Immersions FAQ

+ What's the difference between Scheduled and Private Immersions?

Scheduled Immersions are recurrent half-day or full-day experiences enabling the general public, with the single click of a ‘Book this Immersion’ button, to contribute to our mission: integrate the South African economy and catalyze entrepreneurship within townships.

Private Immersions are on-demand half-day or full-day experiences exclusively for your party where all ground services are provided by your very own, personal SidebySide guide.

SidebySide is also, when possible, capable of offering Semi-Private Immersions, whereby two private parties are combined and both parties get a savings as a result.

+ What are SidebySide’s safety & security protocols?

The link between your personal conduct and your safety & security is integral when navigating the townships. Demonstrating you know where you are through the utterance of few words like thanks ("enkosi") and hello ("molo"/"molweni") and an appropriate handshake is highly important across the board, whether it be to an esteemed elder or unemployed youth hanging out on the streets.


  • Greeting people is a common form of respect! You can simply say “Molweni” to groups of people and “Molo” to a single person. SbS staff will teach some other isiXhosa basics during the tour.
  • SbS staff will show you different forms of hand shakes.
  • If offered something (e.g. tea), accept it even if you don’t actually want it—it’s a form of respect.
  • Greet (shake hands) and hand out things in order of age, from oldest to youngest.

Safety & Security

  • SidebySide regards and treats your safety and security as its top priority at all times.
  • Exercise vigilance and caution at all times, just as you would with any other urban area in Cape Town, which experiences high levels of crime. However:
    • Self-confidence and self-assuredness should also be exercised to demonstrate an understanding that the townships are, by and large, safe spaces to visit or operate in as non-residents.
    • There is no reason to be fearful when in the hands of SidebySide and our entrepreneurs.
  • Avoid overly ostentatious attire, however, please do wear clothes that you feel proud of and confident in.
  • Please leave behind any unnecessary valuables like laptops, jewellery, excessive amounts of money.

+ What sets a SidebySide Immersion apart?

Totally unlike many conventional sightseeing tours where the tourist guide is virtually the only human you get to meaningfully interact with, a SidebySide Scheduled Immersion is centered around interaction and exchange with township entrepreneurs whom we make site visits to. The SbS guide merely serves as your friend in the townships, leading/introducing you to these inspiring individuals, lightly facilitating/contextualizing interaction to maximize enjoyment/impact, and ensuring your wellbeing/safety at all times.

When in the care of SidebySide, you can expect nothing but the highest level of professionalism and quality available in engaging with township entrepreneurs. Further, you can feel 100% assured that your wellbeing and safety will at no point in time be threatened—this even in spite of the high-level of immersiveness of your experience.

+ How do SidebySide Immersions foster development? Who develops and how?

SidebySide earmarks a certain amount of Immersion proceeds as tips to the entrepreneurs to contribute to the starting up their enterprises. At this stage, the average tip per entrepreneur coming from SidebySide is R1000, however we highly encourage additional tips. (All additional tips are handled by SidebySide and 100% is passed along to the entprepreneurs)

Tip amounts coming from SidebySide are always agreed upon in advance. Different Immersions differs from one another with respect to their balance of leisure and work (developmental activities); more leisurely experiences draw larger tips and more developmental activities draw somewhat smaller tips.

Developmental activities entailed in some Scheduled Immersions include, but are not limited to, assistance selling products/services, multimedia content generation, and networking. These are all essential in-kind contributions that the entrepreneurs require and value.

If you have never entered the townships before, there is, however, no doubt that it will be you, not the entrepreneur, who intellectually and spiritually grows the most.