Did you know?
Golden Flowers, a featured project, was born when the artist had an ancestral dream
Cape Town is, they say, the loveliest city in the world. And who can argue, sitting on a Camps Bay terrace with a sundowner and snacks to hand, watching the last light of the day?
But there's another, grittier, Cape Town. The Cape Town you see driving from the airport, the Cape Flats Cape Town, the Khayelitsha Cape Town, squatter shacks spread far and wide.
You see this social split in major countries around the world, like Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Washington DC and even the back end of Sydney, Australia. And yet, like in all those places, one is constantly amazed at the creativity, surges of spirit and innovation that comes from depressed communities.
The City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism support an initiative called the Cape Care Route, giving visitors the rare chance to interact with underprivileged township residents. The vision is to ‘showcase a Cape Town committed to a sustainable African future by delivering authentic, people-driven experiences... in a manner that celebrates the stories of communities and uplifts the environment.'
Now you can see how people live on street level, and how they interact with their environment. Volunteers on the Cape Care Route supports projects founded on one or both of two sets of principles:
- Green Principles: Environmental conservation;
- Brown Principles: Social rehabilitation.
Come on the Cape Care Route - or be a Cape Care Volunteer - and you not only will see how people build their own houses, grow food for themselves and make crafts from recycled trash, you'll also assist in some of the projects.
The aim is a growing partnership between local communities, government, business interests and visiting tourists (working short stints as Cape Care Volunteers) - a dynamic relationship that exists in virtually every society on the globe today.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
Cape Town is easily accessible by airport. From there, you could hire your own car or get a guide.
Best time to visit
Any time of year.
Around the area
Cape Town itself is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and there are gorgeous beaches, botanical gardens and mountains.
Your own self-drive hire car would be most convenient, perhaps with a guide to help you.
Length of stay
The longer a volunteer stays, the better the experience for host and the volunteer. If you'd just like a look at the projects, you could go out for a morning or a day.
What to pack
Take a daypack with water, a hat and sunscreen. And, of course, your camera.
Where to stay
Cape Town has a super-abundance of all kinds of accommodation for every budget.
Buy some of the unique crafts on offer. They're attractive and offer a maximum feel good factor.