visit a Township in Cape town
Township tours : from ZAR 695 p.p.
Includes: Guided township tour, refreshments
As soon as they leave the airport, visitors to the Mother City are greeted – and often, deeply struck - by a quintessentially South African sight. It’s not the postcard-perfect view of Table Mountain looming in the distance, nor is it the vaulting blue skies and the African sun. It’s the acres upon acres of township shacks that flank the highway, composing the outskirts of one of the many informal settlements that still house a huge proportion of the country’s population.
On our Township Tours, we invite you to do more than simply drive past. Confronting the often harsh reality of day-to-day life in these areas can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, the majority of our guests remember their township experience as one of the most memorable and valuable features of their visit to Cape Town.
Known as “shanty towns” in other parts of the world, and once called “squatter camps” here at home, the Townships are a part of South Africa that some prefer to ignore, and others are content to call home. They are the residence of the poorer communities; those shoved aside during the apartheid era, and those who continue to pour into the cities on their hunt for work, a home and a future.
The drab exteriors of township dwellings conceal histories so tragic and glorious that they are often spoken of with profound nostalgia. Their names are inseparable from those of the men and women who earned their spurs within their boundaries, and who were later immortalised as the political, musical, and artistic icons of the oppressed.
In spite of the many challenges faced by the residents, the abundance of hope, courage, innovativeness, and creative energy to be found in the Cape Town townships can hardly fail to leave you inspired and humbled. This side of the South African experience is all about real people with real stories, right on our doorstep… and yet worlds away.
Your guide will show you the ropes in the townships of Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha or Kayamandi. You will learn about struggles past and present, and the continuing attempts to face and overcome the socio-economic challenges of today. You’ll get a crash course in local trading initiatives (“spaza” shops and “shebeen” bars) a look at the grassroots health care service with a visit to a traditional Xhosa healer (“sangoma”), an insight into the multiplicity of entrepreneurial endeavours that the enterprising citizens have initiated, and a glimpse of the new “Beverley Hills” suburbs: the homes of the emerging middle class.
To give you an insider’s view, and to ensure that our tour is fully accepted by the local community, we put you in the capable hands of guides who live or have lived in the township themselves.
And just by visiting, you will be contributing: locals benefit directly from the township tours, and many tourism-dependent businesses have been created as a result of initiatives like this.
A visit to a township is a must for anyone with a desire to get to know the real South Africa, with all its flaws and merits.
Please make note of our special interest township tours, like our African
Cooking township experience, the Cape
Town Jazz Safari, Township tour and
drumming workshop, the Gospel tour and others.
Meet the people tour