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A Melting Pot of Intriguing Township Communities Awaits

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A Melting Pot of Intriguing Township Communities Awaits

Township day tours uncovered in Cape Town and Surrounds

Over three million Capetonians reside in high density, low income areas. Despite this, the townships are a melting pot of intriguing communities that have fast evolved over the last 15 years. Whilst visiting Cape Town, traditional healers, initiation ceremonies, traditional black South African culture and the spirit of ubuntu hospitality is a life changing experience that will help you to leave preconceptions firmly at the door. Book a full or half day township tour with a local or expert tour guide and discover lifestyles, hopes, dreams and captivating stories.

Discovering history and culture in the townships

Take a leisurely, full day walking tour through the township of Langa (just a 15 minute drive from Cape Town) to learn about the lifestyles, struggles and victories of township residents. Your local guide will transport you to Langa by mini bus taxi, to visit the market, a crèche school, a local shebeen and to have lunch at legendary grill, Mzoli’s (Vuvu’s Small Shack | +27 (0) 727155721). A budget option is to take a walking tour of Langa with young guides at the environmental resource centre, which lasts around 40-50 minutes. The Tsoga Environmental Resource Centre located in Washington Street is responsible for organising programs to improve the lives of township youngsters (Tsoga Tours | +27 (0) 21 - 6949106).

Embark on an interactive bicycle tour through the township of Masiphumelele (close to Noordhoek on the Cape Peninsula). Your accredited tour guide will take you to visit a traditional healer, a vibrant gospel church service and a pre-school. Your tour includes tea and snacks at an African home and they’ll even pick you up from your hotel. Awol provides vital two-wheeled transport for locals and jobs for tour guides (AWOL & BEN Bicycle Township Tours | +27 (0)21 418 3803


Ever wondered why the townships were created in the first place? Take a half day, budget walking tour through the township of Langa, the oldest black township in Cape Town, to discover; how people lived, how the township expanded, progress that has been made and progress that has yet to be made. Your tour includes visits to social projects such as, Arts and Culture Centre Gugu Sthebe (Cape Capers Tours | +27 (0) 83 – 3580193). More Cape Capers Tours

Why not take an interactive, half day tour to the township of Nyanga (15 minutes drive from Cape Town)? Your personal guide will drive you in their own car, to introduce you to a bustling community in which people work, children play and futures are created. The tour makes interesting comparisons with the reunion of East/West Germany and South Africa’s abolishment of Apartheid (Ukubona Africa Tours | +27 (0) 83 – 5213390). Read more about Jasmin Johnson’s Thoughtful Township Tours

An exclusive, private day tour will offer great insight into the complexities of Cape Town, in the aftermath of Apartheid. Your knowledgeable guide will transport you through District Six (the multi-ethnic suburb demolished during Apartheid), the townships of Bonteheuwal and Gugulethu; and finally to historical sights including, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial and the Amy Biehl Memorial (Hylton Ross Exclusive Touring | +27 (0) 21 - 5111784).

Join a local spiritual healer for an introduction to local herbalist shops and to meet the traditional healers who are an integral part of cultural heritage in the townships. It’s a great opportunity to see the spiritual side of South Africa flourishing in an urban setting (Pure Pondo Adventures | +27 (0) 723029489).

Discovering the arts in the townships

The spirit of ubuntu (a welcoming nature), can particularly be felt when townships erupt into gospel song at their local church. Your guide will take you on an unforgettable, half day gospel experience where you may enjoy a vibrant Sunday church service and a moving South African gospel congregation (Camissa |+27 (0) 21 - 4626199). Read more about Township Tours with the Sound of Gospel

For a unique township experience, opt for an evening of storytelling. Your tour guide will transport you to the homes of two township locals. You are invited into their personal space, with a helping of traditional South African food, and presented with a unique opportunity to share stories and discover more about each other as people (Coffee Beans Routes | +27 (0) 21 - 4243572). Read more for a Unique Insight into Life in Cape Town

Discovering traditional South African food in the townships

An evening cultural experience with traditional African food and music at Imizamo Yethu Township, in Hout Bay, is an opportunity for you to tuck into a hearty African dinner, during a fun filled evening with African music, dancing and plenty of partying with the locals. Proceeds go to community projects such as, African choirs (Dinner at Mandela’s | +27 (0) 21 - 7905817).

Alternatively, you could take a half day, African cooking safari through the township of Kayamandi, in Stellenbosch. A guided walk takes you to private homes and kitchens that reveal the secret to black African cooking. Buy your ingredients from spaza shops, whilst walking; then sit back whilst a professional chef whips up a culinary treat. You can even participate in preparing your meal (Andulela Tours | +27 (0) 21 - 7902592).

Discovering sports in the townships

Up for a sporty challenge? Opt for a half day tour with a sporting difference, playing soccer with local youths in Langa. It’s a way to meet some inspirational people from diverse backgrounds who are eager to share their love of the beautiful game. Your tour includes a historical tour of District Six and a walking township tour (Camissa |+27 (0) 21 - 4626199). Read more about Soccer – Township Style

Why not take a full day trip? Not only can you play a game of soccer with the locals in Gugulethu (15 minutes drive from Cape Town), but learn African art and sample local food at a township hang-out, accompanied by a friendly tour guide. These memorable tours can be tailor-made to suit your needs and a percentage of profits goes to local sport development projects (Ferdinands Tours & Adventures | +27 (0) 21 - 9878888).

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing this overview of great township tours with you and hope that you’ll enjoy them equally. If you enjoyed this overview and are looking for more excursions in Cape Town, be sure to read our overviews of Adventure Day Tours, Cultural Day Tours and Winelands Day Tours.

There's plenty more to experience in the townships. Why not visit popular grill Mzoli's or learn about the Spirit of Ubuntu?

By Lisa Nevitt

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