Private Soweto Tours

South Africa’s Gauteng province is home to the township of Soweto, which is located within the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and borders the city’s mining belt to the south.

The name comes from an acronym of the English phrase “South Western Townships.” More than 1.3 million people call the township of Soweto their home.

The very best private trip that Johannesburg has to offer is a private excursion into the township. On this tour, the traveller will get to experience a city within a metropolis.

A private Soweto day tour may last as short as a few hours but is a fantastic way to experience the hustle and bustle of one of the liveliest cities in South Africa while also learning more about the events that impacted the history of the country.

After the notorious “Urban Areas Act” was passed in 1923, the White administration immediately began segregating Blacks and Whites into separate communities. The black population of Johannesburg was moved to an area that was physically divided from the white districts by a so-called cordon sanitaire. This led to the establishment of Soweto in the 1930s.

Soweto became the largest black township in South Africa, but its citizens were only allowed to stay as temporary residents while they worked in Johannesburg. Despite this, the city flourished.

The civil disturbance was a common occurrence throughout the Apartheid government. In 1976, in response to a judgement that required the use of Afrikaans in African schools, riots broke out; the riots were forcefully crushed, and as a result, 176 striking students were murdered and over 1,000 others were injured.

Riots broke out once more in 1985 and continued until the first multiracial elections were held in April 1994, when reforms were carried out and implemented.

More than one billion people across the world were reached in one way or another when the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was hosted at the stadium in Soweto and attracted the attention of soccer fans from all over the world.

Expert tour guides, most of who were born and raised in Soweto, will take you on a guided trip to historical monuments as well as cultural hotspots in order to highlight the city’s rich history as well as its contemporary culture.

Visitors to Soweto are encouraged to engage in conversation with the locals, as opposed to simply observing them, at heritage sites commemorating the troubled history of the city and the people’s fight for freedom and equality.

These sites can be found anywhere from the dusty streets of the Motsoaledi informal settlement to the vibrant cultural hub of Vilakazi Street.

What to expect from a Soweto private tour

  • Visiting the magnificent FNB Soccer Stadium
  • See the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and taxi rank
  • A look at Diepkloof – a large zone of Soweto that is sometimes referred to as Diepmeadow. Diepkloof was established in 1959 to accommodate people being removed from Alexandra.
  • Experience life in the Motsoaledi informal settlement
  • Visiting Freedom Square in Kliptown, the historic place where on 26 June 1955 the Congress of the people opposed to the white-supremacist government of South Africa, adopted the Freedom Charter.
  • Visit Regina Mundi Church, the largest Roman Catholic church in South Africa located in Rockville, Soweto
  • Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum, a large museum in Orlando West, a few blocks away from where Hector Pieterson was shot and killed on 16 June 1976.
  • Visit the Mandela House Museum, in the house on Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962
  • Drive through Vilakazi Street
  • Enjoy the colourful art on the Orlando Towers

How a typical private Soweto tour would proceed

You will start the tour at the famous FNB Soccer Stadium on the outskirts of Soweto after your private driver and guide picked you up from your accommodation. Here you will learn about Soweto’s soccer stadium and its historical significance.

Note that while the transfers of the tour is private, the locations visited are open to the public and will be shared with others.

You will be driven into Soweto, past Baragwanath Hospital, a massive taxi rank, and the historic Diepkloof suburb. The first stop in Soweto is the Motsoaledi informal settlement. With your guide, use the opportunity to walk through the streets, past street cafés and craft markets, greet and interact with the settlement’s residents to learn more about their way of life.

You will continue on to the Soweto hub via Orlando West. Before heading to the Hector Pieterson Museum for a formal tour, you may stop outside Regina Mundi Church and Freedom Square for a quick overview.

You can walk down Vilakazi Street, past Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s home, as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s. If you have time, you could go to the Nelson Mandela Museum, but it is usually at your own expense.

Getting to the massive Soweto Towers mark the end of the tour. Here you can get something to eat and drink (at your own expense) from a café, take a stroll around the craft market and people-watch, or go bungee jumping off the towers (own cost and time permitting).

Your guide will return you to your Johannesburg hotel after a fascinating excursion to Soweto.

Included in your tour price

You will be collected in a private closed vehicle by a private driver and guide from any accommodation address in Johannesburg.

Included in your package usually are:

  • Collection and drop off from any address in Johannesburg and transfer to Soweto and back in an air conditioned tour vehicle
  • Transfer in a private closed vehicle
  • Your own privatedriver and guide
  • Entrance fee to places like the Hector Pieterson Museum

Excluded from your package are any purchases of a personal nature as well as food and beverages.

You might also like our Johannesburg Day Tours or Pilanesberg Day Tours.



Can one book a private tour to Soweto?

Yes, it is possible to book a tour with your own private guide, driver and vehicle to visit the attractions and learn about the history of Soweto.

What can you expect to see on a private tour to Soweto?

You can visit the vibrant Vilakazi street where the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are, as well as the Hector Pieterson museum and other historical or cultural hubs.

Is the tour completely private?

Your transfers are in a private vehicle with your own private driver and guide, but the places you visit in Soweto are open to the public and other visitors will join you there.