Soweto Tours

Visit the Home of Nelson Mandela


Soweto, the largest township in South Africa, was created during Apartheid to house the African workforce that served the white-owned businesses and leafy suburbs hidden beyond view. Although Ngakane Street boasts the home of Desmond Tutu, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Bucket List takes us to the humble former home of Nelson Mandela. Wrote the great man: “It was the opposite of grand, but it was my first true home of my own and I was mightily proud. A man is not a man until he has a house of his own.” Visiting the home of an icon – be it Mandela, Elvis or Anne Frank – explains how ordinary people can inspire greatness.

Length of Trip : 1-2 Days

Cost : Entrance to the Mandela House costs US$4 for adults and US$2 for children and students. Tickets to visit the Apartheid Museum cost about US$6 for adults and US$4 for seniors, children, and students.

Best time to go : Open year-round.

Wheelchair friendly : Yes

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat : The Grillhouse, Rosebank The Fishmonger Tavern offers a modern twist on tried and trusted African dishes.

Official Site : Mandela House Sowet Tour Joburg Tourism

Where to Stay : Budget: Diamond Diggers Backpackers Hostel Mid-Level: St. Peter's Place High-End: Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

Getting There : Soweto is a 35-minute drive from South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, along the Golden Highway. Most visitors will visit on a guided day tour that departs and returns to your hotel. For those driving themselves, you can follow full directions here.

Note from Robin : Other highlights on the Soweto tour include the excellent Apartheid Museum, the National Soccer stadium that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, street markets, village communities and the world's third largest hospital. When visiting Jo’burg, load up on the kudu biltong, Sparletta’s meth-coloured Cream Soda and MSG-caked Big Korn Bites for the drive to Sun City, a sprawling resort best described as Las Vegas in the African bush. Stop off at the Lion Park in Lansera to cuddle a lion cub, and then book yourself into the Palace of the Lost City, regarded as one of the world’s great (and certainly most garish) hotels.