My journey to South Africa had been a dream of mine for the past few years. I had a desire to see the tip of the African continent!!
My destination was the immensely beautiful region of Cape Town.
A taste of History
There are multiple tours within Capetown that I recommend for a taste of history. These include the Gold Museum to see artifacts such as king’s crowns from various time periods, the Castle of Good Hope military base, the Slave Lodge and District Six Museums which showcase the history of the slave trade and its peoples, and finally the Cape Malay neighborhood where several immigrant groups lived after arriving in the country to be servants and slaves. Another “must-see” is Robbins Island where you can actually view Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell. A quick ferry boat ride from Capetown will get you there in about forty minutes. A tour to the shantytowns include a stop at a local elementary where you can interact with the children.
Of course, nature lovers and animal lovers have much reason to rejoice in this incredibly beautiful landscape!! A visit to the city’s aquarium is not to be missed as the vibrantly colorful, sea life on display represent both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. No visit to the city is complete without a cable car journey to the top of Table Mountain or the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. There you see many local flora and fauna, in addition to the local birds and small mammals.
Cape Town Culture
One hour or so away from Capetown, you can visit the San Cultural Village. There you will see the local indigenous peoples show you how they lived their daily lives in decades gone by. On their grounds, you will see native springbok and zebra.
Also within a short drive is the Cape Of Good Hope Nature Reserve where it is very common to see groups of adorable baboons crossing the roadways and Simontown’s Boulder’s Beach penguin colony. Cape Agulhas, the tip of the African continent was a highlight of my trip also! The aquamarine water crashing along the rocky white sand shores was absolutely breathtaking! The wine country route is a great way to see African wildlife grazing along the roads, view gorgeous landscapes, and see the grape-growing and wine-making process. Baboons and their young can be found crossing the roadways along the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
Culture lovers will appreciate the local music and dance performances. The V & A Waterfront is beautiful at night where you can find many shops, restaurants, and street performers. Jazz is quite popular.
The shantytowns have amazing jazz clubs. You can even experience some jam sessions in local residences and community centers. I recommend contacting a local tour company for an evening jazz jam tour. Street performances on the waterfront in Cape town and other touristy spots in the vicinity, offer a glimpse into the indigenous music and vocal styles.
For those with additional time, I recommend a three or four day tour on the east coast Garden Route up to Knysna. The drive and scenery is spectacular, as is the wildlife. You see free-roaming animals alot, along the drive.
So in summary I would have to say that Cape town, South Africa makes for a fantastic holiday destination !!