A very warm welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter in June 2010.
World Cup Fever in Cape Town. Long anticipated and welcome by most of the Capetonians, the time has come to show the World that Cape Town can do it!
You really feel a great cheerful vibe in the City now, vuvuzela sounds around us more and more, the last projects being finished off and the big clean up being done. What a long and hard way to go for the Mother City! But the change is visible everywhere.
Well, we live here now for almost five years and we can really see the change for the better in the Mother City. Cape Town feels more international and welcoming than ever and all the projects of improving the City’s infrastructure while getting ready for the big event of 2010 are a great success and will be a lasting legacy.
Even if you are not a huge soccer fan the atmosphere will not leave you cold. You will feel the "togetherness" of the people and a contagious cheerfulness. Have you noticed the flags on the cars? Yes, many cars and houses display the South African flag, but often also the flag of the homecountry of the driver or resident or their favorite team. This is a beautiful sight of existing side by side and accepting each other, their countries and cultures. Kids in the schools do amazing intercultural projects learning about other nationalities and thus learn a lot about accepting people wherever they come from. This is maybe the best lesson the Worldcup will teach the people.
The worldcup is upon us if you favor the beautiful game or not. There is always lots to do in the city to enjoy your time, so let me give you some "Worldcup survival tips" if you are new to the Mother City.
This is what you will find in this issue:
1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: Cape Town Worldcup Survival Tips
2. Event of the Month: African Songbook
3. Inside Cape Town: Living in Sea Point
4. Typical South African: mzansi and boma
5. Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to get…?
Hot Tips for Expats and Travellers: CapeTown WorldCup Survival Tips
Coming to the Mother City during the Soccer World Cup or settling in a new expat life in Cape Town will be an exciting affair surely.
Here are some WorldCup "Survival" Tips for you:
• Will you be safe during the Worldcup? The security in Cape Town has been beefed up a lot, there were more than 44,000 officers specially deployed to curb crime and police and security guards are visible everywhere. Just be sure you know the most important safety rules for staying safe in Cape Town.
Read my safety tips here.
• What to do when you need medical help: The private health sector is first class in Cape Town and if you need medical assistance you can always go to the emergency department of any hospital and get immediate help.
• What about getting into town? Time your trips into town well and consider your transport options carefully, as lots of businesses in the City Center will adjust working hours due to the many road closures.
More info on the road closures in Cape Town (pdf)
• What to do with Kids during the Holidays? Know what to do with kids during the long school holidays.
Tips for Kids Activities here.
• How to get some quiet time during the Worldcup in Cape Town? How about taking outings to the winelands which are really green now due to the recent rainfall or if you want to see snow consider a trip to the Cederberg Mountain Range or the Langeberg Mountains.
• Know your emergency numbers, get a print out and know where to ask for help would you need assistance.
Listing of Cape Town Emergency Numbers.
Event of the Month: African Songbook
Besides the World Cup there are many other great events in Cape Town this month you will enjoy.
My personal favorite is "The African Songbook" which is a tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela and promises a great show for the whole family. The three act musical is a visual journey through the cultural landscape of South Africa during the recent past. The musical is sung in English and isiXhosa.
It is on only for three performances at the Artscape Theatre from June 17 until June 19, 2010, so be sure to book your tickets early.
Tickets: From R125
What else is on in Cape Town in June?
More great events and shows in June 2010.
More info on World Cup events in Cape Town
Living in Sea Point
In this section you will find every month insiders’ tips and advice about one of the many suburbs of Cape Town. So you know where to stay and where to go. This month I choose to bring you some more info about living in Sea Point where quite a few expats choose to live.
Why Sea Point? Located really close to the Cape Town City Center but still more relaxed and less hectic the much sought after suburb has got a young and international atmosphere. There are lots of facilities which make for comfortable living. It is maybe not one of the quieter suburbs but surely the vibe is contagious. As for living in Seapoint with kids, there are some very good private schools in the area, a big playground on the sea promenade and lots of space for the little ones to run around at the seaside.
Where to stay? There are older townhouses, renovated modern mansions and modern apartment complexes of all sizes mainly along the beachfront. The apartment complexes usually have got a communal pool and/or gym room. From most of the west facing residences you will also have splendid views towards the Atlantic Ocean, great for watching stunning African sunsets.
Where to go? There are plenty of entertainment and shopping facilities in Seapoint. The Jewish community is quite strong in the area too, so you will find a lot of kosher food shops in the area. If you like the beach, there are only small rocky coves down from the promenade, but there is a big communal swimming pool. However it is only a couple minute drive down to Clifton or Camps Bay, where the sandy beaches are very popular.
Typical South African terms
What means "mzansi"? It actually means "South Africa" and comes from the Xhosa word "umzantsi" which means "South". You will see this word on many T-Shirts and soccer paraphernaliafor the national soccer team in the context of: "Go Mzansi go!".
What is a boma? A boma is a rustic outdoor thatch roof construction either adjacent to a residential home where it is used usually as an outdoor braai area. It can also be a big round thatch-roof hut at an African restaurant with an open fire in the middle of the enclosure where you will be served a typical South African dinner.
Cape Town Insider Tips
What else? Have you tried these…?
Where to find the most delicious Flammkuchen? If you like to try this German-French specialty, you should head out to the Dornier wine estate near Stellenbosch. The friendly restaurant with a lovely verandah is offering a delightful menu and splendid views over the Stellenbosch winelands and is a great place for an outing with the family or a casual business meeting.
Where to find good travel and guide books in Cape Town? The Cape Town map studio recently relocated to Gardens Shopping Center. They now have a smart little shop with a good selection on travel related books and their popular South Africa maps and street directories in many different sizes and ranges. Good selection of children’s geography books and atlases too.
Why to go on an outing up Table Mountain with kids this winter? Table Mountain offers free cable car rides for two children with every paying adult. The mountain top walk is always a hit with my boys and it offers splendid views across Table Bay and the Mother City. I am sure your kids will love the giant sundial and compass and enjoy looking out for dassies and little creepy crawlies like chameleons and lizards too.
What’s coming in the Next Newsletter?
As ExpatCapeTown wants to bring you the most up to date stories and insights, please be patient and let me surprise you with more great news about the Mother City.
Just be assured, there will be lots of more great tips and advice, so be sure to subscribe my newsletter and take a look at my website which is ever expanding.
And please come back with more great tips from your site, all kinds of comments very welcome!
Contact me here.
Have a great time in Cape Town or wherever you are!