The first settlement in Soweto was in 1903
Blacks were moved from Johannesburg to Soweto as they were considered ‘unsafe’
Soweto was at the core of the political movement to overthrow the apartheid government
The most crucial date in Soweto’s history was June 16th, 1976 when the slow demise of the apartheid government began with the student uprising against the Afrikaans language
There are likely to be many items to tick off your South Africa bucketlist and whilst it may not be the nicest place to visit, Soweto is certainly one of the most important and interesting sights to visit whilst in South Africa. With over 3.5 million people calling Soweto home, it can be difficult to grasp just how densely populated this township is. Without visiting Soweto on your own accord it is impossible to grasp the crucial role this place has played in history and continues to play in present day South Africa.
We explored the area on a Soweto bike tour, which was not only a fun way to experience the township but also inherently unique, as you pass by the various street stalls and witness the daily life here. We of course stopped by the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Nelson Mandela House, but it was perhaps the diverse mix of people here in Soweto that will most interest you. The modern day Soweto is indeed just as intriguing as the township’s turbulent past, so be sure to plan for an entire day in Johannesburg’s most visited ‘attraction’ (for lack of a better word).
Nowadays the people of Soweto pride themselves on their cultural diversity – each referring to their neighbours as brothers and sisters, despite their roots being based all over the African continent. As many people continue to migrate here daily, there can be no area of South Africa changing quite so rapidly and diversely as Soweto.
What is there to see in Soweto? Don’t Miss:
- Hector Pieterson Memorial
- Nelson Mandela’s Home
- Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (largest in Africa)
- Arcbishop Desmond Tutu’s house (Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
- A traditional African lunch on Vilakazi Street
Coming next: Day 3 – Cape Town
*World of Wanderlust visited South Africa as a guest of South African Tourism, however my opinions are as always, my own.