Soweto, short for South Western Townships, is South Africa’s biggest and most famous township. This township has transformed itself into a bustling hub of creativity, restaurants, culture and music. Soweto offers visitors everything from adrenaline-fuelled activities to traditional cuisine and, of course, museums filled with potent history. Here’s our list of 4 things to see and do when visiting Soweto in Johannesburg.
Vilakazi Street is the most visited street in Soweto. Former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both lived here, making it the only street in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize winners. At the present, the Vilakazi Street has become fully visitor-friendly, with public art, memorials and amazing restaurants.
Located in Soweto, the disused Orlando cooling towers has been converted into a vertical adventure facility and tourist attraction for adrenalin junkies. Orlando Towers consists of two massive cooling towers, known for their brightly drawn exteriors that are seen from miles away. A suspension bridge stretches across the two towers, offering bungy jumping, power swinging, internal swinging and abseiling. Visitors are also welcome to simply enjoy the viewing deck.
Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial
The Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial officially opened in 2002, near the spot where Hector Pieterson, a young Soweto boy, was shot on June 16, 1976 during the Soweto Uprising. The Memorial and Museum were established in order to honour the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid.
Kliptown is a Johannesburg must-visit. It is the oldest area in Soweto as it is the site where 3000 people came together in 1955 to write The Freedom Charter, a statement of core values that served as the foundation for South Africa’s liberal constitution. In the heart of Kliptown, you can find a museum called “Kliptown Open Air Museum’’ which forms part of the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, a historical museum in Soweto that includes informal traders, art galleries, shops and a hotel.
Soweto is filled with a vibrant atmosphere that tourists flock to when visiting Johannesburg. From eateries and live music to museums and monuments, there’s much to do and see in this amazing township. Make sure you visit these 4 places to make your visit one to remember.