8 June 2012

So We Too – a new 24-hour Soweto experience

Seven young Soweto entrepreneurs have joined together to create a memorable 24-hour Soweto experience that showcases the fun, culture and adventure aspects of this vibrant township.

Raymond Rampolokeng, owner of Bay of Grace Tours, is part of the So We Too initiative. Raymond Rampolokeng, owner of Bay of Grace Tours, is part of the So We Too initiative.

TEP urges South Africans to discover the wealth of people, places and experiences that surrounds them. We want the world to come and experience South African Hidden Treasures, hear their stories, enjoy their food, listen to their music and get to the heart and soul of what makes this country so special. - Dr Salifou Siddo, TEP CEO.

So We Too was launched at INDABA 2012, Africa’s premier travel trade show, with the support of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP).

The 24-hour So We Too experience is jam-packed with activities, from listening to the soothing sounds of jazz music at the Soweto Hotel (the only 4-star hotel in the township) to seeing Soweto’s historical highlights on a guided tour.

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, quad biking through Soweto’s suburbs is a thrilling way to explore the backstreets and alleys, and mingle with the locals.

You’ll also be taken on a cycle tour of Kliptown and learn about its fascinating history. You’ll craft your own special ethnic memento to take away with you, and enjoy a birding safari and picnic along the dam. 

You can also sample traditional African brew at a Soweto shebeen, and get down to some festive township partying while enjoying delicious township cuisine at a local restraurant.

The idea of So We Too started after TEP suggested that the 7 entrepreneurs, who are all TEP Hidden Treasures, network, package and market their products together.

TEP Hidden Treasures is a local tourism initiative. It supports unique small crafts and tourism experiences that provide visitors with an authentic taste of South Africa’s rich and varied history and culture. Today more than 170 TEP Hidden Treasures are showcased nationally.

Reggie Makhetha, owner of Roots Restaurant & Gallery, says: ‘With the package that we’ve put together, people get to experience the real Soweto. They get out onto the streets, see different places and interact with the local community.’

Raymond Rampolokeng, owner of Bay of Grace Tours, said he'd like to take his business to another level by gaining access to the international markets. 'However, I need to be a champion of Soweto first and So We Too is giving me a platform to do that,' he said.

The members of So We Too are:
Aahaah Shuttle & Tours - it offers guided tours and provides relevant information about the history and cuisine of Soweto, exposing tourists to the true township culture and lifestyle.
Bay of Grace Tours takes visitors on a birding experience - the first of its kind in Soweto.
Mahlatsi Arts and Crafts shows tourists how to make their own ethnic souvenirs.
Roots Restaurant & Gallery fuses creative township food with art and music.
Soweto Outdoor Adventures offers quad bike adventures through the streets of Soweto.
The Soweto Hotel mixes heritage with a relaxed haven in the heart of Soweto. The 48 stylishly decorated bedrooms are all themed around the jazzy 1950s and unsung heroes of South Africa’s liberation struggle.
TKD Tours offers bicycle and walking tours around historic Kliptown.