Penguins, Baboons and the Cape of Good Hope
February 11, 2012 by Beverley Simpson
Yesterday we travelled with our guide Carmen on a Peninsular Tour. She took us down the west side returning up the east coast. Scenery is outstanding with incredible views of towering rocky shorelines, indigenous plant fields, pretty little seaside towns, surfer villages, baboons on the roads – we only saw one troop of about 8 although we’d heard they were everywhere.
The penguin colony was especially interesting. There are thousands of them in a protected area of their choosing. The African Penguin is quite small. Hundreds of people walk the boardwalk to see and photograph them, paying a small fee that provides jobs for the local economy.
There is a 25pc unemployment rate that is much greater in rural areas. We are pleased to see that tourism provides a decent source of income for many people. Although we have not had time to volunteer anywhere while here, which was something we originally hoped to do, we have tried to provide gratuities to those many people who have offered their services in one way or another. We are very fortunate in Canada to have a stable economy, a good educational system, healthcare for all and conservative banks that largely kept us out of trouble when things went wrong globally.