1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email
Anouk Zijlma

Township Tours in South Africa

By August 12, 2007

Follow me on:

soweto, south africa If you visit South Africa you really should try and take a township tour and see how the majority of South Africans actually live. Townships are urban residential areas that were set aside for non-white people during South Africa's policy of Apartheid (1948 - 1994). They're usually on the outskirts of a city center and often lack basic facilities like electricity and running water. Although the policy of Apartheid is no longer in place, most South Africans continue to live in these areas. Townships are vibrant, lively, poor, crime-ridden, cultural hot spots.

Cape Town has many township tours available. Most will include the Cape Flats as well as a visit to the District 6 Museum and the unique Malay settlement of Bo Kaap. Tours are offered by Zibonele Tours and Nomvuyos Tours. For more information and tour companies see my guide to Township Tours in Cape Town.

Just outside Johannesburg, Soweto should be part of every traveler's itinerary if you're in the area. There are half or full day tours and if you truly want a full experience you can stay at a local B&B. More than 3.5 million people live in Soweto. It's a vibrant, lively place, as a visit to a local shebeen will prove. For more tours and information see my guide to Soweto Tours.

Durban's townships are also worth a visit and many such tours will provide fascinating insight into Mahatma Gandhi's early life as a lawyer and activist in South Africa. Lynx tours offer a typical half day township tour.

While South Africa's townships are well known, countries with a similar political history, like Namibia, also have townships that are worth visiting. In fact, many African capitals have areas that the tourist may never see, but probably should, since most of the local people live there. Nairobi's Kibera slum is an excellent example.

Image of Soweto; © David Hutchinson

Comments
January 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(1) natalie rini says:

hey this is a great website to learn all about africas economy, people, government, and just anything you want to know about africa.

January 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(2) natalie rini says:

hey this is a great website to learn all about africas economy, people, government, and just anything you want to know about africa.

January 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(3) alyssa ayers says:

hey, this website is great!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.