With some sunlight to burn after returning from the Cape Explorer Tour, I decided to give the Cape Wheel a ride as the price was reasonable, and I had a feeling that it would offer some unique views of the V&A Waterfront. They include a guide that points out what you can see from the wheel, which is a neat touch as it gives you things to look for while up there. Upon entering the cabin, I was happy to find that air conditioning was available on board as it was a bit of a warm day back in town.
The views from the wheel did not disappoint! Especially for a bird’s-eye view of the Waterfront, the sun setting behind the Cape Town Stadium, and the view of Table Mountain.
The next morning, to sad reality of this being the last day in Cape Town was starting to hit, but I still wanted to make the most of the day. Since I was staying at an Airbnb, I couldn’t really do onsite luggage storage, and I couldn’t really find anywhere in town to do so. I did see, however that the airport offered luggage storage, so I got an early Uber to the airport to drop my bags off in storage. Once that was complete, I made my way to the bus for my first public transportation experience in South Africa. While the airport express service seemed reliable, the bus follows the same motorway into the city, which my timing for this was pretty bad as the bus ended up in traffic. What would have likely been a 50-minute drive without traffic ended up being more like a 2-hour ride. The bright side though was that it was cheaper than an Uber, and an Uber would have likely dealt with the same traffic.
Once the bus arrived to the civic center, I walked back over to the V&A Waterfront with the hope of going on the ferry to Robben Island to see the prison Nelson Mandela was kept in for most of his sentence. The problem though was that I had not booked in advance. When I arrived to the Gateway building to the Robben Island Ferry, I learned that they were sold out for the next five days! Needless to say, if this is an experience you wish to have, book in advance! I probably should have done so when I booked the Cape Explorer tour, but it is what it is, and if I make it back, I’ll know to book it ahead of time.
While this was a bit of a bummer, there were still other things to do in the V&A Waterfront area. I chose to pay a visit to the Springbok Experience. Having just attended my first rugby match a few days earlier, I thought it would be neat to learn more about the national team, and this museum did just that, while also shaping the story of the creation of rugby, and how it came to be one of the most popular sports in South Africa with a wealth of artifacts from the past including old trophies, uniforms and a variety of other items. The main focus of the museum is on the South African National Team, with the team nickname being the Springboks.
There were many statues of significant people to the sport and South African Rugby, including a replica of the historic moment when the Springboks won the 1995 World Cup, and Nelson Mandela presented the trophy to the captain, Francois Pienaar. The movie Invictus was inspired by that rugby team, and how Nelson Mandela looked to have the team serve as a way to unify the nation after the horrors of Aparthied.
Speaking of Apartheid, There was a portion of the museum that focused on the topic as it related to the national rugby team due to protests from other countries and restrictions placed on the nation because of the laws. It was interesting to find this added insight about the effects of apartheid, and how it related to this popular sport.
One thing that also really stuck out about this museum was the inclusion of the interactive exhibits, such as those on the main floor which features mini-games you can play to replicate some of the important aspects of the sport such as agility, speed, ball control and kicking.
Of course, no museum is complete without a gift shop. This one features not only uniforms from the Springboks, but also some of the other professional teams of South Africa, including the DHL Stormers from the match the other night.
One of the perks to visiting the Springbok Experience is that you get a free beer from one of the nearby restaurants located in the V&A Waterfront, so I took some time to enjoy lunch at Quay Four, which had a great outdoor seating area on a beautiful day like today. Since they are so cheap compared to home, I couldn’t help but to enjoy another filet steak, and this one was quite enjoyable with another Castle Lager!
After lunch, I hopped on an Uber over to the District Six Museum to learn more about this neighborhood that had been seen as a threat to the laws of Apartheid because people of various races lived together in harmony. The museum gives insight into life in the neighborhood, and the events that led to the demise of it.
With the Law of Apartheid playing a key role in the destruction of the neighborhood, there are several signs that were meant to segregate, and one display showed examples of the identification cards or books given to people with their racial identification.
There were also several displays that helped to show what everyday life was like in the neighborhood, and there were items that came from their homes that may have been removed or recovered before the demolition of the neighborhood. There are also maps of District Six and old street signs from there as well.
One item that truly sticks out throughout the museum is the blue and white tags all over. Each one is signed as a petition to the South African Government to recognize the neighborhood as a National Historic Site.
The museum also displays before and after photos comparing the neighborhood as it was standing to when it was demolished. The area has not been changed much since the after photos were taken as seen from previous updates to this trip report when passing by the area on previous tours.
And with that, it was time to head back to the airport. Before taking off, I visited the Bidvest Lounge of Cape Town, which had a nice selection of food, as well as a great view to watch the planes as the prepared to take off to other destinations. Then as the time came, it was off to the gate.
Then as the time came to head for the gate, it was on to return to Johannesburg for what would be the last flight with Mango Airlines on this trip.
While this flight wasn’t a bad flight, I wasn’t thrilled to be on it mainly because I have fallen in love with Cape Town! It is a fantastic city, and one that anyone who enjoys experiencing new places must visit if they have the opportunity to go.
See more of 2018 South Africa Trip:
1: Flight to Atlanta & Delta Flight Museum / 2: Arrival to South Africa / 3: First Day in Durban /
4: Second Day in Durban / 5: Last Day in Durban / 6: V&A Waterfront / 7: Cape Town City Sightseeing Tours /
8: Table Mountain / 9: Ratanga Junction / 10: Rugby at Newlands Rugby Stadium / 11: Cape Town Walking Tours /
12: Cape of Good Hope / 13: Boulders Beach Penguins / 14: The Last of Cape Town / 15: Cape Town Water Shortage /
16: Sightseeing Around Johannesburg / 17: More Johannesburg Sightseeing / 18: Botswana Day Trip /
19: Kruger National Park, Day 1 / 20: Kruger National Park, Day 2 / 21: Kruger National Park, Day 3 /
22: Gold Reef City Resort & Amenities / 23: Apartheid Museum & Rand Show / 24: Gold Reef City Theme Park /
25: The Return Home