As a woman born and raised in Poland and now living in the United Kingdom (UK), when I told my parents and friends I was going to Africa, they were naturally very confused. I didn't have roots there, I wasn't going for school or was I travelling for work, and even more so I had no family in Africa to visit. What's more, many people close to me thought it was a dangerous, the ever-warring continent. And these misconceptions were part of the reason I decided to visit this mysterious and culturally rich region of the world - AFRICA.
My first destination in Africa was Cape Town South Africa. I had been interested in this city because I heard that it is a beautiful place for adventure tours such as : take a African bike tour. The previous year I pass my summer biking all over the Netherlands, a certain element of nostalgia for the athletic lifestyle gripped me.
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
The City Bowl is a part of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a natural amphitheatre-shaped area bordered by Table Bay and defined by the mountains of Signal Hill, Lion's Head, Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. The adventurous soul within me was completely satisfied with the picturesque vistas of Table Mountain and the City Bowl that I saw from Signal Hill. What's more, I visited a few beaches in the area, ranging from Clifton 4th beach to Boulders Beach. I highly recommend visiting the beaches because the water in South Africa is uncommonly warm! Some other things I did in Cape Town was visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, take pictures of city hall, and take a day to go wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.
After enjoying Cape Town, I decided to indulge myself in a very typical touristy activity in Africa- I went on a safari. My guide informed me that safari meant 'to journey' in Swahili and I thought that was very beautiful. I travelled to Kruger National Park in South Africa (which claims to have the highest diversity of wildlife in Africa). I will, say this, of the 'Big 5' I saw elephants, a rhinoceros, lions, and buffalo. No leopards for me! Still, the experience was unparalleled. Seeing the animals in a natural setting, away from the cages and fences of zoos made me think of a more peaceful and organic period of our world's history. I truly felt that I was one with the earth.
My final destination in Africa took me by plane to the northern point of the continent- to Egypt. I knew that I would be unable to discover all the Egyptian history I had read about in books in one day (in so little time!), so I decided to go to my very favourite place- Alexandria. The city was known to me because of its historical ties with Cleopatra. I wasn't disappointed. The seamless miscegenation of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman culture made it one of the most unique places I could have imagined. I visited the Kom ash-Shuqqafa Roman burial site, saw the Alexandria library, and marveled at Pompey's Pillar.
As I flew back to the UK from Africa, I knew the continent had changed me forever. Although I had only explored a miniscule part of it, the taste of culture, nature, and beauty I received made me resolute to return. I hope to one day see all of the magnificent continent of Africa, from north to south, east to west, and I absolutely recommend that others do the same.
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