Cape Town was an interesting start for our African expedition. Immediately, we noticed a difference in culture from that of South America.
Shortly after our arrival, I met a muslim father named Nazim (with Middle Eastern features, but with an English accent!), who is married to an Indian woman, but has a white son! He laughs when he gets odd looks when walking down the street! Nazim commented: “My father was white too, but the gene seemed to skip a generation!”
This is but a taste of the diversity of Cape Town! Citizens from every angle of Africa seemed to appear at the markets: Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, even people from the troubled area of Somalia! The tourists are nearly all white Europeans, and disappointingly, we have yet to meet a person of African descent from either America or Europe. Hopefully, in other parts of Africa, or even South Africa, that will be different.
Here in the center of Cape Town, is Marouf from Sudan and a lovely lady from Kenya!
Some great tribal music can be heard at the VA Waterfront, Cape Town.
Nothing like a healthy smoothy bar!
There is so much to do and see in and around Cape Town, that you would need months to explore it all! Off the top of my head, one can go shopping at the VA Waterfront, go diving with Great White Sharks, visit the penguins where they rest on the beach near Simon’s Town, go to seal island to see seals getting gobbled up by Great Whites, go to Robbin Island to see where Nelson Mandela spent his prison sentence, go to a number of high class wineries and vineyards, visit aquariums and one of many animal sanctuaries,… just to name a few activities! Really, this town has something for just about everyone. Even people that don’t like the city can find solitude in some of the hiking trails that leads up to Table Mountain!
An big eye opener for me was the fact that Cape Town, South Africa, made world history when Christian Bernard completed the first human heart transplant that took place at Groote Schuur hospital on December 3, 1967! The world followed suit, but not without difficulty!
“Many surgeons gave up cardiac transplantation due to poor results, often due to rejection of the transplanted heart by the patient’s immune system. Barnard persisted until the advent of ciclosporin, an effective immunosuppressive drug, which helped revive the operation throughout the world.” ~ Wikipedia ~
The photos above were taken in the actual operating room, which is now the museum section at the Groote Schuur Hospital. This accomplishment is of course noteworthy, but also controversial!
Just so you know this isn’t a brochure, one drawback, however, is that somehow the poor know immediately when someone is a tourist! They will come up to you, incessantly sometimes, and ask for money, or for whatever is in your hand. The first few times we gave out a few things here and there. Then it got pretty aggravating, so the word, “No”, became a regularly used word. One thing to note is that there are facilities that help the poor in Cape Town. Outside of that, Cape Town has to be the best major city we have visited so far on our journey!
The food alone almost had me settle down there! The Indian food is top notch and cheap! We would pay $12 total for the same amount of food that would cost $50 in the U.S.! No place beats Cape Town in terms of restaurants!! In terms of Indian food, I hear that Durban may be a bit better; we’ll see about that!
One of our favorite areas was called the “World of Birds“, which is the largest bird park in Africa. This place had so many species of birds, we were there all day and didn’t quite finish our tour! There were monkeys also, which always makes things interesting!
A mom whispers to her baby: “Now that is one ugly man!”
Squirrel monkeys find the Holy Grail! Actually, it was just a leaf!
A cotton-top monkey! Looks like Candice after her haircut!
The amazing Mandarin Duck!
Friendly and interactive bird!!
Candice Pets an Owl!
You can never go wrong with penguins; however, these two appear to be thugs! These are African Penguins, very similar to Magellanic Penguins.
Many more photos that we took of South African animals can be found here: Press Me! To wrap up this post, here are a few more photos of Cape Town and its outskirts:
The above two photos are from the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town. This area was formerly know as the Malay Quarter.
The Mosque above is also in the Bo-Kaap area. Here you will find the clash of two titanic beliefs systems: Christianity and Islam. People here do live together despite their obvious differences.
Just on the outskirst of Simon’s Town.
This is the Green Point Lighthouse.
In the middle is Devil’s Peak. On our way back to Cape Town.
Homes with some beautiful views of the ocean!
Great place to spend a day!
A church in Cape Town’s center.
Next post: The coastal route of South Africa (The N2).