Soweto with its vibrant culture and rich history has become a hub for tourists and Joburg natives alike. There are many ways to explore the area but I think the most exciting way is on a bicycle. There are few better feelings than feeling the wind tickle your face as you cruise down the streets.
Lebo’s Backpackers is a fantastic tour organiser that gives you an all-round experience whether you choose to do the 2-hour tour or go with the 4-hour option.
The tour guides are incredibly friendly and will get you hyped for the cycle even if you aren’t the most avid cyclist. The best part is that they are from Soweto so they know all there is to know and will take you to some of the best spots.
I opted for the 2-hour tour (this was a time thing not a fitness thing, I promise). Before hopping on the bikes we had a home-grown meal of “Bunny chow” (this is included in the tour as part of the experience).
The funny thing is this delicious dish has nothing to with bunnies, it is stew served in a piece of fresh bread. The food is prepared over a fire in black pots called “potjie pots” which gives the stew a distinct flavour.
After I stuffed my face I got a breakdown from one of the instructors, Thando, on the rules and the course of the tour, then I chose my bicycle and my helmet which took me longer than it probably should but there were so many different bicycles to choose from. In the end, I went with a red cruiser which made me feel cool.
The ride is leisurely allowing you to take in your surroundings and wave to the kids as they shout hello. We stopped at many historical and cultural sites where the tour guide gave us insight into Soweto’s past and personality.
Some of the stops we made were at the Hector Pieterson memorial which commemorates the 1976 youth uprising, Nelson Mandela’s former home, the renowned Vilikazi street, the homes of actress Abigail Kubeka and the Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, as well as The Shack which is a local shebeen.