Until next time!

Aida Mengistu
September 12, 2018
UCT Selfie

Current mood:

Take me back.

My last few weeks in Cape Town were jam-packed with fun activities and adventures. I was in a rush to complete as many items as I could off of my bucket list!

Some items on my list (that are pictured below) included...

Visit Winelands

  • I had the privilege of participating in all of the IES excursions. One of my favorites was the Winelands Tour. Not only did I learn how to properly taste (and drink) wine, I also thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful vineyards, as well as free chocolate tastings! The beautiful architecture of the buildings, the perfect weather, and the carefree happiness of the people I was with helped create one of the happiest days of my life. The evening ended with a ‘duck tour’ of over 50 ducks, parading through the vineyard!

Visit University of Cape Town

  • Touring the University of Cape Town (UCT), I was in awe of the natural beauty, architecture of the buildings, and the general atmosphere of the students enjoying their time outside in the sun. UCT has three parts: lower, middle, and upper campus.

Visit Kirstenbosch Gardens

  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is known to be one of the greatest botanical gardens of the world. The Garden was on my list because of its location against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, as well as the infamous ‘Boomslang’ Tree Canopy Walkway. Shaped like a snake, the walkway is raised above the forest floor, into the trees with a panoramic view of the rest of the Garden, mountains, and Cape Flats.

Hike Lion's Head

  • Another natural trip a friend and I completed was a hike up Lion’s Head. Lion’s Head is among the three infamous mountains; Table Mountain and Signal’s Hill are the other two. The hike up Lion’s Head took almost 3 hours to climb 669.9m above sea level. The journey was a lot more exhausting than I had anticipated, but the view at the top made it all more worthwhile.

Safari + ATV

  • Last (but certainly not least), my friend and I travelled to Aquilla Private Game Reserve for a day trip safari and ATV combo ride! While on the safari, I saw lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, hippos, wildebeest, steenbok and more. South Africa has an incredible diversity of wildlife and flora. After our safari, my friend and I went on ATVS and rode throughout the game reserve! I couldn’t believe it! This was honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do everything on my list. As I like to tell others, I left some items on my left for next time! I already know that I will visit again, next time in December hopefully. Therefore, I will be there in time for the holidays and summer heat in Cape Town. A couple of things I was unable to do was visit all of the historical and cultural museums in Cape Town (I advise everyone travelling to CPT to check them out) or visit Chart farm, a rose picking farm in Wynberg.

Now, as I integrate back to my lifestyle in Iowa, I can’t re-watch the videos I recorded, pictures I took, and talk to the friends I met. My summer was filled with wonderful adventures, personal growth, informative work experiences, interesting conversations, and a new perspective.

UPDATE: Current mood:

Grateful, determined, passionate, and preparing for next time in South Africa.


The ATV activities in this post were undertaken during the student’s free time and were not sponsored by IES Abroad.

Aida Mengistu

<p>Hi there! My name is Aida Mengistu and I am from Sioux City, Iowa. I am currently in my fourth year at the University of&nbsp;Iowa pursuing a double major in Health &amp; Human Physiology - with a focus on Health Promotion - as well as a Global&nbsp;Health Studies major and an Anthropology minor. A bit about myself, I absolutely love to travel and experience new&nbsp;cultures and traditions! I tend to express myself through my photography, whether it be through the warmth of a&nbsp;morning sunrise or the interactions between people. I also enjoy music, movies, and the performing arts. Fun fact, I am&nbsp;originally from Ethiopia and have traveled twice before to visit my extended family members over the summer!</p>

2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Iowa
Sioux City, IA
Global Studies
Health Studies
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