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Africa » South Africa » Soweto

An acronym for South Western Townships, Soweto was dubbed as such in 1963. The area began in the late 19th century as a temporary neighborhood for gold mine workers, then later became a black Johannesburg ghetto with forced apartheid settlement. In 1976, Soweto garnered international headlines with its deadly uprising against Afrikaans-only language education. The Mandela Family Museum and the recently restored Credo Mutwa Village (with its Zulu and Sotho homesteads) are two can't-miss sights.

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Soweto is an urban area of the city of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships. Formerly a separate municipality, it is now incorporated in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Suburbs of Johannesburg.

 

Soweto may not be the most beautiful place you visit in South Africa, but it certainly ranks among one of the most important and interesting sights in the country. Soweto is a sprawling township situated just outside of Johannesburg and over 3.5 million people call it home. Much of the struggle against Apartheid played out in the slums of Soweto, and the township was in a virtual state of war during the 1970's and 80's. Nowadays, Soweto is a mixture of rich suburbs and poor shanty dwellings where crime is rife. But Soweto is also home to some of the most vibrant music and theatre South Africa has to offer.

 

When you visit Soweto it's certainly worth taking a tour. Not just because it may be the safest way to see the township, but because the history of Soweto is what makes it so interesting. Soweto also covers a huge swath of land, over 90 square miles, so it's easy to get lost.

 

 

Festivals

The Soweto Wine Festival has built up cult status since its launch in 2004. The three-night wine festival is hosted at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus on Chris Hani Road from 6 pm to 10 pm in the first weekend of September. Organised by the Cape Wine Academy, the festival attracts well over 6000 wine enthusiasts, over 100 of South Africa's finest wineries and well over 900 fine wines to taste. In 2010, the expanded 3-night festival exceeded organisers' expectations, attracting well over 7,500 visitors to the wine event in Soweto.

 

 

Climate of Soweto 

Soweto is a district in Johannesburg. There are no luxurious hotels, funfairs and large shopping malls here, but you can meet the local residents that live in townships. Survival is the keyword here. Soweto is drenched in poverty and misery. A major part of Soweto is a slum area where electricity cannot be taken for granted and rain is hard to keep outdoors. During the local winter months temperatures are not too warm and rain hardly falls. During the summer chances of rain are a lot higher. During the day temperatures are between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius on average.

 

 

Things to do in Soweto

    I. Hector Pieterson Museum - Category: History Museums

    II. Hector Pieterson Memorial - Category: Monuments/ Statues

    III. Soweto Bicycle Tours - Category: Tours

    IV. Regina Mundi - Category: Religious Sites; Historic Sites

    V. Orlando Towers - Category: Game/ Entertainment Centers

    VI. Cycle in Soweto - Category: Tours

    VII. Vilakazi Street - Category: Landmarks/ Points of Interest

    VIII. Credo Mutwa Cultural Village - Category: Historic Sites

    IX. Usizo Lwenkosi Soweto Tours - Category: Tours

    X. Atamela Tours - Private Tours

 

 

Bars in Soweto

• Tempos Euro Bar: 191 Pelindaba Road,Mostyn Park, Randburg 1862, South Africa - Tel. 011 708 3498

• Bar Crafts Cc:  Leader St 1709 Robertville Roodepoor - Tel: 011 4731221

• Bophelo Impilo Clubs: 1st Floor, Makhedama Centre, Mahalefele Street, Dube Soweto, Johannesburg 1801, South Africa Tel: 072 809 7801

• Unplugged on 7th Bar & Cigar Lounge: Stand 245,7th Str. Melville 2109, South Africa - Tel. 011 482 5133

• Spannish Inn: A chilled young vibey upmarket pub to relax and have fun,with lots of entertainment happening every thursday, friday, saturday and monday bringing the most entertaining Djs.

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