Soweto, South Africa’s most famous township, and one of the most-visited places on the continent, now has its own tourist information centre, opened last week in the historic precinct of Kliptown. The centre – still being completed, but open for business (it’s scheduled for completion this April) – is designed to be a one-stop information broker for tours and accommodation, as well as a hub for local tourism entrepreneurship, and boasts a curio shop and an internet cafe.
- Contact the Soweto Tourism and Information Centre (note: website and email forthcoming): +27 (0) 11 945 3111 / 214 0700
- Visit the Centre: Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, cnr. Klip St. Valley Road & Union A, Kliptown, Soweto | Map
According to the city of Johannesburg, over 200,000 people visit Soweto annually, many seeking to connect with South Africa’s freedom struggle on the very spot where it was amplified to the world. The most frequent stops include Hector Pieterson Memorial, and the Nelson Mandela Museum, in the former home of Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie. Kliptown itself is the home of South Africa’s famous Freedom Charter, which turned 50 years old last year. Other visitors simply want to see what a township looks like from the inside, and possibly catch a bit of urban African vibe at a restaurant like Wandi’s. Either way, a trip to Soweto is popular as an eye-opener – hopefully, the new info center will help more Sowetans get in on the act.