Bicycle Township Tour
Experience the lifestyle of the majority of South Africans on our interactive cultural Township Tours. 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 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 now offers Township tours to three different communities in Cape Town. Guests are met at accommodation and transferred to the community from where we start the tour.
- Masiphumelele Bicycle Township Tour
AWOL started operating Bicycle Township Tours in Masiphumelele in 2002 in conjunction with the BEN (Bicycling Empowerment Network) a bicycle non-profit organisation that imports second hand bikes, trains bike mechanics and assists entrepreneurs to operate bicycle shops in communities. 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 lady home who hosts the tourist groups in her home makes authentic African tea or lunch. 10% of all tour proceeds go directly to Masicorp a non profit organisation.
- Seawinds Gardening Township Tour
AWOL has partnered with the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and Neville van Schalkwyk, a Rasta bushdoctor and community elder to develop a gardening township tour of Seawinds Community that includes a hands-on urban greening activity for participants. To compliment the cultural aspects of the tour Neville does a typical Cape snoek braai as well as vegetables from his own garden.
- Gugulethu Walking Township Tour
AWOL is now offering guests an opportunity to gain insight to the post apartheid Gugulethu community. As we walk through this historical township with a more developed urban landscape we learn about the political past. Guests visit sites like the Gugulethu Seven, learn about the Amy Biehl foundation and the traditional Gugulethu market. After leisurely cycling on the wide road with specially marked cycling lanes, with brief stops at the crèche, a traditional healer and the local library, we made our way to Mzoli’s. This famous South African establishment serves braai meat and pap in African style
Guests might have reservations about visiting an informal settlement and 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 at a non profit basis and a fee goes directly to the people we visit and 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. All our tours are PRIVATE to ensure that you get the best experience, and also to limit the impact on the host community.
To participate on a Bicycle Township Tour, the price varies on sliding scale depending on the number of persons booked.
** Prices valid from the 1st Nov 2016 to 31st Oct 2017:
- Half-day Township tour is from R950 per person, min two, excluding transport
- Half-day tour including transport is R1850 per person, min two
(For a single person, an additional supplement is charged and the price is discounted for 3 or more travelling together)
- Transport to and from accommodation
- Guided experience with township guide
- Sangoma (traditional healer) dancing and drumming
- 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 Nongoloza’s or Nonni’s Restaurant or tea in an African home
- Hire of Old fashioned Dutch Bicycles
Please note that some attractions like the library and pre-school are CLOSED during the week-end and on school & public holidays.