Mama Africa

Mama Africa, Cape Town

Being at South Africa gives you the great chance to taste different dishes from all of Africa. If you don’t always want to dine at the waterfront of Cape Town you should consider the city center and especially the Long Street when looking out for great food. There you’ll also find Mama Africa, a well-known restaurant serving African food which is easy to spot – because of the nice paintings on the outside.

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Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

Between the city center of Cape Town and Signal Hill you can find a special city quarter that is mostly known for its colorful painted houses: Bo-Kaap. It has narrow and steep streets and is obviously not the prime location to built a city quarter on (even though it is really close to the city center); it is the place that the so-called Cape Malays were allowed to settle in. They’re a Muslim group whose ancestors were enslaved by the Dutch East India Company and brought to South Africa.

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(Natural) History

Iziko South African Museum, Cape Town

The South African Museum was founded in 1825 and is a wild mix of 1,5 million exhibits connected to South Africa. You can learn about regional stone carvings, sharks, land-bound animals, dinosaurs, the life of Nelson Mandela and visit a planetarium connected to the museum. In fact, the South African Museum is a combination of a natural history museum and an archaeology museum which feels a bit odd at the first moment as these types of museums are typically separated in Europe.

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South African National Gallery

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Walking through the Company’s Garden at Cape Town you’ll discover the South African National Gallery at its southwestern end. It is an art museum that was founded in 1871 and that exhibits African and European art. The collection started with works donated by Sir Thomas Butterworth Bayleys and was extended with European artists over time. Thereby this was a special place showing foreign art and the curators are aware about the effects of colonialism on their collection. Since 1990 the focus is to add South African artworks and especially paintings by black artists to the collection.

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Rand

Rand, South Africa

Traveling the touristy areas of South Africa means that you can pay everywhere by credit card and you don’t need cash (except for tipping and car park guardians) – that’s nice, but you would miss out the beautiful South African banknotes decorated with different animals and having Nelson Mandela on every single one of them. It is in use since 1961 when South Africa changed its status from being a British Dominion to a fully independent republic.

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Two Oceans

Two Ocean Aquarium, Cape Town

Cape Town is a city at the sea or better said near the point where two oceans meet: the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. For sure a city like this needs an aquarium and here it is – the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. It was opened in 1995 and shows 300 fish species in 30 tanks plus penguins and seals. You can find all the inhabitants of the seas here, from jelly fish, klipfish, moray eels and anemonefish to sea horses.

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Waterfront

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

A place that tourists visit frequently at Cape Town is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (or short V&A Waterfront) – the area around the harbor of the city. It is named after Queen Victoria of England and her son Alfred who laid the foundation for the wave breaker in front of the harbor. The area is fascinating as it consists of the still active harbor, wharfs where ships are repaid as well as a very touristy section with bars, restaurants and a vast shopping mall.

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Cape Paradise

Cape Paradise Hotel, Cape Town

Cape Town offers all the lodging options expected from a modern city, from shiny large hotels at the waterfront to hostels at the city center. I was happy to reside a little more outside in a more quiet part of the city. At Higgovale, just underneath the table mountain cable car station two German siblings that have been at South Africa for decades operate the Cape Paradise – a relaxed guesthouse with just five rooms.

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Cape Town airport

International Airport, Cape Town

The international airport of Cape Town (CPT) can be found at Matroosfontain, 20 kilometers afar, southeast of the city. It is a good and clean airport that you can pass pretty fast – even while being the second-busiest airport after O.R. Tambo at Johannesburg. It was opened in 1954, has two runways and transports 8 million passengers each year. The reason why it is so good and fast is probably the FIFA World Cup which took place in South Africa in 2010 and led to a massive expansion of this airport.

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