The Alex Tourism Route highlights attractions found in one of South Africa’s most well-known and historic townships. The route includes some of the best taverns and shebeens, arts and crafts, entertainment and street vendors selling their goods, including the famous ‘chicken dust’, chicken braaied (barbequed) and sold on street corners.
The route is situated north of Johannesburg in Alexandra Township, famous for being the home of many well-known South African figures, including late State President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former first lady Zanele Mbeki and musicians such as Hugh Masekela, Zakes Nkosi, Simon Mahlathini Nkabinde, Caiphus Semenya and The Dark City Sisters.
Reasons to visit:
The best way to experience Alex Township is through a guided tour. Guides can escort visitors to a variety of attractions including:
- The Mandela Yard Precinct, a narrow alleyway between tightly packed houses, which leads to the room where late president Nelson Mandela once lived in the 1940’s when he was a young lawyer;
- The Roman Catholic Church Precinct is set amongst a lively district filled with shops and beer taverns where the serene St Hubert’s Church building contrasts with the surrounding environment;
- Kings Precinct with its 1950’s style cinema and a host of other bars and clubs;
- Nobuhle hostel, a giant, haunting hostel designed by the apartheid authorities to house migrant workers;
- The cemetery precinct where political activists such as Moses Kotane, Thoko Mngoma and Vincent Tshabalala are buried; and
- River Park, a new development that includes the Alexandra Renewal Project aimed at giving Alexandra Township a facelift.