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Advisable to stay in Soweto?

Chicago, Illinois
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134 posts
36 reviews
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Advisable to stay in Soweto?

My husband & I are doing our 2 1/2 week dream trip to South Africa in a few months...we are so excited! Other people who have been to Jo-Burg & a friend who did a medical school volunteer rotation in Jo-Burg for the summer have advised us against staying in Soweto due to safety concerns & recommend Sandton & Rosebank instead. We only have 2 nights in Jo-Burg (spending the rest of our trip in Cape Town & on a private reserve in Sabi Sands) and I really want to stay at the Soweto Hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn Soweto) b/c all the sights we want to see are in the area - Apartheid Museum, township tour, Hector Pieterson museum, Wandie's, etc. We feel it would be a good cultural experience & that's really all we're interested in.

Would there be any reasons not to stay in Soweto? The hotel seems really nice, and we figure we could just call cabs to take us around if we need to go out at night. We are safety-minded & use common sense when in a new place, but not paranoid about it, as we have travelled to Thailand, Cambodia, all over Central America, Peru and felt as safe, if not safer, than some parts of the US. Any input would be much appreciated!

12 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia
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11. Re: Advisable to stay in Soweto?

Hello. I wanted to reach out to you regarding your trip to SA. My best friend and I are going to SA June 30th through July 15th. And we to wanted to go to Jo-Berg and visit Soweto. Please let me know how the trip was and any advice. Thank you!

Chicago, Illinois
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134 posts
36 reviews
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12. Re: Advisable to stay in Soweto?

Hello! I wrote a trip report a couple of weeks ago, please see link below.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293740-i9186-k546…

We had the best time on our trip. We did say in Soweto at the Soweto Hotel for 2 nights. Also wrote a review under the Hotels section. While the hotel is perfectly fine & very nice & the staff tries hard, I probably would not stay there again due to service issues, but would stay perhaps in Sandton or Rosebank or Melrose.

As far as Soweto itself goes, we had a great time & you should definitely visit. We did the Lebo's half day bicycle tour, which was a unique way to see Soweto, plus get some exercise in! We felt safe & walked around a little bit during the day, but didn't go out at night, mostly b/c we both had colds & were exhausted.

The Apartheid Museum, which is not in Soweto but is a short (maybe 10 minutes) cab ride away, was a must-do for us. I read that most people said to allow 2 1/2 hrs to walk through it, but it took us 4 hrs & that was rushing thru the last part of it b/c we had to catch our flight back to the US.

Hope you have a great time! We fell in love with the country!

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