This experience is intended to offer a realistic impression of the Townships and it's peoples, in an attempt to eliminate perceptions.
The TOURISM INDUSTRY creates, and has already created, a meaningful contribution to areas where tours are seldom marketed, enabling communities to become actively involved in the TOURISM.
CAPE TOWN is marketed for it's beauty, Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula, and the Winelands ...... however, there is another side, the REALITY of our City. The communities of the Townships welcome tourists to their world, where hardships are the order of the day. In the past they were seldon visited, and initially they were surprised to see visitors from overseas. Now they welcome tourists with their wonderful smiles, happy that they have been included in a visit to South Africa. Proudly wanting to show their humble homes, their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and great sense of community.
THIS VISIT - includes a visit to a TRADITIONAL HEALER in LANGA (Sun)> the oldest Township. He will explain how his herbs are used to cure ailments, and how he became a traditional healer.
We will visit the children of the CHRIS HANI crèche housed in abandoned Hostels in Langa. Specifically targeting children of the Hostel dwellers (unemployed immigrants from rural areas). All these teachers are dedicated volunteers.
In 2004 Africape tours initiated a FOOD GARDEN project with some of the parents of these children, a project which has been very successful. A mother was sent on a training course run by Soil for Life and her successful cultivation of vegetables has encouraged other parents in this community to join her.
After LANGA, we visit NEW RESTan informal settlement in GUGULETU (Our Pride), now known worldwide. We have taken hundreds of tourists from all over the world into this community, and tourists have opened their hearts and gone home with a new impression of the people who life in a INFORMAL SETTLEMENT. At first it is shocking to see the poor conditions under which these people live, but is it their spirit that sparkles, and after meeting the people and speaking to them, visitors are more able to come to terms with the many shacks they see on their arrival in Cape Town. New Rest is at present being upgraded with roads, drainage and brick housing, due mainly to their plight bring brought to the attention of the authoritites through Tourism.
Before we visit the CRECHE (built entirely through donations from tourists, mainly Norwegian groups), we will buy fruit for the children by supporting one of the small fruit stall in the area. We will then visit the Creche, built with money donation by various tours groups. It was the first brick building with flushing toilets in the area. This CRECHE bears testimony to how TOURISM has assisted.
TASTE the traditional home-brewed Xhosa maize meal beer called "umqomboti". Drink it the African way, from a tin container, which is passed from person to person. Visit to the local SHEBEEN, in the past these were illegal drinking places where alcohol was confiscated by the police. Here, the Kwaito (local music of the Townships) is loud, you need to raise your voice to be heard above it, but it is here where you feel the beat of the township vibe the most. Loud music, loud voices, loud laughter, are all very infectious.
After our visit to New Rest, we’ll take you past the CEMETRY, where during the days of apartheid, all political gatherings took place. Any gatherings of African people were banned in those days, a funeral was an ideal opportunity to meet and make plans, and as all funerals are held on Saturdays, everyone was there.
Then we take you further into the Townships, to the MEAT STREET, the TAXI RANK and MARKET in NYANGA (Moon). All in close proximity, because, Taxis take people to and from work, people arrive here with their pay and can buy all their needs as they alight from the taxis. The meat is cooked on open fires and sold here, which is convenient as many do not have refrigeration. It's a busy area, crammed with busy people, buying and selling. Hard to believe that you are actually in Cape Town and not in some remote African village. Again, you feel the African vibe. Locals know you don't belong, and they will come up and greet you, welcoming you to their area, pleased that you have taken time to see how they live and proud to show you.
We end our tour with a visit to the SIVUYILE TECHNICAL COLLEGE, where CAPE TOWN TOURISM has opened an Information centre. The interesting history of the Townships can be read from large illustrated display boards, which can be found elsewhere on this website. Local artists and crafters sell their wares here, their beautiful beadwork, pottery and paintings.
OPTIONAL: Lunch at AYAMANKELA, a traditonal township Xhosa restaurant with an
afternoon visit to ROBBEN ISLAND on the ferry.