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 it 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 Ocean and the extraordinary Table Mountain.
The Waterfront with its 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.
That’s the dazzling side of the metropolis. But there is another one. Just a few kilometers from the center are the many townships, the neighborhoods of the poor, black and colored. The fenced areas are mostly built with corrugated iron and plastic sheets, more rarely with stone houses. If you are lucky, you have electricity and maybe even running water. Garbage is scattered everywhere. The contrast between rich and poor in this city could not be clearer.
In the more expensive residential areas, the houses are surrounded by high walls, secured with electric fence and barbed wire, the windows are barred and signs on every property make it aware that the building is guarded by a security service. Virtually all parking lots have a guard, who takes care of the parked vehicles. Even the pretty Guesthouse Jardin D’ébène, where we spend a few nights, has its own night watchman. All this is unfamiliar to us and we can get used to it.
In the District Six Museum, we immerse ourselves in the history of apartheid, which officially ended in 1994 with President Nelson Mandela. Unimaginable that 23 years ago in South Africa strict segregation prevailed and, for example, at certain bays only the white population had access and blacks were allowed to exercise only unskilled jobs. Marriages between blacks and whites were forbidden.
And then there’s the thing with the water. For many years, the Cape Town region suffers from drinking water shortages. The badly needed rainfalls in winter they miss year by year. There is now a strict water restriction to 87 liters per day and head. By comparison, households in Germany consume 122 liters per day per capita. And nobody knows how long the water will last.
Cape Town is a city of total opposites. She is black and white and colorful. She has her own charm and she is certainly unique in Africa. We definitely will come back again!
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
To visit the most souther-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 Ocean is home to 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 all the busses arrive.
The delicious South African wines are world famous. Viticulture has a long tradition here and was brought centuries ago by settlers from Europe to Africa.
In the wine region of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, about 50 kilometers north east of Cape Town, many 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 by and a few days later we can pick up our truck from the customs port in Port Elizabeth. Just as we delivered it in Bremerhaven in September, we take it back after three and a half weeks of sea travel. We are happy and looking forward to the first night in our mobile home. The very next day, Win gets home automation going. With a bulk purchase in the supermarket, we then fill up the pantry of our kitchen completely new. For the crossing we weren’t allowed to leave next to other things any food in the vehicle, no salt, no sugar, just nothing.
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!