Neighbourhood Watch: Soweto

Guides | 7th Nov 2017

Once at the core of Apartheid, Soweto’s community and its people have tenaciously transformed their home into one of the most profound cultural and exciting places to visit in South Africa.

Walking through Soweto – an abbreviation of ‘South West Township’ – is quite simply exhilarating. From uplifting live music around every corner to vibrant street art and the infectious energy of its people, you will undoubtedly leave feeling inspired by your experience.

FOOD & DRINK
Soweto restaurants and cafes boast some of the most authentic South African food, proudly offering dishes that showcase remarkably unique flavours, with Dutch, Malaysian and Indian influences. Head to the bustling Vilakazi Street in the heart of Soweto to find casual eateries aplenty, and sample South African favourites such as Umleqwa, a traditional South African dish made with a whole chicken, and Chakalaka, a fiery vegetable relish. For the adventurous, try a cold glass of local maize-based beer, Umqombothi, to round off your visit.

HISTORY
Nelson Mandela’s hometown was at the forefront of the national social uprisings against the Apartheid regime. After years of struggle for democracy, Soweto has transformed itself into a vibrant and characterful neighbourhood. With such a harrowing and compelling history, Soweto’s key landmarks and museums are unmissable. Visit the former home of Nelson Mandela himself (mandelahouse.com), be moved at the Hector Pieterson Museum (gauteng.net) commemorating the 1976 Soweto uprising, and learn about the Freedom Charter at national heritage site Walter Sisulu Square (waltersisulusquare.co.za).

CULTURE
A tour of Soweto is the best way to experience this sprawling urban melting pot. Knowledgeable and passionate guides can help you discover the thriving street markets and bustle of everyday life, as well as the iconic places that helped shaped not one, but two, Nobel Prize winners: Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. If you have a thirst for adrenaline, the brightly painted Orlando Towers (gauteng.net/attractions/orlando_towers) beckons. Originally a coal fired power station, this is now one of the best known landmarks of Soweto, boosted in popularity due to the bungee-jumping, abseiling and zip-lining experiences it offers thrill-seeking visitors.

Like the sound of Soweto? The Saxon can organise immersive city-tours throughout your stay with us. Enquire today:

Tel: +27 (0)11 292 6000
Email: reservations@saxon.co.za


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