Local Guide to Soweto Township
A couple of days touring Soweto township. Being the home of 2 Nobel prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, Soweto holds the history and culture that influenced legends who made a difference in society both locally and internationally. In this guide I take you through a complete local experience to feel, see and enjoy the township to the fullest, focusing on spots that are safe and tourist-friendly. I was born in Soweto and have I have lots of expertise around the ins and outs of the township. This is the biggest township in Africa with lots of culture, history, local food, beautiful people, and exciting activities to try. This guide is perfect for solo travelers, families traveling with kids, and group travel. 👍Save yourself hours of research and planning by choosing from my list of recommendations. Includes: 🍳3 breakfasts 🏨5 accommodation recommendations 🍝5 restaurants 🌭2 local food spots 🏛️4 historical museums 🍦1 Ice creamery 🤟1 Bunjee jumping spot 🚲2 Bicycle tour experiences 🏬 1 mall for shopping 🛸Transportation tips
21 Places • 4 Saves • ago
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Places To Stay:

When it comes to accommodation I highly suggest you pick a location that is in an urban area just to be 1000 % safe. I don’t recommend sleeping in Soweto unless you have a tour guide with you helping you navigate, since there are places in the township you may not find safe or tourist friendly. Soweto is just a few minutes away from the suburbs, driving to and from accommodation which is located a little bit outsideofnthe township - won’t be far at all. Below are the accommodations that are wonderful to stay at and near Soweto.

Masingita Towers
@Rainbowxoli
Masingita Towers is one of my favorite accommodations located in Sandton which is a 45 mins drive to Soweto. I have lived in this building before and it checks most of the boxes for short and long-term stays. It is modern, clean, secure, uptown, and has cool amenities such as a restaurant inside the building, gym, swimming pool, conference room, and much more. I have a wonderful friend Chuka who has lots of Airbnb units you can stay in situated in this building. He has been in the Airbnb space for some good years and he has a high rating for what he does. Below I have attached a link to his website with some of his listings to choose from and I also added a link to my favorite Airbnb from his listings that I personally enjoyed and recommend.
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CURIOCITY Johannesburg
@Rainbowxoli
For a much cheaper accommodation option in Johannesburg that covers most basic needs, this is the best spot. It is located in Johannesburg city center in a vibrant area that is full of artists 🧑‍🎨, college students, tourists, the LGBTQ community, and much more. This area has a buzzing nightlife, if you're thinking of taking a walk to grab drinks and socialize during your trip, this will be a perfect place to pick. I recommend this accommodation for its low low prices and clean sheets.
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Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg
@Rainbowxoli
Radisson blue is highly rated for its professionalism and beautiful facilities. One of the best reviews said, “The hotel is absolutely beautiful, fabulous rooms with gorgeous views of the city. I love the walk in showers with the separate tub, however I was disappointed that the tub wasn’t bigger. The bartender in the lobby was excellent, always had a smile on, had good conversations and mixed delicious drinks. The best part was probably the breakfast buffet. It included a wide variety of delicious food from fruit and yogurt, cheese and meat plates to fresh omelets and a variety of meats. Definitely recommend. Ohh yes it also had the best gym that I have seen in a hotel.”
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The Maslow Hotel Sandton
@Rainbowxoli
The Maslow is located in Sandton's financial district, only a few minutes away from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton City mall and Nelson Mandela Square. With modern conference facilities and meeting rooms, Sun International's The Maslow is Sandton's premium business hotel. Superior comfort, relaxation and elegance are guaranteed when staying at this high-end hotel in Sandton.
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This Airbnb accommodation is great for a couple. It's a lovely tree house on a farm. I love that you can sleep like a baby surrounded by trees or watch the sun set on the balcony having dinner with your partner.

The day starts with Breakfast:

With all the accommodations that are on this guide, there is a nearby breakfast franchice from all 3 breakfast spots mentioned below. Google which branch is the nearest to you.

Wimpy
@Rainbowxoli
Wimpy is a cool breakfast franchise with delicious breakfast options to choose from. They have fresh and tasty food. You will find a Wimpy in almost every spot around the city. Depending on your chosen accommodation location, you will choose a wimpy that is nearest to your hotel. On Google you will have to search- Wimpy And then put the name of the location. For instance: Wimpy Sandton. Then your nearest wimpy will show up. You can contact me for assistance if you're not finding one near you.
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Mugg & Bean
@Rainbowxoli
Muff & Bean usually has the freshest meals with a wide selection of breakfast meals you can choose from. Most Mugg & Beans I've visited always has great staff who welcomed me with a big smile.
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McDonald's
@Rainbowxoli
This for me is like the most convenient on-the-go type of place,. For the busy mornings that need a quick breakfast. Just drive thru your closest Mc D and grab a Mc breakfast on the go to start your day. To find your nearest Mc Donalds, google search Mc Donalds near me.
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How To Get Around Town?

The quickest easiest convenient way to get around Joburg city is Uber. It goes everywhere around town . You get to be picked and dropped off at your destinations door or gate. Uber Johannesburg is very safe, their drivers go through a screening process before getting hired, this makes it easier to trust the driver. Note that drivers may not be the best people to know much about travel and tourism information around town. Most drivers might be used to picking up locals, so be aware that they may not be the perfect people to give you the best answers for travel questions. But you can take their advice on best driving routes around the city.

Download the Uber app, sign up and you can be able to request a ride.

Gautrain

Gautrain is an 80-kilometre (50-mile) higher-speed express commuter rail system in Gauteng, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Kempton Park and O. R. Tambo International Airport. It takes 15 minutes to travel from Sandton to O. R. Tambo International Airport on the Gautrain and 35 minutes from Pretoria in Tshwane to Park Station in Johannesburg. The Gautrain has 10 stations. Buses, shuttles and midibus services are available to transport passengers to and from all stations excluding the O. R. Tambo International Airport Station.

Lunch / Dinner

Sakhumzi Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Sakhumzi offers traditional South African food. You can go hang out with your travel buddies to eat, listen to music and have some drinks.
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1947 on Vilakazi Street
@Rainbowxoli
When I first tasted their cream bun with a side sauce/gravy. I knew this was a Soweto joint I would always recommend to others to try out especially if you love good food. They have an amazing chef. Another thing I love about this restaurant is that they have local South African cuisine.
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Ukko Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
3 Words! Mind Blowing Food. Ukkō is a stylish Mediterranean Tapas and Sushi spot with an extensive wine list and mixology bar. On the menu, discover classics including; Ukkō sushi rolls, Crudo, ceviche, lamb riblets, baked camembert in a balsamic dressing, Crispy Zucchini Ribbons with lemon aioli, chicken dumplings and grilled chicken wings, salmon and prawn cakes, squid heads in a wasabi aioli, crispy prawns and large tapa plates for bigger tables.
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Marble Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Marble offers Joburg diners something different – not just a plate of food, but a theatre of experience. Marble celebrates the quintessential South African tradition of cooking on fire – and not just meat, but all types of ingredients cooked on coals – including fish, poultry, vegetables and breads. The wine list has been painstakingly put together – it features 100 of the best local and some international wines. Diners can expect a great night out, with delicious food and top-notch service – and one of the best views of the city.
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Olives and Plates Hyde Park
@Rainbowxoli
Enveloped by a big library, this restaurant welcomes you when you walk in, with a fresh smell of wonderfully baked cakes. They have impressively delicious meals. Do try their dessert because it's just the icing on top for this dining experience. This restaurant is not necessarily in the Soweto township but like some other places included in this guide, I have added this place, because it's a must-see when visiting Johannesburg.
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Local Cuisine

Onions&All Take-Away Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Only for the brave. For a more deeper township experience and local food exploration, you can visit “Onions and all.” The internet says these areas are dangerous but from my own opinion as a person who frequents these local spots. Is it safe if you have a local who will be guiding you and translating the language for you. And kindly make sure your driver drops you off at the exact spot and picks you up from there.
Add to
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Riverpark Cafė
@Rainbowxoli
Only for the brave. For a more deeper township experience and local food exploration, you can also visit “River Cafe” The internet says these areas are dangerous but from my own opinion as a person who frequents these local spots. Is it safe if you have a local who will be guiding you and translating the language for you. And kindly make sure your driver drops you off the exact spot and picks you up from there.
Add to
Details

BELOW IS A REVIEW OF A YOUTUBER TRYING OUT FOOD IN BOTH THE ABOVE LOCAL FOOD SPOTS. THIS WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT.(To see video review, press the play button below )

Where to go

Mandela's House
@Rainbowxoli
8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West in Soweto is known to many simply as Mandela House. It was where Nelson Mandela lived between 1946 and 1962. The house is a humble abode of four inter-leading rooms that today contain a collection of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family. Even a pair of Mandela's old boots lie on a shelf for display – insight into the man the country fondly called Tata (father). For today the house functions as a museum.
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Hector Pieterson Memorial
@Rainbowxoli
The Hector Pieterson Museum is a large museum located in Orlando West, Soweto, two blocks away from where Hector Pieterson was shot and killed on 16 June 1976. The museum is named in his honour, and covers the events of the anti-Apartheid Soweto Uprising, where more than 170 protesting schoolchildren were killed. This event shaped the South African educational system in a legendary way, we cannot talk about South African history without mentioning the “June 16” story. This day was made a holiday ( Youth Day) to commemorate the Soweto uprising. The Museum houses a collection of oral testimonies, photographs, audiovisual screen displays, and historical documents.
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Apartheid Museum
@Rainbowxoli
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. For anyone wanting to understand and experience what South Africa was really like during the Apartheid era, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental.
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Soweto Theatre
@Rainbowxoli
A review on Soweto Theatre from a traveller who is based in New York wrote: “Very impressive, world class theatre in the township of Soweto! Very easy to get to, with lots of parking spaces with a guard, and state of the art facilities with very good acoustics. Various size amphitheaters. Great shaded terrace outside with tables and chairs to "picnic" and wait for the start of your show Attended the Soweto Gospel Choir show which was very good and vibrant, on stage as well as in the theatre with spectators joining the dancing and singing! Highly recommended!”
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Did someone say ICE CREAM?

Soweto Creamery
@Rainbowxoli
They probably have one of the best ice cream spot in Soweto. Check out their Instagram to see what's on their ice cream menu @Sowetocreamery Good luck!
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Bungee Jumping

SOWETO TOWERS
@Rainbowxoli
Their awesome staff will assist you in making this the experience of a lifetime, whether you need some calming reassurance or the big 1-2-3 when jumping from the suspension bridge. For all the adrenalin junkies, this is my highly recommended activity to do in Soweto.
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Bicycle Tours

Check out the links below for awesome bicycle touring experiences in the Township.

Where to shop?

Mall of Africa
@Rainbowxoli
Mall of Africa is South Africa's largest shopping Mall ever built in a single phase, with over 130 000m2 of retail space, and is home to over 300 shops, many of which are flagship stores. In addition to a vast range of both local and international brands, the Mall also boats uniquely identified court areas made for easy shopping navigation, as well as exceptional access, location and visibility. Located in Waterfall City, the Mall of Africa has an elegant design, which enhances its surrounding environment.
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Happy Travels! ☺️

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Local Guide to Soweto Township
A couple of days touring Soweto township. Being the home of 2 Nobel prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, Soweto holds the history and culture that influenced legends who made a difference in society both locally and internationally. In this guide I take you through a complete local experience to feel, see and enjoy the township to the fullest, focusing on spots that are safe and tourist-friendly. I was born in Soweto and have I have lots of expertise around the ins and outs of the township. This is the biggest township in Africa with lots of culture, history, local food, beautiful people, and exciting activities to try. This guide is perfect for solo travelers, families traveling with kids, and group travel. 👍Save yourself hours of research and planning by choosing from my list of recommendations. Includes: 🍳3 breakfasts 🏨5 accommodation recommendations 🍝5 restaurants 🌭2 local food spots 🏛️4 historical museums 🍦1 Ice creamery 🤟1 Bunjee jumping spot 🚲2 Bicycle tour experiences 🏬 1 mall for shopping 🛸Transportation tips
21 Places • 4 Saves • ago
Free

Places To Stay:

When it comes to accommodation I highly suggest you pick a location that is in an urban area just to be 1000 % safe. I don’t recommend sleeping in Soweto unless you have a tour guide with you helping you navigate, since there are places in the township you may not find safe or tourist friendly. Soweto is just a few minutes away from the suburbs, driving to and from accommodation which is located a little bit outsideofnthe township - won’t be far at all. Below are the accommodations that are wonderful to stay at and near Soweto.

Masingita Towers
@Rainbowxoli
Masingita Towers is one of my favorite accommodations located in Sandton which is a 45 mins drive to Soweto. I have lived in this building before and it checks most of the boxes for short and long-term stays. It is modern, clean, secure, uptown, and has cool amenities such as a restaurant inside the building, gym, swimming pool, conference room, and much more. I have a wonderful friend Chuka who has lots of Airbnb units you can stay in situated in this building. He has been in the Airbnb space for some good years and he has a high rating for what he does. Below I have attached a link to his website with some of his listings to choose from and I also added a link to my favorite Airbnb from his listings that I personally enjoyed and recommend.
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CURIOCITY Johannesburg
@Rainbowxoli
For a much cheaper accommodation option in Johannesburg that covers most basic needs, this is the best spot. It is located in Johannesburg city center in a vibrant area that is full of artists 🧑‍🎨, college students, tourists, the LGBTQ community, and much more. This area has a buzzing nightlife, if you're thinking of taking a walk to grab drinks and socialize during your trip, this will be a perfect place to pick. I recommend this accommodation for its low low prices and clean sheets.
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Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg
@Rainbowxoli
Radisson blue is highly rated for its professionalism and beautiful facilities. One of the best reviews said, “The hotel is absolutely beautiful, fabulous rooms with gorgeous views of the city. I love the walk in showers with the separate tub, however I was disappointed that the tub wasn’t bigger. The bartender in the lobby was excellent, always had a smile on, had good conversations and mixed delicious drinks. The best part was probably the breakfast buffet. It included a wide variety of delicious food from fruit and yogurt, cheese and meat plates to fresh omelets and a variety of meats. Definitely recommend. Ohh yes it also had the best gym that I have seen in a hotel.”
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The Maslow Hotel Sandton
@Rainbowxoli
The Maslow is located in Sandton's financial district, only a few minutes away from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton City mall and Nelson Mandela Square. With modern conference facilities and meeting rooms, Sun International's The Maslow is Sandton's premium business hotel. Superior comfort, relaxation and elegance are guaranteed when staying at this high-end hotel in Sandton.
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This Airbnb accommodation is great for a couple. It's a lovely tree house on a farm. I love that you can sleep like a baby surrounded by trees or watch the sun set on the balcony having dinner with your partner.

The day starts with Breakfast:

With all the accommodations that are on this guide, there is a nearby breakfast franchice from all 3 breakfast spots mentioned below. Google which branch is the nearest to you.

Wimpy
@Rainbowxoli
Wimpy is a cool breakfast franchise with delicious breakfast options to choose from. They have fresh and tasty food. You will find a Wimpy in almost every spot around the city. Depending on your chosen accommodation location, you will choose a wimpy that is nearest to your hotel. On Google you will have to search- Wimpy And then put the name of the location. For instance: Wimpy Sandton. Then your nearest wimpy will show up. You can contact me for assistance if you're not finding one near you.
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Mugg & Bean
@Rainbowxoli
Muff & Bean usually has the freshest meals with a wide selection of breakfast meals you can choose from. Most Mugg & Beans I've visited always has great staff who welcomed me with a big smile.
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Details
McDonald's
@Rainbowxoli
This for me is like the most convenient on-the-go type of place,. For the busy mornings that need a quick breakfast. Just drive thru your closest Mc D and grab a Mc breakfast on the go to start your day. To find your nearest Mc Donalds, google search Mc Donalds near me.
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Details

How To Get Around Town?

The quickest easiest convenient way to get around Joburg city is Uber. It goes everywhere around town . You get to be picked and dropped off at your destinations door or gate. Uber Johannesburg is very safe, their drivers go through a screening process before getting hired, this makes it easier to trust the driver. Note that drivers may not be the best people to know much about travel and tourism information around town. Most drivers might be used to picking up locals, so be aware that they may not be the perfect people to give you the best answers for travel questions. But you can take their advice on best driving routes around the city.

Download the Uber app, sign up and you can be able to request a ride.

Gautrain

Gautrain is an 80-kilometre (50-mile) higher-speed express commuter rail system in Gauteng, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Kempton Park and O. R. Tambo International Airport. It takes 15 minutes to travel from Sandton to O. R. Tambo International Airport on the Gautrain and 35 minutes from Pretoria in Tshwane to Park Station in Johannesburg. The Gautrain has 10 stations. Buses, shuttles and midibus services are available to transport passengers to and from all stations excluding the O. R. Tambo International Airport Station.

Lunch / Dinner

Sakhumzi Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Sakhumzi offers traditional South African food. You can go hang out with your travel buddies to eat, listen to music and have some drinks.
Add to
Details
1947 on Vilakazi Street
@Rainbowxoli
When I first tasted their cream bun with a side sauce/gravy. I knew this was a Soweto joint I would always recommend to others to try out especially if you love good food. They have an amazing chef. Another thing I love about this restaurant is that they have local South African cuisine.
Add to
Details
Ukko Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
3 Words! Mind Blowing Food. Ukkō is a stylish Mediterranean Tapas and Sushi spot with an extensive wine list and mixology bar. On the menu, discover classics including; Ukkō sushi rolls, Crudo, ceviche, lamb riblets, baked camembert in a balsamic dressing, Crispy Zucchini Ribbons with lemon aioli, chicken dumplings and grilled chicken wings, salmon and prawn cakes, squid heads in a wasabi aioli, crispy prawns and large tapa plates for bigger tables.
Add to
Details
Marble Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Marble offers Joburg diners something different – not just a plate of food, but a theatre of experience. Marble celebrates the quintessential South African tradition of cooking on fire – and not just meat, but all types of ingredients cooked on coals – including fish, poultry, vegetables and breads. The wine list has been painstakingly put together – it features 100 of the best local and some international wines. Diners can expect a great night out, with delicious food and top-notch service – and one of the best views of the city.
Add to
Details
Olives and Plates Hyde Park
@Rainbowxoli
Enveloped by a big library, this restaurant welcomes you when you walk in, with a fresh smell of wonderfully baked cakes. They have impressively delicious meals. Do try their dessert because it's just the icing on top for this dining experience. This restaurant is not necessarily in the Soweto township but like some other places included in this guide, I have added this place, because it's a must-see when visiting Johannesburg.
Add to
Details

Local Cuisine

Onions&All Take-Away Restaurant
@Rainbowxoli
Only for the brave. For a more deeper township experience and local food exploration, you can visit “Onions and all.” The internet says these areas are dangerous but from my own opinion as a person who frequents these local spots. Is it safe if you have a local who will be guiding you and translating the language for you. And kindly make sure your driver drops you off at the exact spot and picks you up from there.
Add to
Details
Riverpark Cafė
@Rainbowxoli
Only for the brave. For a more deeper township experience and local food exploration, you can also visit “River Cafe” The internet says these areas are dangerous but from my own opinion as a person who frequents these local spots. Is it safe if you have a local who will be guiding you and translating the language for you. And kindly make sure your driver drops you off the exact spot and picks you up from there.
Add to
Details

BELOW IS A REVIEW OF A YOUTUBER TRYING OUT FOOD IN BOTH THE ABOVE LOCAL FOOD SPOTS. THIS WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT.(To see video review, press the play button below )

Where to go

Mandela's House
@Rainbowxoli
8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West in Soweto is known to many simply as Mandela House. It was where Nelson Mandela lived between 1946 and 1962. The house is a humble abode of four inter-leading rooms that today contain a collection of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family. Even a pair of Mandela's old boots lie on a shelf for display – insight into the man the country fondly called Tata (father). For today the house functions as a museum.
Add to
Details
Hector Pieterson Memorial
@Rainbowxoli
The Hector Pieterson Museum is a large museum located in Orlando West, Soweto, two blocks away from where Hector Pieterson was shot and killed on 16 June 1976. The museum is named in his honour, and covers the events of the anti-Apartheid Soweto Uprising, where more than 170 protesting schoolchildren were killed. This event shaped the South African educational system in a legendary way, we cannot talk about South African history without mentioning the “June 16” story. This day was made a holiday ( Youth Day) to commemorate the Soweto uprising. The Museum houses a collection of oral testimonies, photographs, audiovisual screen displays, and historical documents.
Add to
Details
Apartheid Museum
@Rainbowxoli
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. For anyone wanting to understand and experience what South Africa was really like during the Apartheid era, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental.
Add to
Details
Soweto Theatre
@Rainbowxoli
A review on Soweto Theatre from a traveller who is based in New York wrote: “Very impressive, world class theatre in the township of Soweto! Very easy to get to, with lots of parking spaces with a guard, and state of the art facilities with very good acoustics. Various size amphitheaters. Great shaded terrace outside with tables and chairs to "picnic" and wait for the start of your show Attended the Soweto Gospel Choir show which was very good and vibrant, on stage as well as in the theatre with spectators joining the dancing and singing! Highly recommended!”
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Did someone say ICE CREAM?

Soweto Creamery
@Rainbowxoli
They probably have one of the best ice cream spot in Soweto. Check out their Instagram to see what's on their ice cream menu @Sowetocreamery Good luck!
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Bungee Jumping

SOWETO TOWERS
@Rainbowxoli
Their awesome staff will assist you in making this the experience of a lifetime, whether you need some calming reassurance or the big 1-2-3 when jumping from the suspension bridge. For all the adrenalin junkies, this is my highly recommended activity to do in Soweto.
Add to
Details

Bicycle Tours

Check out the links below for awesome bicycle touring experiences in the Township.

Where to shop?

Mall of Africa
@Rainbowxoli
Mall of Africa is South Africa's largest shopping Mall ever built in a single phase, with over 130 000m2 of retail space, and is home to over 300 shops, many of which are flagship stores. In addition to a vast range of both local and international brands, the Mall also boats uniquely identified court areas made for easy shopping navigation, as well as exceptional access, location and visibility. Located in Waterfall City, the Mall of Africa has an elegant design, which enhances its surrounding environment.
Add to
Details

Happy Travels! ☺️

* * *
CURATED BY
Send A Tip
Support Xolile Sebe’s work.
Select your tip amount
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$10
$20
$50
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Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Xolile Sebe Privacy Terms