My experiences of travelling in Southern Africa 1995/96


In no way is this information an accurate and up to date guide. Please buy a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, for example, travel book for the countries you wish to visit.

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Cape Town

I arrived in Cape Town at seven o'clock in the morning on New Year's Eve 1995. I had travelled from Port Elizabeth with an English guy name Ian (!), I had met him in PE. As it was so early we were told we would have to wait for about an hour for the free pickup from the hostel where we had chosen to stay, so we waited.

After an hour Ian phoned the hostel to see if our ride was on the way, the bloke hadn't turned up for work yet so the hostel gave us instructions on how to find them. First of all we tried to get there by minibus taxi (combi), the primary source of transport in South Africa and especially Cape Town, that was a bit of a disaster. The trouble was that the eager driver keen to get more fares said he was the right minibus for where we wanted to go, once moving he decided he wasn't the right one, so we got out. We decided to get a taxi to the hostel, which was called The Green Elephant Backpackers.

You can get all the details you need about this hostel by following the above link, suffice it to say it was the best hostel for atmosphere and friendly staff I found in South Africa. The owner, Robin, is certifiably mad and layed back with it, I know he won't mind me calling him mad, will you Rob? If you are going to Cape Town give the Green Elephant a whiz (if you go around the corner to some of the best bars in Observatory you can probably buy some ;-).

Unfortunately I don't have many photographs of Cape Town as my camera and some unprocessed films were stolen when I was mugged at the end of January in Johannesburg. More about that exciting day of my life later! The photos I do have were mainly taken on the 2nd of January 1996 whilst sailing around Table Bay, Cape Town.

The fifth and final Test Match between England and South Africa actually started on the 2nd but I didn't want to miss the oppurtunity to see an aspect of Cape Town not many people get to see. The 2nd of January was the start date of the Cape to Rio Yacht Race for the slower yachts, the faster contingent were due to leave a few days later and would eventually overtake the slower yachts.

Here are some of the photos I took on the day of the Cape to Rio and later on in Cape Town:

Looking back from Table Bay at Table Mountain

The start of the yacht race for the slower boats

Devil's Peak nearing sunset, Newlands Cricket Ground at sunset

A view into Cape Town Waterfront at Sunset

The main grandstand at Newlands

If you would like some more information on Cape Town visit:
The Official Cape Town Tourism and Business Information Web Site.

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Last Updated on 17th September 1999 14:45:47

All images ©1995, 1996 Ian Simmins
© 1996 Ian Simmins