Langa Township

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We were in the middle of Langa Township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Lying in the shadow of Table Mountain, this place is several minutes away from the cosmopolitan city. Under a blue sky dotted with clouds, we walked along with our guide as he explained to us about their history, culture, politics as well as socio economic challenges. It is the oldest township in Cape Town which was established since 1923. Langa means “sun” in the Xhosa language. But the name of the township is actually derived from the name Langalibalele. A famous chief who rebelled against the government and was imprisoned on Robben Is land

Shanties are also built by migrants in the outskirts of Langa. So the area is expanding continously. Not only black South Africans move to the city to seek employment. There is also a huge influx of migrants from other African countries seeking better lives.

Many people still live in abject poverty. Overall, townships can be a depressing place to be. They all represent a bitter legacy of Apartheid. However, I felt a sense of relief upon learning about the improvement of the living condition of its residents. Since Nelson Mandela’s rule, the government has made efforts by improving the township. Such as construction of residential buildings, sport fascilities, clinics, community centers and schools. These people has also been given access to running water and electricity. There are parts of Langa that showed signs of prosperity as well. Brick houses with satellite dishes that are obviously home to middle class people.

It was great to see a different side of Cape Town. Although the people are so friendly & welcoming, there certain areas that are still unsafe. It was not a good idea to wander in the townships alone. Fortunately, Sam’s Cultural Tours made it possible for us.



Here are some photos taken in Langa.



A short visit at one of Langa’s shebeens.

























13 thoughts on “Langa Township

  1. Maggie says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, a side of travel most people don’t talk about! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Marry says:

    Definitely not a touristic place. But it’s always interesting how people leave in reality. thanks for sharing

  3. vicki says:

    And I thought South Africa was an affluent country 🙂 Loved the personal style of writing and those incredible revealing images.

  4. Vyjay says:

    A very candid post, gives a different perspective about South Africa and its people different from the safaris and wild life that we normally get to see,

  5. Joe says:

    It would probably be fair to say that the egacy of Apartheid in South Africa isn’t going away any time soon, and that there is still some way to go, even with the intervention you allude to. It’s also probably fair to say that you’ve experienced a ‘real’ slice of South Africa in a way the average visitor never does. Hats off to you for that! It’s always fascinating to get under the skin of a place when you can, and makes for a different, possibly more challenging, but always more rewarding experience 🙂

  6. Jamie says:

    Great post! I’m definitely interested in seeing more about socioeconomic and cultural shifts. Great way to look past the purely touristic side of travel 🙂

  7. Katharina says:

    Oh wow. This must have been quite an experience for you. This is truly of the beaten path and a way to experience the country that many tourist never will. Bravo to you for doing it. You are very inspiring.

  8. Ted says:

    An interesting post. So often people go to the tourist areas and say, This is what it is like.” Reality is that the tourist spots are mainly rip offs and if you want to meet the real people, get out to where people live.

    I’ve found where people are poorer, they are usually very welcoming. Meet one and have him or her introduce you to their friends. Normally I don’t post about them, because I don’t want a bunch of visitors forcing their “tourist” expectations on them. I’ve made some friends that way and visit them when back in town.

  9. I have never been to Langa Township, but it seems worth visiting. Thanks for bringing this place closer to us, Lance!

    1. says:

      Ya welcome. Absolutely recommend this one. The hostel where I stayed at can arrange this tour.

  10. Great website! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

  11. Deference to op , some superb selective information .

  12. I have interest in this, danke.

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