Things I Have Learned In Capetown, South Africa

Things That I Have Learned In Capetown, South Africa

“Visit Cape Town and history is never far from your grasp. It lingers in the air, a scent on the breezy, an explanation of circumstance that shaped the Rainbow People. Stroll around the old downtown and it’s impossible not to be affected by the trials and tribulations of the struggle. But, in many ways, it is the sense of triumph in the face of such adversity that makes the experience all the more poignant.” Tahir Shah

Capetown was founded in 1652 when Jan Van Riebeeck (an employee of the Dutch East India company) arrived to established a way-station for ships traveling to the Dutch East Indies.

The Port of Cape Town is deemed to be one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world.

Though Capetown  has incredible weather, Table Mountain can be cloudy. We ascended via cable car ( you can hike) to clear skies.

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It was the ultimate view of the city.

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Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.

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The top of Table Mountain is relatively flat and easy to explore.  The views are wildly different in each area and It’s fun to walk around.

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It did feel a bit like being on another planet and seeing your closest friends there.

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We were lucky to see the sunset on a clear day.

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Table Mountain’s peak, Lion’s Head has not seen a lion for over 200 years. After once thriving in the area, and no doubt giving their name to the smallest peak at the western tip of the mountain, the last lion was shot in 1802. Leopards followed in the 1820s, but the area is still home to some  nocturnal cats. These include the small Lynx-type Caracal, and the far rarer African Wild Cat. It’s a good morning or sunset hike for those in good physical condition. 

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Bo-Kaap  is the city’s Muslim quarter, known for its brightly painted houses in shades of lime, fuchsia, and turquoise.

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it is also the best place to try Cape Malay cuisine.

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Uthando is a nonprofit company that oversees many different community projects in the townships in South Africa. Uthando raises money and awareness for the many projects they fund through these tours. You are driven through very poor areas in the townships directly to these programs. I highly recommend it in Capetown.  For more info read my my blog. https://travelwellflysafe.com/2016/05/10/visiting-community-projects-in-the-townships-in-capetown-south-africa-with-uthando/

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Cape Town has an estimated population of 3.5 million people and its the 2nd biggest city in South Africa (behind Johannesburg.

La Colombe is Oprah’s favorite restaurant in Capetown. Make reservations in advance.  it was also my favorite restaurant in Capetown but I didn’t try Test Kitchen. (fois gras)

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An hour’s drive from Capetown are the wine lands.

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Franschoek and Stellenbosch are two  favorite regions.

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Camp’s Bay, nestled just below the Twelve Apostles mountain range, is the perfect chic and trendy beach town to visit.

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Camps Bay Retreat  in a nature reserve across the street from the beach is a great place to stay.

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Dogs are allowed off lead at Camps Bay Beach before 9am. It is so much fun to see what a great time they have there. I walked on this beautiful beach every morning before nine.

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If you are in Capetown on a Saturday morning a visit to the Neighbor Goods Market at the Old  Biscuit Mill should not be missed. It features a range of food stalls, fresh produce, and crafts and clothing for sale.

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I tried fresh dried biltong for the first time here. Its amazing  – it definitely has a higher fat content then American dried meat. It’s too good.

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Afterward take a street art tour of the nearby Woodstock  neighborhood with Juma Mkwela a local street artist and guide. (juma.mkwela@gmail.com) . Socially conscious artists from South Africa and beyond have joined forces to help spruce up, and add color to the poorer parts of this neighborhood.

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V&A Waterfront has to great hotels, restaurants, an aquarium, a Ferris wheel, and a gargantuan shopping mall with African crafts.

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It is the most visited tourist destination on the continent.

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Boulder Beach is home to a colony of African penguins.

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I’m not going lie it was the first thing we did when we got to Capetown.

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Who doesn’t love penguins on a beach? I could have gone twice.

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We stopped for lunch and shopping at Kalky’s.

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We continued on to the Cape of Good Hope.

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As we learned in Elementary School, Cape Point is the end of the world – the most southern point in Africa.

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And it has baboons who will take any food or water you have on you.

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On the way back navigation decided that we should take the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive on the west coast.I love a good road trip with friends and family.  It had huge cliffs dropping down to the turquoise sea and crazy bends and turns with more lookouts and views than you could ever hope for.

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Capetown  is one of the most beautiful cities.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

 

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