The Cape Flats is an area of Cape Town in South Africa that is filled to the brim with history. It is where much of the battle against the ills of Apartheid was fought. Today that battle is largely over, a new South Africa has been born. However, the Cape Flats remains one of the most fascinating places for the visitor to the country to explore. Here are 8 must-visit attractions for those who want to delve into what makes not only the Cape Province what it is today – but what makes Cape Town a global tourism hotspot.
1. Visit Gugulethu.
The township of Gugulethu is a place where anti-Apartheid activists were responsible for bringing down the racist government of South Africa. A visit will reveal how much of a pivotal role these activists played in that process. However – it offers the visitor much more. It offers an insight into the everyday struggles that those who still call townships home. There is also a sense of joy and laughter in the townships. Those choosing to explore this particular township can expect to enjoy transport in minibus taxis which millions use to commute. There is the opportunity to experience local cuisine and consult with a traditional healer. It is a trip filled with wonder and admiration for the indomitable spirit of the Cape Flats.
2. Enjoy a Meal.
Visiting a local eaterie gives an insight into just why the Cape Flats is such a special place. A meal at one of these spots is the perfect way to really get to know the locals – and enjoy a wonderful meal at the same time. Mzoli’s in Gugulethu is the perfectly simple antidote for the usual tourist experience. Enjoy a local brew, buy your protein of choice from the butchery and have it prepared. then settle back to take in what makes this location so special.
3. The Wolfgat Nature Reserve.
It’s not all bricks and mortar on the Cape Flats – the area also has some natural wonders that simply should not be missed by those with an interest in flora and fauna. The reserve which covers an area of 248 hectares was established in 1986 – and it boasts a coastline with stunning views over the vista of False Bay. It is the perfect place to settle down with a picnic basket and take in the magnificence of a truly beautiful place.
4. Get to know a Township.
For those with an interest in the spiritual a gospel style tour of Langa or Kayamandi townships. Experience choirs that list their voices in prayer – and the hospitality of the locals. Take in the vibrancy of dance and the refreshment of homemade goods. Visit the local churches where preaching against the evils of Apratheai provided spiritual solace to township residents faced with almost insurmountable odds.
5. Visit the local market.
The township of is still characterized by poverty, but there is a richness of art and craft that can be found in its environs. One of these places is in the Khayelitsha market. This is the perfect place for visitors to pick up curios, local arts and much more. Not only will the visitor be celebrating artistic and creative talent – they will be contributing to lifting many out of poverty.
6. Do some shopping.
Liberty Promenade in Mitchells Plain is a concrete sign that the Cape Flats is undergoing a Renaissance. This ultra-modern shopping center offers a variety of retail and entertainment options to the visitor. Fashion items are available in abundance and opportunities to enjoy local cuisine abound. Visitors can take advantage of the favorable exchange rate and pick up that special keepsake, reminding them of their visit to this fascinating area.
7. Take a Cooking Course.
The Cape Flats is renowned for the production of dishes that are uniquely South African. Visitors are offered the opportunity to learn more not only about that cuisine – but what makes the people of the area so special. Food can bring us all closer together – and provides a lasting gift to those who simply want to hone their cooking skills. One of the best cooking schools is hosted by the Eziko Cooking and Catering School. Established in Langa township to provide a helping hand to the unemployed, it today offers the curious an opportunity to not only make a difference to the lives of township residents – but to simply have some fun.
8. Relax on a beach.
Monwabisi beach, adjacent to Khayelitsha offers sweeping views of False Bay. It is the perfect place for that picnic or barbecue (known as a ‘braai’ in South Africa). The visitor will meet local residents – and enjoy their insight into what makes the Cape Flats tick. Take a dip in the tidal pool and simply enjoy the sunshine and the company.
The Cape Flats is a fascinating destination for those who want to learn more about South Africa and its history – and how the journey towards the Rainbow Nation continues.