Table Mountain From Blouberg Beach

La GuGu – the new option to explore our townships with City Sightseeing

1 October 2014 by Lesley No Comment

La GuGu – the new option to explore our townships with City Sightseeing

 

La GuGu tours to Langa & Gugulethu

La GuGu tours to Langa & Gugulethu

La GuGu tours – an exciting new option to visit the townships and learn about their history and culture.  La GuGu tours is a new tour being offered through City Sightseeing and I think an excellent way to meet locals, try some different foods and learn about our history.  The difference with La GuGu tours compared to other City Sightseeing tours is that there is one main starting point and you are hosted throughout the whole tour.  The first bus leaves at 9am and then every 20-30 minutes there after.  I want to give some of the highlights of my experience to give you a feeling about a morning.

5 Long street, City Sightseeing office and starting point for La GuGu tours

5 Long street, City Sightseeing office and starting point for La GuGu tours

5 Long street, coffee shop and starting point for La GuGu tours

5 Long street, coffee shop and starting point for La GuGu tours

 

We made our way to the vibrant new City Sightseeing office at 81 Long street (Bus stop number 5 of the city sightseeing route) where we received several warm welcomes from the team.  The new office funtions as an information centre, coffee shop, bathrooms, bus stop for the City Sightseeing routes and starting point for La GuGu tours.  You know you are getting ready for a town ship tour when a bright red taxi pulls up and one of the hosts shouts from the vehicle Langa Langa Gugs!  The traditional way that taxis attract their customers from street.

La GuGu tour vehicle

La GuGu tour vehicle

They have chosen the quantum vehicles for this service – very appropiate as this is the main transport service within the townships and visitors will get an immediate feel for how many locals travel to and from work each day.  We left promptly at 9am and during the twenty minute journey to Langa, our guide Mike Zuma introduced us to La GuGu, explained what we can expect from the tour and gave us the history behind the development of the townships in relation to the Group Areas Act.  If you have an interest in our politcal history, then this is a must for you.

After a brief pause at their Langa Tour office (more bathrooms and a great coffee shop), we set off on our walking tour with Yandisa Goniwe who lives in Langa and has been guiding for just over two years.  We walked for about an hour with Yandisa, through the streets of Langa and he showed us where he grew up, pointed out some of the new developments in Langa and gave us the history of the area.  I am particularly interested in politcal history and a highlight for me was the stop at the Langa Dom Pass Office, today a museum and site guide Thami Sijila explained the Dom Pass system and the court process for prosecuting the people who were arrested for not carrying their passes.

Thami Sijila explains the Dom Pass system

Thami Sijila explains the Dom Pass system

 

Thami Sijila explains the court procedures for people caught without their Dom Pass

Thami Sijila explains the court procedures for people caught without their Dom Pass

Yandisa Goniwe explains the history and development of Langa

Yandisa Goniwe explains the history and development of Langa

Langa township

Langa township

New housing developments in Langa

New housing developments in Langa

Once we had completed our walking tour, La GuGu vehicle collected us and we set off to Gugulethu with guide Mike Zuma.  Mike made stops at the Amy Bhiel monument and the Gugulethu Seven monument, explained the stories and related them to Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  These are two important stories from our political history.

Amy Bhiel memorial

Amy Bhiel memorial

Gugulethu Seven monument

Gugulethu Seven monument

We continued our drive through Gugulethu, stopped at Robert Sobukwe Square where Mike explained the Langa Pass March and headed towards our last stop Mzoli’s.  Mzoli’s is the well-known vibrant meat restaurant, particularly busy over the weekends.  At Mzoli’s you have a choice, you can either make a short visit and then head back to Cape Town, or stay and have lunch with a locals and return to Cape Town with a later vehicle.

Mzoli's meat restaurant, Gugulethu

Mzoli’s meat restaurant, Gugulethu

We were back in Cape Town by 12.15pm.  I found all our guides to be open, informative and happy to answer any questions and gave us the perfect insight into our political history.  Langa residents are clearly used to visitors and we were greeted and made to feel welcome throughout the tour.  This tour is for everyone, international and local visitors.

The price of the tour is only R290pp and thre is a discount if you book it online. www.citysighting.co.za

 

 

About Author

Lesley has been conducting private tours for the last 12 years. She specialises in South African history and the Cape wine region.
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