Category Archives: South Africa

I absolutely hate tiny spaces where you quite possible could get stuck. It gives me the creeps. I like to see my exit and be able to move. My trip to the Cederberg mountains in South Africa was definitely a challenge for me. With a big truck the group was taken into the wilderness. We saw the odd house or ostrich before turning into a sand road. In the middle of nowhere we stopped to get changed to go swimming at the Maalgat. There were rocks to jump off and freezing water to cool us down. We took the scenic route back through the mud and plants, and luckily we were welcomed by Gerrit and Chantal at the backpackers with showers and hot food. The next day was what it was all about, hinking up to the Wolfberg Arch. I didn’t know we were going to pass through some tiny…

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A trip starts well when you begin with a scenic drive. The Chapmans peak drive is one of those. Stunning views are waiting around every corner, with changing landscapes along the route. The coastal road starting from Cape Town, takes you to Cape Point, but offers some good places to stop along the way. A place where you simply must stop is Simons Town. This is the home of the penguin colony of Boulders beach. You can follow a boardwalk so you don’t have to set foot on the beach. This is not so much for your pleasure, but for the protection of the penguins. I almost missed the stars of the attraction, but luckily I tend to look at my feet when I walk and saw them hiding in the shade of the boardwalk. I was in awe by the three little fellows I saw. This was only the…

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Table Mountain is the star of Cape Town. It doesn’t even matter if you meant to visit it or not, it is ever present. You might not notice it at first, when its surrounded by clouds, but whenever the clouds disappear, there is no escaping it. Table Mountain will draw your gaze towards it. If you are in Cape Town, Table Mountain is worth a visit, as long as it isn’t high up in the clouds. If you’re keen you can walk all the way up. Alternatively you can take the gondola up and do some walks up the top. I visited Table Mountain on a quiet Saturday morning. A lost cloud stood high in the sky, but his friends were nowhere to be found. From the gondola I could see all over Cape Town, a magnificent view. I was a bit disappointed to see how touristic it all was…

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On my long holiday in Cape Town I decided to go where the South African go for a holiday. Langebaan is a holiday town on the West Coast, filled with fancy holiday homes and a long white beach. It is absolutely stunning and I totally get why people come here to relax and enjoy the sea. The beach consisted of a long, uncrowded stretch of fine sand. The lagoon had clear blue water that was surprisingly warm. From the beach you see all sorts of boats and fishermen. The water at Langebaan is so clear you can see shells and little crabs at the bottom. When my friend grabbed a good looking shell from the sea floor, a little crab stuck its head out. As soon as he saw us, he crawled back into his house, checking every now and then if the coast was clear yet. There are a…

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Cape Town’s got some good surf spots. Not that I would know a lot about it, but the beach of Muizenberg is a popular place to go. So it couldn’t be avoided that some of my friends took me out there one day to try to catch some waves. It was the beginning of summer, warm with a breeze, and thus awfully crowded. This didn’t stop us from renting some gear and hitting the waves. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, but it was quite relaxing to be in the sea on a big surf board. When you see people surfing it doesn’t look all that hard, but even catching a wave seemed to be a challenge. When I had finally gotten one with the right timing, I was so excited I totally forgot to stand up. I rode the waves all the way to the beach,…

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Robben Island is known by most people as the place where Nelson Mandela and many other black men were kept prisoner for their beliefs. If you want to learn about South Africa’s history, a tour over this island of sadness is a must. A boat takes you there from the V&A waterfront. On the water you can enjoy the views of the iconic Table Mountain. It’s a pleasant trip before diving into a dark history. A 45 minute bus tour takes you over the island. You’ll hear about its history, from army base and leper island to being a prison. And that’s where the bus tour ends, the maximum security prison. This is where political prisoners were kept, separated from society so they wouldn’t spread their ‘evil’ beliefs. The best thing was that the tour here was led by an ex-prisoner, who could tell what it was like from personal…

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The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. Hunter S. Thompson The edge is always appealing. We always want to know what’s on the other side. We push ourselves to do things we haven’t done before to feel the adrenaline. We explore new places and expand our world. The edge keeps changing. This is me on the edge. I’m half hanging out of a plane, and still I’m secure. I’m looking over the edge. I’m getting ready to cross it. This is in South Africa in 2009. What I saw was an endless beach, with the waves crashing into it. It was a gorgeous day and the view stretched out over land and sea. At this moment I might not have been paying that much attention to it, but throughout my…

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About 1,5 hours driving from Cape Town is a top whale watching spot in South Africa: Hermanus. The sea near Hermanus is deep fairly close to the land and that’s why it’s a perfect spot for whales. If you’re truly lucky you could see one at 5m distance. Being slightly less lucky I saw a few whales a bit further in the water. I wasn’t on a boat though, just walking along the shore. Some were spraying water into the air. Others were jumping and showing off their ballet skills. If only I had binoculars and a tele lens. The whale watching season is from July through to November, but the best months are September, October and November. Since Hermanus is a breeding place for Southern Rights whales, there are usually whales present and they’ll stay for a little while. Besides this, Hermanus is a lovely town with some cool shops. The coast line is…

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Sometimes just saying yes brings you in the most extraordinary situations. It is a simple word, but can be so hard to say at times. I had just been in South Africa for a few days when the owner of the hostel asked if I wanted to join her for a football game. I didn’t know what to say, but had nothing better to do, so ended up saying yes. I thought we would go see some youth play, but boy was I wrong. I set off with Mama Fefe, the hostel owner, and David, an American who worked there. We went to Mama Fefe’s favorite, the Kaizer Chiefs. We had to take a minibus to the city center, which gave me the strange sensation of being watched. In Johannesburg, you won’t see a white person taking a minibus. This is the transportation of the blacks, and without Mama Fefe,…

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The elephant made quite an impression on me while I was in South Africa. This animal is so gigantic! Their big, round bodies are seem hard to move around and still they can move with such elegance, spraying water in the air, shaking their heads and flapping their ears. From Johannesburg I took a half day tour to an elephant sanctuary outside of the city. A man from a nearby hostel picked me up at my city hostel. In African style we arrived way too late even though we were speeding. The caretaker of the elephants had already started talking, but luckily I hadn’t missed any of the action. I caught his last sentence and then it was time to feed the elephants. As I grabbed some food from the big bucket, the elephants approached me, knowing what was about to happen. They held out their trunks, ready for you…

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