By Choni Ome, Global MBA 2013-2014, Bhutan
On the last day of our week-long school trip to the beautiful city of Cape Town, we got the morning off to immerse in the experience of what Cape Town has to offer. Given Cape Town’s many tourist attractions, there was no dearth of interesting options to choose from. The difficult part was to decide how best to spend our 6 precious hours of exploratory time before catching our flight back to Paris. We considered the following options: a visit to Robben Island where the great Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for more than 18 years, shopping at the Waterfront Harbor, swimming with sharks, the hop on-and-off bus that takes you around Cape Town, and a visit to the Cape of Good Hope.
A visit to the Cape of Good Hope emerged as the clear winner for our 6 hours of fun time that day. As a nature enthusiast, I was excited at the prospect of cruising through the reserve against the spectacular backdrop of low mountains and Cape coastline. A nice comfortable bus was arranged for us to be transported from our hotel in Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope, thanks to Claudia Pumarejo (a classmate in the GMBA program). We enjoyed our early morning scenic drive along the hills of Cape Town and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope reserve 2 hours later. We were lucky enough to sight baboons, ostriches, and zebras on the roadsides as we drove through the reserve. At the road end, we approached the Cape of Good Hope point, considered to be one of the most southern points of the African continent. It was an exhilarating feeling to be standing literally at the end of the world and looking out far into the merging of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.
Our next stop before heading back to the city was Boulder Penguin Colony, home to a unique and endangered land based colony of African penguins near Simon’s Town. For a very reasonable fee, we were able to stroll down the wooden boardwalk leading to hundreds of adorable little penguins on the beach “sunbathing.” For many of us, this was a special experience because it was our first time seeing penguins. Afterwards, our fantastic driver finally dropped us off at the airport at 2:00 PM just in time to catch our long flight. We were ready to sleep all the way to Paris.
After a long and busy week with Stellenbosch Business School, this well-deserved excursion to the Cape of Good Hope left all of us fully satisfied and content. It provided an opportunity for us to go out, experience, and genuinely appreciate the country. I truly believe that a field visit to a new place is never complete without exposure to its cultural and historical aspects.