Hermanus Township Tours
The best part of taking a township tour through Zwelihle in Hermanus is that you do most of it on foot, and in the space of about an hour you’ll have been inside a crèche, brick house, a “shack” (also a home even if you cannot imagine it from the outside), a spaza shop, a hairdressing saloon, a school and a shebeen. Along the way you will also meet dozens of welcoming people, tasted a sip of African beer and had a mouthful of African food.
Zwelihle is a relatively small community and every aspect of township life can be experienced with ease in a short time.
Life in a township is very different from life in top tourist spots and it is an experience everyone should have, whether you are a visitor or a resident, as it provides an insight into the lives of the majority of the population.
The registered guides who take you around are residents of the community and friendly banter accompanies their route through the township. Children and youngsters are the friendliest, hoping for a chance to pose for a “card” (a photo).
Some locals expect a visit from the tour guide and they are happy to welcome you inside their small but homely houses and offer a taste of African cooking or home-brewed beer.
On a week day life here is bustling as streets and gardens are being swept, washing is being hung out to dry and the smells of cooking and African rhythms swirl around your head. Little children sit on steps and wave as you pass while others play soccer or hop and skip with makeshift skipping ropes.
Zwelihle is an old and established township with several “new” neighbourhoods to cope with the boom in population and although sometimes iit is not easy living, the people are nevertheless cheerful and hopeful.
Zwelihle is welcoming, accessible and safe, and offers a great opportunity to experience township life in South Africa.
Guides can be contacted through the Hermanus Tourism office. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a smile and remember to take your camera.