African Travel Concept


Getting a New Perspective on Life: Soweto Township Tour

Posted on Thursday, 03rd Jul 2014

The Soweto Towers

A township tour in Soweto is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a must-do when visiting South Africa. This journey through history and culture will touch your heart and show you hidden treasures about township life.

Known worldwide for its role in the struggle for democracy, Soweto is a hub of ultra-modern life depicted by luxury cars, large mansions and ever expanding boundaries starkly contrasted by poor areas where primitive life is found, livestock graze along the roads and ancient African traditions are still practiced.

What to see

Your dedicated tour guide will show you what living in a township is like and bring you in contact with the locals to experience their culture and share some interesting stories. Drinking a beer in one of the Shebeens (typical local bar) or having some local cuisine is ideal opportunities to get in contact with the locals. By talking to the people, you will get to know the other side of the world and see life from a different point of view. This can sometimes be a life changing experience!

Informal Settlements in Soweto Townships

Apart from experiencing the interesting culture and lifestyle, you can also learn about South Africa’s history by visiting sites such as The Hector Pietersen Museum or the Mandela Family Museum in Vilakazi Street. This street is the only place in the world to have raised two Nobel Prize winners! Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu used to live there.

Highlights include:

  • Credo Mutwa Village
  • Hector Pietersen Musuem
  • Mandela Family Musuem
  • Walk through Baragwanath Taxi rank area
  • Visit a Shebeen

Soweto Mural of Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu


  1. Take photos! But dont forget to ask the people in the photo for permission to take it, and show it to them – they will be happy to see themselves!
  2. Eat local food! It might be simple food, but it is quite tasty and it will show that you are interested in their culture
  3. Buy hand-crafted goods at the local markets, many people here make a living alone by making and selling curios for tourists.

Do not:

  1. Be shy. Try to have a laugh with them and then you will get a better insight of their life.
  2. Stay in your vehicle at all times. The local people are very embracing and you could miss a great opportunity for interaction.
  3. Tell them about your great life in the first world or seem condescending. The locals are still sensitive to recent history of apartheid and do not appreciate negative comments or gestures.

Soweto Children Playing Football

ATC recommends:

A tour to Soweto should always be done with an experienced tour guide, ensuring you do not get lost and encounter the best this bustling area of Johannesburg has to offer. ATC is your expert travel partner, offering you the best guides and experiences in Soweto. Contact us for more details or enquiries.

Posted in ATC Recommends

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