Soweto

First established in the early years of the twentieth century, Soweto South Africa later became the residence of black South Africans forced to live outside the city. It is now the most populous black urban community in the country and is the birthplace of the illustrious Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as home to the largest hospital in the world. Visitors to Johannesburg should include this township on their list of things to do in South Africa, especially if they're interested in learning more about the country's complex history.

While resembling the charming African names of other attractions in the country, Soweto is actually an acronym for South West Townships; in 1963, the acronym was officially adopted as the township name. Despite the history of Soweto and the poverty in the area, the people have managed to build a solid community conducive to growth. In the early 1900s, the plague spread through like wildfire the inner slums of Johannesburg, causing a need for new residential areas.

The outer townships, including Soweto, were erected as evacuation camps for the black citizens who were forced out of Johannesburg. The celebrated civil rights advocate and Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela was raised here until his arrest and imprisonment on Robben Island; he ultimately became president of South Africa. His home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West has become a museum honoring his great deeds and suffering.

The inhabitants of Soweto, inspired by the events in history, work together to improve the community’s backbone and inner strength as well as outward attraction for residents and visitors. Soweto South Africa shows the symbols of poverty in combination with growth and improvement of a once-oppressed population. One great way to experience the township is to take a Soweto tour, on which visitors will learn about the famous Soweto Uprising, along with seeing the homes of Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as the Chris Hani Bhargwanath Hospital, the largest in the world.

Along with all of these attractions, tourists will understand the history and life of Soweto through the people. Travelers interested in a Soweto tour can often book a trip in Johannesburg at a tourist office or at their hotel. To ensure a safe Soweto tour, visitors should contact tour offices that are registered with SATSA, the South Africa Tourism Services Association.

Built quite literally from the ground up, both physically and as a community, Soweto is a great stop for anyone on a South Africa vacation who wants to learn more about the country's history, culture, and tradition. By and large, Soweto South Africa is an intriguing and charming place to visit with a complicated story that will teach travelers travelers a great deal about the town and about life in the region during their visit.

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