Soweto played a very important part in the country's past. From the gold rush to the uprising, it holds plenty of history. Let's explore that by taking a look at the ample amount of tourist attractions in Soweto. Pack your fanny pack, grab your sunscreen and let's hit the road!

What Are You Looking For?

Points Of Interest
Museums
Guided Tours


Points Of Interest

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is one of Soweto’s many gems, and a must to see for visitors from all over the world who want a taste of deep African cultures and beliefs combined with modern ideas. This is an outdoor exhibition area that is combined with a museum-style, showcasing the works and inspiration of Credo Mutwa.

Visit Credo Mutwa Cultural Village.

Tourist Attractions In Soweto

Image Source: Facebook

Mandela's House

8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West in Soweto is known to many simply as Mandela House. It was where Nelson Mandela lived between 1946 and 1962. The house is a humble abode of four inter-leading rooms that today contain a collection of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family. Even a pair of Mandela's old boots lie on a shelf for display – insight into the man the country fondly called Tata (father). For today the house functions as a museum. This is one of our favourite tourist attractions in Soweto.

Visit Mandela's House.

Tourist Attractions In Soweto

Image By VisitSoweto.Co.Za

Hector Pieterson Memorial

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where 12-year-old Hector was shot on the 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprising that today is a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. The Hector Pieterson Memorial Site is included on any number of tours through the area.

Visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Tourist Attractions In Soweto

Image By Rooms For Africa


Museums 

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. This is one of the most important tourist attractions in Soweto.

Visit the Apartheid Museum.

Image Source: Flickr CC (Wikipedia)

Kliptown Museum

You can't visit tourist attractions in Soweto without stopping here! Standing in Freedom Square in Soweto, the Kliptown Open Air Museum, dedicated to Walter Sisulu, tells the story of the drafting of the Freedom Charter. And it does so via photographs, art, song, news clipping and narration. It is a thoroughly visual journey made by visitors to the museum, one that emphasises the freedom South Africa fought so hard to achieve.

Visit the Kliptown Museum. 

Image By African Fusion Travel


Guided Tours

Cycle In Soweto

Fancy to visit some tourist attractions in Soweto? Then do it by bicycle! Cycle in Soweto offers private bike tours around world-famous Soweto township. Riding with us lets you escape the bus, experience so much more, have real personal interactions with locals, enjoy the fresh air and you exercise your body (not too much). We tour eco friendly and with the option to just stop for a meet and greet or to take some pictures. Our tours are run by local guides who offer you a unique township experience.

Visit Cycle in Soweto.

Image By Cycle In Soweto

MoAfrika Tour

As one of South Africa's largest tourist companies, MoAfrika Tour runs a one day Soweto tour packed to the brim with adventure. A day tour of Soweto offers you the chance to experience the heart and soul of a city that is home to over two million people. It’s a chance to soak up the electric atmosphere of a South African city that has one foot in a turbulent past and one placed firmly in the future. Soweto is a city that vibrates with a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter and better future but continues to pay silent tribute to the price its people paid for their freedom and liberty.

Visit MoAfrika.

Image By MoAfrikaTours

So, what do you think of our list of tourist attractions in Soweto? What would you add to this list? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

Ark Animal Centre

This amazing animal charity specialises in caring for puppies and pregnant dogs, which they take in from across Gauteng. They are self-funded and have a no-suffer policy. We love what great care they take of all the furbabies in their care. This Mandela Day, on 18 July 2019, you can spend your 67 minutes cuddling their puppies, walking the older dogs and helping out where you can. There will be drinks available at their coffee shops and you can do a little retail therapy at their second hand shop. They ask for donations of pellets and tinned food, mops and brooms, black bags, cleaning products and second hand items for their shop. If you are unable to make it on this day, you can still help out by making donations, fostering dogs, sponsoring dogs, sponsoring a sterilization, volunteering and adopting. Check out their Facebook page for more information about this event.

Find more information here

Pug Rescue

Based in Benoni, Pug Rescue South Africa rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes pugs who are found on the streets or whose owners can no longer care for them. They also take in other breeds, calling them honourary pugs. This institution has a special place in our hearts because they go out of their way to ensure that each and every pug and honourary pug receives all the love and care they deserve. They have a no kill policy, meaning all animals that can be saved from their injuries are cared for no matter how expensive or extensive their recovery is. On Sunday, 21 July 2019, you can spend your 67 minutes helping them out in honour of Mandela Day. For R67, you can spend 67 minutes spoiling one of their beloved dogs. Book a time slot, either 09:00 or 11:00, at [email protected]. If you are unable to attend or would like to do more, they ask for donations of R67, Husky dog food with gravy, wet wipes and automatic washing powder. See their Facebook events page for more.

Find more information here.

walking dog

 

A New Hope Dog Rescue

A New Hope Dog Rescue is a dog shelter in Joburg South. They rescue and re-home dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds. This animal charity will have a Mandela Day event on Saturday, 13 July 2019 in Bryanston. All that you need to do is play with their rescues for 67 minutes at the charge of a bag of dog food. See their Facebook page for more information about this event. Other ways you can help them is by donating, fostering, supporting their shop and adopting one, or more, of their lovely pooches.

Find more information here.

SPCA Randburg

Randburg SPCA will be offering two Mandela Day events. On 18 July 2019, the SPCA is hosting an event where volunteers can spend their 67 minutes fixing and cleaning wooden kennels that will be donated to less fortunate animals in townships. The second, taking place on 27 July 2019, is their first Carnival fun day. The whole family will be able to enjoy live music, food, drinks, stalls, Junior Iron Man and make-a-treat. Pre-booking is requires, check out their Facebook page for more. Other ways you can help are to donate funds, items for their second hand shop and adopting one of their precious animals.

Find more information here.

cat

 

Santa Cause For Paws

Santa Cause For Paws is not an animal shelter. Rather, they are an online store that does everything they can to help raise much needed funds for animal shelters. They do this by running various causes, selling an array of gorgeous items and collecting donations. This year for Mandela Day they plan to pack gift buckets filled with gifts, food, treats and blankets. These buckets will be donated to animal shelters across Joburg. They are asking for volunteers to help pack the buckets and for donations of things to fill the buckets. This event is taking place in Kempton Park 14 July 2019. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to donate money to the cause. Alternatively, you can support the online shop and purchase personalised mugs, blankets or jewellery.

Find more information here.

Kitty and Puppy Haven

This animal welfare organisation specialises in caring for and re-homing kittens and puppies, as the name suggests. Volunteers can spend their 67 minutes painting, toy and treat making. They welcome all donations, but, they require kitten and puppy food, blankets, food bowls and toys in particular. See their Facebook page for more information about this event and to see their full wish list.

Find more information here.

dog playing

 

Other Charities To Help This Mandela Day: 

Animal Allies: on 21 July 2019, Animal Allies will be holding a spay day in Katlehong. Contact them to find out more.

Pet Rescue: On 18 July 2019 spend your 67 minutes with the animals at Pet Rescue for R67, or make a donation if you can't make it. Contact them to find out more.

Other SPCAs: Unfortunately, we can't cover all the SPCAs across Joburg, contact your local SPCA to find out what they need this Mandela Day. Or put together a box with a blanket, pet food, toys, food bowls and a treat and drop it off at your local SPCA.

Wollies Animal Project: At the time of writing, Wollies had no events for Mandela Day planned, but a donation of food, money and blankets will always be appreciated.

Trix 4 Animals: This shelter is run by people who still have to work a full-time job. That's dedication. Help out this Mandela Day with donations. Contact them to find out their wishlist.

What Is It?

It's Quiz Night and you don't want to miss out on the Mandela Day Quiz Night.

The Project Brave Foundation’s annual quiz fundraiser is ready to do good through a fun night at Hudsons in Parkhurst.

Ticket comes with a burger and side for you to enjoy, so build your team of 8 with friends, family or colleagues. This event is for a good cause and a celebration.

Get your tickets now!

When Is It?

Thursday, 18 July 2019 at 18:00

Where Is It?

Hudsons The Burger Joint, 4th Ave & 14th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

How Much Is It?

Tickets are R275 per person, get your tickets Here.

For More Information

For more information, visit Here.

Dare Not Linger (2017)

This one is a must if you’re looking to get an in-depth look at the details and stories describing Mandela's term as the President of South Africa. Dare Not Linger draws on Nelson Mandela's own unfinished memoir and brings readers the remarkable story of his presidency, told in his own words with the help of distinguished South African writer, Mandla Langa.

Conversations with Myself (2010)

Now for something a little more personal and intimate when it comes to the life and presidency of Madiba. Conversations With Myself is a collection of letters, diary inserts and other personal writings which provides reader a rare chance to see the other side of our former president's life, all portrayed and written in his own voice. This book is an international bestseller and an intensely personal piece that complements his Long Walk to Freedom.

Long Walk To Freedom (1994)

This book is the most well-known and popular books written by Madiba. It offers readers the authentic voice and humane, dignified and passionate presence of Mandela. Long Walk To Freedom is the perfect read, bringing to life the riveting memoirs of one of the most outstanding moral and political leaders of our time. It brilliantly re-creates the drama, experiences and actions that contributed to shaping Nelson Mandela's destiny.

Nelson Mandela Books

Nelson Mandela’s Favourite African Folktales (2007)

This one is a lovely read for the whole family, bringing to life the many different folktales passed on from generation to generation. Whether warning children about the 'dangers' of disobedience or proving that the underdog can win, Nelson Mandela's Favourite African Folktales are depicted through wise animals and evil monsters offers a universal portrayal of humanity, beasts and the mysterious. They have all been translated from their original languages including Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa and others, to bring you a collection that plays as a testament to the craft of storytelling and the power of myth.

No Easy Walk To Freedom (1986)

No one has better insight into Madiba's past, his journey and destiny than himself, which is why this collection is a must if you have a keen interest in his journey to freedom and initiating the beginning of a new era in South Africa. No Easy Walk To Freedom is a collection of Nelson Mandela's articles, speeches, letters from underground and the transcripts of his trials.

Nelson Mandela Books

In His Own Words (2004)

In His Own Words is a collection of some of the most historic and inspirational addresses by the father of the nation. The one of the most influential individuals and stirring voices to come out of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has brought and spoken his message of freedom, equality and human dignity to the entire world. And now, his most important, moving and meaningful speeches have been collected and published into a single volume. Another must for your personal collection.

Mandela: The Struggle Is My Life (1990)

Mandela: The Struggle is My Life tells the influential and moving story of a man who changed the course of history and inspired millions. He ended apartheid in his own country and made racism unacceptable worldwide. Such an inspiration of a man deserved fitting celebration of how extraordinary he and his actions are. So much so, that he changed the world. This book covers Nelson Mandela's speeches and political writings from his days as a leader of the African National Congress Youth League in 1944, up until his release from prison in 1990.

Nelson Mandela Books

"During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, my Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." - Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial and after the raid on Liliesleaf farm.

liliesleaf

On 11 July 1963, during a secret meeting between top African National Congress officials at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, security police raided the farm and captured 19 members of the party and charged them with sabotage. This came as a surprise, as the liberation had run successful meetings at the farm since 1961. This lead to the notorious Rivonia Trial which changed the future of the country forever. The authorities consequently found a bunker filled with "incriminating" evidence against Nelson Mandela, and this lead to his prison sentence being increased from five to 27 years.

liliesleaf

Walking the grounds at Liliesleaf, one cannot help but envision a 44-year-old Madiba tending the land of the farm under his then-alias, David Motsamayi, to hide his true identity. Today Liliesleaf serves as a historical site that offers a detailed perspective into the events that transpired here. Most of the original farm still stands and has been preserved by Liliesleaf founder and CEO, Nicholas Wolpe, and his team, a process that started in 2001 when Mr. Wolpe was asked to coordinate a Rivonia Trial reunion. He suggested to the ANC that they buy Liliesleaf back from the owners at the time and restore the history associated with the site. But the significance of Liliesleaf and Mr. Wolpe runs much deeper than the reunion. Forty years prior, Nicholas Wolpe's father, the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist, Harold Wolpe, officiated the legal purchase of the farm.

liliesleaf

Liliesleaf Today

In May 2018, 1 057 people visited Liliesleaf. This number is made up of tourists, students and curious locals. The team would like to see this number grow to around 1 200 per month. To promote the historical site, they host special events such as the Liliesleaf Bubbly Festival commemorating National Women's Day. The premises also house Cedric's cafe - Cedric being a codename given to Liliesleaf during the struggle - which serves light meals and alcohol. The eatery is open to the public and can be accessed without paying an admission fee. The site also offers top notch accommodation to visitors.

Details

Adults: R110
Pensioners: R40
Under 7 years: Free
8 – 17 years: R50
Students: R60

All prices are correct at the time of writing.

For event bookings please contact Genevieve, 011 803 7882 or visit Liliesleaf online

By Shawn Greyling

 

Statue of Nelson Mandela at Nelson Mandela Square – Sandton, Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela Square, formerly known as Sandton Square, is one of the busiest shopping hotspots in Johannesburg. Not only because its boutiques and top-notch restaurants attract locals and foreigners but because it's home to the magnificent bronze Nelson Mandela statue. Sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane and unveiled on 31 March 2004, it's 6m high and weighs 2.5 tons. The gigantic Madiba is one of the most popular attractions in Sandton, drawing visitors from all over to see it up close and take photos.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – Houghton, Johannesburg

There's no question about it, Madiba was one of the most influential leaders of our time and left an unforgettable legacy. The Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory in Houghton has been set up in his post-presidential office to keep his memory alive through exhibitions and talks. If you're interested in history or simply want to find out as much as possible about Nelson Mandela, then this is the place to visit.

Nelson Mandela Capture Site – Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

This site marks the spot where Nelson Mandela was taken into custody by on 5 August 1962. The police flagged him down as he was driving past disguised in a chauffeur’s uniform on the R103 road near Howick. Other than the unusual sculpture of his profile that'll have you captivated (just a warning, there's quite a walk to get to it), there's an exhibition of his life and free tours are offered.

Nelson Mandela Statue at The Union Buildings – Pretoria

We mentioned the Nelson Mandela statue overlooking Nelson Mandela Square, but the Union Buildings in Pretoria are also home to a bronze statue of Madiba. At 9m-high, it's the tallest statue of our former president in the world. It depicts Mandela with his arms outstretched, symbolising his embracing of the nation. He has one foot in front of the other indicating a nation on the move. This statue is at the foot of the Union Buildings on the spot where Mandela was inaugurated as our country's first democratically elected president in 1994. It has replaced that of former prime minister James Barry Hertzog, which has been moved to a new place on the premises. Mandela was often at the Union Buildings during his presidency, his official residence was nearby, and at the end of his life, the buildings also housed his body which lay in state there for three days.

Nelson Mandela Bridge – Newtown, Johannesburg

An engineering masterpiece honouring Madiba is the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Newtown (Johannesburg CBD). Gracing the Joburg skyline, it's 282m long and the largest cable-stayed bridge in Southern Africa. The bridge connects the suburbs of Newtown and Braamfontein and was officially opened by the former president himself on 20 July 2003. This is a must-see, especially at night when it's beautifully lit up in the colours of the rainbow.

Mandela House – Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Johannesburg

Step back in time by visiting the Mandela House at 8115 Vilakazi Street, which was our former president's residence from 1946. This is where he lived with his first wife, Evelyn, and later his second wife, Winnie, and their two children. Now a museum, it's filled with Mandela family memorabilia, as well as historical photographs. The house has been carefully restored and preserved and gives visitors great insight into Madiba's life.

Robben Island – Cape Town

A trip to Cape Town is not complete without visiting the well-known World Heritage Site, Robben Island, and the Robben Island Museum, which sheds light on Madiba's years in prison. You can see the tiny cell where he spent 18 years of his 27-year sentence, and browse through the interesting history that has been documented at the museum. You'll also gain insight into the life and struggle of other heroes such as Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Clarence Makwetu and more. Today, this museum stands as a beacon of hope.

Nelson Mandela Youth And Heritage Centre – Qunu, Eastern Cape

Qunu is where Mandela spent his childhood and is now also the location of the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre. It was built on the ruins of his primary school and also near to where Madiba had a house after his release from prison. This centre comprises a museum, a restaurant, community and sports halls and craft-manufacturing buildings. There are guided tours and heritage trails conducted from the centre that allow you to follow in his footsteps to the places that were special to him.

Nobel Square – Cape Town

If you happen to be taking a stroll through the V&A Waterfront, stop at the Nobel Square to see the sculptures of our country's four Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Standing next to each other in a row, you'll see Nelson Mandela, the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk. The larger-than-life statues pay tribute to these iconic men, recognised by the world for their dedication to peace and democracy.

Statue of Nelson Mandela at Nelson Mandela Square – Sandton, Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela Square, formerly known as Sandton Square, is one of the busiest shopping hotspots in Johannesburg. Not only because its boutiques and top-notch restaurants attract locals and foreigners but because it's home to the magnificent bronze Nelson Mandela statue. Sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane and unveiled on 31 March 2004, it's 6m high and weighs 2.5 tons. The gigantic Madiba is one of the most popular attractions in Sandton, drawing visitors from all over to see it up close and take photos.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – Houghton, Johannesburg

There's no question about it, Madiba was one of the most influential leaders of our time and left an unforgettable legacy. The Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory in Houghton has been set up in his post-presidential office to keep his memory alive through exhibitions and talks. If you're interested in history or simply want to find out as much as possible about Nelson Mandela, then this is the place to visit.

Nelson Mandela Capture Site – Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

This site marks the spot where Nelson Mandela was taken into custody by on 5 August 1962. The police flagged him down as he was driving past disguised in a chauffeur’s uniform on the R103 road near Howick. Other than the unusual sculpture of his profile that'll have you captivated (just a warning, there's quite a walk to get to it), there's an exhibition of his life and free tours are offered.

Nelson Mandela Statue at The Union Buildings – Pretoria

We mentioned the Nelson Mandela statue overlooking Nelson Mandela Square, but the Union Buildings in Pretoria are also home to a bronze statue of Madiba. At 9m-high, it's the tallest statue of our former president in the world. It depicts Mandela with his arms outstretched, symbolising his embracing of the nation. He has one foot in front of the other indicating a nation on the move. This statue is at the foot of the Union Buildings on the spot where Mandela was inaugurated as our country's first democratically elected president in 1994. It has replaced that of former prime minister James Barry Hertzog, which has been moved to a new place on the premises. Mandela was often at the Union Buildings during his presidency, his official residence was nearby, and at the end of his life, the buildings also housed his body which lay in state there for three days.

Nelson Mandela Bridge – Newtown, Johannesburg

An engineering masterpiece honouring Madiba is the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Newtown (Johannesburg CBD). Gracing the Joburg skyline, it's 282m long and the largest cable-stayed bridge in Southern Africa. The bridge connects the suburbs of Newtown and Braamfontein and was officially opened by the former president himself on 20 July 2003. This is a must-see, especially at night when it's beautifully lit up in the colours of the rainbow.

Mandela House Museum – Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Johannesburg

Step back in time by visiting the Mandela House at 8115 Vilakazi Street, which was our former president's residence from 1946. This is where he lived with his first wife, Evelyn, and later his second wife, Winnie, and their two children. Now a museum, it's filled with Mandela family memorabilia, as well as historical photographs. The house has been carefully restored and preserved and gives visitors great insight into Madiba's life.

Robben Island – Cape Town

A trip to Cape Town is not complete without visiting the well-known World Heritage Site, Robben Island, and the Robben Island Museum, which sheds light on Madiba's years in prison. You can see the tiny cell where he spent 18 years of his 27-year sentence, and browse through the interesting history that has been documented at the museum. You'll also gain insight into the life and struggle of other heroes such as Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Clarence Makwetu and more. Today, this museum stands as a beacon of hope.

Nelson Mandela Youth & Heritage Centre – Qunu, Eastern Cape

Qunu is where Mandela spent his childhood and is now also the location of the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre. It was built on the ruins of his primary school and also near to where Madiba had a house after his release from prison. This centre comprises a museum, a restaurant, community and sports halls and craft-manufacturing buildings. There are guided tours and heritage trails conducted from the centre that allow you to follow in his footsteps to the places that were special to him.

Nobel Square – Cape Town

If you happen to be taking a stroll through the V&A Waterfront, stop at the Nobel Square to see the sculptures of our country's four Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Standing next to each other in a row, you'll see Nelson Mandela, the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk. The larger-than-life statues pay tribute to these iconic men, recognised by the world for their dedication to peace and democracy.