Destinations & Attractions in Cape Flats, in Cape Town

Cape Flats Destinations & Attractions

Aptly named for its flat landscape, this part of Cape Town is steeped in history, culture and heritage. Some of the history is sad, even tragic. But, it is essential to tell – both for the residents that need to purge themselves of the agony of yesteryear, and for the benefit and enrichment of those that visit the Cape Flats.

During the Apartheid regime, non-white residents of Cape Town were forcibly removed from their homes and transferred to areas that were not only out of the way, but lacked facilities and amenities for safe, hygienic living. The Cape Flats was one of these areas, and was initially reserved for the black and coloured inhabitants of the city. Today, things have changed considerably, but the Cape Flats remain in need of facilities and maintenance. Still, it has yielded a culture and vibe all its own, and is unique in its appeal.

The local residents are known for their incredibly well-developed sense of humour. In fact, there is an entire genre that is founded solidly amongst this Western Cape community.

Because of its past, the current Cape Flats’ community is extremely diverse. Locals speak English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and a variety of other African languages. Religious affiliations range from Christian to Islam to traditional Xhosa practices. This gives the area a colourful charm that is hard to resist.

The famous townships of Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha are part of the Cape Flats. These townships are enormous, and formal tours of them take the better part of a day to complete. The roads (often pot-holed or made from gravel) are lined with shacks constructed with corrugated iron sheets and board. Shops and even hair salons are set up in shipping containers on almost every street corner. Children play freely in the street, between informal vegetable and fruit vendors. Within these townships, there are a number of tourist attractions; including the Gugulethu Seven Memorial, Manyanani Peace Park (in Khayelitsha), and Mzoli's Place (Gugulethu). Experiencing these local hotspot means enjoying a very real, personal South African township experience.

In addition, the Cape Flats is home to a number of natural areas that are of major significance to the local ecology. The Rondevlei Nature Reserve is extremely popular amongst bird-watchers, while the Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve includes a massive freshwater lake. These add a beauty and natural diversity that is extremely valuable to the area.

Athlone, Grassy Park, Manenberg, Mitchells Plain and Kuils River are also part of the historical centre of the Cape Flats.

To learn more about the Cape Flats visit this link.

Athlone

Athlone, also known as the Cape Flats, is situated to the East of the City centre. If you are looking for some traditional Malay foods and delicacies, Athlone is the place to go. It is a very large suburb that holds smaller ...

Grassy Park

Grassy Park is one of the southern suburbs of Cape Town set on the Cape flats, just east of the M5 and the Princess Vlei, and closest to the suburbs of Ottery and Lotus River. Historically the suburb has been around a long time, ...

Gugulethu

The energetic community of Gugs, better known as Gugulethu, lies virtually on top of Cape Town’s International airport, about 20 kilometres outside of Cape Town - one of the oldest black townships in South Africa and arguably one ...

Khayelitsha

More than half of Cape Town’s unemployed live in the notoriously high crime area of Khayelitsha, a township just outside Cape Town that means ‘new home’. Created during apartheid as a dormitory area for migratory workers, ...

Kuils River

The tranquil area of Kuils River that lies at the foot of the gentle slopes of the Bottelary Mountains is just being ‘discovered’ by visitors to Cape Town who want to escape the confines of a city for a more rural experience, yet ...

Langa

Set just 15 to 20 kilometres from the centre of Cape Town and accessible where the N2 joins Bunga Avenue, Langa, the birth and resting place of Brenda Fassie - outrageous superstar and queen of pop - is one of the oldest ...

Macassar

Lying on the wind-blown rugged coastal road that takes one from Cape Town to Somerset West the long way - along the coast - is the beach of Macassar, more or less across the road from the Helderberg suburb of Macassar on the Cape ...

Manenberg

Manenberg is a largely Coloured community on the Cape Flats, where clotheslines span across apartheid-government-built housing and children play in the streets - the back of Table Mountain visible in the distance - the one ...

Matroosfontein

Matroosfontein is a residential area that, while outside the city centre, is part of the Mother City and home to many of its locals. It is extremely close to the Cape Town International Airport (less than about four kilometres, ...

Mitchells Plain

Described in a former resident’s own terms, Mitchell’s Plain is a large, sprawling coloured township originally billed, when it was built about 30 years’ ago, as the area for coloureds and erected to house the middle income ...

Nyanga

Nyanga, a sprawling, poverty-stricken illustration of Cape Town’s urban sprawl, is one of the oldest and largest black townships after Langa, establishing itself as early as 1955. It lies about 26 kilometres from the city centre, ...

Philippi

Philippi is one of Cape Town’s townships formed, in the 1980s, at more-or-less the same time as Khayelitsha and Delft. It lies sandwiched between Ottery, Hanover Park, Grassy Park, Mitchells Plain and Manenberg on what is known ...
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