Juxtaposed against the backdrop of Table Mountain and our two oceans is the sprawling reality of our townships which are a crucible of the world's most pressing problems. Emerging out of these harsh circumstances are inspiring examples of hope.
The Cape Care route showcases some of the projects where people are caring far the environment and for each other. Initiated for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable development this Trail of two Cities celebrates the partnerships that bring prosperity to both planet and people.
So if you're tie type of visitor who wants to experience the soul and character of a destination if you want to meet local communities and understand their challenges and aspirations for the future. then head out on the Cape Care Route you'll be impressed by the initiatives happening on the other side of town.
The tour starts with a visit to the townships where you will encounter inspiring examples of how impoverished men, women and youth are building their own houses, growing their own food and developing skills to turn waste materials into contemporary arts and crafts. You'll be able to support emerging entrepreneurs through buying locally made goods and enjoying the multi-cultural cuisine of the area.
You will also learn about how partnerships between business, government and communities are helping to protect the rich biodiversity of Cape Town. We take you to a threatened wetland -the only home of a rare indigenous plant - that has been transformed into a vibrant community nature reserve, a green jewel within a blighted urban environment
Finally, you will see showcase environmental projects that demonstrate how technology and grassroots approaches have combined to provide people with a cleaner and healthier living environment. You will observe how partnerships in the Cape Peninsula. National Park an imminent world Heritage Site. have cleared alien vegetarian in order to reduce water consumption and promote indigenous growth. You will also experience what upmarket tourist facilities are doing to reduce their consumption of resources and what they are doing to work with poor communities in their midst.[Urban Trail Map]
Kirstenbosch is the flagship botanical garden in South Africa, illustrating what many more of Cape Town's natural areas will look like in the future now that they are being cleared of alien vegetation.
Ukuvuka, a partnership between government business and civil society is working towards this goal by training unemployed people from local communities to remove invasive species and so restore the City's natural heritage. Intensively trained as high altitude clearing specialists this new conservation army removes alien invasive species from even the most inaccessible parts of the mountain chain.[Photo]
En route to Kirstenbosch, you will travel along one of the oldest streets in Cape Town, Newlands Avenue which will take you past the charming Montebello - a collaborative craft centre which offers training and support to aspirant artists. Housed in a number of historical buildings, Montebello offers a shady venue to eat, shop and relax.[Photo]
This micro enterprise village shows the benefits of building on synergies. Wood from a tree-felling business is used by another to make rustic furniture, while a working farm grows organic vegetables which are carried to nearby suburbs for sale there by horse and cart. Visitors can experience first-hand the simplicity of this old fashioned method of transport as they tour the model village.[Photo]
Two years ago this informal settlement located beneath a high-voltage power line in Langa, was razed by a devastating fire which also caused a widespread power failure in the Peninsula. Now, with the assistance of Ukuvuka: Operation Firestop, a win-win situation has been found for both the community and the power supply company, with the new homes electrified and rearranged to allow access for emergency services should such a disaster ever strike again. Greening and food-gardening in the electrical servitudes discourages illegal encroachment and provides food and playing fields for the community.[Photo]
Members of this community clean the streets themselves as part of a project that has helped to build a positive atmosphere and has resulted in a reduction in crime levels.}
Started in 1994, this centre has become an important icon in the local community. Apart from the environmental education provided for both youngsters and adults, training in market gardening teaches local communities how to grow their own food, while a successful waste recycling centre run by members of the community generates income.
An exciting new initiative is that of a walking tour into the surrounding Langa township. Community youth have been trained to escort tourists and the income raised is used towards the cost of their education.[Photo]
Now a magnificent wetland and the pride of the surrounding community, this site was an illegal dump not so long ago, One highly endangered plant species - a relic of plants that were around when dinosaurs roamed the earth - managed to survive against the odds.
Now this primitive fern is thriving amongst the many other indigenous species taking root.
Through working with the community. local government and other partners have started to create a wonderful recreational and educational resource in an area in desperate need - a green jewel within a blighted urban environment.[Photo]
An inspirational demonstration of women in action, this project shows what a group of homeless women achieved through their own initiative.
After starting a joint savings scheme, these women learned about every aspect of building as they designed and constructed their own homes.
A linked project sees Arum lilies, indigenous to Cape Town, cultivated and sold to a large retail chain, affording an income for the women. The women themselves are training as tourist guides and have initiated an art and craft project at the nearby Derek Hanekom Centre - which is a Cape Dutch gabled building of historical significance, quite incongruous in the local context.[Photo]
This well-established nature reserve, in existence since 1952, offers viewing of a diversity of plant and bird species. Tour guides from previously disadvantaged communities guide visitors on walks to see the 15 endangered plant species, up to 230 bird species and, most popular of all, the family of hippo.
Used as an effective educational resource, together with a nearby waste-water treatment works and a landfill, Rondevlei enables schoolchildren from all communities to learn about Cape Town's environment and its challenges.[Photo]
Built on the original Steenberg Farm, which provided fruit and vegetables to Simon's Town in the 1750s, this new venture preserves the historic architecture, conserves the indigenous fauna and flora of the area, and provides employment for the local community,
The game reserve has been established to rehabilitate injured animals, breed disease-free buffalo and replant indigenous species - all initiated by a former hunter.
The reserve's restaurant, Mnandis, is renowned in equal measure for the excellence of its game views and that of its hot chocolate.[Photo]
Offering a variety of training and skills development training for the communities of Ocean View and Masephumelele, the centre is a partnership between various government departments, South Peninsula Tourism, Ukuvuka and business organizations.
Wooden furniture and smaller trinkets are key attractions. while the pottery crafted here has found a wide market and great endorsement through sales to The Body Shop.
The Two Oceans Crafts and Culture Centre not only serves as an outlet for crafts made at the training centre, but as a venue for cultural events that showcase the local talent in song, dance and theatre as well as for a taste of local cuisine.[Photo]
Apart from its interesting historical buildings, and splendid beach, Muizenberg is best known as the site of the battle between British invaders Dutch defenders in 1785. The Battle of Muizenberg ended the Dutch control of the Cape and was the beginning of British colonisation.[Photo]
This character-rich village is renowned for its plethora of restaurants, fascinating shops, art galleries and historical buildings, including the site of the old village washhouse and the smallest mosque in South Africa. Now a community-based tourism project offers visitors a different perspective: that of the local fishermen, whose families have lived and worked here for generations.
The adventure walk includes a visit to the harbour to watch the incoming boats and to experience the unique culture of this fishing community, as related by one of its senior members. Fishermen's wives join in by providing refreshments and sharing some of the local customs and stories, as well as information about the surrounding marine reserve.[Photo]
This wetland system is one of the few remaining natural wetlands in the Cape Town urban area. Now a project is underway to obtain the land to provide a link between the southern and northern parts of the Cape Peninsula National Park. once all the land has been acquired, it will be included in the national park - an initiative described as "a gift to the earth" by the WWF.
Abalimi Bezekhaya is a non-governmental organization that runs many projects in the townships of the Cape Flats.
The community garden, established on a piece of derelict land located under a powerline is now being put to valuable use through growing healthy vegetables for the local community.
Another piece of neglected land has been turned into a green solace through developing a Peace Park - a project initiated to build relationships between two communities that were in conflict. Through focusing on creating the Peace Park, these communities now live in a much more harmonious atmosphere.[Photo]
As well as its reputation for outstanding wine, cuisine and entertainment, Spier is considered a trendsetter in incorporating environmental and social concerns into its operation.
Design elements include low energy lighting and heating through solar energy, and a biolytic technology i watering of gardens. The estate has sponsored a school and training centre for the local community, and is involved in wildlife rehabilitation and an organics farm in partnership with community farmers.[Photo]
Golden Nongawuza is a visionary craftsman who lives in a shack in the sprawling township of Khayelitsha.
Through a dream that he had three nights in a row, this entrepreneur was inspired to make beautiful flowers from cans that would usually be considered as waste. Now visitors can join him and his family at home as they paint their multi-coloured tin flowers,[Photo]
The people of Macassar have always lived at risk of the nearby Moddergat River flooding during the Cape's typical winter downpours.
Now this improvement scheme cares for both society and environment by rebuilding and reshaping the river bands, clearing litter and debris, providing erosion prevention measures and landscaping with indigenous plants. Members of tile local community have been trained and employed on the project, which was initiated by the Catchment Management Department of the City of Cape Town and won the Impumelelo Award for innovation.[Photo]
The name of this reserve derives from the cave discovered there in 1962 which was used as a den by the brown hyenas which once roamed the shores. Dated back 40 000 years, the site was found to be rich in fossils. The largest reserve on the Cape Flats protecting the rapidly dwindling strandveld and dwarf coastal fynbos, Wolfgat's rugged limestone cliffs offer unequalled views of the False Bay Coastline. A management plan for the area is being developed ,which will include environmental education and recreational facilities.[Photo]
A legacy of apartheid's policy that excluded African families from settling in Cape Town, hostels built for male migrant workers have been converted into family homes, with innovative solar water heating installed. one of the hostels has been retained in its original state and serves as a museum to show the conditions under which migrant labourers lived.
Together with the Arts & Crafts Centre and nearby Hector Petersen Memorial Library, the project represents a partnership between the community, Cape Metropolitan Tourism, Western Cape Tourism and the Arts & Culture Trust of the President.[Photo]
The natural sand dunes that once characterized the Cape Flats were annihilated during the apartheid era to make way for Khayelitsha and other townships. One of the few remaining dunes, known as Look Out Hill, is now a vantage point being developed as a recreational and tourist facility.}[Photo]