Sunday, September 19, 2010

Adventures in South Africa – Around Cape Town: Cape Point, St. James and Boulders Penguin Colony

South Africa’s Western Cape is very different than the rest of the African continent.  People from Europe and the United States will find it a lot more similar to their own home countries.  Cape Town especially is a great place to end a long excursion through the African wilds and transition back to one’s usual life.

Cape Point is part of the south-western section of the Table Mountain National Park.  It offers spectacular scenery and breathtaking views of the fynbos (the natural scrubland that occurs only in a small area of the Western Cape of South Africa).  The area offers unique flora and fauna not seen anywhere else.  It is a short drive out of Cape Town and well worth your time to see.

St James is a coastal suburb of Cape Town.  It is a retreat where visitors walk along the ocean’s edge and swim in tidal pools. The beach is not all that big but the small size adds to its charm.  St. James also has one of the most photographed features in the area; its trademark brightly colored bathing houses that line the waterfront.

The Boulders penguin colony is the home of a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin (AKA: jackass penguins due to their braying calls).  Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins close up in their natural habitat without disturbing the many nests along the beachfront.

We visited all three areas in the same day, but it would have been nice to spend a weekend enjoying the beaches and restaurants along the way.  This time we were on a tight schedule.  Our overland excursion was coming to an end, and there was a lot more of South Africa to see on our own - Onwards to our next ‘Adventure in Traveling’.

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