Close to the ground.

GPS: S 34 02.457 E 018 40.093 pop. 500,000 | elevation 22 m/72 ft

Meaning “new home,” Khayelistsha was established by the government in the early 1980s to house "legal" black residents who were living in overcrowded townships or evicted from informal squatter settlements on the outskirts of the city. The township quickly expanded as the repeal of pass laws led to rapid urban migration during the 1990s. People formerly restricted to rural “homelands” in the Western and Eastern Cape moved to the city in search of economic opportunities. Today Khayelitsha is Cape Town’s largest township and one of the largest in the country. Infrastructure in some of the areas of Khayelitsha is poor to nonexistent and crime rates are high. But investment into the township has led to rapid development and the construction of many new municipal buildings, including a state-of-the-art tourism center and a soon-to-be-completed hospital. It can be hard to find your way around on your own and streets are not well marked, so it’s best to check out the town with a local.

Lookout Hill Tourism Facility

Lookout Hill Tourism Facility hosts crafting workshops and sells wares made by local residents.

Khayelitsha Shopping Center

Khayelitsha Shopping Center is the biggest shopping complex in Khayelitsha. It has a Shoprite, SuperSpar, a branch of every major bank and an Internet café.

Indlovu Project

Indlovu Project offers dorm room accommodation above the Montessori Creche, which cares for children under six. The Shaster Foundation is heavily involved in supporting the Monwabisi Park community and is in the process of building an eco-friendly clinic, youth center and soup kitchen next door. Guests can volunteer with the Indluvo Project during their stay. There is also a guesthouse that is in the process of being built and is expected to be completed by mid 2010. Funds from the dorm and guesthouse support the community project.

Ekasie Backpackers

Ekasie Backpackers opened in 2004 as the first backpackers in Khayelitsha, with three dorm rooms and a couple of private rooms that open up onto a second-story balcony. It's a colorful backpackers with a bar, pool table and TV lounge upstairs. Hosts Nome & Luba can prepare meals and take you on a walking tour of the surrounding area. The entrance is in back, on Benyano Crescent.

Vicky's B&B

Vicky's B&B became the first B&B of all the Cape Town townships when it opened in 1998. It started with two rooms and gradually expanded into a six-room two-story guesthouse with a of couple en-suite rooms and a second story balcony that provides a view of the surrounding area. The guesthouse is located in a vibrant neighborhood and Vicky's three younger children are happy to show you around. There is a popular shebeen just down the road where you can drink with the locals.

Malebo's B&B

Malebo's B&B is a fiveroom guesthouse with three en-suite rooms on the second level. The guesthouse was in the middle of getting new hardwood flooring installed when we visited but promises to be freshly finished by mid 2010. Host Lydia can also prepare traditional Xhosa meals for lunch or dinner.

Majoro's B&B

Majoro's B&B is a cozily decorated, two bedroom B&B with a living room and TV and one of the oldest of the Khayelitsha guesthouses. It opened in 1998 and is run by host Maria, who lives next door and can cook up an English or pancake breakfast for you in the mornings.


Nandi's is a popular braai joint that sells some seriously good meat: sausage, lamb, wings and beef by the kilo. You select your favorite sauce and they grill it up for you while you wait. Seating is outdoors at picnic tables. Note that Nandi's sells only meat and that bread and drinks are sold at the bar next door.

Star Catering

Star Catering is a large restaurant located in the training center. They serve lunch daily and are available upon request for special events and dinners. To find the restaurant, turn off Lwandle Road to Phendula Crescent and follow the signs for 100 m.


Solly's is easy to pass by, but from Thursday to Sunday, there's usually a crowd in the open courtyard, and around the wellstocked bar. When the DJs are mixing, parking gets tight. Going with a local is recommended.


Ace is where Khayelitshans braai and drink, every day of the week. The club itself is modern and always has a flat screen TV on. On Mondays, they braai up a full sheep on a spit, Wednesdays is a fish braai and ladies night and the club is generally packed between Friday and Sunday. Going with a local is recommended.

Kefu's Jazz Pub & Grill

Kefu's Jazz Pub & Grill is a small pub with big plans for expansion. Next door to the current pub is a two story brick building that, when finished, will house the new pub, restaurant and a B&B. They are open seven days a week but usually only busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Meals are available if you call in advance.