Charley Boorman Log- Day 34

July 17, 2012

IMG_0394In which Charley visits the townships of Soweto with Intrepid Travel.

Johannesburg is a large, modern city but what you may not realise is that it harbours what amounts to a second city on it’s outskirts – Soweto.

This South Western Township (from which the area gets its name) has fairly dark origins as with most townships, but today it contains shopping malls, schools and some well-to-do middle class neighbourhoods.

You’ll also find areas of poverty, numerous monuments to it’s troubled history and as with any city, you sometimes have to keep your wits about you but despite this, the residents are friendly and proud of where they come from, as I discovered as we took a bicycle ride around the Township with our friends from Intrepid.

IMG_9441Kids and even grown men would line the street for a high-five as we passed and I got to sample the local beer (popular but not recommended) and cooking (really good). I even joined in with a game some of the children were playing involving tops, string & standing well clear!

Soweto may not be on many visitor’s list of places to visit here but it’s importance to modern South Africa (Nelson Mandella and Archbishop Desmond Tutu also grew up here) as well it’s embodiment of this countries rich contrasts make it well worth seeing.

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