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“Just do it...or do it again!”

Soweto Bicycle Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Onalaska, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Just do it...or do it again!”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

If you are on the fence about this, just do it, it is definitely worth it. Our tour guide (Love) was very charismatic and had lots of information to share. You ride through the town (I never felt unsafe) and will meet many children who aren't trying to sell you anything, they just want a high-five! The four hour tour was perfect for us. The best South African experience I have had, and I'd do it again.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank bziolek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Informative, fun with a bit of exercise thrown in”
Reviewed March 6, 2014 via mobile

The guide was very good, we felt safe whilst touring every facet of Soweto to get a good picture of life there. There are a few hills to navigate, down, and up!!, but there are stops to give you a minute to recover. Would recommend taking water, and small change (for street performers, stalls etc) and /or sweets and fruit for the children along the way. Highly recommend...

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
81 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Informative and unique experience”
Reviewed February 5, 2014

this tour was recommended to us, and I checked on Trip Advisor and based on mostly positive reviews went ahead and booked.
The organisers did a good job booking us in for the 3pm tour, and they actually came to pick us up from the Apartheid Museum about 20 mins away. I did confirm that morning, and glad I did as the pickup was booked for 4 and there were 8 of us but it was all fine.
The bikes were adequate for the purpose, as there aren't many hills and only one or two that are a bit steep.
We visited a shebeen and drank local beer with some locals, and our guide took us into a couple of different homes (one room home of a gentleman living in the subdivided old hostel area in very harsh conditions as well as a home where a young girl lived and had loving decorated - she is raising money for the children of the area) to see living conditions. Soweto ranges from abject poverty (raw sewage streaming from a communal toilet, with kids and chickens playing right next to it) to more reasonable housing.
The children were so friendly and happy to see us, we gave them a soccer ball and sweets, and all along the journey they were "high-fiving" and calling out hello to us.
It's clear that despite the enormous unemployment, conditions have improved in some cases - education is the answer, as Mandela always said. (We noticed on our drives out of Jo'burg that there were many more "townships" that looked appallingly poverty-stricken, more so than Soweto, but you wouldn't venture into them!)
We visited the Hector Pietersen memorial which was moving beyond belief, and Mandelas house (I was surprised at how seemingly modern and reasonably sized and solid it was, but it was rebuilt after a fire so not the original house, tho he did spend time there).
Our guide was friendly and knowledgable, and shared some great insights into the varied life of Soweto residents. The workers hostels could barely be called accommodation and were little more than a concrete bed and communal kitchen - a further indictment on the cruelty of the companies which employed these workers for a pittance.
All in all would highly recommend, it was great for our boys to see these conditions and understand the privileged life they lead, and to see people with so little and yet whom are so happy.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank kibrannan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Brilliant experience!”
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

We found this tour on trip advisor. Don't worry about the negative reviews, if you plan this visit properly they will look after you perfectly. By all means confirm everything by email and/or phone as I did and once you get there everything is efficient and well managed. If you go expecting brand new bikes with all the mod cons do something else - if you want some real insights into the history of this troubled yet transforming part of Sth Africa, then you will get everything you need. If you want to see only tin shacks and people living in poverty (as one other poster to this forum said) then the Soweto tour is not for you....this tour had the perfect balance of past, present and future with a knowledgable, friendly and warm tour guide (thanks Thambo!). We went as a family (2 kids with us) and felt safe and well looked after. The people of Soweto are friendly and welcoming. We chose to drive ourselves there...with a GPS it's easy but be aware that once you reach Soweto the GPS needs some human intervention (like reading well posted signs directing you to Soweto Backpackers). Go with an open mind and limit your expectations....they will quickly be exceeded!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank dantman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience.”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

This is a must do tour for anybody visiting Johannesburg. Soweto is a more upper-class Township than many others you will see in Africa, but it's diversity is incredible. None the less you will see and visit parts of the township that other tourists don't get to visit; the people are incredibly friendly and if you're lucky you'll have 3 or 4 local children try and jump on your bicycle (very safe and they are very light).

Would recommend the 4 day tour as this one is long enough - the Full Day will just includes visits to some museums you're able to do yourself afterwards.

Our tour guide was exceptional and answered all of our (some times difficult) questions with ease.
Tours like these are the reason to visit Joburg, it is a misunderstood city with an immense amount of culture, energy and diversity.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank GarethMorkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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