Philippi lies between Ottery, Hanover Park, Grassy Park, Mitchells Plain and Manenberg on what is known as The Cape Flats in the surrounding area of Cape Town.
There are still mixed feelings about whether this is actually a tourist location as it is known as a dangerous part of the Cape. What has been advised is that when visiting a township while on holiday, it is highly recommended that it is done so in a group with a reliable vehicle and a well researched route mapped out or if you do not have a group of friends with you why not join a township tour – these are fun, educational and definitely safer!
Aptly named for its flat landscape, Philippi and other parts of the Cape Flats is steeped in history, culture and heritage. Some of the history is sad, even tragic, but essential to tell. Tours offered include those which visit a few areas to explore township culture and others offer a “Journey of Remembrance”. This type of tour commemorates the Capetonians who fought against the apartheid regime.
A must in Philippi is the Philippi Village and Container Walk - an old cement factory which has been given new life, re-purposed into an entrepreneurial and recreational/retail hub - a unique shopping experience for those who visit here.
Philippi offers guesthouse and B&B accommodation if you wish to experience township life. Alternative accommodation can be found in many of the Cape Town areas close by such as Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Noordhoek or Hout Bay.
Things to do and see
- Philippi Village
- Township Tours
- Cape Care Route
- Mnandi Beach
- Edith Stephens Wetland Park
- Victoria Mxenge Project
- Amy Biehl Memorial, Gugulethu
Philippi receives approximately 824 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the winter months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 16˚C.
There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport, 10 km away from the township. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Long, long ago the nomadic San once used the land for grazing for their animals and hunted here for food. It was only in 1833 when the first community of locals was recorded here, when the area was still known as Die Duine (The Dunes). The name Philippi came to be in 1898
Between 1860 and 1880’s the Germans arrived, and the area became well known for farming as they grew vegetables in the sandy soil of the now Cape Flats up until the early 1970’s.
Rapid residential growth began in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s due to Apartheid policies and Philippi was one of Cape Town’s Townships formed at more-or-less the same time as Khayelitsha and Delft. During apartheid it was a battleground, and today still faces huge challenges like poverty, crime, unemployment, overcrowding and susceptibility to fire and flooding.
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