Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The last Leopard spotted in Cape Town

Ok! So I also fell for it! It's just a statue! A life-size leopard placed on a rock in Hout Bay overlooking the sea waters of The Atlantic on the west side of The Cape Town peninsula. The piece of art is dedicated to the last leopard spotted here in 1937. Not many people know of it or even know it's there sitting all by itself through the last couple of decades.

The bronze leopard was created by Ivan Milford-Barberton in 1963 and placed strategically on a piece of rock in the ocean, visible from land and roads or from boats sailing around Hout Bay. For those who do not intend to look for it, the silhouette of a leopard in the Cape Town sunset can be quite a suprise when discovered and with a certain degree of realism might even have you think that it's a real one!

The statue can be found as one leaves Hout Bay on your way to Chapman's Peak. On your right, in the ocean, you will find a number of huge, upright boulders standing close together. On one of these you will easily find the leopard statue if you are knowingly looking for it. Ask your guide to point it out when joining our Cape Point tours.

Till later!
The Cape Town Experience Crew

Monday, 16 March 2015

Ever wondered where Cape Town's False Bay got it's name from?

False Bay is a massive bay in Cape Town stretching from Hangklip to Cape Point. By car it's about 120 kilometres from one end to the other. A Sunday drive along this route on a clear and sunny day holds plenty of sights and sounds to discover, and during whale season from June to November the drive is a whale spotting hotspot!

But what on earth made this beautiful body of water so untrue that it was given the name 'False' Bay? Well, the seafarers of years ago sailed around the African coastline on their way to and from India forming part of the Spice Route. This journey took them around Cape Point and Hangklip.

Cape Point and Hangklip are very similar in shape and from a distance they can easily be confused with each other. Coming back from India, the seafarers thought they were rounding Cape Point, when in fact they were only rounding Hangklip! They would sail into False Bay, realise it's not where they should be and then continue onwards to find Cape Point still waiting for them! So, the name False Bay was given!

False Bay can be viewed and experienced on our Cape Point tours.

Till later!

The Cape Town Experience crew

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Cape Town Slave Tree

Watch out for this one! You might just miss it if you blink! In the city centre of Cape Town you will find a small little monument remembering the slave trade in Cape Town hundreds of years ago.

During the late 1700's and early 1800's, the slave trade in Cape Town was a booming industry and slave ships used to dock in the Cape Town harbour on a regular basis.

Slaves had no place living among the noblemen, so while church was in session, the unwelcome slaves had to hang around outside and wait for their masters, sitting under a “slave tree”. It was also a well-know spot to sell off any of your slaves. The original tree was removed in 1916, although a commemorative stone has been laid in it's place, along with a artistic tree in recent years.

The spot can be found right next to Church Square in Spin street. Our city tours take you through these streets where we stop at the slave tree spot for a quick photo opportunity.

Slavery was officially abolished in the Cape in 1838.

Feel free to ask if you need some more guidance on finding this little spot! Have a look at our Cape Town City Tours visiting the tree while we explore the city on foot.

The Cape Town Experience Crew