and places of interest
The Museum Meander incorporates a number
of museums around Cape Town under the Iziko Museums umbrella
This includes the famous Castle of Good Hope, the Slave Lodge,
South African Museum, Planetarium, and even a Fossil Park.
Check out the Iziko website for directions and info on all
these museums. Don’t forget about the District Six Museum
to learn more about the political history of the country,
and Cape Town.
Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa.
It was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India
Company, better known as the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische
Compagnie). It is a pentagonal shaped fort that replaced the
small clay and timber fort built in 1652 by Commander Jan
Botanical Gardens on Rhodes Drive, Newlands has over 5000
different species of plants. It’s very educational,
great for getting close to nature, for having a nice picnic
or just plain relaxing on their large green lawns. It’s
advised to visit the gardens when the weather is good. It
has ample safe parking and during winter and summer the Gardens
offer live open air music concerts.
Another interesting place is the Afrikaanse
Taal Monument (language monument) just outside the town
of Paarl. It’s located on what has been labled as the
largest single rock above ground in the world. It was built
in 1965 to commemorate the Afrikaans language (one of the
three official languages of the Western Cape). Due to its
unique location it also has amazing views of the Cape Peninsula.
Township tours will give you a real insight
into urban African living. These tours will take you into
the heart of the townships where you will experience the high
density low-income lifestyles of some Cape Town residents.
You can choose to visit the townships of Langa (oldest township
in South Africa), Guguletu or Khayelitsha (largest township
in Western Cape). The vibe and food is often unbeatable and
will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for
Cape Town living.
It is interesting to some, fascinating to
others, but can also be scary to some. Do not go into a township
without proper guidance. There are many companies offering
township tours, and it is strongly advised that you only go
with one of them on pre-organised tours. See your nearest
visitor information centre for further information on these
types of tours, or check out http://www.owls.co.za/english/townships.htm
for more info.