There are so many township tour experiences in Cape Town on offer it is sometimes hard to find the one that will suit your available time frame and personal interests. Below are 10 good reasons for booking the Masiphumelele Cultural Bicycle Township Tour with AWOL Tours.
- This is our flagship tour and South Africa’s original township bicycle tour developed by AWOL Tours in 2002. This was a ground breaking concept at the time and we were the trailblazers in this field. With over 17 years experience in this area, we offer you a truly authentic experience.
- We partnered with local NGO Bicycling Empowerment Network and trained local mechanics to restore recycled bikes for our tours. We won the prestigious ‘First Choice Responsible Tourism‘ Award in the category ‘Best for Innovation and Technology’ at the World Travel Centre in London in 2006 in recognition of this partnership.
- 10% of all tour proceeds are donated to our NGO partner Masicorp who are dedicated to sustainable educational projects in Masiphumelele. Many of our guests have been inspired by their work and have established relationships that have lasted many years beyond their introduction on one of our tours.
- We employ local Xhosa guides; William, Lutho, and Sinethemba who are all residents of Masiphumelele and have a real insight into this vibrant multicultural neighbourhood. Our guides feel proud taking visitors around their community and sharing local customs.
We depart in small groups and our guides engage with you one on one. They all speak the local Xhosa language and will happily teach you a few clicks!
Being on ground level on a bike is a great way to really feel your surroundings and is a far more rewarding experience than being secluded in an air conditioned bus.
- We sponsor and share a workshop with the Songeza Cycling Academy. Songezo Jim is South Africa’s first black professional cyclist and through this space mentors young cyclists, keeping them occupied and inspired.
- You’ll taste an amazing local meal in the home of local entrepreneur and host Nonni and you can even take the experience home with you, with her recipe book. The menu includes traditional staple pap, samp & beans, steamed bread with chicken curry, spinach and chakalaka. You won’t be able to resist her pumpkin fritters in cinnamon sugar or malva pudding with homemade ice cream for desert as well as her unique ginger beer, homemade according to her Granny’s secret recipe.
- A highlight of the tour is experiencing singing and dancing and an interactive session with a local Sangoma (traditional healer.) Sangomas are highly respected in the community and are an important part of African culture. They are still highly relevant in modern society even amongst the young people in urban townships.
- During the school term we visit a local day care facility and part of the proceeds of your tour go towards the betterment of these facilities. As part of the tour experience, guests are invited to read local South African stories to the kids creating a warm and genuine interaction.
- Masiphumelele is ideally located, on the way to Cape Point and is close to other local attractions. You can easily incorporate the experience in a day out to Muizenberg or visiting the Penguins at Boulders Beach.
- This tour covers the culture and history of Masiphumelele. Our guests discover the day to day life of the majority of South Africans, fostering meaningful communication and interaction as well as contributing to the township economy. Township tourism results in increased net benefits and enhances the link between the tourism industry and poor people, increasing the contribution to poverty reduction. You are part of making a real difference to this community.
“I would highly recommend doing a township tour. It was more fulfilling than the rest of the touristy stuff that we did in South Africa. As a visitor from another country, it was a meaningful way to experience a bit of what day to day life is like for many South Africans” Please read our excellent reviews of our tours here.