Living it up across the borders

An unforgettable Cape Town experience

12 July 2019 | Education

Tunaune Tjizembisa and Sharon Dawids

Late in the second trimester dreams, visions and aspirations came true when Swakopmund Secondary School (S.S.S) launched its travelling tour to Cape Town, South Africa. Affirming that the learners were beyond excited, would be an understatement. This opportunity was given to the senior learners, the grade 11 and 12’s.

A total of 53 senior learners made the cut. The senior learners were accompanied by 6 teachers. The tour lasted for a duration of 7 days as it took the crew two consecutive days to arrive in the beautiful Cape Town as they travelled by bus.

It was obvious that the learners could not wait to explore the majestic city, even though they were jaded by the long journey. The crew arrived in the city during the afternoon hours and routed to where they were going to be accommodated, which was in the Western Cape at River lodge Backpackers. The seniors and the teachers lived in luxury as they slept in white sheets, had a pool table, cable television and a vending machine at their fingers tips whenever they had nothing to do and needed something to keep them occupied.

After settling in, the crew rested for the activities that awaited them. The first activity was cruising. The learners and teachers hopped onto a boat which travelled to the seal island to see how peaceful the seals in Cape Town live. While cruising, some learners enjoyed the refreshing breeze of the ocean as it was a pure symbol of a good life while sipping on juice served on the boat. Although, some learners were seasick, they were able to endure it all till the end.

The crew then visited the Cape Town’s famous Aquarium near the Waterfront. The learners and teachers saw different Aquarian animals i.e. penguins, sharks, eels, and they even got to see Nemo (clown fish). It was very educational as the learners now know about the how the interesting species of the aqua live.

What is an educational tour without a visit to the museum? Indeed, the learners and teachers visited The Museum of Cape Town and had an insight of how Cape Town came to be the beautiful city it is today. In the museum, there were authentic items such as household furniture as well as salon equipment that illustrated a simple life of a Cape Tonean in the past. Despite the segregation and apartheid as well as the demolishment of certain areas, the Cape Toneans made it through.

Sightseeing was made possible by the Hop on Hop off city sightseeing busses. The sunroof bus drives all day long through the city stopping or driving slowly past a city attraction point. The crew drove through luxurious areas of the city such as the city centre etc. “This was vastly informative as they gave us earphones to plug into the bus and listen to a narrator explain Cape Town and its people in a fun and simplistic way. One could also see Table mountain from wherever you were.” said Lothando Booysen.

The opportunity of visiting one of biggest malls in Africa was granted to the learners. The Canal walk consisting of a massive amount of 400 shops. Inclusive of car shops, clothing shops, shoe stores, basically all the stores one could think of is what the seniors found there. Apart from the fact that it is massive, the mall is as well filled with shimmering chandeliers giving it a palace feel as it is grand after all. ‘’The food court of The Canal Walk was my favourite part of being at the mall as it had a vast number of fast-food restaurants, including the famous McDonalds.” said Imman a grade 11 senior learner. Other malls such as the luxurious Victoria Wharf which has designer boutiques i.e. Gucci, Loui Vuitton, Polo etc. and Aqua Park were also visited.

The team also paid a visit to Constantia winery. The winery proudly hosts an exceptional view of the grape farm. The SSS tour group were taken through manufacturing process and an interesting illustration of how wine is made from the root to its product was explained. Different types of wines was displayed as well as the different methods used to come about the final product.

The well-known Robben Island, (where the famous political leaders we know and love today have been kept for doing what is right then) was also on the must see list of the learners. In order to get there, the team had to travel to the island by boat. They were welcomed by their bubbly guide as well as mingled with the other tourists who came to along to experience. The seniors were given a tour in and around the prison. They got to see the prison cell the legendary Ubaba Nelson Mandela and Tate Andima Toivo ya Toivo were kept in. ‘’It was very emotional to see how people who were fighting for a good cause were mistreated. 40 Inmates sleeping in one cell, on thin mattresses as well as having no warmth is really heart-breaking.” said Johanna Hipangelwa.

Last but not least, the learners went to the Hawaiian-looking beach with white sands and blue waters, during their leisure time and swam in the cold Cape Ocean. The seniors also had time to do a little shopping in order to remember the city by. While shopping, some of the learners were star struck as they met the famous and soapie star Gantane Kutsch (Dr Siya Thuli in Suidooster). “I was very overwhelmed when we saw Gantane. I’ve always dreamt of meeting him in person and that with no doubt came true.” said Rochelle a grade 12 learner.

This tour was not only educational, it can be seen as the start of new friendships as well as unbreakable bonds. A wise man once said that when friends become family it means forever.

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