7 Best Tours In Soweto, South Africa - Updated 2024

| 4 min read

Soweto, an acronym for South-Western Townships, is South Africa’s most famous township located southwest of the Johannesburg city center. It is the largest urban settlement in the area with a rich political and social history, serving as the symbol of a united front against the past apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela, the infamous Nobel Laureate who championed reforms and political changes, also resided here. Today, Soweto has settled into a peaceful neighborhood, attracting tourists from all over the world to learn about its history and marvel at its transformation into a modern landscape. A guided tour is the best way to appreciate the picturesque streets and architecture. If you plan on visiting the area, read on to learn more about the best tours in Soweto, South Africa.

Tip from tour guide

Video of Soweto by South Africa tour guide, Thabang Molefe.

1. Bike around Soweto with an award-winning guide (from USD 38.0)

This three-hour bicycle tour can cater to any age or fitness level and gives you a chance to take photographs of sites you may not visit on other tours. You can start at one of Soweto’s oldest bars, a spot frequented by locals, so you can get a soft introduction to the local culture. From there, you can travel to famous tourist spots such as Vilakazi Street and Hector Pieterson Museum. While you’re here, you can converse with locals who can share some interesting stories. You can visit cafes and local restaurants and meet small merchants selling arts and crafts.

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Soweto Bicycle Experience

Duration: 3.5 hours

99 reviews

2. Have a kota on Vilakazi Street (from USD 24.0)

Experience Soweto like a local through a tour with a knowledgeable guide born and raised in the area. Your four-hour journey can include a visit to Vilakazi Street, trips to museums, and a bit of casual fun playing soccer in the street. You can sample locally brewed beer, have a kota, and dine at Chaf Pozi near Soweto Towers with a small party of up to 10 guests. For those who want a more personal view of life in Soweto, your qualified guide can take you to Nomzamo, an informal settlement where you can talk with the residents and listen to their stories.

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Getting Informed and cultured Soweto

Duration: 4 hours

85 reviews

3. Go to an observation point to view Soweto Towers (from USD 30.0)

Enjoy a walking tour with a local Sowetan who can take you on a charming personalized journey of the neighborhood. See the main tourist sites up close. You can head to a wonderful lookout point where you can get a panoramic view of Soweto Towers and the landscape. You can eat at local restaurants to support local businesses and try some authentic dishes like bunny chow. Explore the picturesque markets and meet some respected members of the community for first-hand accounts of the township’s liberation. Your guide can also cater to any preferences you may have of sights you would like to see.

Tip from tour guide

Soweto Towers

Photo of Soweto Towers from a ground level shared by South Africa tour guide, Thabang Molefe.

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Soweto and its hidden gems

Duration: 3 hours

47 reviews

4. Explore the popular attractions in Soweto (from USD 62.0)

For those who prefer a more professionally organized tour of Soweto, this half-day tour can take you around the township in the comfort of an air-conditioned minivan. With the help of a guide born and raised in the area, you can learn more about the history of the place. This five-hour tour offers pick-ups and drop-offs in a comfortable vehicle that can hold up to 15 people and has free WiFi. You can see famous sites such as FNB Stadium, Diepkloof, an informal settlement on Motsoaledi Street, Regina Mundi Church, and Freedom Square. You can also drive by Nelson Mandela’s home on Vilakazi Street.

Tip from tour guide

FNB Stadium FNB Stadium
Are you a sports enthusiast? You'll love a visit to FNB Stadium. It's the largest in South Africa, and it also hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Learn all things sports, culture, and lifestyle, when you visit Soweto.
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Johannesburg Small-Group Half-Day Soweto Tour

Duration: 5 hours

543 reviews

Soweto Tour Guide

Thabang Molefe

Thabang Molefe

My name is Thabang Molefe, Director/ Owner of Tsalanang Travel & Tours. I’m a qualified National Tourist Guide in South Africa, born and breast fed in Johannesburg. I have worked in the sports & events industry where I discovered my passion for traveling, and later worked with some of the TOP destination management/operators in South Africa. I love meeting people, and exchangin... Read more

Tours by Thabang

5. Air-conditioned minibus tour to Orlando East (from USD 30.0)

This tour can allow you to enjoy Soweto’s culture, history, shopping, and local cuisine. On this four-hour trip, your guide can take you to famous locations like Soweto Towers. You can witness the first formal settlements in Orlando East and visit the modern stadium of the national soccer team. Up to a small group of 10 people can book this cultural tour to discover the roots of the township.

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One Day in Soweto

Duration: 4 hours

439 reviews

6. Enjoy a guided photowalk in the streets of Soweto (from USD 15.0)

Ready your cameras and capture the local scenes as you stroll through the streets of Soweto with a talented photographer as your local guide. This 90-minute tour can take you through the popular Vilakazi Street and Soweto Towers, where you can learn about the place’s history and also have the opportunity to speak to the locals. Through this tour, you can capture picture-perfect memories and hidden spots with elaborate street art. If you’re not a shutterbug, your guide can provide professional photos and have them edited for you in days. This tour can promise a one-of-a-kind immersive cultural experience for solo travelers or a group of up to five people.

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Braamfontein Art Tour

Duration: 1.5 hours

1 review

7. Visit the city square in an air-conditioned vehicle (from USD 20.0)

This half-day tour in Soweto can let you enjoy the sights and learn about the township’s history in the comfort of a vehicle. Your day can start from the central business district of Johannesburg, where you can drive to the popular spots such as FNB Stadium, Orlando Towers, Vilazaki Street, Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Kliptown, museums, and even a local market. The small group tour allows for questions to make sure your guide can accommodate all your queries and interests about the areas. This guided tour can accommodate up to 10 people and also conveniently offers both pick-up and drop-off to your hotel.

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Half Day Soweto Township Tour - 4hrs

Duration: 4 hours

1 review

Tour the township with a personal guide

The vibrant and charming township of Soweto is a wonderful place to visit for history buffs. An immersive tour with a personal guide is a great way to experience this locality up close. If you’re planning on a culture trip, this list of the best tours in Soweto, South Africa, might come in handy.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Steven, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is a writer specializing in travel and tech. Additionally, he is a freelance photographer, musician, and restaurateur.

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