Orientation and the Garden Route

Alexander Paone
January 31, 2013

This first week in Cape Town has been non-stop with activities, orientation and sightseeing.


During orientation we visited the Langa township, which is not far from UCT. Langa is predominantly Xhosa, so we were introduced to the language’s various clicks and some greetings. The best tip we got for pronouncing Xhosa was that the “X” is pronounced as a click with the back of your tongue (like clicking to a horse) and it is easier to pronounce with the “isi” prefix, isiXhosa!

Langa has recently greatly improved its infrastructure and community as a result of tourism and some government investment, though it was still incredible to see the divide between life in the townships and life in the city and suburbs.

The Garden Route has been the highlight of my time here so far. We went to an ostrich farm and got to eat, then actually ride the largest birds on earth. We also went to the Cango Caves where we stood in massive show caves and contorted ourselves through the smallest passageways.

I chose to do an elephant experience in Tsitsikamma and got the chance to “walk” and feed elephants. My favorite part of the Garden Route was Tsitsikamma National Park where we had the day to hike, take a boat into the Storms River gorge, and just chill on the beach in the Indian Ocean.

By the end of the tour I was looking forward to getting “home” to Cape Town to really begin to settle in and explore around the city.

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Alexander Paone

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alex Paone is a junior at the University of Vermont, majoring in Anthropology and double-minoring in African Studies and Geography. He enjoys photography, cooking, hiking and has a passion for travel. Alex is looking forward to calling Cape Town home and also exploring more of Africa beyond Cape Town and South Africa.</span></p>

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