1. Spend a night with a local family:
This was a highlight of my Soweto experience, as I stayed with Rachel in her home in Orlando East in Soweto. It gives you an insight into what life is about here in this famous township. Just sitting watching TV with her and her son was a happy night.
2. Go Inside Nelson Mandela's House:
It is completely essential that you make a trip to Nelson Mandela's former house while staying in Soweto - you'd be an absolute fool to miss it. His former house at 8115 Vilakazi Street is now a fantastic museum. You can walk all around it and read quotes and stories from the man himself. You can get your photo taken in every room in his former house. Best of all is it's a small house - very basic - yet this man was a genius and changed the world. There's an entry charge but it's definitely worth paying!!
3. Visit a Shebeen:
No stay in Soweto is complete without visiting a local Shebeen! I'm going to tell you to just ask local people and find your own, as they don't really have names! But make sure you try the Joburg Beer with the locals. It comes in a tub (like an over-sized milk tub) and is pink in colour and you share it round a table. I visited two shebeens in Soweto - one was in a hut, the other was basically someone's house that they welcome you just sitting there having a beer with them. The locals are so friendly and they really welcome people to their culture.
4. Bicycle Tours in Soweto:
Doing a bicycle tour in Soweto is another in my top 5 - why? Because it is the best way to get around and get out to other parts of the massive township! Walking isn't enough - Soweto is massive and it's poky streets and hoardes of people about mean that by driving you won't really enjoy it or see it properly - so hire a bike or become part of the Soweto bicycle tour and you'll get to visit a few different parts of the township, meeting locals and seeing sights you won't get by walking. Do it!
5. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum:
Situated in the place where a young boy Hector Pieterson was shot dead, The Hector Pieterson Museum is great place to read about the Soweto Uprising of 1976 and the history of the township. The museum makes my top 5 and is accompanied by tributes and information boards posted along the corner and nearby streets.
In truth Soweto is just an amazing place to visit and these are only a very quick top 5 things to see and do.
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