We were curious to learn about and visit the townships, but reluctant to do so, not wanting to be intrusive -but also not wanting to just stare at strangers from a bus window. The concierge at the Welgelegen Guest House (also great) put us on to Uthando South Africa, which was described as a non-profit, fair trade tourism outfit. We attended one of their events, met the leader, James, other members of Uthando and different groups from various townships. It was a marvelous experience and really was non-exploitative.
Uthando is trying to help build a new South Africa, and all the cliche's about townships are turned on their head. You meet creative, energetic people, and you realize that there is more that connects us than separates us.
At that event in Cape Town, they showcased the performing talents of -I don't know how many groups of all ages- who performed everything from regional/tribal songs and dance, to modern dance, to rap and hip hop.
They also presented various small groups who were involved in creating businesses, selling crafts, helping youth at risk, promoting multi-racial & ethnic harmony etc., all of whom you could talk with, question and get to know. Our friends then went to visit the townships with them on another day, but we missed out because I got sick.
Even without a visit to their homes, the experience was incredibly inspiring and introduced my wife and I to elements of South Africa that we would have spent weeks tracking down by ourselves, if ever.
Educational, entertaining, helping build a better world. Sounds too good to be true, but it wasn't. I hope this conveys how enthusiastic we are about being allowed more deeply into the culture of South Africa, beyond the standard game park experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.