A very warm welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter in September 2010.

Spring has arrived and what a wonderful long weekend. So let's celebrate Heritage Day and also enjoy South Africa's Braai Day!

As many of you will have noticed, I am currently restructuring some parts of my website and as I want to grow my expat section I am looking for some more expats willing to share their experiences about living in Cape Town. If you are interested to fill in an expat interview or share some info, please get in touch with me here . All your comments are very much appreciated. Thanks a lot for your input!

This is what you will find in this issue of the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter:

1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: The best Cape Town schools included in the Circle of Excellence

2. Event of the Month: Whale Festival in Hermanus

3. Inside Cape Town: Living in Parklands

4. Typical South African: jol and boma

5. Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to go…?

Hot Tips for Expats and Travelers: Best CapeTown Schools

Last week the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation published the newest listing of South Africa's Best Schools supporting their Fellowship Programme.

Since 2008 the Foundation tries to identify South Africa's top secondary schools and supports gifted children from all social background with a Fellowship programme in these schools. This said, I feel it is important to mention that the higher the number of fellowship students at a particular school, the higher the likelyhood for the school to become a member of the Allan Gray "Circle of Excellence" Schools.

This year 15 Western Cape schools made it into the prestigious "Circle of Excellence". Here are the schools which are located in and around Cape Town and which are in the Top 100 SA Schools list in alphabetical order:

• Bergvliet High School: state school, co-ed, 1120 pupils, R13,900 p.a.

• Bishops Diocesan College: Rondebosch, Anglican, independent, boys only, 754 pupils, up to R 70,640 p.a.

• Centre of Science and Technology (Cosat): Khayelitsha, co-ed, 180 pupils, up to R7,000 p.a.

• Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt (DSK): Tamboerskloof, independent, German international school, co-ed, 720 pupils, R25,600 p.a.

• DF Malan High School: Bellville, state school, co-ed, 1050 pupils, R12,650 p.a.

• Herschel Girls School: Claremont, independent, Anglican, girls only, 972 pupils, R55,000 p.a.

• Livingstone High School: Landsdown, state school, co-ed, 937 pupils, R4,000 p.a.

• Paul Roos Gymnasium: Stellenbosch, state school, boys only, 1800 pupils, R16,200 p.a.

• Rondebosch Boys School: state school, boys only, 795 pupils, R23,000 p.a.

• Rustenburg High School for Girls: Rondebosch, state school, girls only, 770 pupils, R21,000 p.a.

• South African College School (SACS): Newlands, state school, 740 pupils, R24,160p.a.

• Settlers High School: Bellville, state school, co-ed, 1188 pupils, R11,000 p.a.

• St Cyprians School: Cape Town city center, independent, Anglican, girls only, 794 pupils, up to R58,000 p.a.

• Tygerberg High School: state school, Afrikaans-medium, co-ed, 1030 pupils, R8,850 p.a.

• Westerford High School: Rondebosch, state school, co-ed, 884 pupils, R19215 p.a.

Please refer to the Allan Gray Foundation or the respective schools for more details.

More info on the Circle of Excellence.

• Looking for the best education in South Africa? Some state and the private schools in and around Cape Town offer exceptional good results when it comes to academic success, high passing rates in exams, special support and committed teaching.

More about the best schools in Cape Town

Event of the Month: Hermanus Whale Festival

Every year at the end of September, Hermanus celebrate the Whale Festival and the little town on the Indian Ocean a mere 90 minutes drive from Cape Town becomes a hub of activities during the annual event.

The whales are coming really close to the shore in Hermanus and it is always exciting to watch these big mammals. Whales can be watched in South African waters from June to November.

Surely Hermanus is always worth a visit, but during the annual Whale Festival you will enjoy even more of the great community vibe at the various sports tournaments like the Half Marathon and Golf classic, at the various concerts and shows as well as at the food and crafts market. There is even a classical motor show with vintage cars.

More about the Whale Festival here.

What is on in Cape Town in September and October 2010?

Events in Cape Town in September 2010

Events in Cape Town in October 2010

Living in Parklands

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 Parklands which is a growing suburb.

Why Parklands? This suburb of Cape Town is located roughly 20km to the North of the Citycenter. Parklands has grown tremendously over the last five years and many expats from around the world find their new home here. The suburb is very popular due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, it is located just east of popular Blouberg and there are lots of shopping facilities and amenities in the area. There are some excellent private schools in the area like Parklands College, Elkanah House, Christian Brothers College as well as the Blouberg Internation School. The only big drawback is the heavy traffic going to and coming from Cape Town CBD diring rush hour. The 30-minute trip into town will then easily take you 90 minutes or more. So let's hope the new IRT buslanes and cycletrack along the R27 will help soon.

Where to stay? Housing ranges from smaller homes in security estates and bigger houses in quiet areas as well as apartments in a growing number of high rise buildings. Some parts of Parklands however seem to have security problems, so be sure to move into the right housing area, as Parklands is building up too fast for supporting social facilities. There are numerous great B&Bs, hotels and self-catering accomodation in nearby Blouberg.

Where to go? There are several entertainment and shopping facilities in the area with various Lifestyle Centers and Shopping Precincts. The extension of Bayside Center in Table View will be completed soon and you will have even more shopping facilities nearby. You will also find many international delicatessen shops and smaller boutiques in Parklands.

Typical South African terms

What means "jol"? This is a typical South African term describing having a good time together, or having fun together at a special event or party.

What is braaivleis? South Africans use a variety of meat (vleis) for their braais (BBQ). There is usually marinated steak, lamb or pork chops, chicken wings and also boerewors and sosaties(sausages) available at a typical braai in South Africa.

Cape Town Insider Tips

What else? Have you tried these…?

Where to see the Cape wildflowers in bloom? You will need hurry up, as the Springflower season comes to an end soon. One of my favorite places to admire the colorful displays in nature is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Or you could drive up Signal Hill and see the lovely spring flowers with Table Mountain in the background.

How to get German television channels in Cape Town? You will need a satellite dish and decoder and get a subscription for German TV programms from Deukom and then you will be able to watch 6 German channels via satelite, namely ARD, ZDF, 3 SAT, SAT1, RTL, DW.

Where to go for great Cape Malay Cooking classes? Join Gamidah cooking up a storm in her lovely Bo-Kaap home. Her samosas are the best I have tried here.

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!


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