Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Jo'burg Experience - Gardens and Galleries Tour!

JOHANNESBURG: GARDENS AND GALLERIES
Monday - Friday
(Private Day Tour)

To book this private tour for your travelers visiting Johannesburg, please contact your travel consultant at New Frontiers Tours.

This delightful tour offers visitors a glimpse of Johannesburg not often associated with this buzzing metropolis. We set off this morning to Brenthurst Gardens where we’ll enjoy a private guided tour by special arrangement through sixteen hectares of woodland, informal and formal gardens and home to the elegant gabled house of the same name, built by Sir Herbert Baker.

The estate has been in the Oppenheimer family since 1922 (founders of De Beers Diamonds and owners of Tswalu Nature Reserve) and Strilli Oppenheimer still works closely with Head Gardener Dawid Klopper in creating more natural, endemic and indigenous gardens befitting the 21st century. The estate is also a remarkable encapsulation of the history of the Johannesburg landscape, once open veld and now the largest man-made forest in the world. The first trees were planted here in 1890 to meet the demand for the pit props in the mines as well as building material for the boom town sprung up in the treeless veld. Some of these still survive today.

We then head to the nearby suburb of Bramley, where we’ll visit Mark Valentine’s much loved African artworks shop – Amatuli Fine Art. You will have a chance to wander from room to room and into the gardens to view his collection of artwork which he has spent 18 years accumulating, some dating back to the 1930’s on his trips across the African continent. From carved crocodiles and snakes from Swaziland, to dug-out canoes from Central Africa,
you’ll be amazed at the variety of quality craftsmanship available.

We travel on to Rosebank, an artstrip that’s home to some of South Africa’s most famous contemporary and commercial art galleries – we’ll visit Warren Siebrits, the Goodman Gallery and Everard Read as well as some new kids on the block such as Resolution Gallery, promoting and selling digital media art from limited edition prints to interactive installations and mixed media artworks. A not-to-be-missed stop has to be the David Krut Arts and Bookstore, publishers of high-quality contemporary South African art and architecture books as well as Taxi Art Books, a series of monographs on contemporary South African artists.

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