Cape Town isn’t Africa. The stunning metropolitan city is well-organized, clean, and modern. There are opulent mansions, sure but the wealth isn’t what really separates it from the rest of Africa. The posh V&A marina, pastoral vineyards, the hipster neighborhoods, and developed tourism industry on the other hand… it feels positively Western.
This European city set at the tip of Africa is probably the most pleasantly situated city I have ever seen. With the imposing figure of Table Mountain towering over it, and the Atlantic lapping at its doors, the only way not to get a beautiful view is to shut your eyes. The reputed heat of Africa is kept at bay by cool ocean breezes, not to mention proximity to Antarctica.
Yes, I made the mistake of trying to swim in the Atlantic on Christmas day.
With the frigid ocean currents sweeping up from the frozen south at their chilliest I didn’t last terribly long. Sure I’ve got a story to tell but I’m pretty sure I came dangerously close to losing a toe in the process of trying to prove that I was tough.
I always called Morocco and Northern Africa “Africa light” but I would say Cape Town fits that description just as well if not better. It is a wonderful city, a metropolitan city, but far more a city of the world than belonging to any one country or even continent.