Stellenbosch encourages tourists to ‘travel’ with cultural interest
Avid travellers and intrepid explorers in search of more inspirational encounters off the beaten track can now engage with the vibrant locals of the Kayamandi Township through fun-filled tours on foot by Stellenbosch 360, the town’s tourism outfit, as part of their Route 360 cultural tourism initiative.
Rather than being a geographical route, Route 360, is a ‘people’s route’ that paves the way into the hearts and homes of six Stellenbosch communities through authentic cultural experiences that offer visitors a colourful slice of the locals’ unique lifestyle, traditions and tastes.
Kayamandi, a pulsating community close to the town centre, is the first of the diverse dozen to offer their own cultural Township Tours, conducted by Route 360 and designed to showcase the abundance of inherent talent and natural resources. Rare experiential offerings and enlightening excursions through Cloetesville, Ida’s Valley, Jamestown, Klapmuts and Raithby are also on their responsible tourism charts for the near future.
“Our Route 360 Township Tours are not only a vehicle for socio-economic transformation; we also unearth and showcase emerging entrepreneurs and talent whilst we share with tourists the rich and diverse cultural tapestry of Stellenbosch,” explains Ann Heyns, Stellenbosch 360 Development Manager.
Kayamandi means ‘Sweet Home’ in isi-Xhosa and this is exactly what the visitor will experience through a wealth of tastes, sights and sounds when they set foot on a journey of discovery on one of these Township Tours. During this walkabout they will learn and live it up in the warm company of the locals, whilst indulging in some of the small tourism enterprises erected in this community – regarded as the second oldest township in South Africa, which claimed its first inhabitants as early as 1940.
The Route 360 Kaymandi Township Tours offer tailor-made packages which ranges from performing and visual arts to hands-on cooking and baking experiences, coupled with distinctive customs, traditions and an integrated lifestyle experience. One can for example enroll for a private Xhosa cooking lesson with Mama Swartbooi in her home; witness firsthand how a ‘Smiley’ (sheep head) is being prepared or share some love and green fingers at the communal Foodpods vegetable hub rooted by Heart Capital (www.heartcapital.co.za).
Other characters that you might meet along the way include Portia weaving magic with multi-coloured glass beads, Tebogo warming his voice for the weekly performance at Amazink, Jimmy preparing clay for his potter’s wheel and Songo motivating adventurous teenagers to hone their mountain-biking skills.
If you are keen on meeting the locals and learning about life in this unique environment, then a personalised Route 360 Kayamandi Township Tour is just for you. To book a half or full day tour contact Ann Heyns of Stellenbosch 360 at Tel: 021 883 3584; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or swing by at their information centre at 36 Market Street.
A tour costs R400 per person, which includes transport, meal, beverages and a tour guide.
Min 2 people, maximum 14 people per tour.
Pre-bookings are essential
Available: Mondays to Saturdays, 10:h00 until 13h00
Departure: 36 Market Street, Stellenbosch