English programmes in South Africa, the one and only Rainbow Nation as it is affectionally called are very popular and none more so than in the very cosmopolitan area of Cape Town.
Cape Town is a wonderfully diverse City right at the base of Africa and has been home to many people and invaders for centuries past. Although English is the recognised spoken language here, many of the residents also speak Afrikaans as well as Xhosa! But don’t worry, should you come to Cape Town, everyone speak English and will understand you. This Cape Peninsula is truly remarkable in beauty and architecture. Its been a long time since apartheid but there are still lots of Museums to check out and enjoy. Two of the more famous ones are District Six Museum and The South African Jewish Museum . Each a humble reminder of the difficult past South Africa has experienced.
On a happier note, you can enjoy a trip on the Hop On /Hop Off Bus which duly stops at Table Mountain. Table Mountain can be seen from many places along the Peninsula and popular with people throughout the year. Its great to hike up to the top and watch the sun rise, although it may take you a couple of hours to do this if you are inexperienced. Otherwise, most Tourists will opt to catch the Cable Car right to the top and enjoy the spinning sensation as it rotates to allow you to view Cape Town from all sides, as it ascends to the top.
Many of the local Language Schools and Homestay Tutors will live around Cape Town. Some enjoy the wonderful beaches at Camps Bay or you can expect to stay at Sea Point, a very chi chi part of the City with wonderful shops and tempting restaurants. There are also some great new shopping malls to grab a bargain as the South African Rand is currently low against some of the major currencies around the world such as the American Dollar; The Euro and the British Pound
Other host families live further out towards Cape Point in places as famous as Simons Town or Noordhoek. Here you will live with quality and inspected Host families who will drive you to your Language School each morning or teach you in their own home. Afterwards you can expect to enjoy the pleasure of Boulders Beach, home to the South African Penguin and ( the picture of me pointing to the road sign of Penguins??) a frequent stopping point for Tourists from all around the World. If the weather is calm here, you can hire a Canoe and paddle around to the Penguin Colony and watch them from the water whilst they mate; lay eggs and just have fun on their own private Beach.
If Horse Riding or Golf are your favourite subjects, then why not combine this with your English Lessons? Clovelly Golf Club has an exciting history and one of the best Golf Courses in the area. Horse riding is popular along the stunning and deserted sandy beach of Noordhoek and a wonderful way to relax after your English lessons. In the summer, you can take a picnic and visit one of the many Vineyards for a Concert or Market and simply have your supper and watch the sun go down.
If you go in their Winter, the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, then you should be lucky enough to catch the whales who come each year to breach there. Some of the better places to see them are at Hermanus; Simons Town or Muizenburg beach. You will know if the whales are about because you will see a group of people pointing out to sea and that is because someone has been lucky enough to spot these beautiful creatures in the distance. Some even are brave enough to come into the harbour at Simons Town and again, if you are hiring a Canoe, you may even paddle right past one.
Baboons of course are another quirky inhabitant of South Africa and residents now have to have special “ baboon Proof Locks” to stop them stealing the food from the dustbins. Be very careful, these funny creatures are very brave and if they think you have food on you, then they will not be afraid to approach you and try to steal it. Never open your bag or offer it. You will have a friend for life. Believe me!
The best thing about learning English in South Africa is that you can escape the winter of the Northern Hemisphere and head down south for warm and pleasant weather. So between October and March is an ideal time to come and learn English and escape the winter blues. In fact this is one of the more popular times for Europeans to come and visit, although for sure, people do some to South Africa at all times of the year.
Whatever Language School you choose in Cape Town, or whatever English Language Programme you want to follow, you can be sure that you will never forget your visit to the Rainbow nation; your chosen host family and the many wonderful adventures you have enjoyed around The Cape Peninsula.