Cape Town baby moon
The weeks between our Namibian travels with S’s parents and the visit to Kigali of D’s parents passed by in a flash. No sooner had we settled back into our house and our jobs than it was time to snap out of our routine again. With S scheduled to travel to Pretoria for her 20-week antenatal appointment, we took advantage of D’s parents visit to organize a miniature baby-moon trip to South Africa.
Pretoria itself doesn’t have much to offer besides massive shopping malls, so we went down to Cape Town for the long Presidents’ Day weekend. D’s parents arrived on Thursday evening, we got them situated in the house, notarized a whole stack of consent forms, handed over Munchkin, and left Kigali the very next day. It was the first visit for either of us to South Africa.
Now that we’ve spent a couple of days in Cape Town, we get what all the fuss is about, and why so many expats rave about South Africa. Just as the southern cone countries of Argentina and Uruguay have a different feel from much of the rest of Latin America, so does South Africa differ from much of the rest of the African continent. Supermarkets and delicatessens, highways and traffic, an incredible restaurant scene and great nightlife; Cape Town could easily be a European capital and reminded us quite a bit of life back in the States.
We skipped the wineries that dot the countryside around Cape Town, but made the most of its famed foodie scene. In fact, we took to having double dinners – sampling a few small plates in one restaurant before going to another establishment for desert, and sometimes an extra appetizer. Ceviches and churros at El Burro; decadent milk shakes at Hudson’s; succulent calamari strip steaks at the Light House Café in Simon’s Town – cuisine we can only dream about in Rwanda.
We did a bit of sightseeing too, visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach, hiking Table Mountain, and luxuriating in the greenery of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – an oasis of nature that would be unthinkable in Kigali. We loved our brief stay so much that we’re already thinking of incorporating South Africa into our R&R plans next year.