South Africa was an amazing country. It was a completely different experience than I thought I would experience.
The first day we got there I walked around the Waterfront, which is a shopping area right by the ship. After spending the day walking around the port area and eating some South African cuisine, some of my friends and I went to Long Street – the bar district of Cape Town. We went to a restaurant called Mama Africa, a lively restaurant. I ate venison, impala, crocodile, warthog, ostrich and springbock. Surprisingly, all of it was delicious!
The next day was one of the best days of my life. I woke up at 4:30am to go shark cage diving. What an experience that was. We went out on the ocean at sunrise and got in the cage where great white sharks were swimming all around us. I touched one of the fins. After that we got back into Cape Town and quickly changed and went up Table Mountain – which overlooks all of Cape Town. We spent about an hour at the top walking around looking at all sides and then we immediately headed to a professional rugby game. The Stormers v Hurricanes game was South Africa v New Zealand, the two best teams in the world. We all got really into the game and South Africa ended up winning – we knew it was going to be a fun night in Cape Town after that! But the day wasn’t finished yet! Right when the game ended we met our cab driver and he drove us across town to the Olympic stadium to see the Ajax play the Santos – two of South Africa’s best teams. After the soccer game we ventured to a penthouse that some students bought and hung out overlooking Cape Town.
The next 3 days I ventured to Johannesburg to Kruger National Park where I went on a genuine African safari. It was unreal. We saw rhinos, zebras, impalas, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, water buffalo, hippopotamuses, warthogs, monkeys and a beautiful grown lion with a full mane. We went on three safaris. Two were at nighttime and one was a full day. It was beautiful. We saw all of these animals in their natural habitats, which is something you can only do in some parts of the world because of zoos all over the world. We learned that it only takes poachers 8 minutes now to fly into the reserve via helicopter and steal rhino’s horns, which are worth thousands of dollars. Our safari guide told us that it is on his bucket list – along with his coworkers – to kill a poacher. In Kruger National Park, it is a law that you are allowed to shoot and kill any poacher you see on the spot. That is how much the animals mean to the people of Africa.
We arrived back in Cape Town the night before the ship was debarking. We all went out to a bar in Camps Bay, a really nice town on the other side of Table Mountain. A lot of SAS kids showed up so they shut down the bar and everyone was scattered with figuring out plans for the rest of the night. One of my friends rented a mansion on the side of a mountain so that’s where we were headed. The mansion was unreal. It was huge will so many bedrooms, a huge kitchen area, a game room and an infinity pool overlooking Table Mountain and Cape Town. It was the perfect way to end our time in Cape Town.
The next morning I woke up early and went to Robben Island – the prison island where Nelson Mandela was held. After Robben Island I went to Langa Township, one of the oldest townships in South Africa. To my surprise, this township was a lot more modernized than I thought. Out of all of the shantytowns I have seen while being abroad this was the one with the most comfortable living. After leaving the township, we headed back to the ship and set sail for Mauritius!