Soweto may sound like an African name, but the word was originally an acronym for "South Western Townships". A cluster of townships sprawling across a vast area 20 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, Soweto was, from the start, a product of segregationist planning.
Soweto is the birth place and cradle of the struggle of the 1970’s, where the history of South Africa was written in the streets, shebeens and schools. Prominent leaders like Mr Nelson Mandela & Archbishop Desmond Tutu stayed here and fought for change to the lives of millions of people. Today you still find the remains of the apartheid legacy and see the new emerging township all in one
The tour enters Soweto from Diepkloof also known as Hollywood to the people of Soweto. Turning into Martinus Smuts drive, the border of the old Soweto is the start of the matchbox homes and the hostels of the early years. Turning onto the Old Potchefstroom Road (Old Potch Road), and very soon the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital comes into view on the left and the Soweto taxi rank on the right hand side.
Visit a squatter camp (Motsoaledi informal settlement) where you will have a chance to buy arts and crafts from the local people, take a tour of the squatter camp with a local guide, and meet the people of Soweto.We continue past Soweto Campus – Johannesburg University and onto FREEDOM SQUARE, Kliptown. Today this famous space shows signs of the momentous events that occurred here in the mid - 1950’s.
Another part of the strategy the resistance leadership devised was the creation of a ‘People’s Bill of Rights’. This is a very famous document and became known as the Freedom Charter. Kliptown Soweto was the place chosen for a large public meeting in 1955 during which the contents of the document would be finalized and agreed upon. We continue to the REGINA MUNDI CHURCH with its black Madonna, for a guided tour. Regina Mundi, one of 18 Catholic churches in Soweto, is another one of the townships “must see” sites. Built in 1962, this is the largest Catholic Church in South Africa. Drive past the famous “elephant houses" of Soweto. They have concrete walls and roofs which cannot be extended as most houses in Soweto have been. Each house accommodates 2-3 families, but it is the colorful roofs that are responsible for the name: they are round like an elephant's back. Then on to the HECTOR PETERSON memorial, a museum dedicated to a young boy who was the first fatality in the June 1976 uprisings, for an informative visit and insight into the riots. We move into Orlando West, and drive past Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's mansion, with security cameras at the gate and each corner of the high walls and bullet-proof windows. Outside the walls is her garden: a large well-tended rock garden being weeded by three gardeners. Above Winnie’s home is the area called “Beverley Hills” of Soweto.
Around the corner is Vilakazi Street, the street of two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Up the hill is the Mandela home from the 1960s, now a museum. It's a matchbox house comprising four inter leading rooms, containing memorabilia from the short time they had together before Mandela went into hiding, was arrested and eventually Stand on the only road that carries the honour of two of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
We then visit a typical shebeen restaurant for lunch (Sakhumzi's - optional extra) or refreshments, for the real cultural experience.
A few houses away from Mandela’s home is the home of ARCHBISHOP TUTU, known internationally as a stalwart anti-apartheid cleric.
We zip through Pimville on our way out of Soweto, back to the Old Potchefstroom Road. We drive past the open green fields, the Football Academy, the Soweto College of Education, the defunct power station with its two huge chimneys, the township's university - Vista · Return to your hotel.
LUNCH OPTIONAL AT SAKHUMZI'S RESTAURANT OR WANDIE'S.Half Day Tour: Approx 4 hours
1 Pax: R720
2 Pax: R420 per person
3 / 7 Pax: R390 per person
Included: Entrance fees, guide fees and transport cost.
Excluded: Drinks, lunch, tips and personal items.
Departure time: Every day as arranged.
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|address:||Catz Tours and Safaris|