The Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Like Julius Caesar’s observation that “all Gaul is divided into three parts”, the visitor to Cape Town finds that the southern part of South Africa, bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the southeast by so called “False Bay” (and more of the Atlantic Ocean), is divided into three parts.  Cape Town, Table Bay, and Table Mountain comprise the major geographic highlights of the city area by the bay fronting the Atlantic Ocean.  Stretching south from Table Mountain to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point (and its lighthouse) is the Cape Peninsula.  Finally, stretching to the east are the world famous wine growing regions of Stellenbosch, Franschoek, and Paarl, the so called “wine lands”.

After morning hiking on Table Mountain (see our previous post), we spent the rest of the day touring the Cape Peninsula.  Our guide drove us down the west side of the peninsula, initially going through the Clifton Beaches and the charming beach resort town of Camps Bay.  The main highway, M6, then heads diagonally inland to the southwest, emerging at Hout Bay and its harbour full of sailboats (see photograph, above).

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

It’s not until you drive further south on M6, here called Chapman’s Peak Drive, that you can appreciate the spectacular geography that you’ve just visited.  The photograph, above, was made from across Hout Bay on Chapman’s Peak Drive.  Sadly, just a few weeks prior to our visit, an uncontrolled fire spread throughout the Chapman’s Peak area — from Muizenberg to Hout’s Bay — closing the roads (and shutting down a section of the annual bike race there).  Where we stopped we stood amidst badly charred tree trunks — very eerie, as some fellow ship passengers had been precluded from bike racing there just the week before.

Homes at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Homes at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

A little further south the vista opens up to encompass the breadth of the Cape Peninsula.  Pictured above is a view of homes in Noordhoek, looking to the southwest and the low mountains abutting False Bay.  Below is the view to the southeast with the wide, sandy Noordhoek Beach in the foreground and a lighthouse in the distance on the peninsula.

Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The highway (M6) comes across the Peninsula at Fish Hoek and then becomes M4 as it heads south along False Bay to Simon’s Town, a South African beach town very much resembling a vintage British beach town (note, below, there is an eponymous “British Hotel” in the center of Simon’s Town).

Main Street, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Main Street, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

My grandchildren would have an easy time identifying the homes,  Here’s the “blue house”:

Blue house, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Blue house, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The harbour was crowded with sailboats.

Simon's Town Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Simon’s Town Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The hotel is located on Main Street in the center of town.

British Hotel, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

British Hotel, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Another easy house name for the grandchildren, the “red roof house”.  Following a delicious lunch at a restaurant overlooking the bay (I had the Cape Malay “bobotie” beef pie, first sampled in Bo-Kaap in Cape Town), we headed further south to continue our explorations.  More to follow…

Red roof house, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Red roof house, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town metropolitan area (under Table Mountain)

Table Mountain (center) dominates the Cape Town, South Africa, skyline; Lion’s Head is the peak on the right

Tabletop Mountain is the defining geographic landmark of Cape Town.  Sailing into Cape Town — into Table Bay — Table Mountain dominates the skyline.  In the photo, above, Lion’s Head, on the right, is also a distinguishing landmark.  Table Mountain is an official New 7 Wonder of Nature of the world.

Welcome to Table Mountain -- a New 7 Wonder of Nature

Welcome to Table Mountain — a New 7 Wonder of Nature

One of Cape Town’s greatest tourist attractions, Table Mountain National Park is accessible by a state-of-the-art cable car that climbs the 1,086 meters (3,563 feet) to the summit in just six minutes; the gondola car rotates 360 degrees on ascent (and descent) to provide all visitors a view in all directions.

Table Mountain Cableway -- the cables are 1,200 meters long (3,937 feet or 0.75 miles)

Table Mountain Cableway — the cables are 1,200 meters long (3,937 feet or 0.75 miles)

The maximum speed of the Cableway is 10 meters per second (32.8 feet per second).  The cable car can carry a weight of 5,200 kilograms (11,460 pounds).  The Cableway works on a counter weight system weighing 134 tonnes each.

Lost in the fog on the Table Mountain Cableway

Lost in the fog on the Table Mountain Cableway

On the summit there are a couple of kilometers of hiking trails that afford spectacular views in all directions (when the view is not obscured/blocked by the fog).  On this visit (previously we were there on a sunny, clear day), the views were obscured by the “tablecloth” of clouds and fog that result when the southeasterly wind blows.

Hiking on Table Mountain in the morning fog

Hiking on Table Mountain in the morning fog

On a clear day, one can see many of the local landmarks:  Table Bay and Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years he was in prison), the Cape Flats, False Bay, the Twelve Apostles, Camps Bay, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, and, in the distance, the Drakenstein Mountains.

Lion's Head and Cape Town emerge from the fog, viewed from Table Mountain

Lion’s Head and Cape Town emerge from the fog, viewed from Table Mountain

A view of Cape Town from Table Mountain with the fog blowing by

A view of Cape Town from Table Mountain with the fog blowing by

The surface of Table Mountain is predominantly rocky (sandstone) with low brush growing in the eroded rock soil.

The brush atop Table Mountain, Cape Town

The brush atop Table Mountain, Cape Town

We enjoyed coming across a rare fall flower.

A rare fall flower in the brush atop Table Mountain, Cape Town

A rare fall flower in the brush atop Table Mountain, Cape Town

Perhaps our favorite view was down the Atlantic Coast along the Twelve Apostles.

The Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean coastline viewed from Table Mountain

The Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean coastline viewed from Table Mountain

As the morning wore on, the fog more aggressively climbed up the sides of Table Mountain, further obscuring the view.

Mid-morning fog enveloping Table Mountain

Mid-morning fog enveloping Table Mountain

The fog remained low enough to see the Drakenstein Mountains in the distance.

Fog trying to creep up and over the top of Table Mountain

Fog trying to creep up and over the top of Table Mountain

Rust en Vrede Winery and Restaurant, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Rust en Vrede Restaurant wine cellar

Rust en Vrede Restaurant wine cellar

The winelands to the east of Cape Town are the best and most well known of South Africa’s wine producing regions.  The Rust en Vrede Winery was established in 1694 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.  The Engelbrecht family produced the first vintages of the modern era in 1978, after decades of no production at the estate.  The winery has won a long list of awards and accolades and it is also known for its eponymous restaurant, located on the estate grounds adjacent to the winery.  In 2007 the Rust en Vrede Restaurant was included in the Top 100 Restaurants of the world, marking a unique achievement as the Rust en Vrede Estate wine had been previously named as one of the Top 100 wines in the world.

A small group of us from the ship were fortunate while we were docked in Cape Town to have attended an evening wine tasting at the winery, followed by an outstanding private dinner at the Restaurant with the estate’s winemaker.  The dinner consisted of five courses, each paired with a Rust en Vrede wine.

The first course was Marinated Mozambican Prawns with a pressing of Roma Tomatoes, Sturgeon Caviar, Basil and Olive.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 1-  MARINATED MOZAMBICAN PRAWNS

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 1- MARINATED MOZAMBICAN PRAWNS

Accompanying the prawn course was a Stellenbosch Reserve Moederkerk Chardonnay 2014.

Stellenbosch Reserve Moederkerk Chardonnay 2014

Stellenbosch Reserve Moederkerk Chardonnay 2014

The second course was Chalmar Beef “Salad” with Pink Fir Potato, Avocado, and Balsamic.  Accompanying the food was a Donkiesbaai Steen 2014.  Note that the Donkeisbaai wines are produced by the Engelbrecht family from a relatively new wine property.  Family member Jean Engelbrecht explains: “Donkiesbaai on the West Coast of South Africa has been the vacation home to the Engelbrecht family for four generations.  Our West Coast is a place that invigorates one’s soul and one’s understanding and appreciation of the simple things in life.  For many it is a harsh, desert-like, unknown frontier, but for those who have experienced its energy and unspoilt beauty, it becomes a life-enriching place to be.  Crayfish, harders and a cold glass of Steen [Chenin Blanc] is part of the history that is Donkiesbaai and with this wine I raise a glass with family and friends.”

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 2- CHALMAR BEEF "SALAD"

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 2- CHALMAR BEEF “SALAD”

The third course was Crown Roasted Duck Breast with Confit Leg, Fig, Fennel, Coconut, and Cashew.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 3- CROWN ROASTED DUCK BREAST

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 3- CROWN ROASTED DUCK BREAST

Accompanying the duck course was a Donkeisbaai Pinot Noir 2013.

Rust en Vrede Donkiesbaai Pinot Noir 2013

Rust en Vrede Donkiesbaai Pinot Noir 2013

The fourth course was Herb Crusted Lamb Loin with Braised Lamb Shank, Parmesan Truffle Risotto, Spinach, and Chicken of the Woods Mushroom.  Accompanying the lamb was an amazing Ruste en Vrede Estate Bordeaux Blend wine from 1995 served from a large format bottle.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 4- HERB CRUSTED LAMB LOIN

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 4- HERB CRUSTED LAMB LOIN

The firth course was Valrhona Chocolate Pave with Ivorie, Jivara Lactee, Guanaja, Abinao Fig, Pistachio, Pumpkin Seed Macaroon, Red Wine and Fig Ice Cream.  Accompanying the food was a Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn 2014 (sweet) desert wine.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 5- VALRHONA CHOCOLATE PAVE

Rust en Vrede Restaurant Course 5- VALRHONA CHOCOLATE PAVE

A few more notes from Jean Engelbrecht about the estate: “Since 1694 Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch.  Through centuries there were periods when wine was produced, but since the [nineteen] seventies my family has specialized in producing only red wine with the focus on Shiraz [Syrah], Cabernet [Sauvignon], and Merlot.  My parents worked very hard to make Rust en Vrede what it has become and today we reap the rewards.

“Many accolades have been bestowed upon the Estate and some of the more memorable were when Rust en Vrede was chosen by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace prize dinner, hosting the Queen of Denmark for lunch with my family at the Manor House and when Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World in 2000.  This honour was repeated for four consecutive years, and again in 2012.  In 2009 our winemaker Coenie Snyman was named Winemaker of the Year.”

Note that Rust en Vrede in 2012 was recommended as the #1 vineyard in Cape Town by Travel and Leisure magazine.  So, if you find yourself in the region, be sure to pay a visit to the Winery and Restaurant for a wonderful experience — since the ingredients are seasonal and each vintage of the wines is unique, you won’t have the same experience we had, but it will still be memorable, as was ours.

The colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood of Cape Town, South Africa

The brightly painted homes of Bo-Kaap, the

The brightly painted homes of Bo-Kaap, the “Cape Malay Quarter” of Cape Town, South Africa

The settlement history of Cape Town goes back to 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck first sailed into Table Bay on behalf of the Dutch East India Company to set up a post at the bay to grow fruits and vegetables, barter for livestock with the local tribes, and to establish a ship repair facility.  As the settlement grew, the first slaves were introduced in 1658 (survivors of an American slave ship which wrecked returning from Madagascar).  The British took over the Cape following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806 with the help of a “Malay corps’ of slaves who were promised land to build a mosque, and later a Muslim burial ground.

91 Waal Street, Cape Town, at the center of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

91 Waal Street, Cape Town, at the center of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

When the slaves were emancipated in 1834 (they were to then be apprentices to their former masters for four years), they became free to make a living.  The Bo-Kaap area was expanded with new houses built for the new working class and immigrants.  Under Apartheid, the neighborhood was formally created as residences for the Cape Malay Muslims in 1950.

Contrasting hues on homes on Waal Street, Cape Town, in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

Contrasting hues on homes on Waal Street, Cape Town, in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

During the 1970s there was considerable restoration of the homes in Bo-Kaap and the Malay Quarter name was changed to “Bo-Kaap” by popular majority vote.

Geometric patterns on Waal Street, Cape Town, in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

Geometric patterns on Waal Street, Cape Town, in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

After touring the Bo-Kaap area, we spent the morning exploring some of downtown Capetown and came across some beautiful Zulu art at a local gallery.

Zulu art at a gallery in Cape Town

Zulu art at a gallery in Cape Town

Zulu dolls in a Cape Town art gallery

Zulu dolls in a Cape Town art gallery

When it came time for lunch, we convinced our guide to return to Bo-Kaap so we could eat some of the Cape Malay cuisine.  As seen in the photograph of the restaurant, below, the local homes were reflected in the restaurant’s front windows.

Biesmielleah Malay Restaurant in the Bo-Kaap  neighborhood of Cape Town

Biesmielleah Malay Restaurant in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood of Cape Town

The chef/owner of the restaurant was one of many local Malay chefs whose story and recipes were compiled in an excellent history/recipe cookbook of the neighborhood, Bo-Kaap Kitchen.  We were very happy to get a recipe for one of the area’s signature dishes, “bobotie”, made of spicy beef mince with an egg topping — a recipe based on a similar Indonesian dish and perfected by the Cape Malays.  It is usually served with yellow rice scattered with flaked almonds.  Delicious!

The introduction of the cookbook has a good explanation of the development of the local Bo-Kaap cuisine:  “The Cape has its very origins in food.  The purpose people settled here to begin with was to grow produce, keep livestock and provide fresh water (and other services) to passing ships.  From the earliest days of settlement at the Cape, in the 1650s, slaves were brought in from many lands by the Dutch East India Company, along with cargoes of exotic spices.  In the kitchens of the early farms, female slaves were taught to prepare what their European masters liked — foods from Holland, Germany, France, and Britain.  Their knowledge of their own culture’s cooking and flair for exotic flavour combinations soon resulted in the creation of new dishes — early fusion food, if you will.

“Despite being called ‘Cape Malays’, these people came from places as wide-ranging as Madagascar, East Africa, North Africa, Yemen, India, Indonesia and Malaysia — each with their own rich traditions, culinary and otherwise…

“It became a truism to talk about the Cape Malay sense of community and sharing, yet to experience it in person, to witness it in person, and to taste the food offered and to listen to the stories told, leaves a permanent and somewhat nostalgic impression.  As Shireen Narkedien, a community guide and one of the cooks included in this book, says of the area’s heritage: ‘It’s interesting, it’s worth knowing and worth holding on to.  It’s a disappearing culture and it has good values.  There are lots of good things here that I don’t want to disappear, to do with the food, architecture, traditions.'”

We hope this blog helps a little to keep Bo-Kaap “alive”.  If you visit Cape Town, be sure to visit the neighborhood and eat there in one of the Cape Malay restaurants.

Bo-Kaap Kitchen cookbook from Cape Town

Bo-Kaap Kitchen cookbook from Cape Town, South Africa

Sailing into Cape Town, South Africa

The approach to Cape Town by sea from the south

The approach to Cape Town by sea from the south with a silhouette of Table Mountain

Sailing into Cape Town ranks among the greatest port arrivals in the world.  Coming from the Indian Ocean, you sail past Cape Agulhas (“cape of needles”) and its lighthouse — the geographic southern tip of the African Continent and a hazardous sailing area where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet — then you round the Cape of Good Hope (the most south-western point of the African Continent and due south of Cape Town) and then sail north to reach Table Bay and the Cape Town Harbour.

Cape Town panorama viewed from the ocean as we sailed into the harbour

Cape Town panorama viewed from the Atlantic Ocean as we sailed into the harbour

The Cape of Good Hope is frequently misconceived as the southernmost point of South Africa (and the continent).  Located at the southern tip of the “Western Cape” below Cape Town, it was famous with sailors hundreds of years ago as the point where they could begin sailing more easterly, after their long route south, to round Africa on the way into the Indian Ocean and the Far East.  Note that Cape Agulhas, the true southern point of Africa, is about 90 miles to the east, on the way to Port Elizabeth (and Durban, on the north east coast of the country).

Cape Town metropolitan area (under Table Mountain)

Cape Town metropolitan area (under Table Mountain)

The prominent geographic features of Cape Town are Table Mountain (center in the above photo) and “Lion’s Head” (the rightmost peak in the above photo).

Lion's Head and the FIFA 2010 World Cup stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

Lion’s Head and the FIFA 2010 World Cup stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

Much of Cape Town’s waterfront underwent modernization and experienced a building boom with the construction of the soccer stadium for South Africa’s hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup (along with a sister stadium in Durban — see an earlier blog on Durban).

A colorful, working Cape Town Harbour tugboat

A colorful, working Cape Town Harbour tugboat

The weather was perfect as we sailed during the early morning into the harbour and the V&A Waterfront.

Sailing into Cape Town Harbour

Sailing into Cape Town Harbour

The Cape Town Harbour is located “under” Table Mountain at (and adjacent to) the recently modernized and gentrified V&A Waterfront, with its many hotels, restaurants and shopping malls (in addition to several berths).  We were extremely fortunate to score a berth at Jetty 2 of the V&A Waterfront.  This meant we literally walked off the ship and into a maze of restaurants and retail stores.

The modernized V&A Waterfront of Cape Town's Harbour with Lion's Head in the distance

The modernized V&A Waterfront of Cape Town’s Harbour with Lion’s Head in the distance

Cape Town Harbour boats

Cape Town Harbour boats

We were fortunate that when we docked at Jetty 2 in the V&A Waterfront our balcony had a picture postcard perfect view of the harbour and Table Mountain.  The view changed constantly over the next few days as the fog rolled in and burned off.

V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain view from the ship's berth, Cape Town, South Africa

V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain view from the ship’s berth, Cape Town, South Africa

Zulu traditions are alive and well in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province (which includes Durban), South Africa

Zulu village huts, near Durban, South Africa

Zulu village huts, near Durban, South Africa

The Zulu today are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, numbering about 11 million people, living predominantly in their homeland of KwaZulu-Natal Province (which includes the major port city of Durban).  The Zulu clan originated in the area in 1709 and rose to fame under their leader, Shaka ka Senzangakhana, or Shaka Zulu (1787 – 1828), who became the first Zulu king.  While acclaimed as a military genius for his inventions (including a long throwing spear and short, stabbing spear) and strategy, he is condemned for the brutality of his reign.  Under King Shaka (1816 – 1828), the Zulu increased their land holdings from 100 square miles to 11,500 acres with the mightiest African armed forces.  In the late 1800s the Zulus, along with the rest of South Africa, were ruled by the British.  The Zulu uprising against the British (Army) in January 1879  (the battle of Rorke’s Drift) was featured in the Hollywood movie “Zulu” in 1964; the Zulus were subjugated in July 1879.

Inanda Valley, home of the Zulus, near Durban, South Africa

Inanda Valley, home of the Zulus, near Durban, South Africa

On our tour of the Inanda Heritage Route with local guide Greg Garsons, we had the opportunity to visit a Zulu village where we were able to see their arts and crafts, watch a traditional dance, and go inside a traditional Zulu hut to understand domestic life — cooking, eating, sleeping and even taste their home-made liquor.

Hand woven Zulu blankets with contemporary colors

Hand woven Zulu blankets with contemporary colors

The Zulu dancers wore traditional Zulu costumes and the men had the traditional (Shaka) weapons for battle.

Zulu warriors, Inanda Valley village, Durban, Souith Africa

Zulu warriors, Inanda Valley village, Durban, Souith Africa

The dance we saw told the story of a traditional Zulu “boy meets girl” relationship, courtship and marriage.

Traditional Zulu dance - a marriage story

Traditional Zulu dance – a marriage story

Traditional Zulu dance - the bride-to-be

Traditional Zulu dance – the bride-to-be

Traditional Zulu dance - the groom-to-be

Traditional Zulu dance – the groom-to-be

After visiting the inside of one of the Zulu homes, a Zulu woman showed us how they cook over an open fire.

Typical Zulu home cooking

Typical Zulu home cooking

Inanda Valley Zulu village with Zulu huts and adjacent modern homes

Inanda Valley Zulu village with Zulu-style huts and adjacent modern homes

Inanda Valley traditional Zulu huts, near Durban, South Africa

Inanda Valley traditional-style Zulu huts, near Durban, South Africa

Seeds of Democracy — The Inanda Heritage Route, Durban, South Africa (part 2)

Dr. John Langalibalele Dube (1871 - 1946), Founder and First President of the ANC

Dr. John Langalibalele Dube (1871 – 1946), Founder and First President of the ANC

At the Gandhi museum at the Phoenix Settlement, near Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa — as noted in our previous blog — the Inanda region, in the early Twentieth Century, was the home of three major leaders in the movement for equality and democracy in BOTH South Africa (Dr. John L. Dube and Isaiah Shembe), and India (Mohandas K. Gandhi).  The museum notes: “Even though it was impossible at that time to predict the profound influence Gandhi, Dube and Shembe would have on the religious, social and political landscape in South Africa, THE SEEDS OF DEMOCRACY WERE SCATTERED HERE, to slowly take root and spread.  eNanda was a place that held the promise of a different kind of society; one where diversity is celebrated rather than feared, and where all people are free, equal and empowered to reach their full potential”.

Our excellent local guide, Greg Garson, drove us on the Inanda Heritage Route from the Gandhi home and museum at the Phoenix Settlement to the Ohlange Institute (named from “uhlanga” in the Zulu language, which means “the origin of new growth”) which Dr. John Dube started in 1900.  The Zulu Christian Industrial School, which later became known as the Ohlange Institute, opened on 26 July 1901 and was the first black controlled institution of its kind in South Africa.

Dr. John Langalibalele Dube (1871 – 1946), was the founder and first president of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) in 1912 (which became the African National Congress party, ANC, in 1923).  Descended from Zulu royalty, Dube was born in the Inanda region and raised at the American Zulu Mission.  He studied in the United States (Oberlin College) and was heavily influenced by Booker T. Washington.  In addition to being an educator, he was an essayist, poet and novelist.  He wrote the first novel in Zulu, Insila kaTshaka, the story of Jeqe, a man who desires a position close to the Zulu King Shaka.  According to the Dube museum, “Jeqe is more of a mythological hero than a real person.  In the character of Jeqe, we see Dube’s own struggle between the personal autonomy of modernism and loyalty to traditional collective.”  Dr. Dube and his second wife, Angelina, are both buried at Ohlange.

Dr. John Dube's home (now a museum), near Durban, South Africa

Dr. John Dube’s home (now a museum), near Durban, South Africa

The Ohlange Institute site is also the location of Dr. Dube’s first house and the JL Dube Hall of the Institute where Nelson Mandela voted in the first democratic election in South Africa, in 1994.

The polling place (JL Dube Hall) where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote in South Africa in 1994

The polling place (JL Dube Hall) where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote in South Africa in 1994

Nelson Mandela had the following reminiscence about voting: “I voted at Ohlange High School in Inanda, a green and hilly township just north of Durban, for it was there that John Dube, the first president of the ANC, was buried.  This African patriot had helped found the organization in 1912, and casting my vote near his graveside brought history full circle, for the mission he began eighty-two years before was about to be achieved.  As I stood over his grave, on a rise above the small school below, I thought not of the present but of the past.  When I walked to the voting station, my mind dwelt on the heroes who had fallen so that I might be where I was that day, the men and women who had made the ultimate sacrifice for a cause that was now finally succeeding.”

Nelson Mandela casting his vote in South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994

Nelson Mandela casting his vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994

After voting, Nelson Mandela walked up to Dr. John Dube’s grave (at the Ohlange Institute) and declared, “I have come to report, Mr. President, that South Africa is now free.”

Isaiah Mloyiswa Mdliwamafa Shembe (c. 1870 – 1935), was the founder (in 1910) of the largest African originated church during his lifetime, the Nazareth Baptist Church.  He was a self-proclaimed prophet of God for the Zulu people and built a large number of congregations, making his church the largest Zulu church, with over a million members.  Shortly after founding the church, in 1914, he established Ekuphakameni Settlement (meaning “elevated place”) in the Inanda Valley which became the holy place of the Nazareth Baptist Church; Shembe was buried there.  Shembe was a major Zulu leader and he and his church played a leading role in the development of Zulu nationalism.  In the 1930s his biography was written by Dr. John Dube.

Inanda Dam on the Inanda Heritage Route, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Inanda Dam on the Inanda Heritage Route, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa