Johannesburg
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Soweto Walking Tour with Lunch

Badge of ExcellenceJohannesburg, South Africa

From US$35.00

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 4 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Soweto was the heartland of the movement that freed South Africa from apartheid. Explore it the sensitive way, with a guide who was born and raised in the township, on this half-day walking tour. Learn about Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu on the street where they both lived, hear about activist Hector Pieterson's life and death, and more. Your tour includes a kota sandwich lunch but not entry fees.
  • Explore Soweto from the ground up on a walking tour led by a local guide
  • Hear how the Soweto Uprising helped topple apartheid and see Mandela's house
  • Choice of morning or afternoon tours lets you plan your day and fit more in
  • Sample a typical South African lunch, a kota sandwich, in Orlando Towers
Operated by:

What's Included

  • Lunch
  • All additional Items and Cost
  • Pick ups and Drop off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 7346 Kumalo St
    7346 Kumalo St, Orlando West, Johannesburg, 1804, South Africa

    Our Local guide will you at the Vilakazi Espresso

End point

  • SOWETO TOWERS
    Chris Hani Rd, Klipspruit 318-Iq, Johannesburg, 1809, South Africa

    Ending the tour with a local beer or drink

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 99 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

about cancellations.

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Reviews
5.0
123 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 123 reviews
Amazing Tour of Soweto!
Alison_P, Jan 2023
This tour was easy to book and the staff were extremely friendly and accessible! My tour guide was very knowledgeable and I had a most profound experience!
Great insider tour!
Adam_B, Jan 2023
Having a lunch with very friendly and talkative locals around aswell as the dancing groups on the streets, simply amazing!
Surreal experience
Simbarashe_T, Jan 2023
Sho, what an experience. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and very friendly. Easy to talk to and ensured that we knew what was happening at all times. The experience was quite a heavy one, even as a local you sometimes forget that today, we are currently benefitting from the sacrifices that others made for us and often paid for with their lives. Highly recommend the tour for both locals and foreigners and those interested in learning more about our history.
Great experience
Kimberly_S, Oct 2022
Great tour. Wear comfortable shoes, you’re not just walking but also go up some hilly & rocky places.
Really enjoyed this tour....
Chantelle_L, Aug 2022
Really enjoyed this tour. Great local food, and your guide had great knowledge, showing real pride of his local area.
Great tour
Thandisa_T, Jun 2022
Tebogo gave us a beautiful Soweto experience. Very friendly and knowledgeable. Thank you… My children really enjoyed it.
The guide was very...
Rui_F, Apr 2022
The guide was very friendly and provided a full immersive experience. Fully recommend to anyone who wants to get to know such an historical and important area of Johannesburg.
For realz
Eric_H, Apr 2022
I was the only one on the tour but Lebo still gave me the real Soweto experience. Would definitely recommend the tour and make some food friends along the way!
A worthwhile look into Soweto's past and present
Mrcio_S, Mar 2022
Knowledgeable about Sowetan history, Sibusiso, our polyglot local guide, gave us an informative and captivating walking tour in Orlando West and East. Having booked a quiet mid-week February morning, we were lucky enough to have him only for ourselves. He was always ready to answer our questions, even those only tangentially connected with Soweto. During the tour, we got to taste kota, a hollowed-out loaf-like bread filled with stuffing of your choice. (As vegans, we asked for our kota to be stuffed with fries only.) The bread works as a pocket holding the filling; for the novices, such as we, just holding it is already fun. Tasting the Soweto Gold beer, named after the 1886 gold rush, was another perk, even if the brewery is now part of the Heineken company and has been moved away from Soweto. For the adrenaline-boost seekers, the Soweto Towers – the famous decommissioned cooling towers that are the tallest structures in all of Soweto –, provide an opportunity for bungee-jumping from a suspended bridge between the two towers. You can also enjoy – or endure – the world's highest SCAD freefall, which takes place inside the Western Cooling Tower. This freefall entails being dropped facing up and “lying” in a horizontal position, plummeting with no attachments as your surroundings vertiginously flit by and finally landing in a net. Both the bungee and the freefall are recommended – and there's a discount if you book both. There is also, however, a heavier, graver side to the tour. Walking around both Orlandos for a few hours gave us a sense of how people live here, of how Soweto looks, smells and feels like. Soweto is at once thriving and decadent. Indeed, it is expanding, the population is growing and the 2010 World Cup cashflow led to the birth of small businesses. Moreover, the standard of life proves comfortable for the few who belong to the Sowetan middle and upper class, who seem to concentrate in the vicinity of the famous, bustling Vilakazi Street, once home to two Nobel Peace Prizes and now – or at least prior to the pandemic – a tourist hotspot. Yet, "living" conditions are degrading for the poor surviving in the precarious shacks popping up like mushrooms in less glamourous areas. Soweto remains, to this very day, an all-black area. The only palefaces you'll see here belong to tourists or passersby. Ironically, although Soweto itself is a testament to the continuing separation and segregation of races in South Africa, its historical significance in the struggle against Apartheid is undeniable. Ample demonstration of that is given by landmarks such as Nelson Mandela's red-brick house, located in Vilakazi Street and converted into a museum in the late 90s. It was built in 1945, around the time squatter camps forced the municipalities to erect more housing for the blacks living in shanties, and Mandela moved into it in 1946. (After his release from his three-decade incarceration, he returned to this house for 11 days.) Shots were frequently fired as an intimidation tactic, given that the Mandela household was a meeting place for freedom fighters. Bullet holes can still be seen in the outside walls. This chapter of history is so recent that two people beside us were moved to tears listening to Winnie Mandela's voice on a speaker. The wounds have barely healed, if at all. Its sequels still aggrieve all South Africans. Perhaps even more impressive is the Hector Pieterson Memorial, dedicated to the 1976 Soweto Uprising. Deaths from police brutality during the Uprising could be anywhere from just under 200 – the usually reported estimate – all the way to 700. The Uprising, which also sparked further riots elsewhere in country, was, up to that time, the most striking and incisive act of resistance against the regime, rocking its already shaky international reputation. The exhibit at the Memorial displays sometimes conflicting reports from both parties – on the one hand, the black students (some of whom also acted as looters alongside adult rioters) and, on the other, the white police officers –, letting you form a rather more nuanced understanding of the matter. If you have a car, our suggestion would be for you to drive around on your own after your walking tour to get a glimpse of other, less touristic, townships in Soweto, such as Kliptown. These poorer areas will help you understand the utter poverty that thousands upon thousands of Sowetans, just like other Joburgers, endure to this day. The struggle continues – and Soweto is a living and dying testament to that.
Great tour with an extremely competent and knowledgeable guide!
Harald_S, Mar 2022
We had a fantastic walk with an amazing tour guide: he had an incredible knowledge that truly stunned us, there was no question he left unanswered and he provided us with so many facts, dates and background information that we were just amazed. We feel very rewarded that we were given the chance to learn so much about South Africa, Soweto, and the history of this country. Thank you very much for a fantastic tour which we can highly recommend.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Safe and educational tour through Soweto
Patrick_S, Mar 2022
Absolutely recommendable. Rambo was our tour guide. Had a lot of fun with him during those 4 hours. The lunch was delicious, and we were lucky to be treated with a tour through the local brewery (Soweto Gold) at the end.
Highly recommended tour with Rambo!
Priscilla_A, Oct 2021
Our group of 3 from the US were greeted by the very courteous and professional Lebo (Rambo). He provided a wonderful tour experience and showed us lots of sights along the way as he recounted interesting historical moments and information. We enjoyed getting to know him as we spent the morning together touring Soweto. We highly recommend this tour with Rambo as the guide. 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ein tiefer Einblick in...
Emmanuel_P, Dec 2022
Ein tiefer Einblick in die Geschichte der Apartheid auf lebendige Weise vermittelt. Es lohnt sich auf jeden Fall.
1 traveler found this review helpful

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Product code: 261243P1