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Safe to stay in a Soweto Guest House?

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Safe to stay in a Soweto Guest House?

My husband and I are traveling to South Africa and want to stay in Soweto for 2 nights. We found a few nice guest houses but have been reading that going into Spweto alone is not advisable. Is that just for tours/sight seeing? WIll be ok if we are actually staying there? Any advice would be great, thx!

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1. Re: Safe to stay in a Soweto Guest House?

I spent three nights in Soweto last month, at Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers in Orlando West. I felt, and was, safe the entire time. Soweto is huge and varied. I’m sure it would be highly inadvisable to travel to some parts of Soweto on your own; others are fine. I could walk safely from my hostel to the nearby spaza shops and tourist spots, but always ran my plans past staff first. I would suspect that most guesthouses and bed and breakfasts in Soweto are in safe areas, and your hosts should be more than glad to advise you on where you should and shouldn’t go. I reassured myself before my trip by searching the web for reviews of Lebo’s, checking guide books, and e-mailing the hostel to get some sense of the level of service.

Will you be driving into Soweto? That might be tricky simply because it is so large, and the streets are often unmarked. I’m not sure I would have felt comfortable trying to navigate the streets (I arranged a transfer through the hostel), but other guests did arrive by car. I may just be a particularly skittish driver.

I would recommend taking a tour if you can, just to get more context and history and cover more ground. Lebo’s offers great bike and walking tours: www.sowetobackpackers.com/things-to-do.html and I’m sure your guesthouse could recommend someone as well.

Staying in Soweto, though, offers so much more than a tour. It was great to watch the children walking to and from school and hear them playing at night. I absolutely loved my time in Soweto. My pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/25804015@N00/sets/72157622653534057/ can give you some sense of how friendly the people were. Most of the pictures were taken at the park across from the hostel. The later ones, after the tent church, were taken during a walking tour with Lebo’s.

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2. Re: Safe to stay in a Soweto Guest House?

Thanks for your response! Very helpful!

3. Re: Safe to stay in a Soweto Guest House?

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