Did you know?
Present-day Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto was originally built for convalescing British and Commonwealth soldiers.
International and local travel professionals attending South Africa's Indaba 2012 travel and tourism expo were the first to experience Sowetoo, a group initiative launched by 7 innovative township tourism operators from Soweto.
Sowetoo built their Indaba stall to look like a Soweto spaza shop – an informal South African trading store – stocking not the usual food and drink staples, but filled with products from the operators' various companies. Sowetoo’s spaza shop was a great hit with Indaba visitors.
Kgomotso Pooe, 1 of Soweto's most enterprising young entrepreneurs who heads up Sowetoo and Soweto Outdoor Adventures, explains that the idea is to offer visitors as comprehensive a tourism experience as possible, with activities ranging from quad biking and bicycle tours to historic tours, arts & craft experiences and birdwatching.
The award-winning Roots Restaurant & Gallery is also under the Sowetoo umbrella. The art gallery at Roots, the first of its kind in Soweto, is the place to find township art from all over South Africa. It's also a great place for food and live entertainment.
Create your own ethnic souvenirs at Mahlatsi Arts & Crafts, hop on a bike or take a walking tour to historic Kliptown where, in 1955, the historic Freedom Charter, the basis for South Africa’s constitution, was signed in a dusty field, now a national heritage site. Aahaah Shuttle & Tours will guide you around historic and cultural sites and introduce you to authentic township cuisine and culture.
After a busy day, come to roost for the night in the Soweto Hotel & Conference Centre, overlooking Freedom Square, or in a friendly township B&B.