Going on a township tour with Meisie Bokwana is one of the most interesting short trips in Swellendam. This will take you away from the Drostdy and the mountain to the other side of the national road, in Railton.
Township tours are safe and an eye-opening experience. A must for any visitor. Meisie Bokwana was born in Swellendam of a Xhosa father and Pondo mother from the Eastern Cape. Meisie is not a young girl anymore and her stories of growing up and living in Swellendam, through different periods of South African history, are a true treasure. She also runs a great after school project for kids in Railton.
This tour can take up to 2.5 hours (or a bit longer), so if you are going on this tour make sure you are not in a hurry and ready for a great experience. Children will love this tour as well.
On the tour you will/can experience:
1) Bloemfontein Huisie - the oldest building in Railton.
2) Township tour - by foot or by vehicle.
3) Song and dance from local children. Remember your dancing shoes - you will be asked to join in.
4) Sangoma reading is optional on request at an extra cost.
5) Tasting traditional Xhosa beer made from maize and malt.
6) Tasting local food like Vetkoek and Roosterkoek.
1) This tour is only by arrangement - phone in advance.
2) The children taking part in the dancing go to school - so this will only be available outside school hours.
3) You might be asked to meet Meisie at the "Superette". That is a local shop/cafe. See the link below.
4) You cannot go to the Bloemfontein Huisie on your own - only by arrangement.
5) Make sure you have at least 2.5 hours for this tour. More than worth it.
6) Meisie will sit with you in the vehicle during the tour - so if you are more than one vehicles in the group, it might be better to opt for the walking tour in the township, so everyone can hear Meisie's stories. Or make sure that you are in the vehicle where Meisie is in.
7) If you want to have a Sangoma reading please arrange in advance to ensure that you get that.
8) Cost - expect to pay R150 to R250 per person, depending on what is included in the tour. This is a bargain.