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Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island

Duration: 9 hours
Destination: South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town
from/per person
6472

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Overview

Experience a thought-provoking guided tour of Cape Town and Robben Island, where the late Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Learn the sobering history of apartheid at the District Six Museum and observe the lasting effects of this history on the townships of Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha. See the residents’ inspiring efforts to improve their livelihoods and local infrastructure, and then ferry over to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and tour the former maximum-security prison for political prisoners.

Highlights

  • Comprehensive tour of the city
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Small-group tour


What You Can Expect

Start your day with a hotel pickup, and then travel with your guide to the District Six Museum. Here, learn how segregationist laws beginning in 1950 forcibly removed more than 60,000 black South Africans from the district after it was declared ‘a white area.’

Then, travel to Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township. During the apartheid era, living areas known as townships were set up in undesirable locations to house the country’s ‘non-whites.’ With your guide, drop by a shebeen (nightlife establishment), meet the locals at a market, talk to the owners of a guesthouse and a daycare center, and visit a traditional healer. Then, head to Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre, the site of many community and cultural activities dedicated to improving the socio-economic status of Langa residents, the majority of whom are from the Xhosa tribe.

Continue on to Khayelitsha, located on the Cape Flats. Meaning ‘new home’, Khayelitsha is the largest township. Pass by houses of brick and mortar, as well as the unsettling sight of makeshift shacks. See from the infrastructure that this township is focused on the future: shopping malls, large-scale building development, housing and clinics abound.

Travel west back toward Cape Town to reach Gugulethu, originally established to house migrant workers from the agrarian Transkei region in the Eastern Cape province. Witness examples of poverty and development alike, including shanty towns, guesthouses, restaurants and jazz clubs.

In the afternoon, enjoy free time for lunch at one of the many restaurants along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (own expense). Then, ferry north from Cape Town across Table Bay to the rocky outcrop of Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Nelson Mandela spent the first 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence in a maximum-security facility for political prisoners.

On arrival, view his cell, which is approximately seven square feet (0.6 sq m) wide and located around a concrete courtyard. Listen to your guide share details of how Mandela’s leadership surfacing during a rebellion over forced digging in a quarry under harsh conditions.

Pay a silent moment of respect as you imagine Nelson Mandela emerging from the prison gates, one step closer to beginning his long walk to freedom. Your tour then concludes with a drop-off back at your Cape Town hotel.

Cancellation Policy

Package is not cancellable.


Inclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Admission to the District Six Museum
  • Ferry and admission to Robben Island

Exclusions

  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities (optional)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A minimum of 2 people per booking is required
  • Please note: A portion of this tour is automatically 60% non-refundable due to Robben Island tickets
  • Please note: Robben Island are now requiring passport details so please provide these details at time of booking as well as taking your passport, a copy or even if just a picture of it your phone on the day of the tour.

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Departure Point

Your centrally located Cape Town hotel

Departure Time

Camps Bay Hotels: 8am departure
Sea Point Hotels: 8:15am departure
Waterfront Hotels: 8:30am departure
Downtown Hotels: 8:45am departure
Up Town Hotels: 8:45am departure

Duration

9 hours

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Tour Options

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User's Reviews

Image - 29 Jan 2018 -

debbiekelso

Picked up promptly and had a good tour.

Image - 20 Jan 2018 -

Kristin O

This tour was amazing!

Image - 09 Jan 2018 -

mhawke

We were picked up from our hotel and taken to the District Six Museum, where our took us round the museum and explained the history behind it. After we were taken to the township of Lago, visiting family homes. We were taken to the waterfront and got the ferry over to Robben Island, which is a must if visiting Cape Town. Was fascinating to learn about the island and conditions from a ex-prisoner and some absolutely breathtaking views of Cape Towm

Image - 27 Dec 2017 -

James M R

One of the highlights of our trip was our tour of the townships with Zandi his full Cosi name was too much for most westerns to pronounce. Zandi arrived on time with a warm greeting. He then took us to the District 6 museum. On the way he shared historical and personal information about the history of apartheid and the significance of Area Six. At the museum he also gave us an overview of the exhibits museum.
After our museum visit Zandi took us to a township and not only provided us with the usual tourist overview, he also gave us insights into the community and helped us practice the Cosi greetings. Once at the township we visited the community center and then took a walk through the township. I must say that with Zandi I felt less of voyeur and more of a welcomed guest. This tour is a must for anyone who wants to see how the history of apartheid still impacts the daily lives of people of South Africa. We look forward to our next visit and are hopeful we will be able to tour with Zandi again.

The day concluded with a trip to Robben Island. We were fortunate to have great weather and calm seas for the ferry trip and visit. Although it makes sense, it would have been nice to know that everyone must stay inside the ferry during the 20-30 ride to the island. All ofstaff one the island was amazing and I would highly recommend the trip. The history of the island is so much more than the prison that held Mandela and they do an incredible job of sharing the islands history.

Image - 29 Nov 2017 -

Jayne H

Our guide arrived at our guest house about 10 mins before the stated arrival time. Coach was clean and our guide Anderlay and driver were both very friendly. Anderlay was very knowledgable and wanted to share his knowledge with us. There were 14 people on our tour and he made everyone feel welcome.

User's Picture Gallery

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School kids in the Township school

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Sheeps Heads . A delicacy in the Township

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District 6 Museum

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Eddie and Nancy Mukhethoni at Robben Island

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At Langa

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African penguins on Robben Island.

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Inside of a cell on Mandela's block. They all look the same.

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Our tour guide for the first part of our Robben Island tour

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The children in the preschool in the shanties.

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The shanties. A beautiful backdrop to a sad story.

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Our tour guide Titus

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From the window of the township apartment we visited.

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A baby in his makeshift playpen

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District Six Museum

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First stop on the tour. District Six Museum

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Kids

delightful !

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Shanty Homes

Homes built by the displaced migrants. Few Capetonians live in these.

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Homes which were recently built for Capetonians

typical homes

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Children Outside Their Home

Children were very playful and wanted their photos taken with or without the tourists

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A School in Langa Township

we were invited to visit the school where children sang and danced for us.

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