Cape Peninsula Tour
Cape Town Travel Blog› entry 9 of 41 › view all entries
The cab driver, Sha, agreed to be our tour guide for the entire day on Thursday, February 4th. Itâ€™s interesting; all the cab drivers weâ€™ve come across have business cards that indicate they are a â€śShuttle and Toursâ€ť company. They make a ton of money just driving people around in these cabs. Another interesting thing is that the cabbies all have educations or degrees in another field. For example, Sha, told us he was a software developer. But here he was driving a cab around.
Anyway, he was hilarious. Overall, he cracked jokes with us the whole time. He was knowledgeable of the areas he took us to and stopped us at neat spots for shopping or pictures along the way. He had the funniest laugh ever.
Sha picked us up at about 8 am on Thursday morning. He told us he would start us off with a tour of the winery Stellenbosch, which is about 30 miles east of Cape Town proper. The drive was not very long but we saw so much stuff. The tour guide would take us on a tour of the Cape Peninsula after the winery tour.
We talked in detail about the tourism industry and learned how he felt about the shark driving tours. He told us the sharks are not really commonly found on the Atlantic side. They are more commonly found in the Indian Ocean.
Sha told us that most tourists in South Africa are from Europe; the flight for Americans is entirely too long. Sha was surprised we had to obtain vaccinations to come to South Africa. He said South Africans donâ€™t get any of the vaccinations tourists get.
He educated us on the Group Areas Act years ago, where blacks were removed from nice areas and moved into barren lands. Sha informed us the apartheid system affected each South African province in very different ways. For example, Johannesburg is the economic hub of the country; people living in that area are typically more educated and therefore when the Apartheid system was dismantled in 1994, the Joâ€™burg people adapted quicker.
Sha told us there is a lot of crime in Joâ€™burg due to the immigrants coming in from other countries. He said in general, crime in South Africa is high. He said the police are inefficient in South Africa. ADT staff (ADT is the largest security company in South Africa) make more money so the police force morale is low.
The Cape Town population is made up of 23% white, 21% Afrikaans (black), and 1% Asian/Indian. He said the rest of the population is colored. According to Sha, Cape Town is the most racist city in South Africa. He said the whites own all the businesses, and own all the homes or live in better conditions. He said the blacks in Cape Town all work for the white people. We learned that there are some restaurants in Cape Town, where waiters will refuse to serve a black person. We also learned that interracial marriages are very common in South Africa.
It was so sad to see the squatter camps (before, I thought it was Quarter camps) in Cape Town. Sha talked to us about the gangster problem in the Cape Flats (black-only townships), and also about the drug and prostitution problem that exists there today.
Actually, when we were driving to the Stellenbosch winery, we saw a lot of prostitutes on the side of the road. Sha said just about all of them are HIV-positive too. So I asked, why the hec would anyone sleep with an HIV-infected prostitute. He responded that all the men that buy the prostitutes are HIV-positive too, so they donâ€™t care. It was so disgusting. Then we saw one of the prostitutes squatting down taking a poop. Connie and I were shocked. Sha said it was common to see that. He said they have nowhere else to go. Wow! It was just so sad. They were all standing on a main highway too. Just imagine driving down 695 and seeing prostitutes lined up the road, and then seeing one squatting to poop, right there smack in the open. She wasnâ€™t even trying to be discreet.
Anyway, we arrived at the winery, and got to see Cheetahs at the Cheetah Outreach Program. The cheetah was eating some type of animal (you could see what I thought were rabbit ears). It was neat to see that. Then at 10 am (all the stuff I typed above was my notes from 8-9:30 am), Connie and I participated in some wine tasting. I tell you whatâ€¦ I think because it was so early in the morning, and we had had a small breakfast, Connie and I were tipsy by 10:30 in the morning. I looked at Connie and saidâ€¦ oh noâ€¦ I think Iâ€™m drunk. We just kept laughing (surprised?) at everything. Our tour guide was laughing at us too. He said he starts his tours at the winery first because then his clients enjoy the rest of the trip.
We then proceeded to drive from the northeast corner of the peninsula, down to Cape Point and around, then north on the west coast of the peninsula. We stopped at beaches along the way. We got to run into the Indian Ocean and soaked our feet in it. We also stopped at local craft markets, saw a penguin colony, and saw seals swimming in the ocean. We saw so many beautiful landscapes and sceneries. It was just a gorgeous day for driving around the peninsula. The sun was out, the weather was fantastic. It must have been in the 80s. Our cabbie/tour guide was so funny. He cracked jokes with us the whole time and again tried to tell us as much as he knew about Cape Town.
Our day trip ended with a ride up the cable car to Table Mountain. What a spectacular view from the top of Table Mountain. The ride itself was about 7 minutes. Then at the top, thereâ€™s actually a large area to walk around on. You can basically see all of the Cape Peninsula from up there. The view was just absolutely breathtaking. How amazing. I saved a map of the peninsula so I can reference it when I want to remember the areas we visited. I can tell you it was an intense day with so much to see.
That night, Connie and I arrived at the hotel completely tired. We were exhausted, and since we got some sun, we were a little red too. We prepared food at the hotel room and just ate in. Connie and I stayed up late that night chatting the night away.
This has definitely been a good trip with her and Iâ€™m glad she was able to accompany me on this adventure. But for now... there's still tomorrow and Saturday.