Any tour of Soweto is not a township tour in the traditional sense, as Soweto is much more a (relatively affluent) suburb these days than an informal settlement. The houses are permanent, well-constructed and well-tended and there is a thriving community and growing economy here. So your tour of Soweto is much more about the culture and history of the place, and there is plenty of that to see. One of the defining places in the struggle against apartheid, Soweto boasts the only street in the world home to two Nobel Laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a key part of the cycle tour. You’ll also visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial, where you learn about the 1976 Soweto Uprising. But the tour is also forward looking, with stops outside the highly decorative residence of famous opera singer Abigail Khubeka, and looking out over the Orlando Pirates football stadium, site of the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
By cycling rather than taking a car, you interact much more with Soweto and her people, who are always ready to exchange greetings and have a chat. There’s also the chance to sample traditional street food, which is much tasty than you might at first imagine! The tour concludes where you began, at Lebo’s Backpackers, a Soweto institution where Lebo has been welcoming international visitors since 1999; you bid farewell to your guide and fellow cyclists with a calabash of traditional beer.