In the past 18 tournaments that were held previously, this year’s FIFA World Cup was somehow different. How so? This World Cup was hosted in an unusual region; a different continent. It was hosted in the land of the famous freedom hero, Nelson Mandela. When hearing the word ‘Africa’, one would imagine a poor barely developing country where its people are either sick of some deadly disease or dying of poverty. But that is just one part of Africa that the media constantly exposes.
When I was told two summers’ ago that we would spend our family summer vacation in Cape Town, South Africa, I was traumatized. Every time I would search the Internet about the city I would read several articles about how the crime rate is very high and the security there is too low. I didn’t want to travel to a destination where I would have to worry about my safety rather than enjoying the trip. But after visiting Cape Town myself, my whole perception of it completely changed.
Cape Town is one of the places that should definitely be jotted down in your ‘cities to visit’ list. There are several wonderful places to visit and is completely suitable for families as well; from shopping malls to historical attractions, Safaris, and most importantly, the stunning beaches; you name it, all is available there. For all those people who haven’t decided on their summer plans yet and want to run away from the heat, Cape Town is the place.
As a family, we chose to stay at residential luxury apartments at the Victoria & Albert Waterfront Marina; safe and convenient area surrounded by full security. There is a variety to choose from, whether 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments that are located on either side of the water mainstream across the middle. Private pools and highly-equipped gyms are also available. Not only that, but there is a breathtaking view overlooking the Yacht’s at the Harbor. There is no need to worry about the hassle of tidying and cleaning the place up, housekeeping services is included as well. What makes this place also convenient is the fact that it is so close to most of the city’s main tourist destinations.
Places to visit:
* Victoria & Albert Waterfront: It is a matter of 10 to 15 minutes walk from the Marina luxury apartments. The shopping mall-from high end fashion brands to famous world class brands, top class restaurants with the harbor view, and the aquarium are all located there. You could also enjoy several cultural street entertainments and performance while you’re there.
* Robben Island: Certainly one of the best historical and educational places that you could visit when you’re in Cape Town. This island was the former house of many political prisoners in the life time of Africa. Discover the island on a tour to see the tasks the prisoners used to perform, their cells, and also what they had on the menu. Nelson Mandela’s cell is the most interesting aspect of the island, it’s just like it was long ago; only now it is a museum for the people to view. Many African penguins, seals, and rabbits could be seen wandering around the island as well.
* Table Mountain: Located at the Table Mountain National Park, the famous mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town that is well-known for its flat top- hence the word ‘table’- rather than a pointy tip. Could either be reached using the cable way or hiking all the way to the top if you’re looking for some fun and adventure.
* Cape Point ‘the Cape of good hope’: Enjoy observing the point where the two oceans meet – the cold Atlantic on the west coastline and the warm Indian on the east coastline. Usually referred to as “one point with a million points of view!” That is the best place to be for relaxation as it has one of the world’s cleanest air and ocean with a breathtaking view. Here are several things to do while you’re there:
1. Spot the shipwrecks.
2. Whale watching – when they migrate from one ocean to the other.
3. Dine at the Two Oceans Restaurant.
4. Walk and visit the lighthouse.
5. Get some souvenir for friends and family.
* Boulder’s Beach: Experience the African Penguin colony that are scattered all along the beach.
* Safari: What is Africa without its remarkable wildlife? This is a must in any African City!
With so many things to do and sights to see, Cape Town is indeed a city worth exploring!
By: Fatma Taher