Thursday, July 16, 2009


My friend Kristen and I spent the night in Khayelitsha, the largest township in Cape Town. The place is home to around 1.5 million people, about a quarter of the population of the city. Most white South Africans have never been there.

Townships are colorful places, full of hand-painted signs and murals.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Joe Slovo

We visited the Joe Slovo informal settlement. Below are the inside and outside of one of the shacks. No matter how long I spend in South Africa, I don't really get used to seeing these places.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guga S'Thebe

The Guga S'Thebe community center in Langa provides various services such as computer classes and job counseling to residents of the township. Cool murals, too.

At the community center, local people learn to make and paint ceramic dishes. The center is also a venue for local craftspeople to sell work to tourists.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Langa Township

Amber and Jeff and I took a tour of Langa township. Langa was a township created for black South Africans during apartheid, and the area is still almost entirely black today.

The townships are generally poor areas, so it was interesting to see a section of relatively upscale homes within Langa. The apartheid government built these houses close to the freeway because they hoped passing foreigners would think all black people lived in nice places.

It's common to see shops in shipping containers on the sidewalk. This shop sells telephone minutes.

They were selling chickens on the sidewalk, too.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hippo Print

We were out birding at a wetlands nature reserve here in Cape Town and saw some hippopotamus tracks. Pretty cool. I haven't seen a live one yet but I'll be looking for them when we're in Kruger next month. My hand is for scale.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Color Pictures

For a while now I've been taking what I call color pictures. Here are my favorites so far. They lose quite a bit by being scrunched down on the blog. Clicking on them will get a full-size image.

Fynbos hillside near Betty's Bay

Succulent plant in Namaqualand

Rocks and grass near Augrabies Falls

Tanniny water and rocks near Betty's Bay

Native forest in Marloth Nature Reserve

Water and foam in Marloth Nature Reserve