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Township tourism is a burgeoning sector in the tourism industry, with experiences tapping into the heritage and cultural grassroots of local communities. Soweto Outdoor Adventures brings visitors into the heart of Soweto, in South Africa’s Gauteng province.
The adventure activity provider offers visitors the opportunity to experience Soweto from a local’s perspective – travelling the back streets, exploring well-known neighbourhoods, and enjoying the eateries, nightclubs and a four-star hotel alongside its traditional venues. Working closely with the local community, Soweto Outdoor Adventures aims to empower local businesses and the community to “give outsiders a unique view into the real Soweto and [allow] our visitors to experience a truly exceptional grassroots tour of South Africa’s most popular township turned city”.
“We offer customised tours and tailor-made itineraries for tourists as per clients’ needs,” said the tour operator, which, in March also launched a driving experience in a ‘mean machine’, which takes passengers from shebeens to umkhukhu (shacks), tasting everything from magwinya (fat cakes) to dikota (bunny chow).
A number of Soweto tours offer tourists the opportunity to experience Soweto in different ways, from hop-on, hop-off taxies to buses and quad bikes.
Quad biking tours travel through some of Soweto’s squatter camps, down the famous Vilakazi Street where Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela lived, with various packages and ride durations to suit specific requirements.
A track laid out through Soweto’s streets brings entertainment and team events to life with a go karting experience. Teams are able to have relays while enjoying a real South African braai (barbecue).
Visitors can experience Soweto through various nature and adventure activities, camp fires, concerts, township-indigenous games and hiking, and Stalk the Lantern – a game inspired by the army, where participants play in the dark in camouflage, shining a flashlight on other players to disqualify them from the game, with the aim of getting as close to the lantern as possible.
Various paintball activities are offered across three fields.
A rock climbing wall stretches up the western FNB tower, filled with big grips to make for a fun and effortless climb.