Immerse yourself deeply in the real life of Africa's most beautiful city on this journey into the spirit of ubuntu - the African philosophy of connectedness, caring and generosity. Visit some of Cape Town's most inspiring projects, and experience the creativity and inventiveness of urban South Africans and their ability to adjust, survive and succeed in the face of profound social and economic challenges.
Duration: 6 Nights / 7 Days
Tour Type: Independent with guided activities
Group size: 6-8 adults (some scheduled activities depart with a minimum of 6 people, but we can arrange alternative options for smaller groups or individual travelers)
Arrive in Cape Town, and transfer to an intimate guest house near the heart of the city. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax or explore the city.
Full day: Cape Town & Township Futures Tour
Begin your tour of the city by going back to the heart of its history: to stories of the indigenous Khoisan people, the movements of power and trade that brought colonisation, to the Camissa River and the beginning of commercial trade, to the first markets and first use of currency in the country. Visit District Six, as well as the slave quarter and the Bo Kaap.
Around midday we'll leave the city centre and head towards the townships, to explore how these informal settlements can make the transition to become fully established and integrated parts of the city. We know where the township came from, but what are they going to become over the next two decades? After lunch at a local chisa nyama – the popular township barbecue joints whose name literally means "hot meat" in isiXhosa – we'll visit some of the people and projects that are taking township life into the future.
Return to your accommodation by early evening.
Morning: Greening the townships.
Visit Abalimi Bezekhaya, an organisation that helps farmers in the townships to grow organic produce for themselves and communities. In a community where 40% of the population is unemployed, the project has helped many women to not only put food on their own tables but also create an income, by selling boxes of surplus organic vegetables to schools and other supporters in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. You'll visit a community garden in the township of Gugulethu to meet the farmers (almost all are women) and hear their stories, then go to the Harvest of Hope packing shed in Phillipi where vegetables are collected and prepared for delivery. The tour ends at the Abalimi People’s Garden Centre, in Nyanga.
The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city.
Evening: Storytelling Route
This route takes you into the homes of two Cape Town characters with big stories to tell. The evening creates the space for visitor and local to share stories, to discover more about each other as people, to arrive at a change of perspective. Our hosts include poets, musicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, musicians, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Rastafarians... all of them with stories to tell.
The tour includes dinner and refreshments.
Morning: Robben Island
From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom. During the Apartheid era Robben Island held many political freedom fighters, the most famous being former president Nelson Mandela, who began work on his autobiography Long Wark to Freedom while incarcerated here.
The journey to Robben Island begins with a half hour ferry ride across Table Bay – a journey that Winnie Mandela was forced to endure in the ship's hold on the occasions she was allowed to visit her husband. As well as a chance to see the cells in which ANC leaders studied while waiting for their release, the tour includes an opportunity to meet a former inmate of Robben Island.
Afternoon: Table Mountain
Climb to the crest of Table Mountain, either by Cable Car or on foot via the rugged Platteklip Trail, for a breathtaking sunset view over the city, Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island.
Morning: Drive south to the beautiful fishing village of Hout Bay, to meet the Iziko Lo Lwazi Craftworkers, a non-profit organisation providing training and work for women from the informal township of Imizamo Yethu.
The Craftworkers specialize in making hand-made paper and paper products, which are then decorated by a team of beaders. The product range includes gifts and jewellery, sold locally and internationally. 20 women work at Iziko lo Lwazi and their earnings support 65 people. Although volunteers are currently helping the organisation to grow, the ultimate aim is for the crafters to take over the running of Iziko lo Lwazi. To this end, training is given in business skills, planning, product development and marketing. You'll have a chance to share stories with the women while learning to make paper and a beaded decoration. Meeting the women gives them a welcome opportunity to practice their English skills, and you'll come away with fresh appreciation of the struggles and the spirit of these powerful, determined people.
Accommodation at city guesthouse or hotel, BB There are many organisations in and around Cape Town similar to the one described above, and the tour can be tailored according to interest, visiting one or more of these projects in a Half or Full Day Tour. Clients will be accompanied by Capetonian guide James Fernie from the Fair Trade-related NGO Uthando.
Take an eco-friendly ride along Cape Town's stunning coast to Cape Point aboard the Green Bus Shuttle. The Green Bus operates on a blend of biodiesel made from used cooking oil, and offers a daily shuttle service via the scenic Atlantic Ocean Coast to Cape Point Nature Reserve, in an attempt to encourage visitors to find greener transport solutions. The bus departs central Cape Town at 09h30 and you'll be back in the city by mid afternoon.
Transfer to the airport for your journey home. Alternatively, embark on one of The Blue Yonder's Fair Trade tours leaving from Cape Town: Fair Trade Cape and Garden Route, or Fair Trade Cape Town and WInelands.
Fair Trade Cape Town and Winelands
Combine the vibrant energy and beauty of Cape Town with South Africa's finest and most ethical wineries on this jaunt around the Western Cape.
The Backpack Cape Town
The Backpack, an award winning hostel and South Africa’s original backpacker