Johannesburg Spice Tour with Ancient Secrets, hosted by Ishvara Dhyan


Our morning started off at this intersection,
in an area that we not visited before.

Our guide for the morning…
Ishvara Dhyan
He is a font of knowledge about the area. 

One of the few buildings that survived the 1922 Communist uprising 
in Johannesburg…

There are several major “fast food” chains in the area.
Mainly because they serve Halaal food…
and children do not want to disrespect their Mother’s cooking
by going out and eating similar food to that which is prepared at home

This particular walk was held on a Sunday.
Especially organised for those who either work on, 
or for religious reasons,cannot attend a Saturday walk.
Looking into the distance you can see downtown Johannesburg.
When Fordsburg was originally established,
it was a shanty town for migrant workers.
It is now a thriving commercial and retail hub
 that probably sees more foot traffic than central Johannesburg.

We recently saw similar head gear in Stone Town, Zanzibar.
There the vendor was asking around R300.00 for Chinese made product.
Here they were on sale for R50.00…and NOT made in China.
They can be found at “Alhidayah Fashions“.

I almost bought a similar head scarf when I was in Dubai,
but again it was too expensive.
Now I know where I can get one…

This ceiling inside the  “Ameera’s Fashion Group” store. 
Either it is a decor feature, 
or it is being used for security purposes.
Looking for a bespoke suit at an affordable price?
The pay “Asian Tailors” a visit.

Here you can choose your own material,
and have the suit cut to fit in only a couple of days.
The final cost would obviously depend on your choice of material,
but I was informed that suit prices start at around R1200.00.

On a recent trip to Zanzibar, my wife and I
did a cultural tour that included coconuts.
During our walk we found vendors on almost every corner
selling fresh coconuts.
For R10.00, they will cut a hole in the fruit 
so that you can enjoy the water inside.
You can ask them to cut off the husk
in order for you to nibble on flesh while you walk.
Most refreshing, and very healthy.

There are many fruit and vegetable shops offering a variety of wares.
When last did YOU see fresh peanuts?

Shalimar Delights“.

This sweet shop is well known and
it is supported by both locals and visitors from the suburbs

Istanbul Kebab shop“.

Feel like Turkish cuisine?
There are several shops to tempt your taste buds…

The Divine Bakery
This bakery is situated in what is arguably the oldest 
Lebanese Church in Johannesburg.
Although the pews etc have been removed,
the roof and several of the original light fittings still remain.

Looking for perfumes?
Then you have certainly come to the right suburb!
The fragrance of Oud vies with the wafting smell of incense.
For “Westerners” who are not used to this, 
it can be somewhat overwhelming.
But it is all part of the experience.

There are many shops that sell religious objects.
Most of the items are mass produced and
are therefore used for decoration,
rather than as collectors items

Hamada goes East“…
Strange name for a shop?
Here you will find a variety of hookahs as well as all the
accessories that you might need.
The shop also sells a variety of perfumes and Islamic books.

The Saheeb Paan House“.
I found out that Paan is a  habit forming leaf
that is usually chewed like tobacco.

These pigeons were not found on the route that our walk covered.
I noticed them before we set off and went back to try and capture
this image after we finished.
It looked like a scene out of the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds”.
Ishvara Dhyan certainly has his own style of  dispensing knowledge,
 that is entertaining, informative and educational.

He offers a variety of different cultural tours
in and around central Johannesburg and certain other suburbs.
Going on any of these will give you new insight into the metropolis we live in.

To find out more about the tours, visit:
and sign up for his newsletter.

Images on this tour were shot on
a Canon SX60HS.
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