Eenblond is Passionate About Travel and the Change it Brings
Whether it is travelling to write for her blog, guiding tours or bringing the joy of travel to the underprivileged, Gilda is living the ideals of responsible sustainable travel.Eenblond Tours
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If you are looking to get a lot more than a double-decker ride zipping you through with no real connection with your host country, this is for you. If you want to meet locals and get to know their history and their future, this is for you. If you are open to see Soweto by walking down the street, guided by members of the community welcoming you, not as a tourist, but as an old friend, this is for you. If you want to hang out with Gilda, the tour owner, as she tells you about the both side of the coins and introduces you to all her friends along the way, this is for you. I truly enjoyed my time (did not feel like it was a tour) with Gilda and her team. Gilda and her stories alone are worth your time. The only drawback is that you may feel you know so much more about the history and the people, however, you are truly aware there is still so much more to learn. You may be feeling the area is not safe. Rest assure this is not the case and I felt safe at all time, this is a community that support each other and they want to be sustainable. Come and see for yourself, you will not be deceived.
Everything about the day from the moment that Gilda picked me up to when she dropped me off was just perfect. She is so well known and loved in every area that we visited that the whole experience was an absolute joy. Both Gilda and her guides are extremely knowledgeable and so keen to share their knowledge and the culture of this amazing place. If you are looking for a fun filled, informative and real insight into life in Soweto, I genuinely can’t recommend this tour highly enough. Gilda, thanks once again for an incredible day!!
Gilda, the eponymous "eenblond" who offers this wonderful tour and others, has a clear and contagious passion and appreciation for the communities that make up Johannesburg, and South Africa in general. The mutual trust that is obvious between Gilda and community members and leaders gives the tour a unique level of engagement and insight that simply cannot be replicated by other tours, much less by those which focus solely on monuments and landmarks and which miss the daily, lived experience of the communities. Gilda's approach is interactive, experiential, and laden with a rich volume of on-the-ground humanity and relationships. Gilda's warm, respectful, but straightforward personality permeates through to her touring style, which allows those who are shier or who may only know of Soweto (or Johannesburg at large) from media dramatizations or news hyperbole to shine during her tours and to develop a unique appreciation for Soweto's history, and for Johannesburg and South Africa as well. For those who are only experiencing Soweto or Johannesburg for the first time, Gilda's tours are simply a wonderful, safe, and memorable introduction to these communities. Her deep knowledge, friendly personality, and relationships with the local communities, however, often invite the traveller to book a tour for a second, third, or fourth time -- even encouraging second or third trips to South Africa for those of us who are not locals. Touring with Gilda was a wonderful experience which I cannot stop recommending and I hope to tour again with her soon!
If you want to experience the true colors, flavors and vibes of Soweto, Eenblond will take you through the back roads, fronts roads, then straight back into the heart of local communities - skipping some of the well trodden tourist paths in favor of what might be happening now. We left with a much greater appreciation for the city, it’s history and most importantly its warm friendly citizens! We really felt at home. Started with breakfast: fresh hot fatcakes at a local market; admiring the colorful expressive graffiti art in Kliptown, entered a random music hall, heard acapella singing.. Gilda lead the way with her in-depth almost intense knowledge of the areas and people, but she let the locals shine as they told their own personal stories which also gives you a unique and fascinating real view of history and stories. Food, drinks, culture you got it! Even for my two Californian boys (8 -10) this tour will stay with them forever! We’ll be back for the Fordsburg tour for sure!
For most, the enduring image of Soweto is scary news footage from 30 odd years ago. How fantastic to go and see the place for yourself - it's nothing like that at all! Gilda is a really fun and well-informed guide, and the local Sowetan guides who looked after us for parts of the tour were also fantastic. We felt sorry for the other tours who were bundled in and out of minibuses with only a few moments to snap a picture before driving off again. We got to spend some proper time and soak up the sights and atmosphere and actually "be" in Soweto in the same way you would "be" in Rome or Barcelona or any other town. It's definitely worth taking a full day for this experience. Starting in Kliptown - the tin shacks in amongst brick buildings are exactly as you would expect from a shanty town - EXCEPT that the place is really rather neat and tidy if you look past the rough edges of informal buildings, with people living life and growing food and being houseproud. And friendly! We felt most welcome. The memorial plaza is also very moving. Then off to more middle-class areas, where the houses could have been from any of a hundred other towns in the world, yet still have the quirks of a shebeen just next door to the coffee shop. Trying the Chibuku is a must (finishing the glass? Maybe not to all tastes...) And then there's the important historical bits and a slap-up lunch somewhere in between. I love to see the businesses thriving, restaurants and coffee shops rammed and busy, music playing and people living perfectly normal lives in what is actually a very normal city. I am very grateful to Gilda for running this tour - a real treat.