Destination: South Africa: Cape Town
On a map, Cape Town looks like it’s at the tip of Africa, but you can still drive two hours farther south to Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, or Cape Point, as it’s known locally, is a stunning and rugged area, with panoramic clifftop views over the beaches. The reserve is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, and it alone contains more plant species than there are in the whole of the United Kingdom. It is also home to more than 250 species of birds, several species of antelope, the Cape Mountain Zebra, and baboons—which you can often see from the road on the drive down. There are great hiking paths (maps are available at the information office at the top of the funicular leading to the Cape Point Lighthouse).
Of all the small villages lining the False Bay coast of Cape Town (the Indian Ocean side), Kalk Bay is the loveliest. For that reason, it’s become increasingly trendy, with a number of good restaurants, and bursting with art galleries and antiques shops. But it is still a working fishing village, where salty-tongued fisherman return from the sea at midday to sell the morning’s catch. Go early in the morning, have breakfast at the wonderful Olympia Café opposite the harbor, stroll around the galleries, and then go to the harbor to watch the midday action. If you are staying somewhere where you can cook, grab the chance to buy the freshest fish you’re likely to eat for a long while; for an extra few rand, someone will gut and clean the fish, too.
Read a postcard from a member on riding the Rovos Rail from Cape Town to Pretoria.
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