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Cape Town is a beautiful city on the bay, dominated by the instantly recognizable Table Mountain. This city brings up mixed feelings in me. People of different races were forcibly separated under Apartheid, and much of the segregation remains today. It is possible to live in a happy bubble in one of the posh, bayside neighborhoods like Camps Bay or Clifton. Other people live in vastly different conditions, including broad swaths of makeshift housing. Unemployment is high, and people wait at the sides of streets hoping for work for the day.
Camps Bay and Clifton have gorgeous beaches, views, and many nice restaurants and cafés; as an added bonus, these neighborhoods are sheltered from the wind.
Nearby Sea Point is also beautiful but the trees tell a different story about the wind.
This colorful area of Cape Town was a Malay township and is now considered a desirable place to live due to its charm and central location.
The downtown area is full of tall buildings, but it can feel a little desolate. Most of the action takes place elsewhere. The men at the side of the road are seeking employment.
The Waterfront area is popular with tourists.
Cape Town's townships are self-contained mini-cities within the confines of the larger city of Cape Town. During the Apartheid era, people were required to live in townships if they were not deemed caucasian (I say "deemed" because people were subjected to tests to determine the race printed in their ID booklets). While housing segregation is no longer mandated by law, different racial groups still reside separately for the most part.
Many townships contain both "formal" and "informal" sections. The formal sections contain homes with electricity, water, bathrooms (sometimes shared between families), and telephones. There's a street address on each house, and residents can receive mail. The informal sections lack these basic services.
If you'd like to get the full township experience, you can stay at Vicky's B&B. When I visited, there was a lamb carcass on the dining room table.
Ndaba, a traditional healer, works in the Langa township.
District Six Museum
The District Six Museum recognizes those who were forcibly removed from their homes in Cape Town's District Six, a neighborhood which was then bulldozed. Many of these people are still alive today, and they have donated photographs and other memorabilia to the museum. The museum shows how "ordinary" these people's lives were -- working as school teachers, getting married, bringing up children. It's devastating to think about how these people's lives were torn apart.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
This large, century-old botanical garden at the foot of Table Mountain contains hundreds of indigenous plant species and a collection of Zimbabwean sculptures.
Twenty kilometers from Cape Town, Hout Bay is home to many seals.
Although originally rooted in American Jazz, the jazz of Cape Town, Cape Jazz, took its own path and drew inspiration from Cape Malay folk music. It tends to be more improvisational than American Jazz. I had the good fortune of spending time in the home of (and singing with) Hilton Schilder, a seminal musician of the Goema subgenre.
An advert seen in a Metrorail commuter train:
Eve Andersson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for an informative website and fantastic photographic collection. As a Capetonian and member of the trivago travel coomunity, I was particularly interested in your article about Cape Town. I have also just recently completed a Cape Town article for our community, which aims to become the world's largest independent information source for destinations, hotels, and attractions. Keep up the good work and when you have a moment, do drop by and view our selection of travel information.
Image: Cape Town 033.JPG
-- Pierre van Eck
I am traveling to Cape Town in September and enjoyed your pictures of the Townships and the people. I hope to see many of these sites first hand in September. I am traveling with a church group and will be doing missionary work so I expect to see some the hard facts of life in the under priviledged areas.
-- Ellsworth Coley
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