Situated 15 km from the city centre of Cape Town is a bustling hive of local flavour called Gugulethu: one of the original townships established in Cape Town in the 1960s. Since Apartheid, much has changed in the townships of South Africa, and Gugulethu is no different. Being one of the poorer parts of Cape Town it is difficult to escape poverty but it’s the people who make this place great. A hive of activity, the streets are always busy with vendors and you can always find a sense of community in “Gugs”, as it’s known to locals.
Due to the Apartheid government of South Africa during the 1960s, many non-white citizens of South Africa were forcibly removed from the cities and sent to live in dedicated townships, one of those was Gugulethu. The area was originally made for migrant workers coming to the city from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The homes were not stand alone but built in a barracks-like system and nobody owned the homes they lived in.
The name Gugulethu directly translates into “Our Pride” in Xhosa and is said like this “igugu lethu”.
This tavern-style restaurant has been on the list of all visitors to Cape Town for the past few years. Visitors get a chance to enjoy a local tavern-style restaurant. There is a butchery where the guests pick their meat and someone will braai (barbeque) it for you while you wait. There is a local shebeen where patrons can buy a quart (750ml beer) to share with friends around a braai just like locals would do. This is called “Chisa Nyama” in South Africa and is a pastime for all locals.
As with most townships near big cities, there are a variety of tours a visitor can do in the neighbourhood. A local guide will normally drive you around a bit then let you off to walk around, meet some people and see how local people live. In our opinion it’s always worth it, as you get to learn more about other people and see what Gugs is really like. The food is usually the best part. An interesting new tour style that has popped up is called the Cape Town Jazz Safari, this is a tour where guests will visit local jazz musicians in their houses and later have a local meal at someone’s house with great music.