Earlier this year, I made a to-do list of affordable ways to explore Joburg and this weekend I managed to scratch one off the list - see the sun rise from the tippy top of Melville Koppies.
So, with an early morning Sunday alarm and a flask of coffee we set off in the dark and found our closest star greeting the Jozi skyline.
It took us a little while to find the right spot that's open, but eventually we spotted signs leading to the Melville West entrance. The grass has been burnt so visibility is great for safety reasons and the rocky slopes provide an excellent vantage point to take in the dawn.
The website doesn't advise bring valuables in, but I couldn't bear the thought of not capturing the skyline in the soft morning light so I took the chance and I'm very glad I did.
Melville Koppies is a city heritage site and the last conserved ridge in Johannesburg as the rest were plundered for gold. The vegetation is completely indigenous giving you an idea of what Egoli was like before the gold rush and it's the best way to appreciate the world's biggest urban forest - from up here you can easily see how many trees have been planted in the city.
It's amazing to think that 20 years ago the area was a dumping ground and home to over 70 squatters. There's more to explore in this small park like a small cave filled with stone age artefacts so I'll definitely be back.