The Rainbow Nation Harbors a City of Rare Nature and Sophistication
Cape Town (South Africa)
The Age of Discovery from the 15th to 17th centuries was a time when European countries actively ventured overseas. New sea routes and new continents were “discovered” one after another. As the world map was redrawn, Cape Town was built as a transit point between Europe and India. The city is also known as the “Mother City” because it was the first colonial settlement in South Africa and a base for settlement. This port of call is one of the most popular destinations on Peace Boat’s southbound routes, where you can experience the history, magnificent nature and cutting-edge African culture from the modern cityscape.
Table Mountain adds a splash of color as we enter port
Located at the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is also known as the “Land of the Sun” due to its high rate of sunny weather. Therefore, if you enter the port early in the morning, you will be able to see unmissable scenery. You can see the sea glittering in the morning sun, and the landmark Table Mountain rising behind the city. Table Mountain, named for its flat topped shape, is 1086 meters high. If you’re lucky, you can even see the phenomenon called the “tablecloth,” where clouds drift down from the top of the mountain. Whatever happens, don’t miss the beautiful scenes as we wenter port.
At first glance, Table Mountain seems impossible to climb. But if you take the ropeway from the base, you can reach the top in less than 10 minutes. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view as you arrive at the summit station. Then once you exit the ticket gates, you are in a different world. Here, there are cute rat-like and raccoon-like cape hyraxes, violet-colored lizards, snakes, mongooses, and many endemic plants and flowers. If you look towards the harbor, you will see the city surrounding Table Bay, Robben Island offshore, and the majestic Atlantic Ocean ……. The view is nothing short of breathtaking.
Walking in the beautiful city facing Table Bay
The V&A Waterfront is a must-visit for any traveler visiting Cape Town – a collection of shopping malls, aquariums, and hotels that offer a glimpse of the cutting edge of Africa. The shopping malls are filled with a wide variety of goods, from famous brands to African antiques, textiles, leather goods and more, making even window shopping an exciting experience. In this corner, there is also a popular photo spot with a large square frame. It’s easy to get a great shot when you stand inside the frame, with Table Mountain towering behind you.
A little further away from the waterfront, there is an area called “Boca Loop” where the atmosphere changes dramatically. It is a series of houses with colorful exterior walls of red, blue, yellow-green, and pink. It is said that these houses were first painted by the ancestors of the current inhabitants to express their joy at being freed from slavery, and the photogenic streets give you no time to put your camera away. The Green Market Square is also a must-visit area. The market is lined with many stalls, where you can enjoy shopping for African crafts. Practical wooden cutlery is recommended as a souvenir for yourself. Even after you return home, you will be able to enjoy a taste of Africa on your table.
To the Cape of Good Hope, which has guided many sailors
The Cape of Good Hope is a scenic spot located about 50 kilometers from the city center. “Discovered” by navigator Bartholomew Dias, it has since been a landmark for sailors sailing from Europe to India. The first thing that surprises you when you get out of the car is how strong the wind is. No wonder it was one of the most difficult places to sail. Holding on to your hat, head to the observatory. Within the view where the two Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, you can see the Cape of Good Hope jutting out of the ocean spread out before us. In the past, the Cape both helped and tormented sailors who risked their lives on the voyage, and it is still a destination for many travelers today.
Learning about South Africa today through sports exchange
The discriminatory policy of Apartheid was implemented in South Africa, forcing people of colour to leave land and be relocated to other areas. Peace Boat cooperates with a local partner NGO, that is working to give children who grew up in a discriminatory environment the opportunity to have hope and community empowerment through sports. Peace Boat’s UPA International Cooperation Project, which delivers relief supplies to various parts of the world, has delivered soccer balls and shoes through this NGO. There is also a program to exchange with children who will bear the future of South Africa through sports and learn about the current South Africa, something which cannot be experienced just through sightseeing.
From the Penal Colony to the “Rainbow Nation”
“Everything seems impossible until it is done.” These were the words of Nelson Mandela, the eighth president of South Africa, who dedicated his life to the abolition of apartheid. He was forced to spend 27 years in prison, a long and harsh life, and yet he continued to fight, for recognition of the diversity of race, ethnicity, culture, and language ……. Robben Island, the prison island where former President Mandela was imprisoned, floats off the coast of Cape Town. On this island, which has been registered as a World Heritage Site of Outstanding Universal Value, you can learn about how South Africa overcame its tragic history and came to be known as the “Rainbow Nation” for its recognition of diversity.