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Culture, Cuisine, and Community: Township & Village Experiences

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Holidays in Stellenbosch are about so much more than just breath-taking scenery and the silkiest wines in South Africa. They’re about immersing yourself within the community, scoping out meaningful experiences, and living like a local. That’s where Township & Village comes in.

This tourism social enterprise and economic development incubator was founded by the Stellenbosch Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development Trust (SEED) in 2018 as a sustainable way in which to promote economic development in communities. It offers access to ultra-personal, in-home cultural dining experiences, as well as on-foot walking tours through the region’s most historically significant sites and neighbourhoods. Here is a quick look at some of the most popular cultural and foodie experiences to consider adding to your itinerary.

Kayamandi on Foot

Kayamandi

Now’s your chance to explore the rich cultural heritage of Kayamandi, South Africa’s second oldest township. You’ll weave your way through the communal areas, appreciating local art and sampling local delicacies as you go. Shop for snacks and souvenirs at the township spaza shop, pick up a few handmade crafts at the bustling market, and take a few minutes to sit down to an ice-cold beer at the shebeen.

The tour costs R 450 per person and runs from Mondays to Fridays at 9am or 2pm.

Book here

Stellenbosch Vlakte on Foot

This tour takes you on an educational journey focused on the apartheid era and the personal stories of the many families who were forcibly removed from the heart of Stellenbosch in 1964. The area was previously known as ‘Die Vlakte’ and, despite its heart-wrenching history, is now a charming, welcoming region of town. As part of the tour, you’ll stroll along the tree-lined streets, chat to the locals, and pay a visit to the Luckhoff Living Museum.

The tour costs R 450 per person and runs from Mondays to Fridays at 9am or 2pm.

Book here

Stellenbosch University Redress on Foot

Stellenbosch University recently embarked upon a project deemed the ‘SU Redress Project’ that sought to eliminate hurtful symbols and reminders of the social injustice that took place in South Africa. The participants worked to replace these symbols with hopeful, thoughtful visual art in an effort to create a progressive, inclusive, and wholesome environment for students and visitors alike. The SU Redress on Foot tour will give you a close-up look at the artistic changes and additions, as well as provide insight into the project and the country’s history.

The tour costs R 450 per person and runs from Mondays to Fridays at 9am or 2pm.

Book here

Kayamandi Home Dining

 

 

If you’re a foodie with a hankering for a taste of local Xhosa culture, the Kayamandi Home Dining experience is a must. It will take you into the warm and welcoming home of a member of the Kayamandi community where you’ll dine on traditional Xhosa cuisine, such as pap, chakalaka, crispy chicken feet, samp and, of course, traditional beer (amagwinya), all while hearing about local customs and the rural way of life. The experience is suitable for 6 guests and up, and you’re welcome to bring your own wine if you wish. Special arrangements can be made for a vegetarian-friendly menu.

The experience costs R650 per person and takes place from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 12pm or 6pm.

Book here

Why Township & Village?

The real beauty of this unique tourism social enterprise – which is one of the first of its kind in Stellenbosch – is that it offers more than just deeper experiences focused on allowing local and international visitors to see Stellenbosch through the eyes and hearts of its own people. It is also geared towards supporting the region’s social and economic development. There are currently 50 service providers and ambitious entrepreneurs involved in the programme, including tour guides, crafters, performers, hospitality suppliers, and more. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate local, informal entrepreneurs into the town’s formal tourism economy.

Despite COVID and its far-reaching effects on the travel industry, Township & Village continues to push forward to both serve its community and delight curious visitors. The brand has embraced the opportunity to be even more creative in an effort to sustain itself and local entrepreneurs financially, all while actively prepping for the future with the intention of coming back stronger and wiser.

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