Things to do in
Soweto

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Our most recommended things to do in Soweto

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

1. Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

Depart from your hotel, heading to the south west township of Johannesburg. Take a route through the Johannesburg south suburbs and see the sleek cars and spacious freeways. Next, discover Johannesburg city with its tall buildings, most of them built during the apartheid era, while you make your way to Soweto. Watch the beautiful scenery disappear as you enter Soweto. Pass through two iconic landmarks that used to generate power in the township of Soweto and are now normally used for bungee jumping. Drive through Soweto heading to the famous Hector Pieterson Museum with its dark history about the youth uprising in 1976. From here, drive through the township for sightseeing, and finally head to Mandela House Museum on Vilakazi Street. In the museum you will learn about the father of the nation, Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, who became a world icon. Finally, hop on back to the tour vehicle returning to your hotel. On route, you will pass through FNB stadium also known as Soccer City or The Calabash, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals.  

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Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

2. Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

After being collected from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing, before you depart for Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, you will pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You will then enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you will then visit Vilakazi Street, where you will drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela, and past the current home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also have the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising that occurred on the 16th of June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this Soweto tour you will pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. A visit into the museum is also optional (at an extra cost and payable on arrival). You will continue your Soweto tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you will get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You will then drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University, and end your tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

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Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

3. Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

This short tour will let you experience day to day life in the township. Meet your local tour guide and start the bike tour. You will be able to visit famous spots including Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, Vilakazi, Orlando stadium, and the Hector Peterson memorial. Learn about the incidents that happened on the fateful day of 16 June in 1976 when Hector Peterson was shot and killed by the police during the student protests. This tour includes a little bit of exercise and is eco-friendly. You get to cycle on the most famous street on the African continent, Vilakazi Street. Interact with locals and see how life goes in South Africa's most famous township. You will have the opportunity to support local small businesses on the way. You can bring small change or items that you would like to donate. 

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Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch

4. Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, listen to a quick pre-departure tour briefing from your guide before departing to Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. Enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. Next, set off for the neighborhood of Orlando West and visit Vilakazi Street. Drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela and past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Take the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising on the 16th June 1976. On that tragic day, an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. Then, pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. Visits inside the museum are optional at an extra cost per person that is payable on arrival. Continue the Soweto tour by driving into one of the shanty towns, where you get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly facets of Soweto include extreme poverty and wealth. Drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University and end the tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

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Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

5. Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

See the sights of Johannesburg at your own pace with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Then, take a 2-hour eco tour of the township of Soweto, described as the “New York of Africa.” Take in the sights of the city where Mandela once lived and Mahatma Gandhi started his legal career. Learn the history of Johannesburg from the audio commentary in English once on board the double decker sightseeing bus. Ride through the city's historic neighborhoods and see fascinating attractions, many related to the struggle against apartheid. Get on and off as much as you like. Hear about 2 of the 20th century’s most famous liberation heroes in the city where they started their legal and political careers. Follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and his Passive Resistance (Satyagraha) Movement, and Nelson Mandela with his Defiance Campaign. Hop-On and Hop-Off Bus Route: Green Tour:  1. Rosebank: @The Zone Mall, next to “Hamleys”  2. Zoo Lake 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  5. Constitution Hill Red City Tour: 5. Constitution Hill 10. Mining District 11. Carlton Center for the “Roof of Africa” viewing deck 12. James Hall Transport Museum  13. Gold Reef City Casino Hotel – join the Soweto Eco tour here 14. Apartheid Museum  15. New Town 16. Origins Center at Wits University  17. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) Soweto Eco Tour: Reconnect with Nelson Mandela's past, and get an understanding of where he started his fight against apartheid at his family home in Soweto. Now a museum, Mandela House follows the story of the legendary leader in the small rooms where his family lived. The single-story matchbox house is located at number 8115, on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane streets. A short distance up the road is Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Encounter the eclectic atmosphere of the markets and memorabilia stands, as well as various eateries like the Mandela Family Restaurant. Enjoy drinks on restaurant balconies or at tables dotted along the sidewalks. Soweto is home to thousands of South Africans and the site of some of the most iconic events in the nation’s history. Get a fascinating look into kasi living, and hear the history of South Africa’s freedom struggle. Stop at Soccer City on the outskirts of Soweto before going to Diep Kloof. Discover the renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the world in 1997. Go to Orlando Towers to see the site of the world’s highest Suspended Catch Air Device (SCAD) Freefall. Enjoy a drink or some braised meat at the Chaf Pozi shisa nyama and shebeen. Drive past Orlando Stadium, the 1st ever sports facility built for black South Africans in a residential area. Then, go to the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Orlando West to discover a work of art that marks the events of 16 June 1976, a catalyst for the Soweto Uprising. End your Soweto tour at the Kliptown Open Air Museum in Walter Sisulu Square, where 3,000 people gathered in 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter. See the 10 tenets on which the South African Constitution is based. Another popular landmark, just a few meters from the museum is the 4-star Soweto Hotel.

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Johannesburg: Guided Bicycle Tour of Soweto with Lunch

6. Johannesburg: Guided Bicycle Tour of Soweto with Lunch

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore the urban complex of Soweto on a bicycle. Get to experience the township like a local. Get a glimpse of Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Tutu House. Start your cycling tour in Killarney, an up-and-coming tourist destination in Soweto. Learn how this township was created in 1904 and share the history of these neighborhoods. Ride to Mzimhlophe and visit Mzimhlophe Women's hostel. Continue to Mama Lilian Ngoyi's house, an anti-apartheid activist. Cycle to Hector Pietersen Museum where the Soweto uprising transpired which was one of the turning points of apartheid. This tour will get you closer to all the highlights of Soweto. See the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. Imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. Then, pass by Tutu House on Vilakazi Street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his family once resided. Talk about the Nobel Laureate's contribution to apartheid's downfall in South Africa. Give your feet a break by stopping for lunch. Taste South African sandwiches called kota before cycling back to the starting point.

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Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour

7. Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour

Be picked-up from your hotel for a full-day tour of Johannesburg, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto. Begin your explorations in the heart of bustling Johannesburg, the third largest city in Africa. Pass landmark buildings and structures such as the Hillbrow Tower, one of the tallest towers in Africa, the sky-scraping Ponte City, Sentech and Carlton Centre Towers, and the multimillion-rand Nelson Mandela Bridge. Stop at the Apartheid Museum in the south of the city that showcases the notorious system of racial discrimination that became synonymous with South Africa from 1948 until 1994. The museum has two entrances labelled ‘white’ and ‘non-white’ giving visitors a tiny taste of some of apartheid’s prejudiced rules. Learn about this system of racial classification inside the museum with harrowing personal testimonials and historical facts. Leaving the hustle and bustle of central Johannesburg behind, the tour will proceed to historical Soweto, an iconic South African township that experienced many student uprisings and much police brutality during the apartheid era. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial, and see the house of Nelson Mandela. After an interesting and thought provoking day head back to your hotel on a comftable air-conditioned coach.   

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Johannesburg, Soweto and Apartheid Museum Day Tour

8. Johannesburg, Soweto and Apartheid Museum Day Tour

Johannesburg, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum are the perfect destinations for learning about the City of Gold. Start the day by visiting key landmarks in Johannesburg city, starting with Constitutional Hill where you will learn about apartheid prisoners. Then, head deep into the city, driving through the tall buildings, most of them built during the gold rush period. The next stop will be Top of Africa where you can see the city from above and take photos. The Apartheid Museum tour is the next stop as you dig deeper into the dark apartheid history of South Africa. This will be a 3-hour tour of the museum before heading into Soweto township. On arrival, you visit Mandela House Museum and get a 30-minute guided tour into his former house before he was sent to prison. The Hector Pieterson Museum will give you some inspiration on the language resistance uprising of 1976. Next, will be a quick drive to the Regina Mundi Church to discover the importance during the apartheid era. Finally, drive by Orlando Towers and the World Cup Stadium to finish the tour.

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From Johannesburg: Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Tour

9. From Johannesburg: Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Tour

Start your historical day tour ready to know what transpired back in those days and how it has shaped the current dynamic Rainbow nation. Head to Pretoria just over 30 kilometers from Johannesburg making your way to the first stop, the Voortrekker Museum, where you'll get to know the history of the Afrikaaners people of South Africa. Learn more about the monument and why it was built the way it is. From there, you'll drive through the beautiful town of Pretoria, also known as Tswane. Visit the Union Building, which currently houses the president of South Africa and get a splendid view of Pretoria and find a perfect place to take photos. Continue onto Soweto, where you will get to see the 1976 Youth Uprising by visiting the famous Hector Peterson Museum and also visit the house of the South African apartheid hero Nelson Mandela on Vilakazi Street. The Nelson Mandela House has been set up to reflect its original setting from the the time he left prison. Afterwards, head to the Apartheid Museum, where you will get the fine print of what actually transpired during those apartheid days and conclude your tour by passing through Johannesburg as you head back to your hotel.

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Johannesburg: Airport Transfer with City & Soweto Tour

10. Johannesburg: Airport Transfer with City & Soweto Tour

Meet your friendly driver at the arrivals halls of the airport then head to Johannesburg. Drive through the south suburbs before arriving in the city, home to an array of tall buildings built during the apartheid. As you explore, learn about the turbulent history of Johannesburg from your guide. Watch the city scenery disappear as you enter the township of Soweto, passing through the impressive power generators that dominate the skyline. Arrive at the famous Hector Pieterson Museum, and discover stories of the youth uprising in 1976. Next, visit the Mandela House Museum and retrace the life of the iconic Nelson Mandela. Hop back into the tour vehicle and begin the return journey to Johannesburg. Drive by the FNB stadium along the way, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals. At the end of an insightful adventure, enjoy drop-off to your city accommodation.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Soweto

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What people are saying about Soweto

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 459 reviews

This was an amazing tour of Soweto made special by our excellent guide "Rambo", who was very knowledgeable and cheerful. The tour was brilliant mix of informative, serious and fun and leaves nothing out. Bicycles are brand new and work well on the slight inclines of Soweto. Inspiring tour.

Samuel Abel was a very able n personable guide. He knew his subject well and made the afternoon fun and memorable. Thank you for the hospitality.

It was a very fantastic tour. The tour guide was very friendly and informative.

Was eye opening and very informative. The guide was friendly and accommodating.

Very nice driver! Flexible tour aligned to our wishes.