Gugulethu – Another side of the city
Gugulethu is a colourful, vibrant and lively township on the outskirts of the city, home to many of the city’s working population. A visit to the township is an unforgettable experience and a stark reminder of how life can need not be 5 star luxury to be friendly, welcoming and real.
“Gugs”, as Gugulethu is often called, originally named Nyanga West was established to help accommodate the many migrant workers who moved to Cape Town from the rural Transkei region in the Eastern Cape. It is 20km from the centre of Cape Town.
Welcome, one and all
The community here has embraced the tourism industry, and as such there is no shortage of restaurants, jazz clubs and B&Bs. Perhaps the most famous venue in Gugulethu is Mzoli’s Place, where you will find local and international visitors on any given day of the week. The delicious meat cooked on the open fire ensures that Mzoli’s always smells as good as food tastes.
Open doors, open hearts
Visit the township’s tourism centre, called Sivuyile, meaning “we are happy”, at the corner of NY1 and NY4. Take some time to wander around the arts and craft shop, which stocks the work of local artists and art students. There is a wide selection of sculptures, ceramics, beadwork, traditional clothing and textiles on offer.
Go with those in the know
The township is best visited as part of a guided tour, taking in all the sights and sounds. Most tours take visitors past the Gugulethu Seven Monument, built to commemorate the death of seven young black activists during the dark days of apartheid.
A guided tour with a difference, the Cape Town Jazz Safari run by Coffeebeans Routes, takes place in the evenings, is a wonderful way to experience Gugs. This musical history will allow you to experience the very local tradition of jazz whilst also enjoying a drink at one of the township’s many shebeens.
You could also take a 40-minute guided walk through the houses (mostly built of roof sheeting) to experience the everyday life of the people of Gugulethu (inquire about this via Cape Town Tourism). Once you have worked up an appetite, you can stop off for lunch at one of the many braai (barbecue) hot spots and enjoy some local food.
- Phone: +27 (0)21 637 8449
- Physical Address: Corner NY1 and NY4
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I really enjoyed my time in Gugulethu. Everyone was very friendly, genuine, and welcoming. I went to Mzoli's and really enjoyed Gugulethu's atmosphere. It is a great place to submerge yourself within the African culture.
Gugulethu is a great place. Everyone there is extremely friendly and will be so welcoming to you no matter where you are from. I would also recommend Mzoli's. It's a great atmosphere and a good place to embrace the culture.
I had an amazing time in Gugulethu. Everyone I met was so warm and welcoming. I visited Mzoli Place and Skhoma Ny50 and had awesome experiences at both places.
I don't think but i know Mzoli's place Rocks!!!
I think Mzoli sucks, its dirty and not conducive for foreigners, the area needs to be cleaned up, you need a 5 star hotel in the area but you have a white government, that will not happened