The next day was definitely more of an active day with the group. We took a tour bus touring some of the great wonders of South Africa. Our tour guide, Alex, who runs the business is a great guy who knows much about the country. We travelled to False Bay where we looked around the local shops and restaurants. The reason is called False Bay is because sailors thought when they arrived at this specific point they thought they were in Cape Town so that is how it got it’s name. We also traveeled to Boulder Rock which is where the African penguins are found. It was quite exciting to see some of these penguins in their natural habitat. After we looked at penguins for awhile, we travelled to the Cape of Good Hope which I initially thought was the southern most point of Africa but is unfortunately not. It is, however, the most Southwestern part of Africa so that is still awesome. We walked up too the light house where you had the most incredible view of the ocean and the cliffs below. It was truly an amazing experience to be able to venture out there. James, Dylan, and I went a little past this light house to get a better view which was breathtaking to capture a view like that. On our way to the national park we did come across baboons and a couple of ostriches which was just another reminder that we are not in The States anymore. From that, we drove awhile to Seal Island where we took a Ferry to the main seal sight. This was another crazy experience because of the surrounding landscape and then to be able to see wild seals like you would see on Animal Planet was a crazy experience. I felt like Steve Irwin honestly.
To be able to have the opportunity to travel and study in Cape Town is a such a blessing. The group we have taken is awesome and the memories we have made will last a life time. I want to thank Dr. Turner, Mike, Mrs. Nancy, Stuart Hendry, and every one else who was involved with the making of this trip because my experience in South Africa has changed my outlook forever.
A guy who is truly making a difference in his community and personally my favorite speaker of the entire trip was Luvuyo Rani the operation manager for an emerging company known as Silulo. Being a business major and computer science minor, his concept really related to me. This company is an internet cafe who’s target audience is the people living in the townships of South Africa. They are a very successfully company and his story as a teacher and decision to become an entrepreneurship is truly inspiring. Something that I took from his presentation was his commitment to his values. As his company grows it is common for business leaders to lose sight of their true purpose and get lost in the greed for money but Luvuyo said that if you focus on your purpose than the money will come. He is dedicated to empowering the people in the townships with opportunities to be able to live a life of meaning. He offers courses for these same people so that they can have the skill set to be competitive for certain high demand IT jobs. I had the great opportunity to talk to him personally and his positive outlook on life was just another testament to him following his vision. Something that I found out later was that Biki, one of my South African friends who presented his business to us at UCT, actually works for the company in the township so that was pretty awesome.
The Aquila Safari was just the cherry on top of an already amazing trip. The weather didn’t cooperate initially but still made out for some pretty cool shots with my camera. The luxury resort that we stayed in was truly state of the art. While sharing the same space with these remarkable animals I found myself finding a newfound respect for the bush and all of it’s wildlife. My favorite animal is obviously the Giraffe and was awesome to see it on the trip. Witnessing with my own eyes the Big 5 was also a crazy experience. I didn’t know what the Big 5 was initially but later found out that it was the Cape Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Leopard, and the Rhino. Hearing the story of the poachers trespassing in the conservation area and killing the only 2 male rhinos was a shocking reality. You don’t realize how important conserving these animals are until you witness them in their natural habitat. These poachers only want the rhinos very valuable horn and to get it they have to kill the entire animal. Until we raise more awareness among the local communities like the example of Kruger National Park and the local community who used their partial earnings from the conservation area to reinvest because they understood the importance, we will not be able to save this dwindling species of Rhino.