow Tower, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Moyo Restaurants, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Brenthurst Gardens, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, Radium Beer Hall, Oriental Plaza, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
Set on a sloping ridge, gracious character-filled homes abound in the eastern Johannesburg suburb of Kensington. Large oak and jacaranda trees line the streets and the area has a number of excellent schools, a popular park and a vibrant café district.
Many of Kensington’s homes are historic, three of which are national heritage sites. The suburb has its own castle on the ridge and guest accommodation ranges from understated elegance to comfortable backpacker digs. A reflection of Kensington’s good standing is that it seems to attract lifelong residents.
Kensington’s location is ideal for anyone visiting Johannesburg as the drive into the city is a short 5km trip, national highways are nearby and two airports are within a 20km radius.
Top 8 reasons to visit Kensington
1. Purchase a map of the Kensington Heritage Walk created by the suburb’s community minded residents to appreciate Kensington’s fascinating architecture. The walk includes a visit to a Tibetan Buddhist Centre and the Scottish Horse Memorial high on the ridge.
2. The century old Rhodes Park is a joy to visit. A stream runs into a large dam for picnickers to sit under the shade of a tree and watch the wading birds. The park has a children’s play area and a newly renovated public swimming pool.
3. Golfers can enjoy a round of golf at either the Observatory Golf Course or the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club further north, the latter regularly ranked amongst the top 10 courses in South Africa.
4. For a pleasurable shopping experience, head to the 250-store Eastgate Shopping Centre. Over two million people visit this mall monthly. For more personal shopping, Bedford Gardens is located in the adjoining suburb.
5. Sports lover? Attend a sporting event at the Ellis Park World of Sports Precinct in Doornfontein. The stadium hosts major rugby events while the indoor arena is suited for both tennis and basketball. The arena previously hosted the NBA Africa Games.
6. The Maboneng Precinct is billed as a cultural hub with restaurants, fashionwear, theatre venues, microbrewers and art galleries located in a single public space. Try the African-fused sushi or watch pop-art theatre.
7. Get the blood pumping with a strenuous climb up Linksfield Ridge beginning at Gillooly’s Farm. The views here are simply spectacular. The 4km circular trail is best completed with a refreshing drink at the onsite Gillooly’s Farm restaurant.
8. Johannesburg’s nightlife is legendary. Exclusive nightclubs, hipster bars, late night restaurants and live music venues are spread throughout the inner city, Sandton and other suburbs. Download the ‘inyourpocket’ app to plan your evenings.
The OR Tambo International Airport is situated 17km from Kensington. The Germiston Rand Airport for chartered flights is 13km away. Car rental agencies are based at the airport and at all major centres, otherwise order a vehicle online. Metered taxis, shuttle service companies and Uber all operate in the area.
Did you know?
The suburb’s renowned Kensington Castle was built by Englishman Sam Wilson in 1911 after his lover Kate MacKirdie promised to marry him if he built her a castle. Constructed from surrounding rocks, it and was modelled after the Rothsay Castle in Scotland.
On the 16th September 1917, a murderous bunch of thugs known as the Foster Gang holed up in a cave above Kensington after being on the run for 3 years. The gang, surrounded by police (and a huge crowd of curious onlookers), refused to surrender and after a 2 day standoff, all committed suicide.