When you think of a township, the general thought lingers around poverty-stricken neighbourhoods and people begging on the street. Although the Townships of Cape Town is ruled by poverty, a new light is cast over the hidden gems in these communities. Many travellers are left in awe not by the mountain ranges surrounding Cape Town but by the rich culture of the Townships. Upon arrival by bus, members on tour can choose to walk, bike or take a bus to see all the Townships have to offer. For optimum safety, travellers will also be accompanied by 1 to 2 locals at all times.
With many townships scattered around Cape Town, the Khayelitsha Township, for example, is one of the biggest townships in the area. You’ll see a vast number of houses built, it may seem, almost on top of each other. Some houses are mere makeshift houses while others are built with bricks and mortar. The trained eye might see a house or two with a sturdy build and
a fresh coat of paint. Some parts of the Townships around Cape Town even sport a brick wall to protect it from unwanted guests. Street gangs and the artistic at heart have found that graffiti and spray-painted sketches along the walls bring a bit of colour to the Township and its people.
Unemployment is still a big issue in South Africa; therefore it is beneficial for Townships like these to have Community Schools where young children can have a formal education.While not as advanced as the schools situated in the heart of Cape Town, young kids are kept off the street to a certain extent since they attend schools in their direct areas. Many of these schools simply consist of run-down buildings with vandalised windows and doors, but for the eager mind, surroundings do not always matter. The need for community school upgrades has also sparked interest among travellers to dig a little deeper into their pockets and help communities with schooling needs.
Shebeen (local pubs)
It is common for travellers to have a deep hunger for visiting Townships and its shebeens, purely out of the lack of knowledge in this aspect. Where one might be a little anxious to enter a shebeen in the middle of a Capetonian Township, the feeling is instantly blown away by great smiles and warm welcomes. Although one needs to pick carefully when deciding to
visit a shebeen, a truly African vibe will always be at the forefront of the day. With a range of B&B’s in the area, travellers find it mind-blowing and highly educational to wander around the streets while watching children play, dogs roam around and individuals selling all sorts of keepsakes for a little extra money.
Situated in the Township of Khayelitsha, the Gangster Museum is an initiative that tugs at heartstrings all over the world. The Gangster Museum was built with the intention to show young people what it feels like if you roam down a criminal path. This includes getting a first-hand experience of what it feels like to live in a prison cell and what prison life really entails. Ex-offenders helped to get the museum running in the hopes of creating a solid and one-of-a-kind experience that might make individuals think twice before engaging in gangster activity.
If you want to experience the raw mind-altering side of Cape Town, taking a Township Tour
is something you simply must do!
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