After three weeks of eye-opening trips to different areas of Johannesburg and the greater Gauteng province, with insightful encounters with people from all walks of South African life, we were due for a little down time. Many of us took our planned four-day weekend to hop a plane to Cape Town, South Africa’s other big city.
Situated on the southernmost coasts of the African continent, Cape Town is the L.A. to Johannesburg’s New York. Everything is more spread out and moves at a much slower pace. It’s easy to notice the spectacular sights—Table Mountain towering over the city, the ships out to sea, the penguins on the cape—but there are other things to notice as well.
Cape Town is a very different South Africa than the one found in Jo’burg. Though there are informal settlements just out of sight over the mountains, the heart of Cape Town is a place of hip restaurants, good bars, vacationing, and retirement. There’s a lot more money to be found there, and the local government is run by the DA (not the ANC, the party in national power).
Racial demographics are also distinctly different from Johannesburg, to the point that we could notice the disparity walking down the street. Cape Town has the highest population of “coloureds”—a word used to describe people of mixed race—in South Africa. One member of our group, Ezra Lewis, used the visit to Cape Town as an opportunity to work on his film about the mixed race experience in South Africa. So, the trip was not only a vacation, but a learning experience as well.
Here are just a few of the exciting things we saw and experienced in Cape Town:
Students Steve Frost and Luke Proctor take in the view at the top of Table Mountain.
At the World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary in Hout Bay, students Ezra Lewis, Suzannah Cavanaugh, Steve Frost, and Taylor Lumpkin play with the monkeys.
Penguins waddle around Boulders, a section of Table Mountain National Park.
Ezra Lewis stands at Cape Point, the southernmost tip of the African continent.