Johannesburg
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Johannesburg Culture & History

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

1. Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

Depart from your hotel, heading to the south west township of Johannesburg. Take a route through the Johannesburg south suburbs and see the sleek cars and spacious freeways. Next, discover Johannesburg city with its tall buildings, most of them built during the apartheid era, while you make your way to Soweto. Watch the beautiful scenery disappear as you enter Soweto. Pass through two iconic landmarks that used to generate power in the township of Soweto and are now normally used for bungee jumping. Drive through Soweto heading to the famous Hector Pieterson Museum with its dark history about the youth uprising in 1976. From here, drive through the township for sightseeing, and finally head to Mandela House Museum on Vilakazi Street. In the museum you will learn about the father of the nation, Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, who became a world icon. Finally, hop on back to the tour vehicle returning to your hotel. On route, you will pass through FNB stadium also known as Soccer City or The Calabash, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals.  

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Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

2. Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

After being collected from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing, before you depart for Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, you will pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You will then enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you will then visit Vilakazi Street, where you will drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela, and past the current home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also have the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising that occurred on the 16th of June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this Soweto tour you will pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. A visit into the museum is also optional (at an extra cost and payable on arrival). You will continue your Soweto tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you will get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You will then drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University, and end your tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

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Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

3. Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

Experience the Cradle of Humankind on a half-day tour from Johannesburg. Have the unique opportunity to learn about stones and bones and wine and dine in tranquil surroundings in this region in South Africa, which is approximately 90 minutes' drive from the Johannesburg city Centre. Explore the world’s richest hominin site and home to 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils as well as an area home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of these are rare or endangered. Explore the caves on site including Sterfontein Caves where the 2.3 million year old fossil “Mrs Ples” was uncovered in 1947. Visit Maropeng Visitors Center, an exhibition full of fossils, tools and everything millions of years old. Back in Johannesburg, experience Sandton a well-known area in Gauteng and a main business hub. Sandton is known to be a wealthy and influential area where many of Johannesburg's top business men and women work, live and play. 

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Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

4. Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

This short tour will let you experience day to day life in the township. Meet your local tour guide and start the bike tour. You will be able to visit famous spots including Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, Vilakazi, Orlando stadium, and the Hector Peterson memorial. Learn about the incidents that happened on the fateful day of 16 June in 1976 when Hector Peterson was shot and killed by the police during the student protests. This tour includes a little bit of exercise and is eco-friendly. You get to cycle on the most famous street on the African continent, Vilakazi Street. Interact with locals and see how life goes in South Africa's most famous township. You will have the opportunity to support local small businesses on the way. You can bring small change or items that you would like to donate. 

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Johannesburg: Walking Tour of Hillbrow

5. Johannesburg: Walking Tour of Hillbrow

Get under the skin of this fascinating district with an expert guide who grew up in the area. Hear stories from the area's history, and learn about the personal experiences of your guide. Immerse yourself in a diverse neighborhood full of culture and history. Learn how a residential suburb became one of the most cosmopolitan places in South Africa. Hear how the area was a magnet for people from all over the world in the gold rush and the subsequent waves of migration from across the continent. Hear captivating stories from your guide, and then hit the streets to meet the locals. Visit landmarks like the Windybrow Art Center, the iconic Ponte Tower and Telkom Tower, as you experience firsthand this diverse and fascinating district.

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Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch

6. Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, listen to a quick pre-departure tour briefing from your guide before departing to Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. Enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. Next, set off for the neighborhood of Orlando West and visit Vilakazi Street. Drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela and past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Take the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising on the 16th June 1976. On that tragic day, an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. Then, pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. Visits inside the museum are optional at an extra cost per person that is payable on arrival. Continue the Soweto tour by driving into one of the shanty towns, where you get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly facets of Soweto include extreme poverty and wealth. Drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University and end the tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

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Yeoville: Taste of Africa Food Experience

7. Yeoville: Taste of Africa Food Experience

The Taste of Africa experience allows you to sample the best flavors of the continent with no visa requirements or expensive flights. Explore local restaurants and sample traditional Ghanaian and Nigerian dishes while learning about the ingredients and techniques that make this cuisine so special.  Meet the local guide at Windybrow Art Centre, a family mansion turned theatre that has stood the test of time. From Windybrow, hop in a minibus taxi and venture into Yeoville, stopping first at Malalahitoka for traditional Ghanaian Wat, Kifto, and Injera. Next, sample Ghanaian Pondu and Kwanga at Kin Malabo before heading "West" for Nigerian Akara and Killshi at Mama Osu. Check out Baskim, which offers a mixture of African foods such as Konkonte and Ampesie. This will include a walk through the Yeoville food market where you can purchase the fruit and vegetables you have seen in some of the dishes and recreate your favorite African dishes at home. After dinner drinks will be hosted at the famous House of Tandoor, where you can enjoy reggae music and socialize with the locals.

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Cullinan Diamond Mine & Pretoria Full Day Tour

8. Cullinan Diamond Mine & Pretoria Full Day Tour

Get a glimpse into a fascinating part of South Africa's history with a visit to the famous Cullinan diamond mines, operated for many years by the De Beers mining company. Take a trip to the mine which is situated 40km east of Pretoria in a town called Cullinan. The tour covers the history of the mine and geological processes that are responsible for the creation of diamonds. Learn about the discovery of the administrative capital known for it's Jacaranda-lined avenues, fascinating architecture and historical monuments such as Paul Kruger House, built in 1884.  Visit the Voortrekker Monument situated in Pretoria in a nature reserve - a monument that commemorates the history of South Africa and the history of the Afrikaaners. Whilst here also take a peek at the Union buildings with an experienced guide who will explain their history and function. 

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Johannesburg: Guided Bicycle Tour of Soweto with Lunch

9. Johannesburg: Guided Bicycle Tour of Soweto with Lunch

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore the urban complex of Soweto on a bicycle. Get to experience the township like a local. Get a glimpse of Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Tutu House. Start your cycling tour in Killarney, an up-and-coming tourist destination in Soweto. Learn how this township was created in 1904 and share the history of these neighborhoods. Ride to Mzimhlophe and visit Mzimhlophe Women's hostel. Continue to Mama Lilian Ngoyi's house, an anti-apartheid activist. Cycle to Hector Pietersen Museum where the Soweto uprising transpired which was one of the turning points of apartheid. This tour will get you closer to all the highlights of Soweto. See the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. Imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. Then, pass by Tutu House on Vilakazi Street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his family once resided. Talk about the Nobel Laureate's contribution to apartheid's downfall in South Africa. Give your feet a break by stopping for lunch. Taste South African sandwiches called kota before cycling back to the starting point.

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Lion and Safari Park & Cradle of Humankind Full-Day Tour

10. Lion and Safari Park & Cradle of Humankind Full-Day Tour

Discover the Lion and Safari Park, an established tourist destination. The park offers a wealth of exciting activities including a 4x4 game drive for 1.5 hours. You have the opportunity to see a selection of animals including giraffe, ostriches and various other antelope species that roam freely in the park. The Lion and Safari Park is home to a vast selection of indigenous species. The park has a kids play area and food facilities. Amazing photo opportunities await around every corner in the park. Share your memories with friends and family. After visiting the Lion and Safari Park, continue to the Cradle of Humankind Sterkfontein Caves, here you can see the oldest hominid fossils from the cradle which are more than 3 million years old. Visit the exhibition centre, which showcases geological concepts such as cave formations and fossils of early life form. It is highly interactive and enjoyable, and will engage visitors off all ages.

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 247 reviews

This was an amazing tour of Soweto made special by our excellent guide "Rambo", who was very knowledgeable and cheerful. The tour was brilliant mix of informative, serious and fun and leaves nothing out. Bicycles are brand new and work well on the slight inclines of Soweto. Inspiring tour.

Samuel Abel was a very able n personable guide. He knew his subject well and made the afternoon fun and memorable. Thank you for the hospitality.

It was a very fantastic tour. The tour guide was very friendly and informative.

Was eye opening and very informative. The guide was friendly and accommodating.

Very nice driver! Flexible tour aligned to our wishes.