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4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

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  • Location:Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Johannesburg Tour: Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre Observation Deck and Soweto Bike Ride

See Johannesburg city sights in the morning and then pedal your way around Soweto – the city’s vibrant township from where Nelson Mandela hails. Led by a friendly guide, your full-day tour starts with a visit to the Carlton Centre’s 50th floor for dramatic city vistas, and then continues inside Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum to learn about the country’s complex history. After lunch, explore Soweto on a bike tour before finishing at one of the neighborhood’s colorful ‘shebeen’ bars!


  • Full-day Johannesburg city tour including a Soweto bike ride
  • Walk around the 50th-floor viewing gallery of the Carlton Centre and enjoy bird’s-eye city views
  • Visit the Apartheid Museum to learn about South Africa’s complex history
  • Relax in a popular Soweto restaurant for lunch
  • Cycle through Soweto, passing through Meadowlands, and down Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela once lived
  • Finish your tour with a visit to a typical shebeen bar

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Johannesburg Tour: Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre Observation Deck and Soweto Bike Ride

Johannesburg Tour: Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre Observation Deck and Soweto Bike Ride
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Start your tour with a pickup from your centrally located Johannesburg hotel, and travel by air-conditioned minibus to the Carlton Centre – the city’s tallest skyscraper. Once at the top, a magnificent panorama of Johannesburg awaits!

Soak up the views then head back down and board your minibus for a whistle-stop tour of the city, visiting Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum to learn about the turbulent time in South Africa’s history. Explore at leisure, and walk through its exhibitions, learning about the country’s post-Apartheid journey, from segregation to ‘a place of healing’ – South Africa as it stands today.

Continue by minibus to Soweto, arriving in time for a midday feast of local specialties at one of the neighborhood’s buzzing restaurants. After using the break to chat, relax and eat with your guide, head outside to listen to a comprehensive safety briefing for your bike tour! Put on your helmet, hop on your bike and set off on your way.

Following your guide at a steady pace, pedal around the streets of this colorful neighborhood, enjoying stops every so often to hear about its history and soak up the sights. Hear how the name ‘Soweto’ was derived from an acronym for ‘southwestern township,’ referring to its origins as a cluster of segregated townships sprawled across Johannesburg’s outskirts. Learn of the town’s significance in the struggle against the Apartheid and pay a visit to a former migrant worker’s hostel in Meadowlands to learn about the realities of life here.

Cycle down leafy Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela once lived, and then take a peek at the house that Bishop Desmond Tutu reportedly owns. Your bike tour finishes at a traditional Soweto shebeen to enjoy a drink (own expense), play a game of pool or perhaps dance to Soweto’s traditional kwaito music. Once operated as illegal drinking dens during the Apartheid era, shebeens are now growing in popularity -- forming an integral part of the old townships’ cultural identities.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The bike tour is an ideal precursor to visiting the Apartheid Museum. The museum is by any measure as good as everyone says it is, but experiencing it is all the more poignant if you've just spent several hours in Soweto, where the people including the knowledgeable and friendly Viator guides are wonderfully welcoming.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

Great Tour! We loved our guide and the fact that we were able to ride a bike through SOWETO brought us so much closer to understanding the significance of the place.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

I loved the Apartheid was a WOW! Spacious and well thought out. Would have been able to spend more time there. Fun to look over the area from the Carlton Centre but the bike ride was really the cream on the top. The guides were very informative and very attentive to those of us with a challenge going uphill. A very worthwhile ride to understanding the history of Soweto and the Apartheid.

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

Good informative tour.
Not impressed w Carlton Center Observation Deck but the Apartheid Museum and bike tour were well worth it. The small size of the tour group was appreciated and our guide for the day was knowledgeable and friendly.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better March 2015

I would not recommend this tour. It did not deliver as advertised. Pick up was 30 minutes late without any notification of delay. We drove by the Carlton Centre but did not go up to the Observation deck. Upon being dropped off at the Apartheid Museum, I was told lunch was not included. When I showed my guide the voucher showing lunch was supposed to be included, he said he would check into what was arranged, but no promises and I should purchase my own lunch at the café. After 2 hours at the museum, I was picked up and taken to Lebo's backpackers for the cycle tour. The bikes were in poor condition. One lady's brakes did not work well, and I got a flat tire. They also charged an additional fee for water which could be purchased at the bar, but the bar did not have any change. This was annoying since the intention of purchasing this tour was for an all-inclusive experience and I didn't bring extra cash for the water I needed given the heat of the afternoon. Also, we did not stop a local shebeen bar. It felt the people involved in this tour were all penny-pinching and taking shortcuts which made the tour poor value for money and felt like a scam.

From USD $ 115.00

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Tour code: 5872ZAUA


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