Several projects are under way to encourage tourists into the townships but, as a high proportion of Cape Town’s nearly two thousand annual murders take place here, the recommended way to visit is on a tour operated by residents of the Cape Flats, or in cooperation with local communities, emphasizing face-to-face encounters with ordinary people. They include visits to shebeens, nightclubs and a township restaurant, chats with residents of squatter camps and the Langa hostels, and meetings with traditional healers and music makers, township artists and craftworkers. Some tours also take in “sites of political struggle”, where significant events in the fight against apartheid occurred. If you want to really get under the skin of the townships, there’s no better way than staying in one of the township B&Bs which offer pleasant, friendly and safe accommodation.

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