Smile! You will be taken on a walking filled with… “smileys” and “walkie talkies”! From vibrant African townships to Malay settlements, you’ll get a literal taste for Cape Town as you snack, chat, and see how locals live.
What to Expect
Your Cape Town tour will start with a ride along the winding Atlantic coast as you head to the township of Imizano Yetho, where you’ll meet your young Xhosa guide, Nandipha. Imizano Yetho, also known as Mandela Park, is an informal township with very challenging living conditions. Life for locals here has been extremely difficult, but on this tour you’ll get the chance to learn what’s fact and what’s fiction, how this community came to be, and what improvements have been made in recent years. Please note that this is not slum tourism — your guide will be a member of this community and we’ll explore the area with respect for life in this neighbourhood and the struggles it has gone through.
Nandipha will take you to the local community center that houses several craft stalls, where you’ll have the option to purchase small items that have been handmade by locals. She’ll also explain why and how the township came about during the Apartheid era of the 1980s, and why her family came to the city from the rural Eastern Cape (just like Nelson Mandela did). She’ll offer insight into local life in this area, and the difficulties that residents have faced. You’ll hear the story of how she is inspiring local teenage girls through her NGO, the Sistahood Girls Club.
From the center you then head to a local tavern (known as a shebeen), and pass by roadside hawkers selling food, furniture, and clothing. Stop at Nandipha’s modest home — a traditional shack seen in such communities, made of iron and cardboard — for tea and to sample local delicacies such as “Smileys” (barbecued sheep’s head… with all its teeth showing!) and “Walkie Talkies” (chicken beaks and feet).
After your township visit, you return to one of the older parts of Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap, which, in the 1700s, was an area beyond the original city walls, where Dutch settlers housed the (mostly) Muslim laborers imported from Malaysia, India, and the Middle East.
Thanks to those eastern origins, the area is well-known for its spicy Cape Malay cuisine. You walk along the cobblestone streets and between the rows of painted multi-colored houses to reach the home of a superb local cook, a featured guest on Master Chef S.A, who will help you prepare and cook a typical Malay lunch. Once your meal is prepared, sit down together to enjoy your efforts, while discussing the local family heritage.
You then amble the short distance to the small local Bo-Kaap museum, situated in one of the oldest local houses, and learn more about the history and origins of the Cape Malays. You also enjoy a visit to the local spice shop and sample some of the different exotic spices imported from eastern lands. A quick and respectful visit to a local mosque will follow before you will be taken back through the colorful streets and return to your hotel.
- Local English-speaking guide
- Food samples
- Transportation to and from centrally located accommodations
- Museum entry
- Water and other non-alcoholic drinks
What's Not Included
- Additional food and drinks
- Souvenirs and items of a personal nature
- Tips and gratuities for your guide
Know Before You Go
Please wear respectful casual dress and good walking shoes.
Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.