Posted by: Gideon | September 9, 2010

Cape Town with Kids: A Visit to Langa Township

Daniel (aged 9)

The best thing I did in Cape Town was to visit Langa Township. This is the oldest black township in Cape Town and we went there on a tour.

First we went to a museum that showed us Cape Town in the old days and stuff like that – it was kind of interesting but what I thought was really cool was that they had hundreds of different street signposts. But basically the museum wasn’t so exciting for me – I think it was more interesting for the adults.

District 6 Museum. Streets razed & populations forcibly removed.

Then we went on a drive through Cape Town to Langa. We got there and we visited some of the very old houses – they told us that 7 families would live in one house –  it was very tidy inside but you could see that living there isn’t much fun. Then we went to look at the more modern houses that have TV’s and proper beds. Then we walked around Langa with a local guide and on the walk we visited a pre-school. We played with the kids, took pictures with them and played tag and they sang songs to us. I really enjoyed meeting the kids and I think the kids really loved having us visit them. After that we went to a hut and they showed us how they made sorghum beer. Some of us tried it – it was disgusting! And then, we walked on the street and we saw kids playing soccer. Their ball went over the fence  and we threw it back to them and they invited us to come play with them. They picked teams and we played a game. It was so fun but eventually we had to leave.

I really enjoyed Langa. It isn’t a very nice place to live but the people are super nice. I would really recommend that kids go on this tour if they are visiting Cape Town. It gives you an idea of the way so many people in South Africa still live today.

(Dad’s Note: Like all townships in South Africa, Langa was created to keep the black population separate from the white population, as per the apartheid laws. The District 6 Museum visited describes all the aspects of Apartheid, and puts Langa in its historical context. While the kids might have found the museum visit “too heavy” it was very interesting for the adults. The tour shows the reality of life in South Africa for most people today.)

PS : These days I am planning great trips for families to South Africa. For more info, click here.

With the kids at Langa Preschool

Playing soccer with the kids in Langa

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