Touring downtown Johannesburg – even by bicycle or on foot – might be daunting to many, but there are several tour guides like Jo Buitendach of Past Experiences who have made it much more accessible. Add now to that group Kennedy Tembo of MicroAdventures, who has just won an award for his tours of Joburg (and beyond).

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Kennedy with tour bike tour participants at the Old School coffee shop, Newtown. Photos: Provided by Big Ambitions.

The Jurni Gems award, which was voted on through social media platforms, was the first by Jurni, a travel and tourism data company.

Nothing could be more apt than to call Tembo, as some people do, ‘the ambassador of adventure in Joburg.” Since 2017 he has been encouraging people to get out and about in the city and showing them the gems. All, as he says, “in a cost-effective way.”

One of his most popular tours is through the  streets of the inner city – Maboneng, Gandhi Square, in the shadow of the Carlton Centre, past the drop-dead-gorgeous architecture of buildings like Corner House, the Rand Club, and the old Standard Bank – popping in at coffee shops along the way.

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The Ponte City Challenge has been going for several years now, gaining popularity.

One of the regular events that Kennedy helped start together with the social-awareness tour group Dlala Nje is the Ponte City Challenge, a run up the stairs of the 62-story Ponte Tower, which takes place on a Sunday. The latest vertical run – which the front runners do in less than 8 minutes – took place today.

Kennedy Tembo, a fitness enthusiast, also offers hiking tours of the Drakensberg and the Cradle of Humankind. His offerings are growing, so take a look at his website and Facebook page.

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Kennedy in front of one of Johannesburg’s well-known art murals.

kennedy tembo microadventures tours south africa johannesburg