Soweto Township Tour

Best Known Township

A township tour is an awe-inspiring experience. Soweto is perhaps the country's best known township, and a visit with a renowned tour operator, will leave you wondering why you didn't do it years ago. 

©Jacques Marais

From the multi-million rand mansions to the most fragile of shacks, past barber shops, pavement stalls, down the street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu lives, past soccer stadiums and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. With a highlight of Nelson Mandela's house from the 1960s. - By David Bristow


©Jacques Marais
Bungee jump platform at Soweto Towers (also known as Orlando Towers).

When you visit Soweto on a township tour there are an abundance of activities that you can partake in and attractions to visit depending on your interests. 

The Orlando Towers, a distinct landmark of Soweto, is the hub for some adventure activities. You can tour the streets of Soweto on a guided quad bike or electric cycle. Go for a paddle on Pimville Dam, near the Orlando Towers. Play paintball, go rock climbing or you may wish to round off your Soweto experience by bungee jumping, where you can leap from a lofty height above Soweto. Then down a home-brewed shebeen beer while you get your Mojo back! 

For other outdoor activities, you can visit Mofolo Park, which is a green oasis popular with Sowetans for its jazz concerts and sporting events. Here you will find a bustling community centre and international sports complex for the disabled. There is children’s soccer at Pimville, which is also known for its party lifestyle. The Pimville recreation centre offers a range of activities from aerobics, ballroom dancing and gymnastics to computer training available to kids, teens and adults.

Cue Camera

©Andile Bhala

For the film fundies, you can visit the Chiawelo district where the blockbuster sci-fi movie, "District 9" was filmed. For art fanatics, Credo Mutwa Cultural Village, located in the heart of Soweto, is a must. The museum and outdoor exhibition were created by artist and traditional healer, Credo Mutwa. There’s a fascinating display of sculptures steeped in folklore and African traditions. The garden, which lies below the Oppenheimer Tower, is filled with indigenous plants used for their healing properties.

On your Soweto township tour, you can also visit a number of important locations that are historically significant. Vilakazi Street is where you can see the homes of no less than two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela’s former home is now the Nelson Mandela National Museum commonly referred to as Mandela House. Vilakazi Street includes public art, memorials and benches picking out its historical sites. The Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, which depicts the Soweto Riots of 1976, is just a few blocks down from Vilakazi Street.

Then there’s also Sisulu Square at Kliptown, which have become a fashion lover’s hub (indoor fashion expos are particularly popular). The Freedom Charter was signed here by the Congress of the People back in 1955. The Charter offered an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the former apartheid state. You can also visit Donaldson Orlando Community Centre, which has been declared a Heritage Site. Here Nelson Mandela trained for boxing matches. Anti-apartheid protest plays also took place here.