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Soweto Tour

Johannesburg

Soweto Tour

There are few places in the world whose name is more synonymous with modern-day freedom struggles than South Africa’s township of Soweto. Our Soweto tour is a cultural rollercoaster that will give you a firm overview of the tumultuous and inspirational history of Johannesburg and South Africa.

Brace yourself for an eye-opening and emotional visit to the Hector Pieterson Museum, a space dedicated to the commemoration of high school students who led a peaceful march that quickly transformed into a mass murder.

Take a drive or stroll along Soweto’s visitor-friendly Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize winners. Take note of the public art, especially the Day of the Uprising artwork, as well as memorials and benches that note famous historical sites.

Stop at the original Soweto home of Nelson Mandela, the former ‘safe haven’ for the Mandela’s and their friends, and imagine how they must have lived during the apartheid struggle. Complete your Soweto tour with a visit to the small but significant Kliptown Museum, which pays tribute to the 3,000 plus oppressed South Africans who formed part of the Congress of the People in 1955.

Highlights

• Eye-opening tour of the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
• View public art in one of South Africa’s most famous streets
• Guided tour of Nelson Mandela’s Soweto home
• View the Freedom Charter signed in 1955 in Kliptown

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
This impressive two-storey red-¬brick building commemorates the role of South Africa’s students during the apartheid struggle. The museum pays particular tribute to the school children who took part in the 1976 Soweto uprisings. Inside the building, a state-of-the-art multi-media centre depicts the tragic event and contains the famously dramatic Nzima photograph of the dying Hector Pieterson being carried by a fellow student.

Vilakazi Street
At the start of the street, eight huge, grey hands spell out ‘Vilakazi’ in sign language. The word, Vilakazi, has no English meaning, but it is a popular South African surname and the namesake of this street, one of South Africa’s most famous roads. The street features a collection of artwork including a number of murals, mosaics and bollards decorated with vibrant wooden heads. Also found here are various memorials and museums that speak of the apartheid struggle.

Mandela House Museum
The original Soweto home of Nelson Mandela is located on Vilakazi Street. The house was restored at a cost of R9 million and was re-opened to the public in March 2009. It is currently maintained by another famous resident – Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Giving further insight into the early life of the Mandelas and their friends, guided tours are offered to visitors of the house, and cultural offerings, such as traditional dance and food, are made available by arrangement.

Kliptown
Kliptown, one of the oldest districts in Soweto, is an area steeped in history – violent, restorative, sad and uplifting. In the 1900s, the township of Kliptown was a large informal settlement home to poor Indian, black and coloured families. But in 1955, it became more famously known as the site where more than 3,000 people attended the ‘Congress of the People’ to adopt the Freedom Charter and usher in of a society free from apartheid.

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Soweto Tour

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
This impressive two-storey red-¬brick building commemorates the role of South Africa’s students during the apartheid struggle. The museum pays particular tribute to the school children who took part in the 1976 Soweto uprisings. Inside the building, a state-of-the-art multi-media centre depicts the tragic event and contains the famously dramatic Nzima photograph of the dying Hector Pieterson being carried by a fellow student.

Vilakazi Street
At the start of the street, eight huge, grey hands spell out ‘Vilakazi’ in sign language. The word, Vilakazi, has no English meaning, but it is a popular South African surname and the namesake of this street, one of South Africa’s most famous roads. The street features a collection of artwork including a number of murals, mosaics and bollards decorated with vibrant wooden heads. Also found here are various memorials and museums that speak of the apartheid struggle.

Mandela House Museum
The original Soweto home of Nelson Mandela is located on Vilakazi Street. The house was restored at a cost of R9 million and was re-opened to the public in March 2009. It is currently maintained by another famous resident – Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Giving further insight into the early life of the Mandelas and their friends, guided tours are offered to visitors of the house, and cultural offerings, such as traditional dance and food, are made available by arrangement.

Kliptown
Kliptown, one of the oldest districts in Soweto, is an area steeped in history – violent, restorative, sad and uplifting. In the 1900s, the township of Kliptown was a large informal settlement home to poor Indian, black and coloured families. But in 1955, it became more famously known as the site where more than 3,000 people attended the ‘Congress of the People’ to adopt the Freedom Charter and usher in of a society free from apartheid.

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