The feeling you get from being in South Africa is indescribable. As an African American you have this immediate feeling of “home”. As a traveler you have a feeling of excitement. Knowing that you are embarking on a wonderful journey that will be life changing.
The Bo-Kaap neighborhood in Cape Town is known for its colorful buildings. The area is traditionally a multicultural neighbourhood, and the majority of the residents are Muslim. In 2019, 19 sites in the Bo-Kaap area were declared National Heritage Sites by the South African Minister of Arts and Culture. The origin of the neighborhood dates back to the 1760s when numerous rental houses were built and leased to the Cape Malays, slaves who were brought from Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape. Once the slaves were allowed to buy the houses outright, the houses were painted bright colors by their owners as an expression of their freedom. No internet blog or Instagram post about Cape Town would be complete without a shot of someone standing in front of a Bo-Kapp building.
Once in Cape Town you can’t help but notice Table Mountain. From every viewpoint in the city Table Mountain stands as one of the most iconic landmarks in all of South Africa. Although there are over 350 and trails you can hike to the top, the most common method is by cable car. Once on top, you not only have 360-degree views of the city, there are also nearly 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain. There is also a restaurant and gift store.
Robben Island is so much more than just an island. It was the location of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment for 18 years. Although Robben Island had been used as a prison since the 17th century, in 1961 the South African government began to use the island to imprison political activists and those who spoke out against apartheid. The prison was officially closed in 1996. Since then, the island has become a popular destination for tourists. Once of the most interesting thing about the Robben Island tour is that the tours are led by former prisoners from the island, some of who live in houses on the island today.
No trip to South Africa is complete without an overnight stay at a private game reserve to see the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. The great thing about Cape Town is it is less than a 5 hour drive away from some of the most unique South African safari experiences. These resorts offer a range of luxury accommodations and activities from safari game drives, horseback riding, spa services, restaurants, children’s activities, and swimming pools,
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
When you think of South Africa the last thing you would probably think of are penguins. However, Boulders Beach, located in the Cape Peninsula, near Simon’s Town and towards Cape Point, is the home of the jackass penguin. These African penguins are only found on the coastlines of Southern Africa. The area is one of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Areas. Boulders Beach is also a family-friendly swimming beach and a great place for a picnic.