About Soweto

Unforgettable for Visitors

Soweto, one of Johannesburg's "satellite cities" is home to over one million people living in an array of dwellings from large, modern homes to makeshift shanties and "matchbox" houses. A tour of Soweto is unforgettable for most visitors. 

©Andile Bhala

Drink with the locals in a "shebeen", try the latest dance moves at upmarket nightclubs, soak up the national passion at a football stadium, or visit sites where epic struggles for freedom once raged. Tour guides will explain the fascinating history of Soweto, reliving highlights of Nelson Mandela's life there, as well as the 1976 uprising or "Children's Revolution".

Once home simultaneously to two Nobel Peace Prize winners - President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Soweto is not only filled with famous people and historical events but is also a bustling metropolis larger than the city centre in terms of residents and sheer size. Here you will get a true feel for African hospitality, be able to indulge in the rich cuisine, stay in one of the many bed-and-breakfasts, and enjoy a cold beer at a "shebeen" while listening to some jazz.

Tourist Sites in Soweto

©Jacques Marais
Bungee jumping from the twin Orlando cooling towers.

There are numerous tourist sites linked to the anti-apartheid struggle that you can visit. The Apartheid Museum captures the major political events that took place in South Africa in the 20th Century, using dramatic techniques such as iconic images, TV footage, film and many artefacts. The story, effect and reach of the apartheid system is, for most, a moving experience.

Although it is termed a museum, visitors are given an opportunity to interact; creating a true-life experience that will be remembered long afterwards. At Constitutional Hill, in Braamfontein, visitors are able to tour the prison where many of South Africa's struggle heroes were imprisoned. Museum Africa, in Newtown, gives a true reflection on the history of Johannesburg, with reproductions of a shack as found in informal settlements, a mining shaft and a collection of very early photographs of Soweto.

Annual Soweto visitor attractions include the Soweto Food & Wine Festival, Soweto Fashion Week and the Soweto Camp Festival (a three-day camping and music festival). Fun stuff is the ability (for the daring few) to bungee jump from the twin iconic Orlando cooling towers! Afterwards, enjoy eating and drinking in the lively atmosphere of Chaf Pozi Restaurant & Bar. Chaf Pozi means “our secret place” in local slang.