Our first full day in Capetown had begun. The night before, we had amazing food from Mama Africa accompanied by a live African band comprised of talented men and two women. The meat sampler plate that consisted of wild game (warthog, kudu, crocodile, venison, ostrich, etc.) and music so beautiful set the bar really high for the days we had remaining in Cape Town. We had plans to visit Boulders Beach, drive over to Cape Point, and then head to Robben Island. Of course we overslept — two 10-hour flights with only about a 4 hour nap in Germany would do that to you.
There are penguins in Africa. If I someone would have told me this, I definitely would want them to be committed. I always thought penguins lived in Alaska and Antartica. And then I found out that I was only partially right, because there are no penguins in Alaska. At least not naturally. Anyway, we paid the admission fee to the beach, which is on the opposite end and away from that crowds the come in on the tour buses. This also gave us a chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures.
We ate at Seaforth Restaurant which wasn’t horrible, but if I were to compare it to Mama Africa, I’d give it a strong 6.87. I ordered the sardines appetizer, which was absolutely delicious and quite the contrast of the sardines that are served here. (Although I still love sardines and mustard from the can.) The seafood curry pot was ok, but I would have done better with a second helping of sardines. I probably could have stopped there too, but I was trying to taste every dish I could while I was in Cape Town.
Pro Tip: If you can, opt out of doing an organized tour so you can have a more intimate experience and more time to observe the penguins. When we walked over to the main entrance for tour groups, people were packed on the walkway and it gave me entirely too much anxiety and NO personal space. If you pay the entrance fee to the beach, there is still a roped off section, but it’s less crowded. Also, if you decide to eat at the Sea Forth restaurant, there is a nearby access walkway to the beach at no cost. This gets so close to the penguins that they’re willing to walk alongside you. If there’s food.
Cape of Good Hope
After playing with the penguins, we decided to continue to head south to the southernmost point of Africa — Cape Point. After paying the fee to enter, we parked and made our journey towards the lighthouse. Unfortunately, there were so many people that we weren’t going to be able to make it up to the top and back to make it to our Robben Island tour. As a result, we stayed close to the car, admiring it from afar, enjoying the wild animals grazing near the ocean, and then capturing a few photos on the coast away from the crowds.
Pro Tip: Get to Cape Point as early as you can to beat the crowd. While we made it there a little after 9, the cars quickly queued up behind us. Also, if you have the time, opt for the drive down Chapman’s Peak. You won’t regret it.
While leaving Cape Point, I received an email that the tour to Robben Island had been cancelled because of rough winds. This was one of the activities that I was highly anticipating, but I didn’t let it ruin my visit. Since we weren’t going to sit in the line to reenter Cape Point, we decided to take an alternate route back into Simon’s Town. We happened upon a township within the mountains. I think I recall seeing “Welcome to Ifhed Township” painted on a piece of tin material. There were a number of small structures within the area with rocks placed on the rooftops. I’m assuming this served as a method to keep the roofs in place whenever the gusts of winds came through. Then again, I could be completely wrong.
I noticed off to the left, a man standing on a porch. I reached for my camera to take a picture and then noticed that “Library” was painted on the side. We didn’t have time to go and explore, and it’s one of my biggest regrets. But it’s certainly a reason to return.
I was bothered a bit after seeing this township. Here you have people living in Simon’s Town, only a few minutes away, where there are beautiful homes built into the sides of the mountains, easy access to stores, and anything else you can think of. The segregation in Cape Town is definitely apparent.
I just want to give a major shout out to my fiance who is literally down with last minute plans. We were on our way back to our airbnb when I saw the signs to visit the beach. Right before I exit, I tell shout, “Ooo, Let’s go to the Beach.” and he swung our hatchback safely into the opposite lane. Muizenburg wasn’t too busy when we arrived. I was ready to kick off my sandals and get my feet wet, but when the water feels like piercing knives, I’m quick to change my mind. The water was entirely too cold for my liking. And add in the gusts of winds? Nah. But that definitely didn’t stop other people from diving right in. Regardless, it was the a good start to our vacation in Cape Town.
FaithDecember 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Ahh, the images are beautiful! Love that you were able to get so close to the penguins. Looking forward to reading more about your time there!
RaeDecember 18, 2017 at 9:29 am
Penguins are SOOOOO cute! And really fast swimmers. I think they were so friendly because they’re used to people feeding them. LOL!
Bee LolaDecember 12, 2017 at 1:58 pm
I have always had super mixed feelings about South Africa. I mean Cape Town is beautiful and the views from Table Mountain give me chills but the segregation and the quality of life for those that look like us really bothers me. I almost feel like it would be like me going to any state in the US really. But idk. One day, I’ll go see for myself. Until then, I am definitely hoping we can make this W. Africa trip happen in May! Awesome pictures. What lens do you use?
RaeDecember 18, 2017 at 9:32 am
Bee — it bothered me as well. I live in the deep south and Baton Rouge has a street that is known as the Mason-Dixon Line of Baton Rouge. It separates north and south Baton Rouge. And when you cross over this street, the differences and governmental neglect are quite apparent.
I use the basic lenses — the 18-55 mm and the 75-300 mm. I’m hoping to upgrade soon.
I’m going to email you more about W. Africa. I’m trying everything possible to save up for the trip because I definitely want to go!