Bicycle Township Tour

Experience the lifestyle of the majority of South Africans on our interactive cultural Township Tour. Learn about the political past of Apartheid, how to click like a Xhosa and join the Sangoma for a traditional ceremony all whilst cycling through the community on a bicycle. 

“AWOL’s Community-based Bicycle Tours in Cape Town are a responsible take on township tours, providing tourists with many more opportunities to interact with the community than they would have from an air-conditioned bus.”

AWOL Tours international award winning  Masiphumelele Bicycle Township Tours with daily departures at 10am from our workshop at Chasmay Campus near Kommetjie/Noordhoek. Private tours including transfers with language guides available on request.

AWOL started operating Bicycle Township Tours in Masiphumelele in 2002 in conjunction with BEN a non-profit organisation that imports second hand bikes, trains bike mechanics and assists entrepreneurs to operate bicycle shops in communities. We also sponsor shared premises with Songezo cycling academy where tour guests, on occasion, get to meet and engage with these young athletes. Guests have the option to sponsor a younger rider or bring nutritious high energy non perishable food items to assist with cycle tour training.

In 2006 at the World Travel Centre in London this bicycle township tour was the winner of the First Choice Responsible Tourism Award for the category “Best for Innovation and Technology”.

A local guide will take us round the township visiting interesting places and explaining some local Xhosa customs. During school time, we visit a local crèche where the teachers work under very difficult circumstances. Part of the tour proceeds go towards the betterment of their facilities. A highlight of the tour is to visit a Sangoma (traditional healer) who performs interactive dancing and drumming.  For lunch we visit a local African restaurant or a local entrepreneur who hosts the tourist groups in her home and prepares authentic African tea or lunch.  10% of all tour proceeds go directly to Masicorp a non profit organisation.

Guests might have reservations about visiting an informal settlement and feel awkward at viewing people’s obvious poverty. The local residents in townships welcome you and encourage tours to take place in their communities, as it is one way in which they have an opportunity to get involved in the tourism sector. The tours are operated on a non profit basis and a fee goes directly to the people we visit who make this tour possible.

The AWOL tourism project in Masiphumelele has generated significant, sustainable benefits and has proven to provide real, lasting benefits for the local people.

If you would like to make a difference in children in Masiphumelele lives, please consider “pack for a purpose” when travelling to Cape Town by clicking on the link below. We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.

Alternatively you welcome to make an  donation to our partner charity, Masicorp literacy programme please by clicking on the donate button below.

Masicorp donate button

The AWOL  Bicycle Township Tour, depart daily on scheduled tours at 10am from Chasmay Road Campus with guaranteed departure. Guests can opt to upgrade to a private tour for an additional R200 per person

** Prices valid from the 1st Oct 2023 to 31st Oct 2024:

  • Half-day Township tour is from R1250 per person, min one and max ten departing daily at 10am , excluding transport
  • Upgrade to a Private Half-day Township tour for an additional R200 per person min two excluding transfers at any time
  • Guided experience with township guide
  • Donation to Masicorp non profit
  • Visit to Masivelani crèche (only available during the week)
  • Gospel Church visit (on Sundays only)
  • Visit crafters and local artists in community
  • Lunch at local African Restaurant or tea in an African home
  • Hire of Old fashioned Dutch Bicycles
  • Excludes Transport to and from accommodation which can be booked with private language guide for R3500 – R6000 per group depending on the number of guests

Please note that some attractions like the library and pre-school are CLOSED during the week-end and on school & public holidays.

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