On my way back to Campfire Academy, I wanted to find out if all the stories about South Africa’s “Mother City”, aka Cape Town, were true.
And yes, few cities can boast such a magnificent blend of mountains and sea, covered by dramatic clouds and lit by the African sun.
Flat-topped Table Mountain is the most dominating mountain in Cape Town and can be perfectly witnessed from Lions Head, which has panoramic views over most of the city. On the first day, I walked around Signal Hill via the Bo-Kaap area and I bumped into Lions Head by chance. After climbing up I was quite amazed by the views, especially of Table Mountain, and I regretted not bringing a tripod.
Determined to come back the next day, it turned out to be a lot more cloudy. In the hope it would clear up later on, I went up again anyway.
Unable to take the photo of Table Mountain that I wanted, this time because of the clouds, I had to return on a third day.
Luckily though, on the third attempt the conditions were perfect and I lost complete track of time taking photos. The last person to come down from the peak happened to be Dutch and made me swap numbers so that I could tell her if I had made it back safely later that night. She said that she otherwise wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
The next day, walking alongside the base of Lions head towards the Diving Board to the east side of the Table Mountain, I noticed Kloof Rd swirling up the hill.
Arriving at the Diving Board up in the mountain, a Himalayan mountain goat, or tahr as they are locally known, was standing almost exactly on the “board”.
Walking down from there to Camps Bay Beach, where the sun was ready to light up to sky.
About a week after I had arrived in Cape Town, I traveled north east to Hoedspruit, to return to the same camp as where I had stayed in 2006. Hoedspruit is a small town (with an airport) near Kruger National Park. After about 4 weeks at the camp, I decided to come back to Cape Town and rent a car so that I could travel a little further. First stop: Boulders Beach to photograph African Penguins.
From Boulders Beach I drove up to Muizenberg Beach, named after a Dutch Wynand Willem Muijs who controlled a small outpost on the mountain in 1743 and later lost it to the English. Nowadays, it’s one of South Africa’s most popular surfing destinations.
Driving back west towards world famous Chapmans Peak Drive, a scenic road along the coast of Hout Bay.
The subjects of these images are mostly what you can see from the outside; the landscapes, the buildings, the mountains and its beaches. However, this is only a tiny part of what makes Cape Town. The city deserves to be documented in so many more aspects. If I ever get to make it back, I’d hope to get access (and the courage) to dive into the inner workings of the city and its people.
For now, Cape Town truly is simply one of the most good looking cities I have ever seen.
- Seiphetlho, N.L. 2014, African Penguin, SANBI, viewed on 12th of September 2022, https://www.sanbi.org/animal-of-the-week/african-penguin/
- Cape Town Tourism, Boulders Penguin Colony, viewed on 12th of September 2022, https://web.archive.org/web/20140312224411/http://www.capetown.travel/attractions/entry/Boulders_penguin_colony
- Weber, R.L. 2011, African Penguins battle extinction, Global Post, viewed on 12th of September 2022, https://theworld.org/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/110617/african-penguins-endangered-species-cape-town
- Sherley, R.B., Crawford R.J.M, de Blocq, A.D., Dyer B.M., Geldenhuys, D., Hagen, C., Kemper, J., Makhado, A.B., Pichegru, L., Tom, D., Upfold, L., Visagie, J., Waller, L.J., Winker, H. 2020, The conservation status and population decline of the African penguin deconstructed in space and time, viewed on 12th of September 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7417240/