Elsa Hoffmann

Nelson Mandela and the Townships day trip

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This is not a 4x4 safari - it is a glimpse into a tour - i.r.o of some history of South Africa - for those interested in Nelson Mandela and the apartheid topic -  if this is your thing - here are some images from a tour I did yesterday with guests from California. We combined the Robben Island tour and a trip to 2 townships in one day - and these are available from various operators and tour guides - usually a group tour. Our tour was a private one - so it was a fellow tour guide and 2 guests only. I am not posting this to gather some clients - as you can do this with any operator or guide you wish to - but to just give you an idea of what can be seen and experienced.  If you wish to do the Township tour - you have to work through some guide as you can't visit on your own. 

 

Robben Island is a small island just North West of Table Bay harbour (12 km from the main land) This is where political prisoners were kept during the Apartheid period. One travels by Ferry - and the ride can be a bit rough at times :) The dude in the image is a former political prisoner - he is now a site guide and lives with his family on the island. An immensely interesting and passionate person. Cant tell you how much I enjoyed listening to him.  


The Townships we visited were Langa and Kayelitsha. Kayelitsha is not on any other tour schedule as far as I am aware - and you can NOT go there on your own. Driving there is hair raising - even for us locals! It is however awesome to see life in the Townships - kids playing in the street, a huge sense of togetherness and a great community, despite the fact that they are poor, houses often leaking like nothing you have ever seen, and the threat of fires being huge (they use fires for cooking and candles for light - imagine that) 


A delicacy you will always find in the Townships - Smiley's (sheep's heads). A lots of chicken (apparently better than KFC) and cheap sausage - all cooked on open fires on the street. "vendors" operate from right outside their homes (often 3m x 3m in size - and can house 8 - 18 people (believe it or not) Many of the homes are shacks - built from anything they can lay their hands on. Water and toilets are communal for these shacks. Not all homes are shacks - you will find some brick ones too. our visit to see a traditional healer (Sangoma) was interesting to say the least ...

 

 

170624 Robben Island 003.jpg

170624 Robben Island 010.jpg

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170624 Robben Island 015.jpg

170624 Robben Island 033.jpg

170624 Township 007.jpg

170624 Township 008.jpg

170624 Township 014.jpg

170624 Township 019.jpg

170624 Township 023.jpg

170624 Township 024.jpg

170624 Township 027.jpg

170624 Township 043.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

A delicacy you will always find in the Townships - Smiley's (sheep's heads).

170624 Township 007.jpg

 

 

 

~ @Elsa Hoffmann

 

The smiley's are a snack...a main meal...something else?

 

They're baked...roasted...steamed?

 

They look fairly untouched. This is the first that I've heard of them.

 

Tom K.

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Oh they are a main meal for sure - cooked on the open fire - looks like this when done - these days mostly eaten in the Townships and the older generation who were raised on farms - me - I wont touch it !

170624 Township 004.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

Oh they are a main meal for sure - cooked on the open fire - looks like this when done - these days mostly eaten in the Townships and the older generation who were raised on farms - me - I wont touch it !

 

~ @Elsa Hoffmann

 

Ah, your photo tells all.

 

Thank you for the explanation and the vivid illustration.

 

Your reluctance to have a nibble is entirely understandable.

 

If I ever enjoy the privilege of a fourth visit to South Africa, I hope that my friend @Peter Connan isn't inspired by this at an evening braai.

 

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

@Tom Kellie fear not - I will have a word with him..... (and stay away from Offal too - intestines and brains and the like) Apparently the eyes of a sheep are particularly tasty.

@Peter Connan please don't put this on your menu - haha (but you can do skilpaaitjies and poffadders) 

Edited by Elsa Hoffmann
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1 minute ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

@Tom Kellie

@Peter Connan please don't put this on your menu - haha (but you can do skilpaaitjies and poffadders) 

 

~ “poffadders” ?!?!?!

 

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6 minutes ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

 

~ @Elsa Hoffmann

 

Thank you for providing the helpful link. After reading I was amazed to read that “pofadders” are described as being “the size of a man's forearm”.

 

It seems that I'd better arrive fasting on my next visit to South Africa, in order to have room for a few dainty nibbles of delectable “pofadder”!

 

Tom K.

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6 hours ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

@Tom Kellie fear not - I will have a word with him..... (and stay away from Offal too - intestines and brains and the like) Apparently the eyes of a sheep are particularly tasty.

@Peter Connan please don't put this on your menu - haha (but you can do skilpaaitjies and poffadders) 

 

@Elsa Hoffmann, i have already treated  @Tom Kellie to Skilpadjies. Pofadder (and the ingredients thereof) seems scarce here, and Sonja refuses to cook me offal... I will never forget how i used to help my dad saw open the head to get the brains out. This is then tied into a bag made from the stomach lining.

 

I understand why most people get squeemish at the thought of offal, which is a pity since it is a truly tasty meal, and to me at any rate far less offensive than polony. I once had the misfortune of visiting a polony factory...

 

Anyway, my Safaritalk friends need not worry about getting offal in my house...

 

This looks like a very interesting tour.  On a more topical subject, Have they managed to deal with the feral cat population on the island, and are birds breeding there again?

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@Peter Connan  the cats weren't mentioned - and I forgot to ask! There definitely are birds breeding though. We saw some beautiful Oyester catchers. But the bus around the island is a quick tour - and we only stopped once. 

 

Offal - it's not the taste thats the problem for me - I just dont like the sell - and I grew up with it at home! We also dont see Poffadder here - only on the farm. 

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Great to hear thanks @Elsa Hoffmann

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Poffadder being a snake or a name for a food looking like that snake?!

 

@Elsa Hoffmann thank you so much for this immensely interesting report. Not everyone is visiting Africa solely for safari; however visiting township is a very delicate thing in my eyes, so having a really good guide (and I am not speaking about personal safety) is as important as when one is to visit a Himba tribe village in Namibia. Still plenty of time to ponder around with that idea.

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@xelas A Poffadder is food - looks like a snake though :) Thank you for the kind comment. And yes - few things beat a seriously good guide - which is why I mostly employ local guides when I know I would not be able to deliver what a local can. 
 

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Another great report, keep 'em coming. 

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Thank you very much

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