“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
What have I been up to today? Well, I’m just soaking up all that Cape Town has to offer. While this isn’t my first time here, I’m simply happy to experience this city with new people and create new and lasting friendships. We’re quickly moving through our itinerary, and on Day 2, we were able to visit two of Cape Town’s most beloved attractions, Robben Island & Table Mountain.
- Table Mountain: Views on views on views. Table Mountain, one of the most recognizable mountains on the entire continent of Africa, towers above the Mother City and is one of the most visited attractions, and for good reason, the view is spectacular! I never get tired of visiting this new seven wonder of the world, even though I’m low-key afraid of heights. So, why is it called, Table Mountain? Simple, it’s shaped like a table! Fun fact: When there’s cloud cover, it’s said the tablecloth is covering the table. You can hike up the mountain if you’re brave or take a ride up the rotating cable cart. But, back to the view, when you’re on top of this 1087 meters high mountain, you get a panoramic view of the entire city, there’s Lion’s Head Mountain, Signal Hill, the V&A Waterfront, Table Bay & Robben Island, and that’s just a few sights. If you’re a lover of nature, Table Mountain is populated with a variety of birds, animals and a staggering amount of indigenous flora.
- Robben Island: South Africa’s once unethical and divisive system of apartheid produced one of the most inhumane prisons in the world, Robben Island. Freedom fighters, most notably the first black South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned behind these walls for 18 years. My first visit to Robben Island, I was for a lack of a better word, “excited”, to see Mandela’s cell but left with so much more. The now, UNESCO World Heritage Site, allows visitors to take a tour of the prison itself as well as a short bus ride around the entire island. To my surprise, the guided tours are given by former prisoners of war and are overwhelming. Hearing the stories of survival, brotherhood and strength of the human spirit were something that has never left me. The ignorance that I walked in with melted away as I was schooled on the many nameless men who all fought for a better South Africa. Yes, Nelson Mandela was a force but there were so many men who paid the ultimate price. This year, I was able to meet yet another former prisoner, who guided us through the cell blocks and learned even more about the horrors of Robben Island. If you are ever in South Africa and have the opportunity to visit, please do. A truly humbling experience to meet ordinary men with extraordinary stories.If you’re just now catching up on my daily South Africa blogs, don’t forget to read up on my Day 1 experiences here!
Remember it’s better to see someplace once than to read about it one hundred times, so, why not see Africa for yourself? Learn more about my partners in exploration, Explore Africa Tours and their experiential tours throughout the Motherland.