cape town tour

Two fires - with tragic results.

Two fires - with tragic results.

Travellers of ours sent us two articles from the Western media recently about two types of fire in South Africa: first the forest fires in George, on the Garden Route and then also the train fires in Cape Town.  A bit of context always helps to fill in the blanks with a news report, so here's our take on the stories.

The reason why so many innocent victims get killed in forest fires is often because of insufficient housing or overcrowding where they live, meaning that they live illegally in national parks such as forests.  Also, with dependency on open fires for cooking, people often stray into national parks for firewood and then get caught in the fires.  Then there are those who volunteer to help combat the fires but aren’t trained or properly equipped and get overcome normally first by smoke and then get trapped.  This kind of problem is only going to get worse until provincial government corruption gets stopped, which is in itself a mammoth task.

The deliberate arson of trains is not new, sadly.  Ever since the World Cup made it possible for the City of Cape Town to invest in the excellent MyCiti buses, this problem has got worse.  There are essentially four public transport networks in Cape Town: MyCity (run by the CIty), Golden Arrow (run by the province), the train netwok (run by PRASA, national) and minibus taxis (privately owned and run). 

The article mentions the political reasons which are probably all true to a degree but to our mind the other big issue is that PRASA (which runs all trains nationally) is the only national supplier for transport in the Cape and as such is able to undercut the minibus taxi suppliers in terms of price.  The taxi suppliers don't like competition and so have tried and failed to burn the MyCiti buses: the trains are a much easier target as they are poorly guarded.

The city has tried and failed to bring the minibus taxis into the mix of public transport in the Cape – ultimately anybody who lives near a MyCiti stop uses that system as it’s clean, safe and reliable as well as affordable.  The taxi bosses all have underworld connections and really don’t like MyCiti, PRASA or anybody else who treads on ‘their’ turf.


The Karoo meets urban chic
A rural escape in the Western Cape

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We’re an ethical private travel planning company focused on Southern Africa.

We offer ready-made and also customised holidays and journeys across this unique region of the world.

When our clients travel with us, they are assured that their travel spend is directly supporting local African companies that offer sustainable products and services, both in terms of people and planet.


Our logo is an image of a skull found in the Rising Star Cave System in Gauteng, South Africa in 2013. It was named ‘homo naledi’, meaning ‘human of the stars’.

The cave system has so far given rise to the remains of over 15 individuals, making it the largest hominid fossil remains site ever discovered.

Travelling to Southern Africa is truly a return to the source of humankind, to Where It All Began.