Tracy Lee Stark

By Tracy Lee Stark

Photographer and Multimedia Producer

See Jozi from inside a bug

These cute little rides offer a novel way to experience South Africa's 'misunderstood' economic powerhouse, as it zips you around some of the city's coolest art spots, eco-treasures, and a historic beer hall for the thirsty traveller.

Video: Pfarelo Munonoka


There’s a new way to experience Joburg’s pulse.

Whether you’re a seasoned Joburger or an out of town traveller, catching a ride in the quirky Jozi Bug is sure to show you a side of the city you probably didn’t know existed.

Jozi Bug tours was started in November 2019 by Peter Paradza, who has a relentless passion for the City of Gold. His idea came about when he was looking for a safer alternative to walking tours to get to see the city.

“The City of Johannesburg is one of the most misunderstood cities. It is a city of many faces and a history that has seen so much development, decay and redevelopment,”  he says as we set off for one of our tours around the city.

Being in the Jozi bug, which seats 3 plus the driver, offers a more intimate touring experience. Paradza’s knowledge of Jo’burg is extraordinary and he is constantly chatting away, telling stories of the areas he drives through the city on the way to each stop.

The starting point of all the tours is in the bohemian suburb of Melville.

The classic Joburg tour takes you from the affluent Westcliff, through the urban renewal projects in Braamfontein, the CBD, historical landmarks of the city such as Constitutional Hill, Ghandi Square and Mandela’s old law offices just to name a few.

All tours include stop-off points where you have an opportunity to walk around, take in more sights, go shopping and meet some interesting people that live and work in the city.

The Jozi Bug is pictured outside the Radium Bee Hall in Orange Grove, 6 February 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The He[ART] of Jozi tour takes you to the controversial Garden of Eden, the Wild’s nature reserve in Houghton. Once an overgrown and notorious crime hotspot, the community rehabilitated the area to its former lush glory. The garden is now filled with artworks by James Delaney, including an Owl Forest, where 67 Owl Sculptures were made in honour of Mandela Day.

The Jozi Bug then zips you along the Legendary S-Bend Graffiti Mural on Louis Botha Drive.  This mural is the longest piece of street art in South Africa and has the combined efforts of a group of artists who were commissioned to portray their expressions of the city’s transport over the years.

Lunch on this tour is served at the Radium Beerhall which is one of the oldest surviving bars and grills in Johannesburg. First opened as a tea room in 1929, the Radium features the legendary scarred bar which is over 100 years old.

Peter Paradza of Jozi Bug tours poses for a picture at the S-Bend Graffiti Mural on Louis Botha Drive, 6 February 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark


A visit to the Kim Sacks Gallery is included and this is a great place to view and buy local gifts. A few other gallery stops complete the art tour back in Melville.

The Jozi Bug, an Indian-manufactured Bajaj Qute vehicle, branded with the iconic Johannesburg skyline and polka dots, is sure to get the attention of passers-by.

All passengers have responsive seat belts ensuring a safe ride. The tours are all intra-city so the obvious dangers of the highways are avoided, and all Jozi Bug drivers possess PDrP (Public Drivers Permits) meaning they are certified to transport passengers on South Africa’s roads.

Tours start from R690 per person, include lunch and last approximately 4 hours

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Johannesburg CBD (Joburg) travel