Have you ever passed by a township and wondered what life is like inside? While remaining culturally sensitive, the Stellenbosch Township and Village team has endeavoured to create a tour of the vibrant informal settlement of the winelands town.
It is a community driven inter-cultural tourism initiative which offers visitors a glimpse of the day-to-day life of the Kayamandi residents. The tours are hosted by community members, giving it a great personal touch. Explore and learn more about this vibrant community. It’s lies on the edge of Stellenbosch.
Kayamandi means “nice home” in Xhosa, from the words khaya meaning “home” and mnandi meaning “nice”. The informal settlement dates back to the early 1950’s, housing an influx of workers from the Eastern Cape.
A Township and A Village Meet Each Other
The concept for the tour is a partnership between SEED and the Stellenbosch Municipality. Together they empower the local guides, assisting them to become registered professional tour guides. These friendly and engaging guides are passionate about Kayamandi because they call it home.
Since community members present the tour, it’s a truly authentic experience and you can feel safe in their capable presence. Weaving your way between the shacks, you definitely want someone who knows where they’re heading!
Tourism is a thriving industry in the Western Cape. The Township and Village Tour project aims to connect the Kayamandi residents with the tourism sector. It empowers the community while giving them the opportunity to introduce tourists to their way of life. Not only will you be gaining more insight into another culture, you will also be contributing to the economic growth of the community you are visiting.
The Stellenbosch Township and Village tours offer you the chance to explore the culture, history and the evolution of South African Township life. You can also explore the town surrounding the township.
Kayamandi on Foot
Duration: 3 hours | Cost: R600
A three hour walking adventure, starting and looping back to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi. Over a cup of coffee at the Amazink restaurant you will meet your local resident guide. You can tell them more about your interest in taking the tour before starting.
Next you will start exploring the area, stopping at various points to learn more about the history and the current activities of the community. Attractions include schools, hostels, a spaza shop, churches, an African barber shop, craft shops, development organisations, and the local taxi rank. A few of the community members have been kind enough to open their homes to give visitors a glimpse of life behind the corrugated metal shells.
Once you return to the Ikhaya Trust Centre, pop in at the Vision Afrika School to buy a memento of your Kayamandi experience. The community shop stocks locally produced craft items. To make the most of your tour experience, wear comfortable shoes and clothes. The weather can suddenly turn, so bring a light jacket along for in case. During the summer months, wear sunscreen. And bring an umbrella in the winter. You will receive a bottle of water for the walk. The route is suitable for all levels of fitness and kids are also welcome.
Half and Half Tour
Duration: 4 hours | Cost: R850
With this tour you can experience the diversity of life in South Africa. The tour starts at the Stellenbosch Wine Routes tourism centre, situated in the centre of the historical little town. Walk through the iconic town’s leafy streets, making your way to the local taxi rank. Your Kayamandi resident guide will show you how the local people travel between their homes and workplaces.
The taxi will take you to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi, travelling the 3 kilometres between the township and the village. Next you will follow the circular route through the township, experiencing in one day the contrasts of South African life. (see description of Kayamandi on Foot tour above)
After supporting the local community by buying a souvenir at the Vision Afrika School, you will again hop into the taxi and travel back to your starting point in town. After learning more about the historic backgrounds of Kayamandi and Stellenbosch, you will gain more insight into the country’s cultural dynamics.
Pick Up and Drop Off
You can request a transfer to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi from the centre of Stellenbosch. In South Africa safety is a challenge and the transfer can give you the reassurance that you are travelling to the correct destination in the township.
Transfer location: Stellenbosch Wine Routes tourism centre, 47 Church Street.
Challenge Your Perspective on Life in South African
The Stellenbosch Township and Village tourism initiative aims to not only reach foreign tourists, but local ones as well. So often we are stuck in seeing life through our own cultural lenses. By visiting Kayamandi you can challenge your preconceived ideas of life in an informal settlement.
This is a social enterprise founded by the Stellenbosch Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Development Trust (SEED). The NPO aims to enhance local economic development, by offering enterprise training and development. The Stellenbosch Municipality funds the social enterprise. These tours aim to promote inter-cultural and heritage integration.
Visit stellenboschtownshipandvillage.co.za for more information.
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Check out our post on the tours in Cape Town – Township Tours Cape Town.