We have already predicted that Cape Town and our country will be overrun with German tourists in the next few months, given a documentary screened on 3sat German TV last week (‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt‘), as well as two movies about South Africa (‘Südafrika: Der Kinofilm‘, and ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ ) showing in German movie theaters from February. On Monday 3sat re-screened a 2013 documentary ‘Zu Gast im Süden Afrikas: von Botswana bis Kapstadt‘ (Guest in the south of Africa, from Botswana to Cape Town)!
The 45-minute documentary journey started in Botswana, and a herd of majestic elephants was the opening shot. Botswana was described as a ‘Safari Paradise‘, and Botswana has the largest area under conservation in the world. The Chobe river is ideal for boat cruises, but one should keep one’s hands inside the boat due to the crocodiles. The Victoria Falls were named by David Livingstone after Queen Victoria in 1855, and it was said that he would turn in his grave if he knew that the name had been shortened to ‘Vic Falls’. It was described as one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world.
One travels by ‘plane taxi‘ to Maun, and another half an hour to the Okavanga Delta. Here the tourists staying at the lodges go on game drives twice a day, seeing a bounty of game, including zebras, elepSwakopmund, hants, lions, impala, and hippos. At Jack’s Camp guests can ride quad bikes on the Makgadikgadi salt pans. Bushmen rock paintings can be seen in what is a World Heritage Site. Baobab trees here are up to 2000 years old. More game can be seen, including ostriches and wildebeest. At the Moremi Game Reserve Eco-tourism is important, and there is little luxury. One is advised to only leave one’s footprints behind.
Arriving in Windhoek, the comment is made that most tourists to Namibia are German and South African. It is a 31/2 hour drive to Erindi Private Game Reserve, with 15000 animals, including warthog, giraffe, impala, gnu, springbok, black rhino, hippos, crocodiles, lions, and leopard. Many of these game meats are served at dinner. The next destination is Sossusvlei, with the highest dunes in the country, and a photographer’s paradise, in how the colors of the dunes change due to the wind, described as abstract art, and as one of the best marketed attractions in Namibia. Eland and jackals are seen on the way.
One is warned to not drive at night, so much of the wildlife being active and therefore a hazard to drivers. Between Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz one can see wild horses, thought to have belonged to the South African Cavalry a hundred years ago. It is said that it is a wonder that they have survived in such dry conditions. The desolate Kolmanskop ghost town is visited. Lüderitz is described as foggy and very German. No visit is paid to Swakopmund, surprisingly. The Fish River Canyon in the south is described as the deepest in Africa.
On a drive from Namibia to Cape Town, the Cederberg is mentioned. It is home to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, one of the finest lodges in the country (currently number one Conde Nast Traveler resort in the world). It has spacious suites and serves luscious buffets. One can walk in the reserve, and see bushman paintings. Rooibos is synonymous with Clanwilliam, and only grows in this area, having a huge health benefit in containing no caffeine. Like a good red wine, Rooibos is ‘matured‘ for two years, and is drunk around the world. Chef Floris Smith of Bushmans Kloof uses Rooibos in his cooking. For a Bobotie dish he creates a red wine and Rooibos jus.
The journey comes to an end in Cape Town, described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Table Mountain and the Waterfront are key attractions of the city. A Harbour boat tour is described as a must, and the Waterfront is described as having many shops and restaurants. It is said that ‘Kapstadt tickt anders‘, its uniqueness and differentness being visible. Jan van Riebeek’s statue and Bo-Kaap are on the tour program, as are some charming older buildings on Long Street. The Egg Man on Greenmarket Square smiles into the camera.
Going up the Table Mountain Cableway is a must, one is advised, or one can hike up it. It is part of a National Park and a World Heritage Site. Kirstenbosch is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. On the way to Cape Point Muizenberg is highlighted as a surfers’ paradise, but that shark spotters watch from the mountain. The highlight of the visit to the city is the photograph at the Cape of Good Hope!
‘Zu Gast im Süden Afrikas: von Botswana bis Kapstadt’, 3Sat. Twitter: @3sat
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here