The Cape Winelands. Early Dutch settlers were granted tracts of land on the Cape. The temperate Mediterranean climate and variable soil types has ensured the survival of the early wine making traditions. South Africa is the world's seventh largest producer of wines. We did some wine tasting there and decided that California growers don't have anything to worry about just yet.
Cape Dutch architecture is prevalent throughout the Cape's winelands Still recovering from the apartheid years, South Africa is struggling to develop a black middle-class. Vast shanty towns/townships sprawl across the Cape flats just outside of Cape Town. The government has tried to improve conditions by providing electricity. These places are home to possibly two million or more people no one really knows.

Kirsten National Botanical Garden in Cape Town. Located on the eastern side of Table Mountain it preserves and propagates indigenous plant species. The property was bequeathed to the state by Cecil John Rhodes in 1902.

The Bird of Paradise is abundant in Hawaii and Southern California but is actually indigenous to South Africa.
On our second day in Cape Town the weather improved and the tablecloth of clouds lifted revealing the splendid mesa of Table Mountain in all its South African glory. The bulk of Table Mountain is composed of layer upon layer of erosion resistant sandstone sediment.
Signal Hill provides spectacular vistas of Cape Town and its harbor. Cape Town is South Africa's oldest city. It was established in 1652 by the Dutch to grow and provide fresh vegetables to passing merchant ships. Sailors at sea for long periods without fresh food suffered from scurvy. Cape Town became a welcome stop to drop anchor and replenish supplies. Turning leeward I spotted Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent much of his 27-year imprisonment. Today, the island is an important ecological and historical heritage site.