Cape Peninsula Tour

Cape Town Travel Blog

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Driving through Cape Town

The cab driver, Sha, agreed to be our tour guide for the entire day on Thursday, February 4th. It’s interesting; all the cab drivers we’ve come across have business cards that indicate they are a “Shuttle and Tours” 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.

The Cheetah Outreach Program at Stellenbosch Winery
Every time he laughed, Connie and I would start giggling too, because his laugh was contagious.

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.

Connie and Me ready to wine taste
The Indian Ocean’s water is warmer. We learned that the locals think the shark diving tours are over-commercialized. South Africans complain that tourists are causing the sharks to come closer to the beaches and to attack humans. Sharks are fed meat and blood is poured into the water to attract the sharks. Sharks smell humans when they o to eat then, so the sharks now associate the smell of humans with food. This is causing sharks to come closer to beaches and to also attack humans out on the water. South Africans were not fond of the idea of tourists going shark diving.

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 don’t get any of the vaccinations tourists get.

Wine tasting
He informed us the water is safe to drink, as South Africans drink it all the time. Sha stated that South Africa is a 1st world country with 3rd world country problems. It’s a 1st world country in regards to health care, good road system, good transportation, excellent doctors, good technology. But it’s a 3rd word country in that there is so much poverty, which is a result of an unjust Apartheid system. As we drove, Sha pointed out areas of town that were “white only” or “colored” only or “black” only.

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 Jo’burg people adapted quicker.

Tipsy after a few drinks... that's the shadow of the glass on my shirt, not a spill
Jo’burg transformed quickly. Blacks were welcomed faster there than in other provinces. The black of Jo’burg were able to grow and become more accomplished in a matter of time. In Jo’burg, the people that resisted the dismantling of the apartheid system stayed poor. The people that embraced it, grew at a rapid pace and became more successful. In other provinces, however, people were not as open-minded, therefore they did not embrace the new democratic government and the changes in society.

Sha told us there is a lot of crime in Jo’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.

Beautiful cheetah

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.

Cheetah

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 don’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 wasn’t even trying to be discreet.

It was fed while we were watching
The worst part of all of this, is the women and even the people in the townships have children, but the adults are so set in that mindset, that the children never advance. The other thing we learned is that the townships have no hospitals (though thousands of people live in them). We drove past the Khayelitsha townships where our tour guide told us thousands f people live without electricity, running water, etc. He told us so many people have been complaining to the local government about their living conditions; they are more frustrated these days than before because of the fact there is no hospital (there’s only a day hospital where a line forms as early as 2 am to be seen by 5 pm), but the government is funding the construction of a new soccer stadium for the 2010 World Cup. Though we saw the prostitution, Sha informed us prostitution is not as big a problem as drugs and alcohol.
You can see the ears of the animal it's devouring
He said alcohol is a bigger problem among the blacks, and drugs are a bigger problem among the whites.

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 what… 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 said… oh no… I think I’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.

Squatter camps
That was pretty amusing!

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.

Khayelitsha

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, there’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.

Shark spotting near Muizenberg
We can talk up a storm. We shared family stories. It was good chatting with her.

This has definitely been a good trip with her and I’m glad she was able to accompany me on this adventure. But for now... there's still tomorrow and Saturday.

Stigen says:
nice and informative blog :)
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012
hernandezvero says:
Glad you found it helpful! I loved South Africa. Hope you enjoy!
Posted on: Jan 13, 2011
kyuri18 says:
Such a great blog! I am going to south Africa soon, and this journal was educating for me :)
Posted on: Dec 03, 2010
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Driving through Cape Town
Driving through Cape Town
The Cheetah Outreach Program at St…
The Cheetah Outreach Program at S…
Connie and Me ready to wine taste
Connie and Me ready to wine taste
Wine tasting
Wine tasting
Tipsy after a few drinks... thats…
Tipsy after a few drinks... that'…
Beautiful cheetah
Beautiful cheetah
Cheetah
Cheetah
It was fed while we were watching
It was fed while we were watching
You can see the ears of the animal…
You can see the ears of the anima…
Squatter camps
Squatter camps
Khayelitsha
Khayelitsha
Shark spotting near Muizenberg
Shark spotting near Muizenberg
The Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean
No way would I ever surf there....…
No way would I ever surf there...…
The Cape Peninsula - East coast dr…
The Cape Peninsula - East coast d…
Connie and V being silly - Our tou…
Connie and V being silly - Our to…
The view of the peninsula (and Cap…
The view of the peninsula (and Ca…
View of Robben Island from Table M…
View of Robben Island from Table …
View of Cape Town from Table Mount…
View of Cape Town from Table Moun…
At Table Mountain
At Table Mountain
Cape Town
photo by: v10