Airbnb has announced the launch of ‘experiences’ in Johannesburg – with around 30 experiences already available on the platform.

Experiences are activities or excursions that are led by local hosts, highlighting their interests and perspective as well as unique places many visitors might not otherwise get to experience.

“The experiences in Johannesburg show the vibrancy of the City of Gold. From urban farming, to the real Soweto, to some of the best nightlife spots – travellers can truly immerse themselves in one of Africa’s most energetic cities through experiences,” said Velma Corcoran, country manager for Airbnb South Africa.

“The expansion of experiences across all of South Africa will help to boost tourism outside of city centres by attracting more people to rural and regional areas.

“Experiences help spread the benefits of hosting to those who do not have space in their house to rent out. This is also a fantastic way for visitors and locals to experience parts of South Africa that they would otherwise miss, had it not been for these passionate locals,” said Corcoran.

Also on offer in Johannesburg are social impact experiences where 100% of the proceeds benefit the hosting organisation, while Airbnb forgoes its usual fee. Around 30% of experiences booked in South Africa are social impact experiences that support different associations and NGOs.

Training with boxing grannies is one of those available to be booked on the platform. Hosted by the A-Team Foundation, the experience helps promote fitness and bodybuilding in underserved areas and hosting an experience on Airbnb raises funds to renew training material and pay the fitness trainers.

BusinessTech looked at this, and some of the other experiences currently available on the platform below.

Train with boxing grannies at a gym- from R250 per person 

What they said : 

You’ll meet us for our morning boxing session. These grannies have been training with us for years and will show you the way.

We will start with an introduction on our NGO and what we stand for. You will then be paired with a granny who will be your partner for the training. Get ready to sweat and have fun with our team of trainers and grannies. We will end the training with some soft drinks and feedback on how the session went.

Explore local shops with a stylist-from R400 per person

What they said:

We will meet in the iconic Mandela Square. I will show you my favorite shops from local designers and share with you my insights on Johannesburg.

As part of my job in the NGO, I help women build self-confidence and style is a part of it. Embark on a journey with me, to understand better fashion and the role it plays in building self-confidence while discovering local shops.

Learn Zulu from a Jozi rooftop –fromR450 per person 

What they said: 

Welcome to an experience I call Zulu Basics. By the end of our time together, you will be able to say greetings, and exchange a few words and pleasantries in Zulu.

We’ll dive into the Zulu culture as we sit back and relax with cool drinks in our hands. I will also tell you about the must-see places in Johannesburg and suggest some fun spots and tourist attractions.

Create traditional African Kaftan – from R550 per person

What they said: 

This Kaftan making workshop takes place in my office studio. Here we’ll get to know each other over local drinks, snacks and tunes.

We’ll also get acquainted with a proudly African fabric called Ankara or we use the chiffon fabric to create beaded embroidery which I’ll show you how to manipulate into a one piece free style outfit. Whatever you make you get to take! Great as a gift or a wearable souvenir.


This article was first published by BusinessTech on 2 July 2018.