I visited Gordon's Bay, South Africa in mid-2016 to volunteer in women's empowerment with the GVI organization. (In this case, not an aimless wandering to this locale). Approximately an hour from Cape Town, the town itself is breathtakingly scenic.  

The opportunity arose to visit the nearby Langa Township. Townships are local communities that remain in South Africa from the Apartheid era. Though often plagued by poverty, the locals who reside in these townships feel a strong connection to each other, and pride for their home. The tour offered a chance to peak into the living conditions and residences of locals, with their permission.


Even within a township, there are varying levels of affordability in terms of housing. Many families of eight or more find themselves sharing shipping containers, that often are subdivided into two. This means that a single container can often house twenty or more individuals (two families). 


Others find build themselves shacks with dangerous electrical wiring that can often cause fires, and floods during the rain.


Slightly better conditions can be found in the leftover boarding houses of a bygone, Apartheid era. Discriminated workers who worked in nearby Cape Town were not allowed to live within city limits, and had to reside in these boarding houses some distance from the city proper. After the end of the Apartheid, these units were remodeled to house residents of the townships.


A local hair salon. There are many scattered throughout the township. 


The wealthiest in the neighborhood live in a region known as 'beverly hills.' Houses in this area are often single story homes, in rather stark contrast with some living quarters of others in the township.


A delicacy unique to townships is called 'smiley,' a goat's head roasted over open fires that results in the goat head seemingly smiling. Women in the townships roast these heads throughout the community. The eye ball (last photo) is also viewed as a fine treat.


Finally, locals here own and operate bars where they brew in-house beer. Giant steaming vats of home-made beer are made on the wide of the street outside the establishments, and are sold by the bucket, meant to be shared. If you have the opportunity to sample it: its definitely an acquired taste.


Township tours are increasingly popular and often operated by residents of the communities as a means to earn money. So long as one is respectful, it makes for an interesting cultural experience.