Knysna shebeen evenings
Did you know?
While driving, watch out for Khayalethu Township’s Big 5: donkeys, goats, sheep, horses and pigs.
Khayalethu Township outside Knysna on the Garden Route has an after-hours menu of entertainment that ranges from reggae to rowdy drumming to kwaito selections, courtesy of the old jukebox at a shebeen called Jam Alley.
Perhaps one of the most colourful Knysna shebeen evenings ever happened at Club 702 Dance Club, which stands on a hill overlooking some major Knysna real estate down on the lagoon. They say 1 night the party grew so hectic, the vibe so hot, that the wild dancers dropped through the floorboards. Beat that!
For those who like their vibes a little more on the ‘irie’ (Jamaican for ‘cool’) side, there is the Rastafarian Judah Square, a little deeper into Khayalethu. The deliciously ragtag Judah Square Band, led by ‘Bra Winston, the Reggae Ambassador, talk of the town’, plays a loose-limbed selection of reggae classics. Even if you just catch them in rehearsal, it would be 1 of your stand-out South African experiences.
In another part of the township, also on a hill with a great view, you’ll find a restaurant called Wandu@Ekasi. They lay on a South African spread which includes hard porridge (pap), a piquant relish called chakalaka, a selection of barbecued chicken and lamb chops and griddle-baked bread called roosterkoek.
While you’re feasting, there will be drumming sessions, which you can join at any stage. After dinner, at the shebeen down on the Uniondale road called Nellie’s Tavern, you can meet the local people, share a drink with them and, if you’re up for it, hit the dance floor.
Over at a section called Nekkies, near the N2, is Jam Alley. This is where the people from Emzini Tours, who focus on dinner tours of the township, will take you for an evening of Xhosa song, more drumming, supper and selections from the ever-popular jukebox.
All in all, there are a number of Knysna shebeens you can visit after dark for a memorable night out in Khayelethu.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Emzini Tours (for township and restaurant tours):
Tel: +27 (0) 44 382 1087
Cell: +27 (0) 82 338 6289 or +27 (0) 78 631 0673
Tel: +27 (0) 82 2949 063