Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

South Africa: The Western Cape

Cape Town and the Western Cape are probably the most pleasant and easiest places to visit in Africa, especially if you're a wine enthusiast, but there's a caveat: the area doesn't seem like Africa. Cape Town has a European feel. The wine lands seem a lot like Sonoma or Napa in California. Here are some snapshots from this portion of our six-week African trip. For an account of the entire trip,  click HERE.  Click on any picture to make it larger. 

The lively Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is one of many must-visit places in Cape Town.

This bar had been mentioned in a New York Times
"36 Hours in Cape Town" travel article. Unfortunately,
its name is the best thing about it. The drinks menu, with
several unique cocktails, sounds good, but the drinks
aren't. It's about the level of a college bar.

An array of masks for sale at the bazaar at Green Market Square in downtown Cape Town.

Prints and original art are sold at Green Market Square.

African textiles at Green Market Square. We came home with cloth printed with President Obama's picture.

Camps Bay has the best beach in Cape Town. Across a busy road from the beach is one of the city's
trendiest restaurant areas.

The canopy walk at Cape Town's spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.

Lion's Head as seen from Kirstenbosch.

The M6 is the road for beaches near Cape Town.

A row of beach cabanas at Muizenberg at the northern end of the Cape of Good Hope.

African penguins nest right on the beach at Simon's Town
on the Cape of Good Hope. It's the easiest and most
accessible place in the world to see penguins in the

Penguins coexist with humans, who live in houses overlooking the beach at Simon's Town.

The nests are little more than indents in the sand and a few strands of grass or seaweed.

The southern tip of the Cape of Good Hope, often mistaken for the southernmost part of Africa.

At the lighthouse at the Cape of Good Hope.

Neat sign, but we saw no snakes. 

A natural swimming pool at the Angala, a guesthouse in a vineyard near Franschhoek. The water
is pumped through living vegetation to purify it. There's no salt or chlorine. The only drawback
is that its concrete surfaces get a bit slimy. The water, though, is said to be drinkable.

Above and below, the view from Cliff Lodge near the town of  Gansbaai.

The figurehead from a shipwreck,
displayed at the Shipwreck Museum
in Bredasdorp. Below, info on one
of the cape's most famous shipwrecks.

The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa and the dividing point
between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

To reach the top of the lighthouse (above),
one has to climb the ladder (below). We did.

One of many views of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain.

It's a bit heart-stopping, but people are allowed to clamber where they want on Table Mountain.

As our gondola descended from Table Mountain, its counterweight,
the other gondola, was on its way up.

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