Redemption in Knowledge

How a few afternoons with Honest Travel Experience changed my outlook on Johannesburg

View of Access City from my flat in Maboneng, Johannesburg | Picture courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.
View of Johannesburg from Melville Koppies | Pictures courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.
From the top left: the Windybrow Centre, an artisan & a vendor at Victoria Yards, Ethiopian food on the Yeoville “Taste of Africa” tour. |Pictures courtesy of Honest Travel Experience

“The issue is how the story has been told so far, which dictates how people behave through these spaces. We go beyond poverty-porn and touristic standards, to tell different stories that make people proud and give them a sense of ownership of the space they inhabit.” (Franck, CEO, Honest Travel Experience)

Born from the ever-racing mind of Franck, a Congolese 29-year old with dust from the road running through his veins rather than blood, and his business partner Ty, HTE has a simple mission: giving people, locals and internationals alike, a chance at discovering what lies behind the apparently chaotic, unkempt nature of a city too often disregarded and misunderstood by the very people who live in it, and certainly by the ones who, like me, approach it without the necessary knowledge to appreciate its multiform nature.

Pictures courtesy of Honest Travel Experience

“We never tell people Johannesburg is safe or dangerous. We just provide them with the opportunity to come and see for themselves.” (Franck, CEO, Honest Travel Experience)

Just before lockdown struck the Cape Town experiences were ready to go, and the team was gearing up to expand into Durban and the rest of the country. Like many small businesses, they’ve just about managed to stay afloat but had to let some of the team go and are now concentrating on how to make the best of the terrible hand we’ve all been dealt this year, by developing a package of assisted remote working catering to international companies whose employees might like to work from sunny lands rather than northern hemisphere winters.

View from the top of Ponte City (AKA Vodacom Tower) |Pictures courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.

Quit my job, sold what I owned. Here’s what’s next.

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