African Cooking at a Cooking School in the Langa Township of Cape Town

African Cooking at a Cooking School in the Langa Township of Cape Town

Today you will be collected from your hotel at 09h00 for your tour.   We start the day over a cup of coffee at Truth Coffee Roasting – a micro coffee roaster famous for its coffee and its steam punk decor.    Over a cup of coffee we chat about the history of Apartheid.   In order to understand the complexities of our people and the historic divisions, you need to understand the history.

Next we visit the District 6 Museum. This is Cape Town’s apartheid museum. This museum represents the memories of a community on the outskirts of Cape Town where over 60 000 people were forcefully removed from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1980’s. The visit allows us the opportunity to discuss the impact of Apartheid on the community from District 6.

Eziko Students banner pic - having fun
Some of the students at the Cooking School in Langa – having fun learning to cook!

From here we travel to Langa Township to cook at a small cookery school that provides the local residents with the skills needed to get jobs in the kitchens of the restaurants and hotels in Cape Town.

This is one of only a handful of full time cooking schools based in a Cape Township.

The Cooking School was “built” from shipping containers that were welded together.   A local casino provided money to dry wall around the metal of the containers.

The students are not from privileged homes. As such the fees charged cannot be very high. Money needs to be raised in order to provide these kids with tuition, which is done through a variety of ventures.  A visit to the school and restaurant is a unique opportunity for you to interact with a community initiative that works towards job creation. Here you learn about African and Xhosa culture and cuisine. This is an opportunity to interact with the locals and also for you to leave your mark on your journey to Cape Town. Your visit means that you are contributing in a small way to this project. 90% of the graduates secure a job. Incredible in a country with around 40% unemployment (and even higher among our youth)

Mama Lindy putting her visiting overseas visitors through their paces on how to make their own traditional African lunch.   Her motto is “clean as you go!”


A welcome talk on the school and the project
Hands-on cooking lesson where you learn to cook dishes like pap (similar to polenta), chakalaka, samp and a typical meat stew (note that in Africa a meal is not considered a meal if meat is not involved!)

Pap – the staple of much of southern Africa is maize.   This is a thick porridge – which makes it easy to eat with your hands and to dunk it into delicious sauces and gravies!
Samp & Beans – the staple of only one tribe – the Xhosa.   This is Mandela’s tribe and wherever he traveled in the world he took his chef to cook him his Samp & Beans.  Samp is simply dried cracked maize cooked slowly with sugar beans.   It takes about 4 hours to cook!
Chakalaka is a spicy relish that is served to compliment the pap/samp & beans and meat stew – it is usually spicy.   Everyone has their own Chakalaka recipe and you even find it sold in cans in the supermarket here.

Once you have done all the prep – you need a break to allow for some time for the meat stew to cook!   As such we head outside for a talk on the project,  we learn about African traditions such as the local African beer made from maize and when it used traditionally.   The local beer is always shared and as such we learn how to drink it and we share it among us.

African beer drinking – learn the correct way of sharing and drinking the local  Xhosa beer

We also chat about how a Smiley is prepared and have the opportunity to taste one. A Smiley is a traditional delicacy enjoyed by the Xhosa people – the sheeps head is firstly placed on the BBQ to burn off any hair, it is then placed in a pot above a coal fire hearth (known as an Eziko) and gently cooked until the meat is tender. It looks a little intimidating! But tastes delicious!  It is called a Smiley as the lips curl up when the meat is ready!  So it looks like it is smiling!

The Smiley!

We then enjoy the dishes you have prepared in the school.

To read more about the school check out my blog by clicking here.

2009 June 171 (1)

The Info on the Tour:

Timing:  9am to 2pm.   Monday to Saturday.   The tour does not operate on a Sunday.


  • We collect from central hotels/guesthouses in Cape Town and will drop you back at your hotel or anywhere central after the tour
  • We only offer private tours for all of our tours.

Information we need:   Please advise whether you have any dietary requirements.   Note that African culture is a meat based cuisine – as such this is not the perfect option for vegetarians

Cost:  The cost depends on the number of people and where you are staying – so please let us know this information when you book!  It is a private tour – so the numbers booking affect the price!

Supersize your tour – Turn it into a Full Day Tour:

Option 1:   Include a cycling tour of Langa Township in the afternoon 

Option 2:  Include a visit of Stellenbosch Winelands in the afternoon.   We can do either two wine tastings or one wine tasting and a visit to the historic old centre area of Stellenbosch Town

Some more background information:

To read more about African cuisine – click here for the article on my blog

Click here for Mamma Lindy’s recipes.

To read one of my old blogs on the African Cooking classes in Langa – check it out here.

To read feedback from an American agent and her group who recently experienced the tour, check out the article that Pricilla from Global Sojourns wrote on her website.