Where to spend the first cold and rainy November days? At the other end of the world, where summer is just about to start, of course! Many of my friends were rather skeptical about our upcoming journey to South Africa and Namibia. They wished us good luck and asked to take care. I was, on the contrary, afraid that it would be too touristic, as we had decided to travel with a tour agency, which usually means long boring bus drives with strangers, stops for 15 mins at the sightseeing attractions, tourist shops and restaurants and organized elephant rides or something like this. Well, in the end our trip was neither dangerous, nor boring. It was just something special.
After a 23-hours flight (Berlin – London – Johannesburg – Cape Town) we finally landed in South Africa (incredible!) to spend 2 unforgettable weeks there. I was already sooo excited when I saw the ocean and the huge flat Table mountain out of the plane! And although we had not slept much during the flight, I felt myself energetic and ready to start exploring the unknown country.
On the way to the hotel our taxi driver gave us a short drive through the city, which made us feel a bit disappointed. There was actually nothing “African” in the city landscape. Most of all, Cape Town reminded me of some cute seaside city in Florida with its busy city center, modern buildings and posh houses with the ocean view. Nothing really special, besides the nature, of course.
We still had 2 days before the start of our Namibian tour. So for the first couple of nights we had chosen a nice guesthouse with the German name Tafelberg Guesthouse, a very friendly family as owners and a great location right at the Table mountain. From our balcony we could see both the mountain and the ocean. What I like about guesthouses is that many of them turn out to be very homelike, their rooms are not as soulless as the hotel ones. There are not so many guests inside and it feels like visiting some friends in their big house rather than staying in some unfamiliar hotel rooms with good (or bad?) service. A perfect place to spend hours relaxing in our cozy room with an ocean view.
However, after 2 hours I already couldn’t sit still, knowing that there’s so much to see outside. ‘Come on, we are in Africa! Wake up! Let’s go to the ocean,’ I told to Michael. And those who know me, would probably guess that it was impossible to resist. So we headed to the most popular beach of Cape Town, Camps Bay.
Camps Bay is famous for its expensive and luxurious beach bars and typical model shootings “half-naked girl at the ocean”. Our last hopes to swim in the Atlantic disappeared when we came there. The ocean with its cold water and rather big waves was not very welcoming, contrary to the people we met at the beach. I immediately started talking to everyone and taking pictures of beautiful locals. Most of them told me that they come from Zambia, Zimbabwe or Tanzania looking for job opportunities. And absolutely everyone was very friendly, smiling and positive.
As it was already time to have dinner, we decided to go to the restaurant Mama Africa suggested by one of our friends as the place with the best game steaks ever. And it actually was. So we tried springbok, crocodile, kudu and ostrich and decided to forget about the diet for the rest of the trip. The restaurant itself was however rather the “tripadvisor, lonelyplanet” type of the place, where usually tourists from the whole city come together. The band on the stage was playing popular songs mixed with the rhythms of Africa. They would actually be very good if the hole performance didn’t look so commercial. The charismatic singer with a nice voice lighted up only when he could sell his CD to the visitors.
First day in Africa was slowly coming to its end with African beats and South African wine. And on the next day we had to wake up quite early, as we already had big plans for it…