Cape Town: First Impressions

Less than two weeks after the World Cup came to a close in South Africa, I was headed for Cape Town. I had heard from many a traveler along the way how much I would love Cape Town. But it’s difficult for me to imagine the places they described as still being part of the African continent. I had no idea what I was in for.

I arrived in Cape Town at 2am after a 14-1/2 hour drive from Namibia. I caught a ride with two Americans who were living short-term in Cape Town. Since it was so late, I crashed at one of the girl’s apartments. When we got up the next morning, she took me into the city centre and down to the waterfront to show me around. I was shell-shocked to say the least. The last two countries I had traveled in had a population of 2 million (yes, for the entire country). I had spent the past 3 months in Sub-Saharan Africa, and all I could say was, “Wow, this is so modern.” I had to apologize to my new friend, because I sounded like a broken record, repeating that same phrase, but changing it up every now and then with “Wow, this is so nice.”

I went from seeing places like this in Africa over the past 3 months…

To seeing places like these in Cape Town, South Africa:

Stadium built for the World Cup
Parliament Building

Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa: Reminds me of New Orleans
View of Table Mountain
The magnificent Waterfront
Train station

I had two weeks until my flight to Southeast Asia, so I assumed I would spend a few days in Cape Town and then explore some other parts of South Africa. As you will soon find out over the next few posts, I never left Cape Town and the surrounding areas. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world!

10 thoughts on “Cape Town: First Impressions

  • CT is beautiful, but i wished you visited other parts of South Africa you would have like the country even more. I am happy you had a good time here, hope you will be making you trip back soon.

    Happy travels

    • Thapelo,

      I completely agree! Unfortunately, I was out of time and wanted to see as much of Cape Town while I was there. South Africa wasn’t really in the itinerary even this trip, so I’m lucky I got to spend the two weeks there that I did. I’ll just have to explore more next time :)

    • Andi,
      You’ve been to Cape Town? It blew me away. Initially, I didn’t feel like I was in Africa at all when I first got there, but it definitely has an African soul and flavor to it the more you explore and discover the city. I’d definitely live there as well!

  • I remember that same feeling after having come from Kenya and a week hiking Kilimanjaro in Tanzania…it was absolutely shocking to be in Capetown. Glad you enjoyed it!!

    • Sherry,
      You would have thought I had never seen civilization before in my life. I remember taking some children to Nairobi for their first time from a village and holding a 15 year old’s hand to help him step on an escalator. It was pretty much a moment like that for me :)

  • I think I would have the same reaction as you if I went to Cape Town. I lived in East and Central Africa for 12 years and I might not be able to believe it is still Africa if I visited Cape Town. Glad you to know you love it so much! Nice pictures.

    • It’s one thing to compare the drastic lifestyle differences from photos and stories, but then it’s another to physically travel from one to the next. I was in such shock for a day!

    • Isn’t it great?! Unfortunately, prices are fairly close to Western ones (well U.S. ones at least), but if you’re willing to live in tight quarters and NOT hit up all of the amazing restaurants they have, you could get by on a pretty reasonable budget.

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