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Embark On A Township Eco-Friendly Train Tour
Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa
Get an authentic community experience in Cape Town’s oldest township, Langa, while enjoying an eco-friendly train adventure on your way there – and the best news is, CapeTownMagazine readers get a 10% discount, thanks to tour operator Camissa Travel & Marketing.
Aimed at energetic visitors who want to genuinely give back to, not just look at, the Cape’s bustling informal settlements, this one-of-a-kind outing combines just the right amount of cultural and historical insight with dashes of volunteer work and green tourism.
GET ABOARD A TRAIN
For starters, on board the train, you’ll get a real sense of the everyday travel journey of Langa community members, and you’ll contribute to saving the planet from further harm by taking advantage of public transportation.
You won’t receive special treatment or first-class frills, instead, you’ll sit with your guide amid the colourful conversations and vibrant gesturing of the regular passengers. Along the way, your host for the day will start to unpack your destination’s past, present and potential future.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY IN LANGA
First stop: The Langa Station, where meat markets, curio bazaars, liquor stores, hair salons and spaza shops spill out from the mouth of the transportation hub onto the suburb’s streets. From here, you’ll walk to the Sinebhongo Community Garden to get your hands dirty – in a good way.
The people that power this inspiring initiative cultivate fruits and veggies for their own livelihood but also to prepare meals for the ill, elderly, needy and unemployed. It’s here that the opportunity to pitch in and work the garden or help out in the kitchen presents itself.
TAKE A WALK THROUGH A TOWNSHIP
After that, you’ll continue to explore the lanes and ways of Langa on foot, an environmentally-friendly method of travel that makes you feel more like a local and less like a tourist on a township safari. Along the route, you’ll get a glimpse of what life was like during apartheid via the Langa Museum and the Langa Pass Court and Office, an administrative centre that used to control the movement of black individuals before democracy.
You’ll also traipse by a number of different types of local housing: derelict shacks sidle up to modest family units, which give way to sizeable homes complete with satellite television and double car parks.
The tour also includes a sobering look at the desperately destitute Joe Slovo squatter camp, which has over 20 000 residents and was named after former housing minister and anti-apartheid activist, Joe Slovo.
TASTE THE LOCAL CUISINE
And finally, you’ll break bread in a traditional eatery. The more explorative can tuck into a mini buffet featuring local staples such as samp, beans, chakalaka and pap, while the more finicky eaters can find some comfort in a few typically Western-influenced menu options.
The day draws to a close with another train ride home and a friendly “hamba kakuhle”, a farewell that means “go well” in isiXhosa.
PRICING AND BOOKING INFO FOR THE CAMISSA ECO-FRIENDLY TRAIN TOWNSHIP TOUR SPECIAL
This tour is available at a special rate for CapeTownMagazine.com readers. The excursion is normally priced at R605 for adults and R302,50 for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years, but CapeTownMagazine.com readers get a 10% discount.
The adventure starts around 9am when patrons are expected to meet at Cape Town station and ends at around 1pm, when patrons will return to Cape Town station. To book, contact Camissa on +27 (0)21 555 2581.
Also, read about Camissa’s Sunday gospel tours.
Maybe you’d also like to spend the night at a Langa bed and breakfast, or hang out at a Langa coffee shop.
Why not see Robben Island from the air with a Cape Town helicopter trip.
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