Nitin Natrajan

Three months, three countries, one suitcase

Where the Wild Things Are


Another week has passed in our time in South Africa and it has been quite the trip. The start of the week had a mildly slow start but by the end of Tuesday, things really kicked into high gear so to speak. It started off with another visit to Clifton Beach where my friends and I decided to get more of the amazing Cape Town sunsets, however this one was a little bit different. We set up at the same rock as last time, what we didn’t account for was the rising tide (the rapidly rising tide). Long story short, my bag, myself and my shoes (nearly lost one) were completely soaked so it certainly made for an eventful sunset. The events only continued upwards from there least in terms of excitement. While most of the classes were held in the SIT office, we had one day where we could continue doing research our all-important CA projects. I made a beeline for the main Cape Town area mainly the African craft market on the famous Long St. I got to pick up some fun items and more importantly I got to have extensive conversations with the stall owners.

This particular piece is open for interpretation


For more details stay tuned to my upcoming blog post on my research project 😉. After some research I met with a few people and decided to get a spot of lunch. We decided upon Ethiopian food which was well priced and the taste was out of this world.

After this spot of lunch we then decided to head to the Kirstenbosch Botantical gardens. While we were coming into winter, we were able to appreciate some of the natural beauty that is exhibited in this Eden. The park also offers a stunning view of Table Mountain in the background. I do want to take this opportunity to talk about some very aggressive animals that you have to be aware of in the gardens. While you have snakes and insects, but you have to stay clear of the Egyptian Geese. Their stunningly evil eyes will entice you and before you know, you’re running around a pond with your friends laughing at you. Apart from the mild goose encounter the visit to the park was yet another reflection into why I love Cape Town. This was the beginning of what would be a very interesting week.

The next day we all headed to the Langa township for classes where we learnt more about housing and transport within the city. The main highlight of that particular learning cycle was a visit to Hapt Bay (the main digs of our guide Donovan). It is in a ridiculously picturesque area but behind this beauty there is a darker story to be told. There is actually a housing problem in this area as many residents reside in informal housing which is under threat from bigger and larger housing properties from private developers. There’s also been a lot of inter community violence. I want to say there’s a glimmer of hope but in reality, the people here are really struggling but hopefully these tensions will resolve.

Meet IHP’s new mascot, Loose Seal (for those who get the reference)

The man and legend that is our wonderful guide Donovan.

While I didn’t get to see any meerkats I did spot this mere cat

After learning about this area, the rest of the week was focused around an exam from one of our professors. Thankfully with my remarkable time management skills I was still able to have some fun.

The weekend was a huge blur which started a visit to an important landmark in South Africa’s history, Robben Island. My friend Huzefah and I were led around the island with our guide who was a former political prisoner on the island for over 20 years. His story on the island was dark but it gave a very real image into what life was like there. The museum tour also continued with a tour of the island which gave some of the best views of Table Mountain.


It was a great way to end the Saturday and to finish this blog post on a brighter note, I can end with photos from a Safari. Tune in next time for what might be an emotional week.

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