Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | South Africa – Drakensberge, Matatiele | Petra
SOUTH AFRICA WE ARE COMING
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Since the end of September 2017 we made it back to the road again. Before that we enjoyed the German summer at home. Now we are looking forward to explore the South of Africa.
No, we didn’t go all the way from Germany down to Africa with our truck. We decided to do the easy way and shipped it form Bremerhaven to Port Elizabeth. Win and I jumped on a plane to Cape Town for sightseeing while expecting the arrival of our fat boy.
TOWN AT THE CAPE
Cape Town is beautifuly nestled between the blue Atlantic and the extraordinary Table Mountain.
The Waterfront with it’s exclusive hotels, restaurants, cafés and many shops is a famous hot spot for tourists. Since September the Waterfront is crowned by the new status symbol Zeitz – MOCAA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. It is located in a rebuilt former grain silo and shows among other art exhibitions the impressing private collection of former Puma manager Zeitz. If you want to spend a night in the amazing luxury hotel above the museum you easily can do it for 1.200 Euro.
We enjoy the cheerful atmosphere of the city and feel very much reminded of San Francisco. People are friendly, you can hear music everywhere and we always get a
„How are you?“ or „Have a nice day!“.
Car driving in the city and around is easy and relaxed, so we have no difficulties driving our right-hand rental car on the left side of the road instead a left-hand on the right.
This is the bright side of Cape Town. But there is another completely different one. Only a few kilometers off the city center there are located the townships of the poor, black and coloured. The areas are fence rounded and build on with sheds of corrugated iron and plastic foil or small plain houses. To have electricity or running water is not to be taken for granted. Refuse everywhere. The contrast between rich and poor in this town couldn’t be sharper.
In the privileged residental areas houses are surrounded by high walls, protected with electricity fence and barbed wire. Windows are often with grating and signs announce that the house is protected bei security service. Every parking lot has carpark attendants. It feels unfamiliar to us and we have to get used to it.
At Museum District Six we learn more details about Apartheid, that ended in 1994 officially with President Nelson Mandela. Hard to imagine that only 23 years ago racial segregation was present in South Africa and for example certain bays were reserved only for white people. Blacks only were allowed to do unskilled base and servile works. Marriages between Black and White were forbidden.
And there is the bad water situation in the region. For many years they have to deal with a heavy shortage of water. They had not enough rain in winter for years. Meanwhile they have restrictions on water with 87 liters per person per day. In Germany we use 122 liters per person per day. No one knows how long the water will last.
Cape Town is a town of contrasts. She is black and white and colourful. She has her specific charm and she is unique in Africa. We will come back for sure.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
To visit the most south western point of the African continent is a duty for each Cape Town visitor, so for us. The beautiful landscape of the nature park at the roaring Atlantic is habitat for many animals and plants. At Simon’s Town we have a lot of fun watching the penguins of Boulders Penguin Colony. When visiting the Cape the next time we want to be the first in the morning at the gate and at the beach before the busses arrive.
The delicious South African wines are famous all over the world. Wine-growing has a long tradition in South Africa and was imported by European settlers many hundred years ago.
In the wine region of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, about 50 kilometers north east of Cape Town, wonderful traditional wine estates offer you a good time. Gourmets will enjoy delicious wine and food. We never had a better steak before. Thatched roof cottages of Netherlands style in the middle of extented vine-yards, sky touching mountains, rich roses in big gardens – what a beauty all around us.
OUR TRUCK IS THERE
Time flies and some days later we have an appointment to collect our truck at the customs. He is exactly the same as he was when we gave him away in September in Bremerhaven. We are happy and are looking forward to spending our first night in our own home. The next morning Win activates the housing technology. And we have to go for big shopping to fill our store room right from zero. There was absolutely no food allowed in our truck for the shipment.
Get me outta here!
OUR DATE WITH MANTOCO
We are having a date, cheers! Conny and Tommy from MANTOCO are on their way from Lesotho down to the Cape area. We know them for years but only virtual by following their website with all the interesting stories they have to tell about their journey. They are real Africa experts and travel the African continent for three years. It’s a great pleasure to meet them now personally. There are many things to talk about. But first we spend two days at Addo Elephant Park for our first safari.
Lucky ones we are, we get to see wild animals right from the very beginning. Zebras, lions, buffalos, kudus, warthogs, turtles, dung beetles and a lot of elephants. We enjoy driving slowly through the park and viewing the animals from the high position of our truck. It’s so exciting.
Two days and 350 kilometers later we arrive at the venue. MAN, TO and CO give us a warm welcome. Especially for our arrival they arranged a sunny mountain panorama of the Drakensberge in the front garden of our camp. It’s great fun to talk to Conny and Tommy. They know a lot about Africa and have a lot of interesting stories to tell. We are very grateful for the support they give us with all the important information for our trip. It’s a pity how time flies. Each team is leaving now to the opposite direction, but soon we will meet again anywhere between Cape Town and Namibia. What a good prospect!