Solo Tourist in Cape Town

16:53 Alyson Tart 1 Comments

For my first couple of days in Cape Town, I had the company of my co-worker and her family, which was great to give me some built in fellow tourists for the first few days. Other than a day and a half in a similar situation in Hawaii, I have never done solo traveling.

As fate would have it, however, my final day in Cape Town was to be spent alone.

After my morning meeting, the day was mine. I already knew what was in the books for me - the famous wines of South Africa, and more specifically Stellenbosch. I had four hours before I needed to be at the airport, and while not nearly as much time as I would want, it gave me the time I needed to head out that way.

Since I didn't have a car, I hired a driver for the half day. He suggested we make a pit stop on our way out to Stellenbosch, which after hearing his idea I quickly agreed to. Even though I had seen cheetahs on our Kenyan Safari, this was a chance to get upclose and personal at Paardevlei Cheetah Outreach Centre.

In South Africa (and probably a lot of Africa), as farming lands and cities grow, the cheetahs in the wild are being run out of their natural habitat. When these farmlands encroach on the cheetahs homes, their food is taken away, so they tend to find new food sources, like the farmers cows and other animals. To protect their animals, farmers shoot or poison the cheetahs. The point of the outreach centre is to teach farmers how to live with the cheetahs, and inform them of alternative methods of protecting their livestock.

The way they do this is actually through Anatolian sheep dogs (from Turkey!). Cheetahs are not naturally aggressive animals, and therefore if they are challenged, they typically flee versus fight. The outreach centre not only teaches the farmers how to use these dogs, but also breeds them and provides them to the farmers. It has been so successful, there's now a waiting list for farmers wanting to get the dogs!

Back to the cheetahs though. They keep cheetahs at the centre to educate people on their true nature. I know some from our safari trip that they aren't inclined to hurt people, but it was amazing to be so close to one. They do stay with their handlers all the time, so they can keep an eye on their attitude and if they are open to having people around them. I got to visit Joseph and spent several minutes just stroking his fur and chatting with the handler about him. He's 11 years old, so he's an old pro at meeting people at the outreach centre.

After my encounter, it was off to try some wine! While I usually wouldn't drink before a flight, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. First up, we stopped at Bilton Wines for a chocolate and wine tasting. For each class of wine, they had a corresponding chocolate that were paired to bring out the flavours of each. I loved the cab so much that I bought a bottle and the delicious dark espresso choclate that I tasted with it.

Trouble of solo travelling? Finding someone to take your
photo.

While I could have headed to the airport now and been there a few minutes early, we decided to squeeze in one last tasting. I figured it would be a good practice to help me to sleep on my long overnight flight back to London. We choose the picturesque Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. The weather was lovely and I got to enjoy an outdoor seat in the sun, under the shade of the trees in their courtyard. Perfection. I got the chance to try three wines and three more chocolates, all lovely, but no space left in my suitcase to bring back. After the last of my wine, I took a few minutes to wander around the estate, with the lovely nectarine trees out front, lining the drive up to the estate.

And so my time in Cape Town came to an end. We drove back through Stellenbosch to give me some last glances of a place I had fallen in love with in only a few days. I know a trip back will be in my future, and perhaps next time with someone to share all my favourites of the city with!





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1 comment:

  1. First of all thanks to you for sharing your experience with us.Cape Town is very beautiful,adventures city.I like your blog.Even I want to experience the lifetime journey of Cape Town. Please visit the link: http://invitationtomycity.blogspot.com/

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