Came Parks and Table Mountain
31.05.2011 - 03.06.2011 18 °C
We reached Port Elizabeth and after resting in the safe harbour for several hours we docked in the commercial dock of Port Elizabeth. We boarded our coach after several hours and started our one and a half hour journey to Pumba Private Game reserve. On the way we passed numerous Zulu villages as this area is the heart of Zulu Homeland. Small and large poor and better off they all had small conical buildings which are the domain of the Zulu men. Each man can have as many wives as he can afford the bride price usually expressed as a number of cows. We passed through plantations of hybrid Eucalypts grown for their contributions to the building, paper and cellulose industries. These very straight trees are harvested after 8-10 years and are extensive in their numbers. We also passed numerous private game reserves which were originally farms but now employ more persons than ever. Our Trip to Pumba was very satisying as we saw Elephant, Rhino, White Lions and ordinary Lions along with Wildebeest, Nyala, Impala, Warthogs and Cape Buffalo. We had close encounters with Giraffe and Zebra and finished our 2 1/2 hour safari with an excellent lunch and beer and wine. This organised tour was worth every cent we paid!
After 2 more rough sea days we arrived at Capetown yesterday June 2nd. We got off the ship early as it was perfect weather to go up to Table Mountain and we wanted to avoid the usual long queues. The ship had docked about 7am and we could see the town spread out in front of us from our balcony, of which we have had very little use thus far. Table Mountain looms over this attractive town with its great surf beaches and very expensive and expansive homes and its very poor neighbourhoods. We caught a taxi up to the Mountain for about $A10 and it only took 10 minutes to get to the ticket office. The up in the rotating cable car to the summit and its extensive pathways, each leading to superb views of Capetown. The weather gods must of loved us as the previous day the cable car had been closed ecause of inclement weather. After an hour or so we decended in the cable car and caught the Hop on Hop off Red Bus which I had booked on the Internet the previous night. This takes in all of the tourist sites and lead us back to the Victoria and Albert Centre and its shopping Malls and craft markets. Celina assisted the local economy any and we took a trip on the local equivalent of the London Eye. We had lunch being entertained by local a capella groups and a Marimba band and saw some African tumblers and fire breathers. I then went back to the ship with josh while Celina and Melinda continued the Red Bus for a further 2 hours. At night we were entertained by South Africa Masala a local Folklorico group who came on board to give 2 shows. Josh had bought a magic kit and proceeded to entertain anyone who gave him the opportunity to show his new tricks. In turn, some of the waiters then showed him their own tricks. Last night we left Capetown and started our Journey to Durban our last African port and we will again do our own thing in the morning prior to an organised tour to a Zulu village with Princess in the afternoon.