In the townships along the Cape Care Route, American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson's words resonate: 'The world is upheld by the veracity of good men; they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious.'

Did you know?

For many years, Langa Township was the only black residential area for Cape Town.

You would be forgiven for believing that South Africa's townships are merely warrens of poverty and squalor. It's where a substantial portion of the country's below-the-breadline population ekes out a daily existence. But things are changing, and the City of Cape Town is charging forth and leading the way with sustainable projects in South Africa.

The City has forged a tourism initiative that will see township dwellers clamouring to subscribe to a 'greener' way of life. On closer inspection, the Cape's townships are brimming with examples of how impoverished men, women and the youth are building their own houses, growing their own food and developing skills to turn their refuse into quirky arts and crafts.

Hop onto the Cape Care Route and you'll be able to support emerging entrepreneurs through buying locally made goods, and when you've shopped till you've dropped, replenish your energy with the local cuisine of the area by visiting a shebeen, shanty bars that play rousing music and serve local delicacies.

On this Cape Town township tour you'll also learn about how partnerships between business, government, and the indigenous communities are helping to protect the rich biodiversity of Cape Town. Witness environmental projects that demonstrate how inventive thinking has provided people with a cleaner and healthier living environment. Arterial townships like Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and the Cape Flats are all on board, and so are their communities who want to demonstrate how they care for the environment and for each other.

If you're a traveller with a conscience and a bent for sustainable living, who wants to experience the soul of a destination and its people, if you want to meet local communities and understand their challenges and aspirations for the future, then hop onto the Cape Care Route. You'll walk away with a cache of unique curios for friends and family at home, and a replenished sense of humanity to boot.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Cape Capers Tours
Tel: +27 (0)21 448 3117
Email: info@tourcapers.co.za

Cape Town Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 426 4260
Email info@cape-town.org.

How to get here

Book with Cape Capers Tours. They will collect you at your hotel or guesthouse.

Best time to visit

Summer is ideal. Cape Town weather is unpredictable in winter.

Get around

A tour guide will take care of you.

Length of stay

A full day, from 9am to 5pm

What to pack

Walking shoes, a hat and comfortable clothing. Don't wear too much jewellery.

Where to stay

Cape Town is South Africa's tourist mecca, so you have a choice of excellent hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses.

What to eat

Traditional township fare at a shebeen. Western food is also available for the less adventurous.