There is definitely a downside to being in Johannesburg without local friends around. The city is not a very safe place to wander alone, or even with friends depending on the area. Located in a funky spot covered in graffiti and street art, it wasn’t any different in terms of safety. Nevertheless, I left the hostel for a bit to wander down the two blocks that were considered safe in Maboneng, only to find that the galleries and shops were closed because of the public holiday. Thankfully, I chose a very funky backpackers with a patio, great hang out spots, and awesome people. The bar downstairs is also a hangout spot for locals, which helped with getting invited out to the city. Partying with locals is always a bonus!
Overall, this backpackers seems to be a good spot for those who are arriving in South Africa and starting out their trip, or those like myself who are ending their trip and staying in Johannesburg before flying out.