Found at 30 km away from Cape Town, Khayelitsha which means “new home” is one of the biggest townships in the area. It consists of both formal accommodation implying houses of bricks and mortar and informal settlements, that is, makeshift shacks.
Go on a township tour to Khayelitsha in the Cape Flats and experience an authentic African day out. See the amazing view from Look-Out Hill, buy yourself handmade crafts made locally and eat at a restaurant offering South African cuisine.
Brief History of Khayelitsha Township
Built under the principle of racial segregation, Khayelitsha Township was the second black township in South Africa after Soweta in Johannesburg. At first, the government envisaged to accommodate all “legal” residents of the Cape Peninsula in one newly built and easily controlled township. The government classified people as legal if they had already lived in the area for ten years
Moreover, the government planned to move all ‘illegal’ people to Transkeia, created in the eastern part of the country. People living in existing townships near Cape Town riotously opposed this decision. Fights broke out in townships between the government and residents and these fights caused more people to move to Khayelitsha Township
Visiting Khayelitsha Township
These days, although poverty and unemployment are widespread, things are brightening up in Khayelitsha Township. This is a township struggling not to dwell on its past and trying to shape its future with a positive attitude. A major draw-card for the township is tourism. The visitors get the chance to get a glimpse into the lives of the local people.
For a unique experience in the Khayelitsha Township, visit it on a bicycle. As you will pedal your way through Khayelitsha Township, you will be enchanted by unique sights, sounds and culture. This exciting way of discovering the Khayelitsha Township provides bicycle adventurers the opportunity to visit many of the township’s sites, and gives them the chance to experience part of Cape Town’s local culture. Alternatively, you can explore the Khayelitsha Township aboard a private vehicle and get spectacular views of the area.
One of the first places you will come across on a visit to Khayelitsha Township is the Look-Out Hill tourist facility on the corner of Mew and Spine Road. There is a restaurant, a gift shop and an information desk at the tourist facility. The facility also has a look-out point on the highest dune with a 360-degree view that encompasses False Bay, the Hottentots Holland Mountain range, Helderberg and Groot Drakenstein.
Another popular stop for visitors is the Khayelitsha Craft Market at the St Michael’s and All Angels Anglican Church. Here, you can choose from a wide variety of hand-made stuffs, pottery, bead work, baskets and fabric paintings. The market sells only goods and artisanal products which are made by the local people. In this way, the market tries to empower the local people and help them to get out of poverty.
During the township tour, you might want to grab a bite. Stop at Gugu le Africa restaurant on Spine Road and enjoy a traditional Xhosa meal.