Gugulethu
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 33 58.409 E 018 33.692 pop. 340,000 | elevation 20 m/66 ft

Originally named Nyanga West, Gugulethu (or Gugs for short) was established in 1958 to house the influx of workers to Cape Town from the rural Transkei region. Like neighboring Langa, Gugulethu was a site of mass resistance during apartheid and drew international attention with the murder of the Gugulethu Seven by South African security forces and the killing of American student and activist Amy Biehl in the early 1990s. Monuments now stand in memory of these past abuses and hope for the future. Today, one of Gugulethu’s largest attractions is the Sunday braai and street party at Mzoli’s, where people from all over the townships and Cape Town gather for an afternoon of eating and drinking.

Gugulethu Seven Monument

Gugulethu Seven Monument remembers the brutal murder of seven young black activists by South African security forces in 1986. The young men were on their way to what they believed to be a job interview in a minivan driven by an undercover security officer, when they stopped at a roadblock and the police opened fire. Security forces covered up the crime, claiming it was an act of terrorism, but the real story was exposed during the Truth and Reconciliation process and a memorial now stands at the sight where they were killed.


Amy Biehl Monument

Amy Biehl Monument is a small cross marking the site where Amy Biel, an American student activist living in Cape Town, was killed in 1993 in an act of politically motivated violence by young PAC supporters in Gugulethu.


Gugulethu Visitor Information Center

Gugulethu Visitor Information Center doubles as a shop for local artists and crafters to sell their wares.


Liziwe's Guest House

Liziwe's Guest House is a spacious and modern guesthouse with comfortable rooms, each with its own unique African theme. Owners Liziwe and Donald are very welcoming and will go out of their way to make sure you have a memorable stay in Gugulethu. In 2010, they began construction on a new addition and expect to soon have a total of 15 rooms available for guests. They offer satellite TV, a comfortable living area and large dining area where they serve catered African meals.


Mzoli's Meat

Mzoli's Meat is a weekend hot spot where locals from Gugs, university students, Capetonians and visitors meld together for a daylong street party over meat, beer and music. Saturdays are good, but the real party is Sunday afternoon. Bring your drinks or buy six packs there. You can order sausage, wings, ribs or steak, which are grilled up in the back room any way you like it and served to you in a bucket.


Gqudu's Place

Gqudu's Place is a popular lounge and dance club that really gets bumping on the weekends. On Mondays, they also offer a free fish braai when you buy a drink at the bar.


Duma's Falling Leaves

Duma's Falling Leaves is a jovial township shebeen where travelers can mix with locals looking to relax after a day of work. Duma, a former jazz musician who patrols his bar in sleeveless shirts and suspenders, is often entertaining his customers and friends with stories and a nonstop mix of tunes.