One of Cape Town’s largest townships, Khayelitsha is the perfect place to experience the local values, buy handmade crafts and taste the South African culture.
Xhosa for ‘new home’
Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in the Western Cape located on the Cape Flats and 30km from Cape Town CBD. It is reputed to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Originally allocated to non-white South Africans in the Apartheid era, the township has overcome numerous challenges and constraints to become one of Cape Town’s entrepreneurial hubs. With only partial informal settlements, the township comprises of brick houses, gap housing as well as informal settlements or shacks. And while poverty and unemployment is a constant struggle in the community, Khayelitsha has become a place of enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation to all.
The ‘new home’ of promise
Thanks to the unshakable enthusiasm and entrepreneurial flair of the community and inhabitants, Khayelitsha has become a major tourist attraction to international and local tourists alike. The Khayelitsha Township Tour gives tourists a unique view into the lives and cultures for people living in the community. The innate hospitality and enthusiasm that makes up African culture is brought to life, while tourists get to experience the culture, arts and restaurants first hand. The Township Tours are available in a full day and half day tour, with optional staying over at established Bed and Breakfasts in the community.
The Khayelitsha Craft Market
While just being in Khayelitsha is an experience on its own, there are many activities that tourists can do in while on the tour. The Khayelitsha Craft Market is a colourful and dynamic arts and craft market showcasing the best the community have to offer. The mix of poverty and entrepreneurship in the community also provide inspirational design and creativity, from recycled material to traditional techniques, all great souvenirs with its own story for tourists to take home. The craft market is open from 09h00 to 14h00 on Mondays to Fridays, and 09h00 to 12h00 on Saturdays.
Other sights to see on tour
Another must-see place on the Township Tour is the Look-Out Hill tourist facility. This look-out is based on the highest sand dune in the area and provides tourists with a 360-degree view of Khayelitsha and surrounding areas of False Bay, Hottentots Holland Mountain range and Helderberg. It consists of a restaurant, gift shop and information kiosk and is a first-stop for many touring the area. Should you be feeling peckish and want a taste of traditional township cuisine, Gugu le Africa restaurant on spine road will be the best place to stop. With traditional Xhosa cuisine to Cape influences, Gugu Le Africa will ensure you experience the finest dining available, giving you a unique taste of South African culture.
Gugu le Africa restaurant
Tel: +27 (0)82 8479
Cape Town Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 6800
Khayelitsha Craft Market
Tel: +27 (0) 21 361 5246
Fax: +27 (0) 21 363 5837
Image: World Bank photo collection, Wikimedia, Development Works