Since my last post, I have explored the Okavango Delta via canoe and horseback, visited Botswana’s incredibly developed capital city of Gaborone, and done everything in Cape Town we could physically fit into the short amount of time that we had.
Cape Town is a beautiful place. Most of the time I felt like I was in California rather than South Africa. Beautiful beaches and mountains, the scenery was definitely the highlight. Plus, the backpackers we stayed at was the best one yet. It has such a homey feel too it and we made some good friends. We had a long list of things to see and do, and I’m happy to stay we did almost all of them! The first day we did a hop on, hop off bus tour of the city and were able to see the Waterfront, Camps Bay beach, and get our bearings. We went to for great meals with some friends we made at the hostel, and enjoyed some margaritas! The following day we were met with rain, wind, and cold weather. This was a downer because a lot of our plans involved being out doors, but we managed to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. The tour was very well done, and given by an ex-political prisoner who spent 5 years there himself. The experience was very moving and I’m very glad to have done it.
Our last day, we got up early and finally saw some sunshine! We took the cable car up to one of the new 7 natural wonders (whatever that means), Table Mountain. We got an incredible view of the city, and pictures don’t do it justice. Later, we joined 2 new friends with a rental car and took a day road trip along the coast. We drove through Chapman’s Peak, had lunch on Kalk Bay, visited the penguin colony on Boulders Beach, and saw the most southern tip of Africa – Cape Point.
Cape Town was lovely, but with its downfalls. Just outside of the city is an incredibly large township (slum) that many hotels offer tours through, but no one ever seems to mention when they talk about the city. In comparison to the rest of Africa, I think it’s safe to say Cape Town is one of the most developed places, at least that I have seen. And while South Africa has made incredible strides, there is still a road ahead. I didn’t do a tour through the townships, because the offers were large groups going and I feel that is invasive. What I did in the larger slum in Nairobi was intimate and peaceful, and cost a donation. These tours here were expensive and made me uneasy to hear about, especially when it’s hardly ever mentioned. It has a large population and I believe deserves more discussion and attention than I noticed in my short time here. (Disclaimer: I spent 4 days in Cape Town and am aware that I may be ignorant about some things, this is just my observation!)
Once again it is time to say see you later to the continent that has stolen my heart. Now I being a long 20 hours journey to Delhi, India, where I finally reunite with Steph! I am both excited and nervous to see what India has to teach me, because I am sure it is like nothing I have seen before.
Okavango Delta, Maun, Botswana
Camps Bay Beach!
Nelson Mandela’s cell
The cable car up to Table Mountain
On top of the mountain, above Cape Town
So many penguins!
New friends on our last night