Our hotel, La Splendida was right on Beach Road across from this fun lighthouse. The bus stop for the Hop on Hop Off bus was also conveniently across the street. We had breakfast at the hotel and then took the bus to Bo Kaap for some pictures.
Shortly after we arrived at Bo Kaap, we noticed a large tour bus of tourists had just arrived. As we were looking for a place to take photos, they stopped us and commented how beautiful Cha, my travel companion was and begged for photos. We were caught off guard and she informed them that she was from Texas, not South Africa, but they didn’t care, she was beautiful and they wanted pictures with her. She agreed and one picture turned into several, so I just had to document it! Later another group showed up and asked for pics with both of us….such a weird experience!
As soon as we had a break, we took advantage of our surroundings and clicked away…
The tourist mob made us a little, but we still had some time to head to the market for a couple souvenirs. We rushed back to the hotel to change and to meet the tour guide who would take us to tour the Langa Township.
Siviwe Tours charges R500 ($35) for a tour with pick up. Even thought we didn’t schedule a private tour, it was just the two of us and we were able to take our time, about a total of 3 hours. Cheepa our guide was polite, friendly and professional. He took us to the recreation center where they do handmade pottery, to view the homes from the sheds to the “Beverly Hills” of the township. We met homeowners and danced with the kids from Happy Feet. It truly was a remarkable experience and must do for anyone visiting Cape Town!!
We spent some time speaking with Shadrack, he was a kind man in his seventies who has lived in the township for years, even before families were allowed in. He had such a sweet spirit about him and was very proud of his home. He created everything from the ground up, collecting random objects and giving them a new purpose and life. His wife passed away years before and he lives with his 16-year old daughter.
We also spoke to a young lady who smokes sheep heads. Each morning they go to the butchers shop to purchase the heads with tongues to prepare and smoke to sell for dinner. She was sweet and joyful.
There’s also a program called Happy Feet for the kids. We met a group of girls who we danced and sang with. The kids faces would light up when we approached and they hugged and joked with Cheepa. He is well known and respected in the Township .
Everyone in the township does the best that they can to make the most of their lives. The women work hard to make the location a home, there were salons, barber shops, pubs and the like found in sheds, shipping containers or just out in the open.
My mind is still racing on how I can get involved… There must be something we can do to help. In the meantime, I left with a humble heart and grateful for the life I have been blessed with. Inspired to use it for more.