Top 10 Cape Town Out-of-Town Excursions

By Michael Sieburg & Alison Bradley
Scene from the Langa township, South Africa
SAFE HAVEN: Scene from the Langa township, South Africa (Maureen Sill/Flickr)

4. Tour the Townships
Spend a day touring Langa, the oldest township in South Africa, or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa, for an eye-opening glimpse into the difficult living conditions in which the majority of Cape Town's worker population actually lives. Townships were originally created as living areas for non-whites under the old political system of Apartheid but are still expanding to this day. Despite the obvious poverty, a township tour will exhibit the vibrant spirit of the South African people. Tours usually include a visit to a shebeen (a township speakeasy), school, local home, and a traditional healer, and usually showcase the local industry and community projects. They typically also incorporate a visit to the Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town formerly known as the Malay Quarter, and the District 6 Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of historical materials. Numerous operators run tours to the townships; our recommendation goes to Inkululeko Tours.

When to Go: Year-round
Driving Distance from Cape Town: Langa (10 miles), Khayelitsha (20 miles); typically half-day tour, with full-day options that tack on visit to Robben Island.

Published: 24 Mar 2010 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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