Mulbarton, Johannesburg

Lying south of the Southern Bypass in the south of Johannesburg, just east of Alberton, Mulbarton nestles in amongst the other southern suburbs of Glenvista, Bassonia and Meyersdal, bordering the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve.

Mulbarton is a reasonably new suburb, by all accounts only emerging during the mid 1970s, although roads were untarred until as late as 1979, making it one of the more countrified neighbourhoods of Johannesburg until fairly recently. Those who have lived around here for long enough will remember the Panorama drive-in, the only source of movies during those years, and still around, although the screen has gone and it's now the venue of a popular fleamarket.

Access from Mulbarton to Roodepoort, Germiston and Boksburg is excellent, and in particular, the centre of Johannesburg - perfect for visits to see the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the Market Theatre in Newtown, SAB World of Beer, the Apartheid Museum and Gold Reef City - is easily reached.

This is a good spot to stay too if a Soweto tour is high on your list of priorities. The sprawling 'city within a city' lies just west of Mulbarton, a metropolis of informal settlements side-by-side with affluent suburbs, Mandela House, Kliptown, the Hector Peterson Memorial, and a much needed stop at a shebeen or two.

Weekend activities include golf at the Glen Vista Country Club, visits to Heidelberg, Sasolburg, and Vereeniging, time-out at the Emerald Casino Resort, bird watching at the Marievale Bird Sanctuary just outside Nigel - a RAMSAR site and an important wetland - sundowner cruises along the Vaal River, and hiking at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve - a beautiful combination of ridges, plains and kloofs not far from Mulbarton.

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Destination Mulbarton
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