Sunday, May 1, 2022 - 00:00

Were you waiting around to start your Cape Town Heritage Tours adventure from the very first chapter?  Well, tarry no more because the time has finally arrived - this Sunday afternoon at 14h00 - to start off on our next triumphant circuit through the psychogeography of this pearl of a peninsula right in front of the splendid Mount Nelson.

So, for the first stop of the Autumn beat, we return to the centre of our Town for arguably the best heritage walk of them all! In fact, the walk itself is a piece of heritage, bridging in just 1 km three centuries of pedestrian life at the outermost edge of this continent.

Government Avenue is, for most of us at least, the shady, sleepy shortcut separating the Labia from the lights of the CBD. But if you go through it with a sharp-eyed guide, you'll rediscover it as the very first site of struggle in the West's 'domestication' of Africa.

In fact, there is perhaps no single space in the world in which so many of the contradictions, traumas and romantic ideals of Colonialism exist side-by-side for the sake of our curiosity and critique.

From the rows of Northern Oaks first laid out by Simon van der Stel, to the plague of American squirrels imported wholesale by Cecil Rhodes, to the still-illustrious Cape Dutch temples that signify the South African birth-places of Formal Education, Botany, Painting, Natural Science, Bibliophilia, Warfare and Representative Government itself.

But along with that conservative clout comes a suppressed history of slow-building cosmopolitan citizenship. Along this strip is also the first official synagogue beneath the Sahara, the first monument of friendship with the people of Japan, the first truly global seed-market for exotic flora from every continent, and the site where Nelson Mandela first laughed while shaking P.W. Botha's hand, celebrating a new covenant for a halfway-reconciled nation.

On top of all this, it is simply the road known and loved by the most South Africans throughout our epoch. So let's join their tangible shadows for a loose, casual meander from the top to the bottom and back again, getting to know the heart and stomach of our city all along the way.

Bring your own water, sun-tan lotion and questions.

  • We'll be starting and finishing by the entrance to Government Avenue on Orange Street, so happily park in the lot by the Gardens Bowls Club off Wandel Street if you're coming by car.
  • We used to be donation-based but to secure our future we're now doing a pre-booking system whereby you can guarantee your tickets beforehand at R100pp, or you can join the tour on the day for R150pp in cash or EFT et al. Simply WhatsApp or Message us via the buttons on our home page to secure your place. Click here to visit.
  • This is a consistently well-reviewed heritage-focused walking tour; which is to say that all you'll need to enjoy yourself is curiosity about Cape Town's past (and History in general) and enough stamina to walk just less than 3km in one afternoon (with stops and snacks).
  • Email cameron@cybertek.co.za for more details and to book.
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Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 11:11

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