Soweto lies southwest of Johannesburg and is home to more than 1.3 million South Africans. It is on these dusty, bustling streets of Soweto that South Africa’s freedom struggle peaked pre-democracy.
From its beginnings as a mining township to the central role it played in the dawn of our rainbow nation, Soweto has many stories to tell. The kasi (township) is a city in its own right and is respected for its unique character, atmosphere and entrepreneurial spirit.
Most of the area’s attractions are centred around human interaction and sharing the historical and cultural significance. Support a local tour taking you to places such as both of the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. See where the vital Freedom Charter was signed, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and more. There’s no other way to better understand township culture.
Afterwards, relax with a beer and watch the soccer at one of the local shebeens.
And forget any pre-conceived images of Soweto you may have in your mind. Soweto will surprise, astonish, challenge and delight the curious traveller who is willing to take the journey.
Soweto lies 60km, about a 50-minute drive (depending on traffic) from the O.R. Tambo International Airport.
What to do in Soweto
Most visitors only scratch the surface when visiting, ticking off iconic sites such as Vilakazi Street, Mandela’s House and Walter Sisulu or Freedom Square. Venture deeper with local-led tours and experiences for an authentic glimpse of the real Soweto, from adventure at Orlando Towers to the frenzy of a soccer game.
Where to stay in Soweto
Where to eat in Soweto