Get a taste of township life by visiting Langa near Pinelands. Eat, sleep, shop and party in Cape Town’s oldest, most vibrant township.
Far removed from its humble and spartan origins as a hostel hub, modern-day Langa boasts schools, sporting facilities and clinics.
Meet sangomas and traditional healers; shop at local markets; sup on African delicacies and party township style, while supporting one of the poorest areas of the Mother City. Beadwork, pottery and recycled goods are sold in and around Langa.
The Eziko Restaurant offers a memorable African eating experience. The Eziko Restaurant, (+27 (0)21 694 0434), is linked to the Eziko Cooking and Catering School, which was set up to teach members of the local community to cook and so provide them with marketable skills. Eziko is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on prior request, and is a popular stop with tour operators.
Consider spending a night or two in Langa. Ma Neo’s Township Bed and Breakfast, (+27 (0)21 694 2504), provides a homely, welcoming atmosphere in which to put your feet up after a day of perusing local fare. Guests are treated to a rare opportunity to listen to the history of life under apartheid from those directly affected by it.
For those looking to see how the residents of Langa are uplifting themselves, the Tsoga Environmental Resource Centre, (+27 (0)21 694 0004), is a good place to visit. The centre offers youth programmes that revolve around life skills, training, job creation and environmental education.
If it’s shopping you’re after, Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre, (+27 (0)21 695 3493), is must-visit. Housed in a brightly coloured building, the centre, like many of the businesses in Langa, is dedicated to the empowerment of the local people. The centre has exhibition areas, where there are regular exhibitions, art studios and a resource centre.
Once you’ve wandered the streets of Langa, stop for a drink at a local shebeen (township tavern), sit back and absorb the local flavour.
Guga S'thebe Library
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- Address: Mdolombo Street, Langa, Cape Town, 7456, South Africa
- GPS: -33.94415654070572,18.52645754814148