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Cape Town:

The San Francisco of South Africa

Two penguins that seem very much in love

Cape Town is a very beautiful city. It is set on the ocean and framed by mountains that seem to jut upwards in a defiant manner. The waterfront area is worth a tour to experience the many shops and the excitement of the place. You will have a good time drifting about the outdoor stalls and street entertainers. Cape Town has a relatively small city centre, but it has its share of tallish glass and concrete buildings like most cities.

A wonderful day trip is to take the short drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope. Along the way, make sure you stop off at the "World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary", which is a great experience. You will see many of the birds, and some of the animals, Africa is famous for up close. The drive down the coast is reminiscent of driving highway 1 in Northern California. The vistas are of rugged cliffs pounded by massive waves. This is a truly up lifting drive. Hout Bay is a lovely little town to stop for lunch. There is a restaurant there located right next to the bay. The place has a feel to it not unlike Sausalito.

It is easy to mistake the countryside around the Cape of Good Hope for the Marin Headlands in San Francisco; they both share the same low shrubby plants and magnificent cliffs and beaches. If you are up for a steep, but short hike, take the walk up the hill from the car park to the lighthouse at the cape. There are many great hiking trails in the area, but remember you are in South Africa and you need to be very careful about your safety.

When you return from the Cape, drop into Simon's Town that is a gorgeous little city nestled in the cliffs of the cape. Its claim to fame is its African Penguin rookeries. Yes, South Africa, like Australia and Antarctica, is home to penguins.


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