Alexandra Township Tour
Alexandra tours – Vibrant Township walking and bicycle tours.
Alexandra Township – located north of Johannesburg.
Apartheid created “township” across the road from up market Sandton.
Private collection and drop off – supplied as a fully guided professional tour covering en-route as may be possible from collection to drop off. Not simply a point to point transfer with a driver.
Items covered by Ekala Eco Tours on our Alexandra Tours
Our tours are private only (not mixed groups) – as such each Alexandra tour can be uniquely designed for an individual experience. If you have only one day available or part thereof for an Alexandra township and Johannesburg tour, we structure the tour around the key sites and your time available and the time allocated to the tour.
We prefer to use our experience in Alexandra/Johannesburg to create a suitable day tour, including the most significant items in the area and best use of time. However if you have specific requirements or places you wish to visit, Ekala will create a tour around this. These specific requirements should be supplied to Ekala at the time of quoting.
Ekala Eco Tours offer half day township tours covering Alexandra or Soweto’s significant sites, to a comprehensive Cultural/Historical tour lasting 3 days.
Clearly the more time that can be applied to the tour the better the area/history/culture that can be covered.
On cultural/historical day tours, we would generally not go into Museums – unless specifically required.
Ekala Eco Tours offer day/multi tours that would included Alexandra, Soweto and Johannesburg.
To be able to structure a tour around your requirements and time available – Ekala needs to be supplied with clear timing and collection and drop off address – hotel name. If one of the points is the airport – we need full flight details. Once we have these it will be possible to quote/advise and structure a day or multi day package around your requirements/timing.
Alexandra Township Tour can include
Alexandra Roman Catholic Church – tranquil old St Hubert Church, between local shops and taverns.
Nobuhle hostel – apartheid era designed buildings for “non white” labourers.
Mixed Hostels – Multi levelled single apartments, built during apartheid era. To house single male and female workers. The shortcomings of the system created social problems within the community and encouraged prostitution.
Nelson Mandela room – one-roomed house, located down a narrow alleyway, flanked by houses, leads to a room used by Nelson Mandela as a young lawyer during the 1940s. Before moving into this house, Nelson Mandela stayed at the Anglican Church, one street away.
Alexandra cemetery – Final resting place for many apartheid era political activists. The cemetery offers a view over Alexandra, the Juskei River, and the east bank developments.
Alexandra Stadium (Meshack Kunene Stadium) – a multipurpose stadium in Alexandra, currently used mainly for soccer and is home stadium for Alexandra United soccer club. Upgraded as part of the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).
Tsutsumani Village – Housing development opened in 1999 for use as the Athletic village during the All-Africa Games.
Kings Cinema – art–deco movie house, capturing the style of the 1950’s, forming the entertainment centre of Alexandra. Cultural Centre – museum, hall of fame and indoor theatre.
River Park – New developments as part of the ongoing Alexandra Renewal Project. Alexandra Arts factory – An arts training and performance venue. East Bank – Alexandra first elite housing project.
Zion Christian Church – ZCC – Church with the biggest membership in the Southern Hemisphere – approximately 5 million members.
Important heritage sites include the Twelve Apostles Church of Africa, the Alexandra Beer Hall, Freedom Square and the headquarters of the notorious Msomi Gang.
Alexandra Township bicycle and walking tours
Alexandra Bicycle Experience! Tour the streets of Alexandra by bicycle – visit historical sites, meet the people of Alexandra. Exciting, eco-friendly township tour around the streets of Alexandra.
Ride or walk to some of the most interesting historical sites around Alexandra. Up close and personal experience of the Alexandra community and get to know what makes this township unique.
As these walking and cycle tours are mostly done as private tours, these items above can be tailor made to your personal requirements. The Alexandra Township Bicycle Tours is not always available and depends on the size of the group, time available and various other items.
These must be specifically requested and confirmed in your booking.
Where time is short – with the main focus on a Johannesburg tour – we can include a drive through Alexandra – simply to give a perspective of the full Johannesburg. Including the larger township of Soweto and denser Alexandra.
Drive through Alexandra (mini Tour)
We can include a drive through Alexandra in most Johannesburg tours – but does depend on collection and drop off point and the actual time available in the day.
“Township” – a name used by Apartheid government to describe black area under group area act.
Experience the township vibe in Alexandra
Alexandra was proclaimed a township in 1912 and soon became known as the “dark city” with the complete absence of electricity. The Alexandra health committee was set up in 1916 with the aim of improving conditions in Alexandra. However this and all subsequent attempts to improve living conditions in the area have in general failed.
Originally a half square kilometres in size – Today Alexandra is 7, 6 square kilometres, including the areas of the East Bank, West Bank and Tsotsomane, with an estimated population of 500 000 residents.
Alexandra – vibrant township – In stark contrast to its upmarket neighbour of Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial centre, only 10 minutes away.
Alexandra Township Tour History
The farm originally owned by Mr. Papenfus, and reportedly named after his wife – Alexandra. The area was proclaimed as a white area in 1905. However in 1912 stands of approximately 1 000m2 were made available to black and Coloured South Africans, one of only a few urban sites in South Africa that black South African’s could acquire property rights. 1916 saw development of the Alexandra Health Committee, however was completely ineffective due to lack of funds.
Alexandra became known as the “Dark City” with no electricity or street lighting. The government’s lack of interest to develop the area saw the conditions deteriorate within Alexandra and disease a constant threat. This was also aggravated by the fact that Alexandra fell outside the Johannesburg City boundaries at that time.
During the Second World War, the government considered demolishing Alexandra; however this did not come about. In 1958 Alexandra was placed under the West Rand Administration Board (WRAB) that chose rather to develop a dormitory style hostel suburb, resulting in mass forced removals to facilitate this development.
Most of these forced removals saw residents of Alexandra being moved to Soweto, mainly Diepkloof and Diepmeadow. This reduced the population of Alexandra from 75 000 residents to only 40 000 by 1973.
The 3 month Bus Boycott of the Mid-1950’s showed the spirit of the Alexandra people, choosing rather to walk than pay the increased bus fares. During the late 1950’s and early 60’s the people of Alexandra were intimidated by the Msomi Gang, a mafia style gang that ruled Alexandra.
People of Alexandra Township have managed to endure and flourish.
Throughout its turbulent past, Alexandra always had a desperate lack of facilities, yet the people have managed to endure and flourish. Political conflict erupted throughout South Africa during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Alexandra Township was not isolated during these uprisings.
Alexandra was declared a high-risk area and with the national state of emergency of 1986 – the South African Defence Force moved into Alexandra.
Private, Professional and Reliable tailor made Tours/Safaris
Ekala Family & Guides
We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa, bringing historical and cultural tours to life! With our vast experience and expertise, we will ensure you leave with a camera full of memories.
We will endeavour to personalise your tour according to individual time and budget specifications.
We personally conduct and organise all our tours and safaris as highly experience and professional guides.
Get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s history and diverse cultures.
Our tours are non-invasive.
Cultural tours/township tours as Soweto/Alexandra:
We do NOT go into private houses.
Or invade the township resident's privacy in any way.
No prices on our website due to the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour.
We structure our tours/safari's around our client’s individual requirements.
If time is limited:
We will structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.
Using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.
Not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.
We quote based on your specific requirements.
Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets – wildlife, environment and the people.
An Historical/Cultural tour and Safari to remember for the right reason
Follow in Nelson Mandela footsteps:
Robben Island – you can visit his prison cell.
However – Johannesburg/Pretoria:
Nelson Mandela came to Johannesburg as a young man.
Became an activist in Johannesburg
Entire focus of his defiance campaign – Johannesburg.
Became a lawyer in Johannesburg.
Ran his law firm (and that of Oliver Tambo) in Johannesburg.
All time spent in prison before the Rivonia trail – in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Once released from prison – returned to Johannesburg.
Inaugurated as President in Pretoria.
While President – office in Pretoria.
While President – main residence in Pretoria.
After retiring (as president) still had an office – in Johannesburg.
Still today – his office – now the Nelson Mandela centre of memory - in Johannesburg.
Spent the last 23 years of his life in Johannesburg (apart from a limited amount of time in Qunu).
Hospital while ill – Pretoria.
Passed away in Johannesburg.
Thus if you wish to WALK in the footsteps of the Great Man and to truly experience his life, it needs to be in Johannesburg and Pretoria.