Monthly Archives: July 2016

Farewell to Africa …

It is just one more night in Africa, only a couple of hours, and we will board a plane and be homeward bound. This time, it will take us only a few hours to cover the distance between South Africa and Germany ... something that on-road in our Land Rover took us a complete year.

At the Gizeh pyramids in Egypt, October 2015

All alone at the Abu Simbel temples, Egypt October 2015

The Pyramids at Gebel Barkal, Sudan November 2015

Gondar, the ancient capital of Ethiopia, November 2015

The holy city of Axum in Ethiopia, December 2015 ... is the Ark of the Covenant really stored here in this very church?

The famous rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia December 2015

The Ol Doinyo Lengai, the holy mountain of the Massai, Tanzania January 2016

The Dead Vlei in Namibia, March 2016

Camping in the Okavango Delta in Botswana ... no fences! May 2016

Cape Agulhas, Africa's southernmost tip, South Africa June 2016

 

The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, June 2016

 

A retrospect: it was sometime in the autumn of 1992 when Mischa's English teacher taught the topic "South Africa" in Mischa's English major course. Those were interesting times back then: the fall of the Berlin Wall had just happened, in 1990 Nelson Mandela was set free in South Africa after 27 years of imprisonment, and in April 1994, finally, while Mischa was still sweating over his A-Level exams, the first free elections in South Africa took place. For politically active college students the topic "South Africa" was extremely interesting and important at that time. During the lessons the movie "Cry Freedom" by Richard Attenborough, focusing on the South African "Black Consciousness" activist "Bantu Steven Biko" and his death in police custody in 1977 caused by the South African Police was being watched and interpreted.

Bantu Steven Biko

At Steve Biko's grave in Ginsberg, King Williams Town together with Stan Weakley

... This movie is still one of our absolute favourites.

Where would Steve Biko be now had he not been killed by the apartheit policemen?

For us now at the end of this long overland journey through Africa, it is very exciting and touching at the same time that we end this adventure here in the very region where Steve Biko spent many years and which later also became his "banning area".

 

Steve Biko's house in the township of Ginsberg, King Williams Town

 

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We have come to yet another full circle here ... and we are extremely thankful that we were - 24 years after the end of Apartheit - able to make this dream of Transafrica with children come true. A dream that might got it's initial spark sometime when Mischa was still at school. ... Life is so incredibly fascinating!

...

 

Thanks, Jessica "Ess" Calder for creating this piece of art for 4-wheel-nomads

 

We want to finish here with yet another big "Thank You!" to all Africans, all new travel friends, our "old" friends from all over the world, family members and supporters. All of you have been and still are part of this successful overland adventure! Especially, we want to thank our sponsors, "Reise Know-How", "Offroad Manufaktur Hamburg", "Petromax/Feuerhand", "Ebeling Logistics", "Fanello" and "Druckerei Söker" for their support!

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We hope that with our travel, our reports and photos on our blog and on Facebook, we not only have let our friends and family participate in this trip but have also helped shaping the picture of the continent of Africa and her people from the perspective of the "Western World" to a more realistic one. This would yet be another great success!

Also, we hope to have shown that traveling overland with young children is not only "possible", but extremely enriching.

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Our last salute from Africa shall ring with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", the doubtlessly most beautiful and magic African anthem, the very song that - in the past having been the hymn of the resistance against apartheit and colonialism - now has become the national anthem of the new South Africa ... We have heard this song - translated in many different African languages - again and again on this trip, sometimes blown with the winds from far away in situations that would have been great to witness ...

 
 

Bye bye, Africa, for now! You will always be very precious to us!

Juliane, Mischa, Anouk and Sóley Stahl

 
 

Cape Agulhas Revisited

With a heavy heart we finally leave Cape Town. We have reached the geographical "final destination" of our Transafrican adventure and our Landy "Nyati" we have handed over to Duncan Johnson from "African Overlanders" to be container-shipped within the next couple of days.

 

It is always hard to say goodbye ... even though it is "just" a car and only for some few weeks! Such a sturdy and reliable car!

 

The last three weeks were again packed with many more interesting and exciting personal encounters. Cape Town, we will come back! For sure!

Everything that comes now is emotionally - both euphoric and melancholic - and geographically already "homeward bound" ... a higgledy-piggledy roller coaster!

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With a very inspiring stopover at the boat-builders "Scapeyachts" in Somerset West we once again drive to Cape Agulhas, this time in a strangely "low-on-the-tar" rental car.

 

Our rental car ... nice, but lowslung ... we felt the skin on our backsides was in danger!

 

During this visit we only briefly visit the iconic "Cape Agulhas Backpackers", as we stay with Erin and Malan, the owners of the backpackers, who had invited us to their place at the end of our last stay here some weeks ago.

Cape Agulhas is exactly the right place after so very impressive weeks in Cape Town ... sedately-quiet but together with the "locals" not at all boring.

Inside Braai ... don't know why it is not normal in German houses to have a proper fireplace!?

The girls all-time favorites: chocolate bananas directly out of the fire!

 
 
 

... no words! ...

 

On our first day we relax in front of the burning and crackling wood in the fireplace while outside a storm blows with horizontal rain hitting the windows - typical North Sea weather. The kids, our two and the twins Daniella and Isabelle, play cheerfully as if they have known each other for years now, and friends, neighbors and family just pop in - wonderfully uncomplicated! Maybe even a bit like at home on our little German sandbank-island Spiekeroog!

The next day the girls spend shopping at the café of a fancy, newly re-opened beachhouse-deko-shop ("Potpourrie") while the men work on their notebooks.

Because the next day is expected to be a sunny one, we are easily persuaded by Erin and Malan to stay another night.

We spend that day together with our host-family and their border collie "Lava".

 
 
 
 
 
 

We go on a long beach walk in the sun and plan to have lunch at the wonderfully rustic beachside-restaurant "Pelican" where all the locals seem to meet and we properly stay out late boozing with seafood at its best, a couple of good drinks and amusing company.

 

Mmh, lekker! ... The abalone is farmed!

 
 
 

Erin's father picks up all the 7 children of the complete "extended family", now including our two daughters, to have a pancake-game-party at the grandparent's place.

For us this actually ends up with thronging in a very compact car hopping from one party to the other where we meet even more interesting people.

Late in the evening we pick up our sated and tired children, who fall into their beds immediately when home ... and sink in even some more in front of the warming fire in the fireplace.

 

On top of the southernmost lighthouse in Africa!

 

If we hadn't continued traveling the next following day, we would probably get caught here. This immense warmth at a so wonderfully relaxed place is sooooo very good for us now!

But we also want to spend a lot of time together with our friends Stan und Anne Weakley ("Slowdonkey")) and their family in Chintsa near East London, especially so due to the fact that Stan was traveling in Angola during our last visit.

 

We met Stan and Anne in Ethiopia, then again in Kenya, met Anne in Chintsa some weeks ago ... and now it's time to get together again including Stan!

 

We drive on an eastward course through the beautiful "Karoo" and have a short stoppover in Oudtshoorn at the "Backpacker's Paradise". It is so very cold (around three degrees Celsius), the ostrich-dinner is so very tasty and the gregarious round around the fireplace is so nice that nobody actually wants to leave their seats!

Ocean Gypsies: Finding a boat #1

 
 

Dreaming into the sea in Lüderitz in Namibia indulging in old seafaring memories, we met the former diamond diver Heiko who sailed around the world for eleven years together with his family. Our old dreams of sailing and circumnavigating the world resurfaced and we yarned, informed ourselves and sketched sailing boats which we thought might be ideal for worldwide voyages for a traveling family ... traditional boats, spacious, convenient and ocean-going ... just like a "Colin Archer" maybe. But it would also have to be suitable for more or less single-handed sailing! A new dream, a new project called "Ocean Gypsies" came into existence!

 
 

The next similar touching view of the ocean we indulge in is at "Cape Agulhas", the southernmost tip of Africa (here is the blog entry on this wonderful place).

... And promptly but by chance we meet Malan Conradie, a local boat builder, at "Cape Agulhas Backpackers". He and his wife Erin own the "Backpackers".

 

Malan was very convincing!

 

Malan is a great inspiration for our "romantic-sailing thought-cloud-castle" which during a long and gregarious evening he converts into a "sporty-sailing dream-beachhouse". He invites us to visit him in the manufacture of "Scapeyachts", a boat-builder's yard who build catamarans near Cape Town. According to him these guys have exactly what we need!

After two and a half wonderful weeks in Cape Town we again "set sails" for "Cape Agulhas" and stopover in Somerset West, where "Scapeyachts" construct and produce their catamarans.

Because Malan is rather an expert for highspeed "Hydrofoil" speedboats, his colleague and friend Kevin Knight, more specialized on sailing boats, shows us the catamarans in the factory hall and in the nearby harbour.

 

The catamaran looks quite big when out of the water!

 
 
 

We actually arrived having many reservations, because we feel that catamarans in comparison to more traditional boats are rather ugly, far too modern and somehow unproportional (too wide and short). Simply "floating caravans". A seafaring romanticism which we know from the time we spent on traditional sailing boats and tallships, we rather can't imagine experiencing on such a "yoghurt pot".

But by and by, safety, convenience and sailing qualities indeed change our minds.

For our purposes Kevin recommends the "Scape 40' Adventurer Racer Cruiser" (draft 0,8m, l.o.a 11.90m, beam 6.42m).

Because of its two hulls the catamaran is distinctly more stabile in the water, which makes everyday life on board considerably less demanding. Seasickness for example is not really a problem any more. The plastics of the hulls (vinylester resin and multi axial stitched E-glass fabrics, PVC/Nidacore sandwich vacuum bonded construction) has a multitude of tiny air pockets and because of that the hulls rise high above the waterline and thus bring about far less resistance movement than a monohull would, because that would most commonly float through the water on one complete side of the boat. Because of this difference, the cat can easily sail at speeds up to 27 knots (!). This is more than double the speed traditional sailing boats can reach.

 
 

"Quite dangerous!" one now could think! But the cat is more stabile, more rarely capsizes (if at all) and if by any chance one of the hulls should become leaky, due to the air pockets in the plastic material the boat is constructed of, everything will still continue to float even though the hull is full of water. Quite fascinating: just in case the boat hits a floating container, both bows break and take in the impact energy without the boat itself becoming disabled and adrift or in danger of sinking. Because both hulls have an engine, it would even be possible to self-salvage the boat into the next harbour. - Absolutely amazing!

The double "normal" speed thus allows worry-free fun and at the same time doubles the travel-radius, which bearing in mind the many dream-destinations we have in the backs of our heads leads to absolute excitement in us.

Another asset is the gregariousness that can be lived in everyday life on this boat. With two double cabins and two smaller "1,5" person-cabins in each hull and another two to four beds in the salon, we could invite many friends and family members to come sailing with us.

 
 

What also perfectly fits to us is the fact that one part of the salon, the centre of life on this boat with a mindblowing 360° panoramic view, consists of a perfectly equipped galley ... Absolutely great: sailing, chatting and cooking - everything side by side and together.

A proper kitchen!

Can you imagine a boat being built in South Africa without a braai!?

And just in case anybody needs some time on their own, they can just retract to one of the four cabins in the two hulls.

Our two daughters of course like the two "trampolins" on the foreship the most ... and of course the diving platform and the two transom steps at the end of both hulls. Very family friendly and just made for long term travel!

 
 
 
 

How impressively active and relaxing at the same time voyages on this boat could be, no matter if they are short or longer trips!

Due to the fact that the boat has a large fresh water tank of 400l, a water maker (reverse osmosis) plus the equipment to collect rain water, in addition to highly effective solar panels on the deckhouse, this boat is more or less self sufficient. Only Diesel for the two 29hp motors and gas for the braai, stove and oven has to be bunkered every now and then.

 
 

With this boat, we could reach remote places we would not even be able to reach with our beloved Land Rover "Nyati".

 
 

Sure, to be able to really feel comfortable on such a modern plastic-sailing boat, quite a few things would have to be designed differently, but real-wood veneer, metallic varnish and brass bits and pieces can easily add a "personal and comfy touch" to this boat.

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So, only the price, which at the moment is rather inaffordable for us, is an obstacle in making our next dream come true.

But this also challenges us to make it possible, plan, work and save, because the quality of life one would get back with this boat would be worth all the exertions!

Why many people don’t go on extended travel

Why actually do so few people from the "western World" travel the world overland long term?

During a long "kitchen party" together with another German overland-family we discussed this question.

 

We love long kitchen parties ... not just before a long day of traveling!

 

Especially in industrial nations many people are extremely focused on consumerism and competition. Long term travel is nearly always connected to a long-term withdrawal from the competition with colleagues at work, which can even lead to a jobwise "powerloss". The jobwise position can most surely not be kept during a long term travel. Earning money in the "normal" way most of the times also doesn't work, so people can't consume the products advertisements make us believe we need as life-essentials.

Fearing these two aspects deeply combined with a general and all-embracing angst concerning the "dangerous world out there" is the basic reason why so many of the citizens of the so-called "Western World" do not go out to take a personal look at the rest of our globe.

But it is also the simple fear of "being singled out because of being different" that stops people from going on a long term travel, as everybody knows that every single bit of "differentness" from the "norms" can lead to social isolation - in spite of the fact that we base our governments, cultures, job-culture and circle of friends on democratic systems stating that everybody is appreciated, approved and recognized in their otherness.

By many members of the so-called "upper classes" and the "educated classes", for example, the overland traveller is being looked down upon from the safari-cars as being somewhat inferior and being some kind of "left-wing-progressive camper rucksack tourist" who is not able to afford "proper travel".

 

This is real luxury: a warm night, a blazing fire, good food and drink, nice company ... and all "homemade".

 

From the perspective of the so-called "lower classes" long term travelers are viewed as "posh tourists who can afford constant vacation" ... We have met members of all occupational groups on our travels: from bus driver to university professor and from nurse to medical doctor or teacher.

People who do long term travel have to accept that for the "system", they have now thoroughly become "strange" and even "suspicious" persons.

Fundamentalists? ...

Terrorists? ...

... or just culturally interested, aware and respectful?!

To just give one example here from entering the USA, please read the following conversation between a traveler and US-customs: "Why did you travel to the Middle East?" ... "I didn't!" ... "Your passport states that you have recently been to Egypt!" ... "Ah, but that is Africa, isn't it!?" ... For government bodies and system followers it is unimaginable that people travel to Egypt or Sudan out of pure personal cultural interest, so everybody suggests terrorist motives these days.

When in Rome do as the Romans do!

Deep in conversation without a shared language!

For families with young children the situation with long-term travel is even more difficult, because everybody assumes that because their kids have been out of the school system, they will miss out on subject matters and thus will have less good starting positions on the jobwise competition-sprint.

 

Travel school can look quite "traditional"

 

Because schools have been "invented" by countries to recruit young talents for industry and economy, caring parents assume that their offspring will become disadvantaged because of long-term travel. Educational failure as the result of long-term travel! We are clear that schools have always been and today especially are very intensively controlled by the industry and do not focus on education from and for the child - why else still subjects such as music, arts and P.E. are the "Cinderellas" of school subjects at ALL schools from state to private!? In this context it by the way is quite enthralling that the internationally famous "PISA-study", which compares different school systems in different countries, is being financed and controlled by the international industry and economy.

Alongside the educational aspect quite a few people assume that "travel-children" might become "asocial monsters" because they allegedly lack contact to peers.

There are many opportunities for social interactions when traveling!

Everybody loves playing games!

One of our former colleagues postulated before we left home that all travel-children she had met until then had social adaptive difficulties and were eventually unhappy because of that.

Additionally, parents fear illnesses and diseases and because of that don't travel. Africa in itself is life-endangering! But with the help of good means of communication when traveling, vaccinations, medication, intensive planning, good travel-insurance and consulting specialist medical doctors it is possible to reduce those risks considerably. The long-term-traveler from industrial nations is anyway privileged, as he can always "pull out the trump-card" of a hard currency in the case of any medical problem and immediately be treated in a good private hospital ... even in Africa ... and in opposition to the local population which is not able to afford any good medical care of this kind!

When hearing of our travel plans, people accused us of being egoistic because we decided on traveling long-term instead of asking our kids (which, by the way we did and thus they were the major force to change the continent we planned to travel to).

 

Our kids just love Africa ... and decided to come back here because in Germany they missed the warmth of the people!

 

Everybody reading this might be ask themselves who exactly is the most egoistic, the parent who goes to work nine to five seven days a week to earn enough money for consumerism and then when they are traveling stay at a club for two weeks and send their children to the club's child care for most of the day to be able to play tennis, go running et cetera ... or the parents who invest time in family and children and "even" do without earning a wage for a long period of time.

Time with their parents is what young kids really need!

Child labor or sharing responsibilities?!

One thing that includes all the aspects described above for parents and their children alike are the media, the true "opium of the people", which are used to create a fear that makes people seek refuge in investing and saving money, over-insurance, travel-reluctance and at the same time is soothing, tranquilizing and satisfying addictions. The media-reports are the "modern sea monsters" that once used to be painted on maps at Columbus' times to instil fear in the too adventurous and restrict trade and navigatory knowledge to a small circle of insiders. People are not supposed to go out and explore on their own because they then would start to question the reports, prejudices and news and would realize that the all-encompassing fear homespun by bestseller-negative-news, half-truths and lies is completely made-up and unnecessary. People would maybe then discover that Muslims can be quite nice or African policemen not always corrupt ... the power to control and navigate people using fear would be gone then! Fairly dangerous!

It is intended and piloted by economy, politics and media that the Germans, Europeans, "Westerners" do not travel to far away lands because of this fear and in case they travel abroad in spite of that, then at a max they should travel to "safe trade partners". The "precious Euros or Dollars" are please to be spent in the domestic economy zone and rather not travel as a form of private foreign aid to Africa! And if Africa is the destination, please only book via overpriced European travel agencies so that a substantial part of that money can be skimmed at home instead of traveling individually without any pree-bookings!

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But what is the real situation like during a long term travel concerning the aspects and concepts above?

Traveling definitely is an absolute "eye opener"! Apart from many learning experiences on the more intellectual side the most essential new experience caused by travel is to learn how to get rid of your fears. These fears eliminate themselves in any case when people realize that the "world outside" is not as bad as the media make us think it is.

For us it was for example quite scary at the beginning to wild-camp somewhere in the Sudanese desert because due to one-sided media cover, Sudan is considered an "absolutely dangerous country".

 

A wild camp in the Sudanese Sahara ... very relaxing and deeply touching instead of being dangerous!

 

We have finally camped wild regularly in Sudan and have felt very very safe, safer actually than in other places in Africa or even Europe!

An intensive openness concerning new situations is something that "just happens anyway" when you are traveling outside of your comfort zone and cultural sphere.

At the same time one learns to restrain oneself on the bare essentials.

 

Everything has to fit into the "small" Land Rover ... bare necessities of life!

 

With that, you automatically leave the consumerist-competition and instead of consuming "things" one indulges in deep, intensive human encounters ... traveling definitely also is making a move to a more social being. Once people asked us whether it is not boring not to build, create, construct something for one complete year ... our answer was and still is, "We do exactly that: we establish new ties and relations and stabilize those within the family, with the partner and with our children.

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But what about the problem areas concerning children and education as stated above?

While traveling we have witnessed how our children "naturally" learned a foreign language, English, without any teacher in the traditional sense and without any learning material.

Natural learning: hatching turtles (science)

... zoology ...

... geology, mineralogy ...

... and gardening.

Furthermore, our two daughters were allowed to find out about their limits, could test themselves and by that find a different "inner ease of mind". Definitely, our children have become more culturally aware and also more cosmopolitan and open minded.

 
 

Life in the open in combination with more attention by the parents (who don't have to go to work) and simply more time gives the chance to include the children in many ways in travel planning, navigation, cooking, car-maintenance et cetera.

Mechanics and car maintenance ...

... help is always needed!

The great majority of contacts kids establish to other traveling children, adults and Africans of all ages are not rational but highly flexible and creative, especially when it comes to language(s)! At the same time even very young children learn a natural media competence by communicating with family and friends at home using emails, Facebook, Skype and the such.

 

Even "old school letters" reach us sometimes!

 

Believe it or not: our kids so far have not become "asocial monsters" - quite the contrary is true!

 
 

Ill or sick our kids were probaly not more than they would have been had we stayed at home. It is only more inconvenient when you are traveling! Our two daughters had gastro-intestinal problems (Anouk once and Sóley twice), tonsillitis (Anouk once and Sóley twice) and an ear infection (Anouk once). That was "it"! Still, we nearly always had the fear for malaria at the back of our necks even though all of us were on antimalarials.

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Still, extended travel is not a "universal remedy" just as any "prenatal musical character coining" of all children using Mozart without taking into account the mother's favourite music is! Certainly, we don't want to persuade anybody and we also don't want to be fundamentalist in this direction! Those who love traveling will love long term travel and will profit from that and will experience great benefits in their children. Even the people you meet on the road will benefit from these encounters! On the long run travel will establish more mutual understanding! In addition to that long-term travel enables you to spend relaxed and intensive, sometimes challenging time together as a family and escape the competition about power and consumerism for a while! Certainly, after such a travel one has changed many points of view in many different fields!

For sure, we don't want to give the impression here that everybody HAS TO TRAVEL! There are many ways of living and what we do is just one of them! With this blog post we try to discuss why the majority of people in "our world" might fear long term travel! ... and we want to provide "food for thought"!

 
 

Cape Town and its neighborhood

 

Cape Town as seen from the top of "Table Mountain"

 

"Kaapstad", founded in 1652 by the Dutch "United East India Company", for us was one of the destinations much longed for ... What a thriving, beautiful, colorful and multi-cultural city! We are absolutely enthusiastic!

But Cape Town also turns out to be a city of contrasts and extremens: as true with many places, towns and cities in South Africa, here the world of tourists, of "the poor and the rich" and appalling poverty are cheek by jowl, European shaped South Africa and "magical Africa" directly clash, but also modern city-life and wonderful, nearly pristine nature are neighboring each other.

We are lucky to have the chance here to see and experience this city through the eyes of several quite different inhabitants and thus are allowed to witness the diversity of this cosmopolitan metropolis in Africa and learn about different stories, impressions, opinions, visions and schemes of life. Sadly, also typical for South Africa is the fact that we don't really have many opportunities to learn about the "dark skinned face" of the country as many sectors of everyday life in this country are still separated ... people do still not mix as they should here! One example for the fact that racism and prejudice still play a role in the mindsets of many inhabitants of this city and South Africa is shown in the expression and concept of the "coconut", a word used by dark skinned South Africans to describe other dark skinned Africans who have "white" friends ... they are "brown on the outside but white on the inside", just like a coconut!

Some (mainly Afrikaans-speaking) fair-skinned South Africans are planning to leave their home for Australia or Canada because they don't see a future here for themselves and their children. Other (mainly English-speaking) fair-skinned South Africans deliberately decide on staying. We will focus on the political situation in South Africa as we have experienced it in more detail in another post coming up.

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In the Cape Town area we initially live with Wynand, Eulouka and Ayla Stolp in Somerset West, one of the neighboring towns of Cape Town.

The Stolps from Somerset West

Anouk and Ayla

The Afrikaans-speaking family Stolp are travel-friends we met in Ai Ais Springs in Namibia.

Afterwards we stay with the Calder family in Newlands, directly below the eastern cliff of impressive Table Mountain.

 

The Calders from Newlands

 

Kathy and Sóley at "Cape Point"

"Table Mountain" is just up the road.

 
 

The English-speaking Calders invited us via e-mail and virtually "picked us off the street" because they had followed our blog right from the beginning and also share the Land Rover passion.

 
 

For the coming (European) summer, we already work on common travel-plans for a trip through Scandinavia when the Calders will take their Landy from West Africa via Europe back to South Africa along the "eastern route".

Parallel to that we meet our old friend and fellow islander Johanna again here, who left Germany some years ago to study in South Africa and didn't leave.

 

Johanna and Lulama

 

Since her own volunteer experiences Johanna supports the "Weltwärts"-Program of the German government and mentors volunteers at the "Zenzeleni Waldorf-School" in the township "Khayelitsha".

The schoolyard ...

... and the playground - always the most important place for our kids.

Khayelitsha is one of the biggest townships in South Africa and has between 2 and 2.4 million inhabitants who mainly live in huts made out of corrugated iron, wood, cardboard and tarpaulins. During a visit in the township we were not only impressed by the sheer size of this place, but also by the poverty in which so many people live. At the same time the number of sattelite dishes on even the most ramshackle huts is impressive and all huts are connected by a web of power cables. Completely "strange" for our European palate and eyes are the "snacks" you can buy along the roads: chicken feet and sheep heads.

We also meet our Namibian friend Stefanus from Windhoek again, together with his brother's family who works as an eye doctor here in Cape Town.

 

The van der Merwes in Cape Town

 

Juliane meets her Au-Pair colleague Robyn again who she had met sixteen years ago in North Carolina.

 

Robyn, her family and us.

 

Apart from our favourite pasttime "meeting people", in Cape Town we finally are able to shop for things we need at home and also replace some of our excessively worn-out pieces of clothing.

Of course, sightseeing is also on the agenda: we visit and study the penguins in in "Betty's Bay" and "Boulders", drive the Land Rover to "Cape Point", take the "Cable Car" up "Table Mountain" and visit the "Botanical Garden Kirstenbosch".

 

Penguins in Africa! The "African Penguin", the only penguin nesting in Africa is also called "Jackass Penguin" because of its donkey-like sounds

 

Dassies ... very cute!

Boulders Beach is world famous for its penguin colony. We think that Betty's Bay is nicer because it is less touristy. - This is a rare photo without other tourists!

 

The cable car at "Table Mountain". Table Mountain with its 1085m above sea level is one of the "New 7 Wonders of Nature"

 

Looking down on Cape Town from the cable car

 

The "Boomslang" at "Kirstenbosch"

 
 

Beautiful "wine-town" Stellenbosch

 

On the way to "Cape Point" ... a small village without cars down at the beach.

On the way to "Hout Bay"

 

Together with friends at "Cape Point" ... For us "Cape Point" is the "geographical end" of our Transafrican adventure. Personally, we think that the sedately-remote Cape Agulhas, souternmost tip of Africa, is considerably more beautiful.