Looking for things to do in Soweto? There are a couple of adventurous activities you can get up to in the popular South African City. Soweto is one of the must-see destinations when you are visiting the country. A lot of South Africa’s history is tied to the township and it has evolved along with the country.
Soweto stands for South Western Township owing to its location in relation to Johannesburg. It is located between Johannesburg South and the West Rand. Even today, a lot of South Africa’s culture receives influence from Soweto and many of South Africa’s significant people come from Soweto.
Our list of Things To Do In Soweto
There are dozens of popular tourist spots and it is one of the places to go for the fully African experience. We have listed a few of them below.
The most famous attraction is undoubtedly the house that the former president, Nelson Mandela used to live from 1946 to 1962. The house was converted into a museum in 1997 when Nelson Mandela donated it to the Soweto Heritage Trust. It is the first museum in Soweto.
The house is so popular with tourists that the surrounding area has developed because of the tourist appeal. Vilakazi street is not a popular entertainment strip with several cafes and businesses to cater to visitors.
The Soweto Towers
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, Orlando Towers provides one of the most unique experiences you will find anywhere. The company Soweto Towers offers extreme sports experiences, with the main one being a bungee jump from the top of the towers.
The company that offers the event is run by Nico Myburg, who has 20 years of experience in extreme sports and has handpicked and trained jumpmasters at a world-class level.
Photo Credit: JCDecaux Africa[/caption]
Hector Pieterson Museum
The Hector Pieterson Memorial is a museum in Orlando West near where Hector Pieterson was killed. The museum was erected in his honor and the honor of the students who were killed during the protest. It is one of the earliest museums to be built in Soweto.
The museum details parts of the liberation struggle leading up to the Soweto Uprisings against apartheid on 16 June 1976.
Address: 8287 Khumalo St, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Vilakazi street has mushroomed into a strip that is a destination for both tourists and locals. There are restaurants and cafes here that ensure a lively atmosphere and that is perfect for a Sunday afternoon chill in between your trek to other locations.
The street was once home to two of South Africa’s most famous figures, the Nobel Peace prize recipients, former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Popular restaurants on the street are Sakhumzi and Vuyos where you can sample local cuisine.
As far as townships go, it is safe to say that Soweto is always at the forefront of development, and Maponya Mall is one of the prominent examples. It was the first township to have a full-service mall.
The Maponya mall is in Klipspruit and boasts a host of restaurants and retail stores to meet the shopping needs of visitors.
The mall offers over 170 shops consisting of a vast variety of flagship stores and local brands such as Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Clicks & Dischem. What about something for the kids? Ster Kinekor brings you and the family the latest blockbusters for a fun day out or date night with your partner. Your cravings are covered with delicious takeaways and sit-down eateries such as The Tavern, Panarottis, Spur or Steers, Burger King, Chicken Licken, Debonairs, and McDonald’s.
There are also a variety of indoor media sites throughout the mall which have been ideally positioned to capture the attention of shoppers. Prime outdoor media sites are also available at the mall’s busy taxi rank.
Credo Mutwa Cultural Village
This is one of the less popularly known yet very interesting and educational destination. If you are interested in the role of traditional culture in South Africa, then this is a place that must be on your itinerary. The museum was built by Credo Mutwa, a traditional healer who has authored several books on folklore.
It is a museum with a huge collection of sculptures and traditional buildings. Entrance into the village is free and it is open from 8am to 6pm on a daily basis. For more information you can visit the official website.
Zone 6 is a very popular hotspot that is located in the Diepkloof sub-locality of Soweto. Zone 6 frequently hosts events that range from regular party nights to special events like festivals and concerts. What was previously a warehouse is now one of South Africa’s mega entertainment venues. The venue can house 3000 guests and is spread out across two floors with outdoor seating area and swimming pool.
Party it up at Konka
As far as nightlife or lounge venues go, Konka is one of the hottest places in town. It is an interesting embodiment of the lavish lifestyle and the venue is popular among the it crowd in Johannesburg (or Gauteng at large).
Despite being in the township, Konka is quite the upmarket venue, marked by modern décor and luxurious fitting. It is the location of many local events and is regularly visited by local celebrities. Weekends are the best time to go if you want to go all out.
One of the drawcards for the venue is the frequency of luxurious cars that are often parked in the parking lot near the entrance, making it one of the few places in Johannesburg where you have a high chance of spotting exotic cars. Needless to say, the place is quite pricey if you want to go for the full high-end experience, prepare to pay for bottle service.
Take a Guided Tour of Soweto
If you don’t want to brave the popular township by yourself, you could always take a guided tour. There are plenty of tour operators available in Johannesburg that specialize with Soweto. This way you can get a proper insider’s look into Soweto and be sure to check out all the must-see spots.
One of the very good tours that you can go with is Soweto Tours. You can read up more about the gems that Soweto has for you on their website.