Learning about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative walking tours
Sunday Gospel Experience with Camissa
Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful settlements
Forward-thinking Mother City company Camissa Travel & Marketing invites locals and foreigners alike (devout or disbelieving) to start Sunday on a deeply spiritual note. Every week, on this proverbial day of rest, the inspiring venture runs a half-day gospel tour that includes an eye-opening visit to a church in the old black African settlement of Langa.
This reverent experience is a special weekend add-on to the operator’s standard township tours, which offer tourists and South Africans a chance to see a slice of the real Mzansi. The Sunday outing not only gives visitors insight into a central aspect of many residents’ daily lives – church plays an important unifying role in the Langa community – but also offers tour participants a glimpse of the great strength, spirit and exuberance that prevails in this suburb despite such impoverished conditions.
Led by a knowledgeable guide (often either Samantha or Khonaye Tuswa, the founders of Camissa), the four-hour gospel excursion typically starts with a brief stop at the historical inner-city site of District Six before moving on to the very well-attended and lively Langa Baptist Church. Here, visitors are welcomed by an elated, immaculately dressed congregation (there are over 350 members) and are invited to participate openly in the charismatic singing, ululating, dancing, clapping, drum beating and piano playing that characterises the uniquely African opening praise and worship session.
Though hymns are typically sung in Xhosa (there’ll be the odd English one too), the service is a shining example of the universality of music, as guests typically find themselves swept away by the uplifting rhythms and melodies, wrapped up in the warmth of the people, and won over by the infectious sense of celebration and community.
After roughly 45 minutes of passionate praise – enough time to be deeply moved by the experience – the journey then moves out of the big holy hall and into the streets of this soulful suburb, where the standard township tour continues (occasionally, depending on time, this part of the excursion will happen first, prior to the church visit). On foot, visitors will stop in at dwellers’ tiny homes (in some cases as many as three families live in one room), pass through an upmarket area known as the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Langa and take a sobering look at the desperately destitute Joe Slovo squatter camp.
Finally, the outing concludes with a drive through two other townships, the predominantly coloured Bonteheuwel and the dynamic, fast-developing Gugulethu, to draw comparisons between the different areas. Ideal for both the pious and the agnostic, this sacred peek at the other side of Cape Town is certainly one spiritual way to spend Sunday.
Booking and pricing information for the Sunday Gospel Township Tour with Camissa
The gospel tour is priced at R520 for adults and R260 for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old. 10% discounts for CapeTownMagazine.com readers are available for groups of two or more; a minimum of two people is required for the weekly tour to operate. To book, contact Camissa on +27 (0)21 510 2646 or +27 (0) 78 657 7788.
Participants will be picked up from their respective bases at around 8:30am and will return at approximately 12:30pm.
Note: The above prices are valid until 30 September 2017.
Eager to find out more about this company’s standard offering? Read about Camissa Travel & Marketing’s poignant Township and Robben Island Combination Tour.
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