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“Excellent insight into township life” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vamos Township Tours

Vamos Township Tours
Ranked #39 of 324 Tours in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Vamos is deeply embedded in the Langa Township through its ownership (Siviwe), tour guides (Siviwe, Nathi, Gladstone, Abosh), and community involvement (Happy Feet Youth Project). Touring with Vamos is like being a guest in our neighbourhood! We live here, this is our home and you are our special guest.Our experiences too, are different. We take smaller groups on interactive walking or cycling tours around Langa. We visit friends in their homes and shacks, we hear their stories, we show you their businesses, we share traditional Xhosa beer, we smell sidewalk barbecues, (taste if you'd like), visit shebeens and spaza stores. We want to share with you, a slice of life in the townships.On weekday mornings, your tour will include a meal, usually a barbecue at the well-known Mzoli's in Guguletu. Our afternoon tours include a visit to the Happy Feet Youth Project. On Sundays, we include a visit to a Gospel Church. The unexpected thing about a tour with Vamos, is that most guests come away feeling positive and inspired. Our tours are not about poverty .... yes you will see signs of poverty, but rather our tours are about people and how they are lifting themselves out of their poverty. Positive, resilient, hopeful people who are friendly, welcoming and proud of their culture and history.
uk
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Excellent insight into township life”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

I visited Langa with a small group and we were shown round by Sivewe who was very interesting and informative , being a resident himself. We were picked up and dropped back to our hotel and the whole visit was one of the highlights of my trip. As the other reviewers have said - Go, you won't regret it!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank UkThewanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dundas, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Langa township tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013

Our tour of Langa with Siviwe was more than excellent. We were made to feel very welcome--more like guests than tourists. Siviwe's love and pride for the place he grew up in was very obvious. He showed us everything---the good and the bad, answered all of our questions, and helped us understand the history, even waited as we had several stops to take pictures of the children who would run up to us, hold our hands and give us lots of hugs.
We wish him all the best, especially with the Happy Feet gumboot dancers. We were lucky to see them perform.
We were also very grateful that Siviwe delivered my husband's hat, which he left in the van, to our hotel the next day. We didn't even ask him for it--very thoughtful!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank LaurieGaler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
87 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Interesting perspectives”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2013

We did a 2.5 hr walking tour of Langa with Gladstone who is a local resident. My husband and I live in Cape Town and have been into the townships before but it is quite another experience being taken around on foot by a local. the townships remind us of the strength of human spirit and our collective responsibility to in some way give back to the community if we are lucky enough to not be living in a shack.
Gladstone was an informative and pleasant guide. He spoke slowly for my German family and allowed us plenty of time to ask questions and do translations for the children. His relationship with the people we visited made us feel like guests rather than tourists.
While chatting to Gladstone at the end of the tour I realised that although certain standard routes are covered, some 'attractions' like shebeens, sangomas (medicine woman), churches etc are visited on request. We only did a short walking tour (which was about the extent that 3 children between 8 and 10 years could cope with!) but it seems to be possible to customise the route to a certain extent. I would recommend discussing your requirements before you book and set off.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rollingstone2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garth A, Owner at Vamos Township Tours, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Hello Rollingstone2000! Thanks you for your review and useful observations. We try to give guests to Langa Township a "Slice of Life" experience... in the company of Siviwe, Gladstone, Nathi or one of our other colleagues (all Vamos Guides live in Langa). As you probably experienced, we do not believe in "Ag Shame" tourism. We try our best to give realistic experiences, highlighting the power of humans to overcome adversity, rather than dwelling on the evident poverty. Where possible, we certainly will try to accommodate specific interests, this is sometimes more easily achieved through a private tour than through a scheduled departure. We really work hard to give our guest / visitors a 5 Star experience. As an aside ... as a fellow-South African ... don't you wish more South Africans who live in the suburbs experienced what you did in the townships. Wouldn't it really challenge more of us to reflect on our preconceptions and fears?
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Eye-opening township tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

We did a fascinating Langa township tour with Nathi, our great guide. It was a real eye-opener to see how people live in the township, often in desperate poverty but still maintaining a sense of real community. We had the opportunity to learn about the history of townships first hand from Nathi who grew up in Langa and still lives there. He was very informative and the morning passed very quickly. Our private tour included a colourful visit to a Baptist church where we were part of a memorable gospel service. Our favourite stop (especially for our 12 year old daughter) was at Happy Feet, a community project where young children express themselves through dance (in gumboots!!) Remember to take sweets, pencils etc to give to the children. It was a lovely experience. We took loads of photos and video and everyone we met was happy to pose. We shall be posting lots of photos back to Nathi to distribute. It was a great experience, especially with older children who will probably learn more about township life from a few hours with Nathi than reading any number of books. Just do the tour, learn something and support the people of the township!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank 101ROD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Township Tour by Bicycle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

Our guide Nati picked us up in town for a transfer by minibus to his township of Langa where we were given sturdy commuter bikes and off we went. Nati showed us his township - warts and all. Some bits were confronting (such as the cramped and ramshackle living quarters), some facts were surprising (such as the contrast of the neat and solid houses just a street away from abject poverty - people growing up in townships don't leave their cultural group behind, just because they are able to make a better living), and some parts were really entertaining (like the kids doing a rythmical dance routine wearing gum boots). We were able to interact with people, and stop whenever we saw something interesting or when we had a question. Nati is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humour and is passionate about his fellow citizens in general and the children of the township in particular.
The terrain is flat and the pace is slow, so anyone who can ride a bike will easily manage.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ilke B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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