Cape Town Journals

48 Hours in the Townships - Langa & Gugulethu

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A February 2006 trip to Cape Town by MiriamMannak

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Quote: I spend two days in the townships around Cape Town. Get to know the other side of South Africa, and make sure that next to a hike up Table Mountain, and a drive through Kruger, a visit to the townships is on your itinerary.

48 Hours in the Townships - Langa & Gugulethu

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Overview

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Langa is South Africa's oldest township, created in the 1920's to house migrant workers from their former homelands Transkei and Ciskei (Now Eastern Cape). In 1923, the so-called Urban Areas Act was passed, a law that forced black South-Africans to live in a different location from white South Africans. Literally, the word Langa means Sun in Xhosa, the language that mostly spoken amongst black South Africans in The Western Cape. In reality, the township was named after Langalibalele, a chief who was imprisoned on Robben Island after rebelling against the Natal government in the mid 1800’s. The highlights of Langa are numerous, from a nature preserve to social projects, art and ...Read More

Ma Neo's Bed & Breakfast

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Hotel | "Ma Neo Bed & Breakfast"

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During my 48-hour township tour, I spend my first night at Ma Neo’s Bed & Breakfast in the Langa Township. It turned out to be one of the most interesting evenings I had since I came to South Africa in 1994. In contrary to your usually B&B, by booking a night in Ma Neo, you are invited into a genuine South African family, which was soaked in warmth and hospitality. I truly felt that I had been briefly part of a South African family, for one thing because I shared supper and breakfast with the entire family. Ma Neo's B&B consists of two rooms, either double or twin. Each morning Mama Thandi, or her daughter Neo, treats you on a simple, but awesome breakfast that keep...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 21, 2006

Ma Neo's Bed & Breakfast
Langa Township
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 (21) 694 2504

Edith Stevens Wetland Park

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Attraction

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One of the first stops of my 48-hour township tour was the Edith Stevens Wetland Park, a true oasis in the middle of the Cape Flats. This is the geographical location north of Cape Town, where before and during apartheid most black and coloured townships were built. The Edith Stevens Wetland Park is surrounded by several townships, and boasts more than 80 species of plants, several reptile species including the endangered leopard toad, birds, and small mammals such as the clawless otter. Apart from serving a leisure purpose, the Edith Stevens Wetland Park plays a key role in environmental education in the townships, social development, and job creation. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Edith Stevens Wetland Park
Lansdowne Road
Cape Town, South Africa

Gugulethu Seven Memorial

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Attraction

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South Africa is scattered with monuments and memorials that commemorate events that happened during the apartheid era. One of them is the recently erected Gugulethu Seven in the township of Gugulethu (which means "Our Pride"). On March 3, 1986, very early in the morning, seven young black activists from Gugulethu were ambushed by South African police and shot dead. According to two police officers who played a role in the killing, they did what they did because they believed the young men had planned to attack a police van. Fourteen years later on March 21, 2000, Human Rights Day, a memorial was unveiled to remember the Gugulethu Seven. The impressive me...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Gugulethu Seven Memorial
Corner of NY1 and NY111
Cape Town, South Africa

Langa Walking Tours

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Attraction | "Walking tours through Langa"

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Part of my 48 hour townships experience was a walking tour through the township of Langa, covering three different residential areas:1. The Old Hostels: These housing units were build in the 1920's to host migrant workers from the Eastern Cape. Each hostel consisted of units or apartments, with each three or four rooms. Each room housed three to four men, and women were not allowed. When the ban on women was lifted, each room soon became the home of three families. The children slept on the floor, the parents in the bed. The old hostels still exists, and are still being used. It is incredible that in a new South Africa, which is supposed to be a better place for all, peo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 27, 2006

Langa Walking Tours
Cape Capers
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 (0) 21 448 3117