Travel in South Africa - Cape Town
Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa
Our journey of the next three days begins (and ends) at Sea Point - one of many suburbs of Cape Town that offer affordable accommodation to tourist all over the world. We have only 3 days to see as much as possible of Cape Town. Fortunately we have seen a lot during previous visits, so this time our options are less overwhelming.
Languages spoken in Cape Town
Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain is probably one of the most prominent landmarks in the world. Its main feature is the level plateau of ± 3 k [2 mi]) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs and peaks, each with their own name.
Read more about Table Mountain HERE...
Table Mountain at Cape Town - the forever present beacon -Click thumbnail to view full-size
Why is Cape Town such a strong attraction, you may ask?
Cape Town, founded by the Dutch East India Company on April 6, 1652, is known as the Mother City of South Africa. It was the first European settlement, established with the humble mission to provide fresh food and water to ships travelling from Europe to the far East via the most southern point of Africa.
Of course, the most southern region of Africa was not unoccupied when the first governor, Jan van Riebeeck, set foot ashore. Remnants found in a cave near Fish Hook (on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula) proved the existence of humans between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago.
At the time of Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival the region was inhabited by the San and KhoiKhoi people. The San were hunter-gatherers while the Khoikhoi raised cattle in a more complex social structure.
For more information, read History of Africa in only 4000 words HERE....
Read more about the San and KhoiKhoi people HERE.
Read more about Cape Town HERE.
Read more about South Africa HERE.
By the way, Cape Town has been announced as the city with the best hotels in the world. Read all about this HERE.
So what are we going to see in only 3 days, and will the weather have mercy on us? Being a region with a Mediterranean-style climate - wet and cool winters, dry and warm summers - one never knows what to expect from the weather. It is no secret that all four seasons, with or without wind, can present themselves in one single day.
In the light of Westernization, South Africa is a young country – at present (2016) only 364 years old - a baby comparing to Europe with its 1000-year+ old buildings of stone that are still inhabitable.
The oldest remaining building in Cape Town is the Castle of Good Hope, built between 1666 and 1679. This was, however, not Jan van Riebeeck’s first homestead. His first residence was a building that was built with clay and wood called Fort de Goede Hoop,
Read about the Castle of Good Hope HERE.
Read about the Fort de Goede Hoop HERE.
Read tonymac’s hub about old buildings in Cape Town HERE.
Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South AfricaClick thumbnail to view full-size
A variety of architecture in Cape Town, South AfricaClick thumbnail to view full-size
We enjoyed a couple of hours and lunch in the picturesque suburb called Bo-Kaap, previously known as the Malay Quarters. The houses, no longer whitewashed with lime, but painted in all colours of the rainbow, are of the oldest homesteads in the country - up to 360 years old.
The Cape Malay is one of many ethnic groups in South Africa. They are the descendants of Javanese slaves that were imported between 1653 and 1822 from Indonesia by the Dutch East India Company.
Read more about the history of slaves in the Cape HERE.
Read more about the Cape Malay HERE.
Read more about the Bo-Kaap HERE.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Of course, we could not again skip Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - one of 9 national botanical gardens in South Africa. We walk from section to section, appreciating all South Africa’s indigenous plants – fynbos, Protea, cycads, aloe, succulents of all sorts, Erica, Cape Reeds, daisies, the most beautiful trees, etc., and even the hedge of Wild Almond trees that was planted by Jan van Riebeeck in 1660 to mark the boundary of his settlement. Even if we stay the entire day in here, we will not see all of this garden.
Don't miss this hub by tonymac04's about the unique plants in the Western Cape - Tour-the-Cape-and-experience-the-unique-Cape-Floral-Kingdom
Spending an early morning at the Victoria & Alfred WaterfrontClick thumbnail to view full-size
Going for a ride in the Table Mountain Cable Car...
Cape Point - Where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet
Cape Point marks the south western tip of the African continent. It is however not the southern-most point of Africa. The latter is at Cape Agulhas, 105 miles (170 km) to the south east, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans officially meets.
Cape Town offers breathtaking views on the ocean and coastal line -Click thumbnail to view full-size
A visit to Cape Town naturally includes a tour of the Cape Peninsula -
- The Cape Peninsula: From Muizenberg to Cape Point
A photo tour of the Cape Peninsula. From Muizenberg to Cape Point
- Travel in South Africa - from Cape Point to Sea Poin...
The Cape Peninsula: From Cape Point to Sea Point, South Africa
The remains of Apartheid
Racial segregation in South Africa already began in 1652 under Dutch East India rule. Apartheid, however, was an officially structured policy between 1948 and 1994. Legislation separated inhabitants into four racial groups: “black", "white", "coloured", and "Indian". During Apartheid ± 3.5 million non-white South Africans were forced into segregated neighborhoods - one of the largest mass removals in modern history.
In 1994 Apartheid was finally demolished. Twenty years later, the majority of Africans still live segregated in neighborhoods that were established during Apartheid. However, previous 'only-white' neighborhoods are no longer only white.
The ANC-government under presidency of Jacob Zuma would like to see poor, middle-class and rich living next to each other. Those who have a sense of order, and those who realize that "like seeks like", do not agree with this. Even if Apartheid was never implemented, visible borders between classes would have been a reality, they say.
Unfortunately, South Africa also has a dark side -
- Travel in South Africa - The Good the Bad and the Ug...
South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The contrast between black and white, rich and poor, good and bad, is quite open...
This video shows the difference between rich and poor in Cape Town. Fortunately, the multi-racial Middle-Class is in between!
West Coast, South Africa
We decide to spend our third and last day in Cape Town exploring the Cape West Coast, which is another fascinating region well-known for its tranquility.
More hubs about Cape Town:
South Africa's National Emblems -Click thumbnail to view full-size
© 2014 Martie Coetser