Cape Town Townships

Cape Town Townships generally refer to the impoverished areas of the Mother City which came to existence as a result of the discriminatory apartheid rules. Despite all the progress and development usually attributed to South Africa, Cape Townships stand as a highlight as the backstage of Cape Town.

However, township tourism drives job creation. Numerous are the visitors to the various townships of Cape Town. Guided tours are provided and visitors can choose between half-day, full day or private tours to any of the townships in Cape Town.

Visitors to the townships can discover the area at their own pace, opt for a cycle ride or a private vehicle tour and be the guest of the local people.

Discover the lush beginnings of Cape Town, trace back the origins of the South Africa's black and coloured population, learn about the multiple tribal groups and know about the local pursuits of the cruel British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes.

Brief history behind Cape Town townships

Cape Town townships are the direct consequences of racism and man's own disdain for other fellow human beings. With the heinous Apartheid and the Group Areas Act, the South African government began segregating different races in order to establish “whites-only” areas of major cities, including Cape Town.

The idea of racial segregation was enforced in 1902 when bubonic plague had broken out and whites put the blame on “these uncontrolled Kafir hordes” and started demanding segregation. As such, people were forced to relocate to the outskirts of Cape Town and form communities, now known as townships.

In adherence to the Groups Areas Act, the people were divided by race. Sometimes, family would split if it was determined by a government panel that one family member belonged to a different race than the other members of the same family.

Cape Town Townships today

Many townships soon expanded and became bigger than the cities themselves. Today, most of Cape Town's inhabitants still stay in the townships of the Cape Flats. It is now estimated that there are about 2.5 million people in the region.

Visiting Cape Town Townships

Often, as visitors to Cape Town leave the airport, rather than the majestic Table Mountain or the scenic views, they are struck by the sight of Cape's Town townships. Visiting the Cape Town townships is more than merely driving past them. It is more about coming closer to the harsh realities of the local people. A township tour will indeed be a memorable and valuable experience on your visit to the Cape.

Cape Town’s main Townships

Mitchell's Plain Township

Mitchell's Plain Township is one of the well-known townships in Cape Town.

It lies about 20 kilometres from the city of Cape Town on False Bay, just west of Langa, another township of Cape Town.

Though it was mainly known for notorious reasons,
Mitchell's Plain Township is now opening up to tourism opportunities and the number of visitors to the area is now on the rise.

Khayelitsha Township

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.

Gughuletu Township

A colourful, vibrant and lively township, Gugulethu Township is the residence of many of the city’s working population. It literally lies on top of Cape Town’s International airport, about 20 kilometres outside Cape Town city centre.

“Gugs”, as Gugulethu is usually called was originally named Nyanga West is the oldest township in Cape Town. It has a lively community and is gradually developing due to tourism.

A visit to the township is indeed an experience that cannot be forgotten and remains a sharp reminder of how life does not always need to be a bed of roses for people to be friendly, warm, welcoming and genuine.

Langa Township

Langa Township is one of the oldest black townships in South Africa. It is also the one which is closest to Cape Town and is a proven safe and friendly tourist destination. Also, it provides a highly unique experience which is completely different from any other experience in Cape Town.

Get a taste of township life by visiting Langa near Pineland! Langa can be reached off Exit 12 of the N2 Highway out of Cape Town and is also accessible by Langa Railway Station.

During a Langa Township tour, you’ll experience the “real” Langa and meet many people who are making a difference in the community.

You will also see how the Langa Township is rapidly developing, especially in the tourism sector.