Alexandra Township Tour


Name used by the Apartheid government to describe a black area under the group area act.
Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Alexandra tours – Vibrant Township walking tours.

Alexandra Township – located north of Johannesburg.

Apartheid created “township” across the road from up market Sandton.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Private collection and drop off – supplied as a fully guided professional tour covering en-route as may be possible from collection to drop off. As a result, 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). Accordingly 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.

Additionally we use our experience in Alexandra/Johannesburg to create a suitable day tour. Subsequently including the most significant items in the area and furthermore making the best use of available time.

Specific requirements:

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.

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.

Accordingly, 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 include Alexandra and Soweto, both part of Johannesburg.

For the purpose of structuring a tour around your requirements and time available – Ekala needs to be supplied with clear timing, collection and drop off address – hotel name. Additionally 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, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

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 leveled single apartments, built during apartheid era. To house single male and female workers.

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 1940’s.

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 Jukskei 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 Center – museum, hall of fame and indoor theater.

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.

Further important heritage sites include the Twelve Apostles Church of Africa, the Alexandra Beer Hall, Freedom Square and the headquarters of the notorious Msomi Gang.

Tour coverage depends on time allocated and other inclusions on the day

Alexandra Township walking tours

Alexandra walking tour through the streets of Alexandra – visit historical sites, meet the people of Alexandra.

Exciting, eco-friendly township tour around the streets of Alexandra.

Walk to some of the most interesting historical sites around Alexandra. Thus a up close and personal experience of the Alexandra community and get to know what makes this township unique.

However, as these walking tours are private tours, these items above can be tailor made to your personal requirements.

Alexandra Township walking Tours are not always available and depends on the size of the group, time available and various other items.

Accordingly 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.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

“Township” – a name used by Apartheid government to describe black area under group area act.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Experience the township vibe in Alexandra

Alexandra was proclaimed a township in 1912 and soon became known as the “dark city”. Due to 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 kilometer in size. Today Alexandra is 7, 6 square kilometers. Including the areas of the East Bank, West Bank and Tsotsomane. With an estimated population of over 500 000 residents.

Alexandra – vibrant township – In stark contrast to its upmarket neighbor of Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial centre, only 10 minutes away.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

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 1000m2 were made available to Black and Coloured South Africans. One of only a few urban sites in South Africa that black South Africans could acquire property rights. 1916 saw development of the Alexandra Health Committee. However was completely ineffective due to lack of funds.

Dark City

Alexandra became known as the “Dark City” with no electricity or street lighting. Government’s lack of interest to develop the area saw the conditions deteriorate within Alexandra and disease a constant threat. Furthermore aggravated by the fact that Alexandra fell outside the Johannesburg City boundaries at that time.

Forced removals

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). Choosing rather to develop a dormitory style hostel suburb. Accordingly 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 subsequently 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. 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.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Besides all of this, the people of Alexandra Township have managed to endure and flourish.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Throughout its turbulent past, Alexandra always had a desperate lack of facilities. Indeed, the people still 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. Subsequently the South African Defence Force moved into Alexandra.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Private, Professional and Reliable tailor made Tours/Safaris

Perfect tour options to include with the Alexandra Tour to create a full day tour:

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours
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Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

Ekala Family & Guides

Ekala Family & Guides

We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa’s history, culture and wildlife.

With our vast experience and expertise, we will, above all, ensure you leave full of memories.

Ekala will additionally endeavor to personalise your tour according to individual time as well as requirements.

Furthermore Ekala personally conducts and organise all our tours and safaris as highly experience and professional guides.

Consequently you get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s wildlife, history and diverse cultures.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours

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.

Alexandra Township, Johannesburg – Ekala Eco Tours


No prices on our website due to the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour we supply.

Ekala structure our tours/safari's around our client’s individual requirements.

If time is limited:

We indeed structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.

Accordingly using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.

In contrast, not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.

As a result, tour 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 – indeed, you can visit his prison cell.

However – Johannesburg/Pretoria:

Nelson Mandela came to Johannesburg as a young man.

Additionally became an activist in Johannesburg

Entire focus of his defiance campaign – Johannesburg.

Then became a lawyer in Johannesburg.

Consequently ran his law firm (and that of Oliver Tambo) in Johannesburg.

Moreover all time spent in prison before and in addition to the Rivonia trail – in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Furthermore, after Release:

Returned to Johannesburg.

Inaugurated as President in Pretoria.

Hence, while President – office in Pretoria.

While President – main residence in Pretoria.

Further, after retiring (as president) still had an office – in Johannesburg.

Actually still today – his office – now the Nelson Mandela center of memory - in Johannesburg.

Furthermore, 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.

Accordingly 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.