I didn’t know much about Cape Town until I started prepping for our trip to Africa, but in 2014 both the New York Times and U.K.’s Daily Telegraph named Cape Town “the best place in the world to visit!” Now I know why! Cape Town is where our African adventure began, and both Alan and I fell in love with this beautiful city. If it weren’t for the fact that most everyone we love lives in America, it might be tempting to retire there. For one thing, the GDP per capita is just under $16K, less than a quarter that of the U.S., which would mean we’d feel four times richer if we lived there! But, Cape Town isn’t simply special because it’s relatively inexpensive.
It’s gorgeous. The coastal areas are rugged and tropical, reminiscent of Hawaii. Cape Town shares a latitude and warm Mediterranean climate with cities like Sydney in the southern hemisphere and Los Angeles in the north, so it has lots of sunshine and very temperate weather. Cape Town began 400 years ago as a supply station for the Dutch East India Company along the Atlantic seaboard with a sheltered city bowl that’s nestled in a natural amphitheater surrounded by mountains. Table Mountain, forming part of the bowl, is considered one of the new seven wonders of the world, and the entire area is one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots. Cape Town’s population has grown from 360 in 1658 to over 3.6 million today! Their bustling Victoria and Albert Waterfront hosts several hundred shops and restaurants, making it the city’s most visited tourist attraction. I’ll write more about several of the area’s most unique features, but for today I just wanted to introduce you to this magnificent city in case you’ve not had a chance to visit for yourself. Ideal as it seems in many ways, Cape Town (like every other city in the world) has some devastating problems. They have trouble with drugs and gangs, and (to me) the most severe problem regards ongoing racial tension. South Africa feels like it’s about 80 years behind America in trying to reconcile blacks and whites. These are things not to love about Cape Town! However, visiting also gave me a sickening reminder of how much work we have yet to do in America concerning racial equality. We are all created in the image of God and descendants of Adam and Eve, which makes us brothers and sisters! Do you believe that? I do!
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).