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What travellers are saying
- There is so much information to absorb here and much of it very emotional, but an excellent stop and kind of a must do while in Johannesburg.Written 7 August 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- I am almost always happy with my travels on the Gautrain. The train is always clean, the stations are immaculate, the staff helpful and professional. The train pretty much arrives on time and one can get to your destination on time without having to deal with traffic. The greatest pleasure is to be "whishing" by faster than the cars on the freeway.
The challenge with the Gautrain is to know what kind of transport one can get at the station you arrive at. I have found that while the buses are good, well managed and have good drivers that to rely on the buses is potentially problematic (there are no buses on the weekends, there are road blocks and strikes..). I then tend to rely on Uber but at some stations the Uber drivers cannot park close to the station due to vandalism by the taxi drivers, Sandton and Hatfield are particularly bad in this regard. If you are "in the know" you can walk a few blocks from these stations and still get an Uber but this is not ideal for the uninitiated.
I think that it would be great if the walkways from the stations were nicer - Sandton shopping center is close to the station but the five minute walk to the shops not wonderful. Rosebank is good in this respect and this was the reason I chose to go to Rosebank on this trip as I had my granddaughter with me. She and a friend and the friends mother. We went to Rosbank for coffee and cake. Kids had not been on the train before - so this was very exciting. Staff on the train were very kind to the kids.Written 24 July 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Really quite a modest-sized house consisting of about 4 rooms which can all be covered by a quick walk-around (except for yes stopping to see the displays), I couldn't help but think though that this very house was "the place" where many of the important decisions of the country's apartheid struggle were made for "about 3 decades" (the entire 1950's when both Nelson & Winnie Mandela resided here up to the early 60's when Nelson Mandela was taken away to prison but his wife & family continued living here all the way through the 70's when Winnie Mandela went through some prison time herself & house arrests right in this house for her role as an apartheid activist). So yes, pretty worthwhile I would say was "getting a feel" of maybe not the whole but a big part of that "defining period" of the country's history (from the post-WW2 to when the Apartheid finally came to an end in the early 90's) by going through the displays from enlarged photos to printed lines on the walls to inscriptions (of some "important years" of the Mandela family) actually outside the house on some bricks of the fence around the yard which is all concrete-covered ground on both front & back sides.
On a "fairly vibrant" stretch of Vilakazi Street (likely just a regular quiet street away from this site though), the visit here also included: a photo-op with a small group of Zulu performers (just outside the front gate after coming back out); getting some nice "souvenirs of Johannesburg" from the shop on the street (pretty much just to the left after coming out); and also getting a "small glimpse" of Archbishop Tutu's house (by going a little further down the street past the souvenir shop as just mentioned). Just somewhat of an inconvenience about this site is its distance from the city center (about a 45-minute taxi ride from the Constitution Hill where I was during the first half of the day going around that fort-prison complex including the walk above the ramparts with some nice views of the city).Written 22 July 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- As a South African, I brought my partner from New Zealand to Soweto on his very first trip to South Africa this August. Outside of the Hector Pieterson Memorial we stumbled across a volunteer/guide by the name of Poloko. He explained in amazing detail the history of Soweto and the events of the 1976 shootings/protests. He was extremely friendly, kind, jovial and knowledgeable on not only the story of Hector Pieterson, but went above and beyond and took us on a personal walk around tour of the Vilikazi Precinct and surrounds. Poloko taught my partner some local Sowetan slang like "shap" and "yebo" to use to greet the locals back as we walked through the streets. In total, Poloko spent about 2.5 hours giving us his undivided attention and valuable firsthand knowledge on the history of Soweto. We journeyed from the Hector Pieterson Memorial, to the spot where he was shot, to Mandela House and finally ending at Archbishop Tutu's house. Poloko took great photos of us walking Vilakazi Street and taking in the vibe of Soweto. What an amazing, memorable and emotional experience that was only amplified by Poloko's superb hospitality.
Soweto was amazing, and I would highly recommend contacting Poloko for the best possible experience. His details are +27 73 151 7270.Written 5 August 2022
- The memorial is very compelling. It was helpful to have a guide who was able to explain the meaning of the running water. A humbling place.Written 13 May 2022
- Very good value for money at this family friendly theme park. No lines, well maintained, friendly staff. I thoroughly enjoyable experience. Will be backWritten 8 May 2022
- I visited The Playground on a beautiful sunny day, as you walk in you can feel the energy from inside the venue humming out. The playground truly is a feast for the eyes, mouth and soul with amazing murals, great food and a vibey bar area.Written 2 March 2022
- A "fort-prison" complex as it once was (now consisting of "3 areas" to see namely No. 4/No. 5 Prisons, the Old Fort & the Women's Prison), the "best part" of my visit here was the walk above the ramparts of the Old Fort on pretty much all four sides of its square-shaped grounds (except on one side with an off-limit stretch of that rampart) with pretty nice views of the Fort right below & the surrounding parts of the city ("quite a bit to the distance" to see) and where are also two "historic cannons" (one of them actually just the way it has been or a similar one having been "on the same spot" since the days of the Boer War over a hundred years ago). In any case, spread out over this "sprawling site" (which covers the three areas & the in-between areas for just short walks from one area to another) are: a number of "museum-like rooms" most notably the room with displays of Gandhi during the time he lived in South Africa (at No. 4/No. 5) & the cell of Mandela during his short stay at this prison before being transferred to Cape Town (at the Old Fort where the cells were usually only for white males); some parts where a "feel of prison" can be felt such as the row of "isolation cells" (all the way at the back of No. 4/No. 5) & the row of "individual cells" for white male prisoners (at the Old Fort); and yes actually somewhat of a surprise I would say being the "lovely garden" (at the Women's Prison). And so, with plenty of items on display in all three areas (mostly "enlarged photos" with their corresponding info texts but also many miscellaneous including some of these interesting "blanket sculptures" seen in some rooms at No. 4/No. 5 likely replicas of those made by the inmates back then), I did actually learn at this site "quite a bit" not just about the life of prisoners here in its operating days but also about those periods of colonial followed by apartheid in the country's history and actually also somewhat of the Boer War (from the info plates above the ramparts of the Old Fort).
At just a pretty short taxi ride from the Houghton area where I stayed, this site was followed by Mandela's house in Soweto (a compact-sized house museum for way less time needed than this big site although yes it was a long ride of 45 minutes or so getting there from this site at the city center).Written 17 July 2022
- Walk from Tutu's house to Mandela's house and experience this historical street. There's a lot of poverty still in Soweto, and it's sad that for many, not much has changed since democracy has come :(Written 29 March 2021
- We explored the neighbourhood with a guided walking tour, and hugely enjoyed the many beautiful murals and street art in this colourful re-developed neighbourhood.Written 25 May 2022
- A great museum with a surprising amount to see - cannons, planes, submarines - all sorts of things. We spent 2 hours there, and could have spent longer (bypassed some of the photos, and smaller exhibits) but left because we were doing the zoo (next door) in the same afternoon. Would well recommend.Written 8 April 2022
- We caught an Uber to the Military Museum next door, and after doing that, came to the zoo, to make a complete day out. Plenty to see, and the animals have nice big enclosures, and in a lot of cases moats/walls surrounding, so you're not looking through wire fences. Plenty of grassy space to sit / picnic too. At the end, we struggled to get an Uber back as they'd gone on strike, and the zoo was about to close, and we didn't know the phone numbers for any local taxi firms, but the staff at the golf buggy hire station were incredibly helpful, arranging a car for us, and making sure the driver knew where to take us and that we knew what the fare would be. They were so wonderful, at a time when we were starting to get a bit desperate, really appreciated them.Written 8 April 2022
- For a city park, this site is huge (circumference 5km if you include the sports facilities). Moreover, there is a lot of variety in scenery, though English landscape style is dominant. A stream is cutting right through the whole length of the park. Some sections almost resemble forest. Grassy areas provide a sense of openess. There is a rose garden and a lake near Emmarentia dam towards the northeast side suitable for watersports such as kayaking.
The whole park area is fenced and there is security. The main entry point is near the dam (north side). There are smaller gates on the west and east side, but not towards the south (inconvenient for pedestrians like me coming from Melville). Near the gates are parking lots used by most visitors who arrive by car.
The reason I got quite enthusiastic about this park is you can move around in a relatively safe environment. Rather essential after being mugged in Joburg cbd.Written 5 February 2022
- By all means visit Soweto and challenge old stereotypes. Recommend the excellent Mandy Imbizo Tours, run by a local.Written 8 June 2022
- Enjoyed a great Sunday afternoon eating, drinking and buying all kinds of local crafts. This is a must visit if you are looking for a fun Sunday morning or afternoon. The Market on Main closes at 4:30 but there are plenty of other places in the neighborhood that stay open later.Written 3 February 2021