Standing on top of man-made Africa! – The Carlton Centre
When we did our hop on-hop off tour of Johannesburg, our initial idea was not to get off the bus but simply enjoy Joburg sitting down. However, the bus company’s steward at the start of the tour told us that if there is one place we need to get off, it is at the Carlton Centre and take the lift to the 50th floor to enjoy the spectacular views on offer.
He didn’t need to do much to convince us, so we got off at stop number 3 to climb to the top of Africa’s tallest building. As a side note here I have to say that the bus operator is doing a fantastic job as it also has a steward escorting people from the bus stop to the lift. I find this particularly useful for the folks who still see Joburg as a cesspit of criminals and think they might get killed at any point.
The Carlton Centre was at a time the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building, however, that feat has been surpassed already (Keep in mind that the tallest building in the world is 828m high), though it remains Africa’s tallest building at 223 meters high.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but the view from the top is spectacular, especially on clear day like we had. What’s more is that sometimes, building and structures that look impressive from the ground, lose some of their grandiosity when up seen from a higher vantage point.
This is the case for the FNB stadium which hosted the World Cup 2010 final. From the ground it looks like a vast structure that stands-out from its surroundings, but from 200 odd meters in the air, it almost loses significance and grandeur, blending in to its surroundings so much that I failed to spot under my second turn of the view deck.
My only complaint is that the windows up there could be a bit cleaner but it does not detract from the spectacular views! Enjoy!