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South Africa

2010-11


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Work took me to South Africa in 2010 and 2011. First stop was Cape Town, where on weekends I toured around the city and surroundings. I first toured the neighborhood of Bo Kaap which had a Muslim population and was home to early Malay immigrants.
Another view of Bo Kaap with Signal Hill in the background, which I also climbed.
Another view of Bo Kaap, which means "Upper Cape".
Here I am on my climb up Signal Hill, with the new soccer stadium and Robben Island in the background.
A view of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was prisoner, from Signal Hill.
The South African flag.
Video of kids drumming for money in the shopping district of Cape Town. Later, a policeman came and made them stop.
Another Video of the kids drumming
A view of Cape Town from the air. Signal Hill is in the middle and Table Mountain is in the upper right hand corner.
A view of the port from Signal Hill.
I took a tour of Robben Island, where Mandela was prisoner for over 25 years. Here is a view of a fine building in the port.
A look back from the boat.
A view of Table Mountain on the boat to Robben Island.
Seals at the harbor entrance to Robben Island. "Robben" means seal in Afrikaans.
Birds around Robben Island.
The guide on Robben Island (who was also once a prisoner there). Here he is showing a picture of Mandela as a prisoner and explaining what life was like there.
Nelson Mandela's former cell.
Another typical cell on Robben Island.
Mandela's famous quote when he was elected President in 1994.
During the Apartheid regime, blacks were forced to live in separate, isolated communities, called Townships. Many are still there, captives of high unemployment and poverty. There are many around the big cities. Near Cape Town, three that I saw ere Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Cape Flats. Here is a shot of Gugulethu.
Another shot of Gugulethu.
Garbage piled up in Khayelitsha.
Here is a shot of Cape Flats.
I took a number of weekend trips around the country. Here I am on the way Cape Point, the southernmost point of Africa.
With my colleague John. Apparently hijacking is common in certain areas.
I was interested in the Boer history in South Africa. Here is the Voortrekker Monument, which commemorates the early Boer pioneers as they made their way north and east across the country.
Plaque explaining the monument.
A sculpture of a Boer pioneer. They had a tough life.
Here is Cape Point, the southernmost point in Africa.
On to the animals! Here are some penguins near Cape Point.
More penguins.
I went on a couple safaris, where you drive through game parks and see wild animals. In some cases you can get out and get close. Here I am with some lion cubs. Luckily they were asleep and harmless.
One of the lions in the park. You are not allowed to get out of your vehicle, for obvious reasons!
This one looks like he is growling, but it was just a yawn. Lions can sleep up to 20 hours a day. Nice life.
The safari was great. Wild game can walk right up next to you. Here are some elephants blocking the road forward. You just have to let them do what they want to do.
Zebras on the safari
More zebras at sunset.
Some giraffes at a watering hole.
More giraffes on the road.
Finally, these rhinos came right up next to our car. I could have reached out the window and touched them. They are like prehistoric dinosaurs. Very cool experience.