Explore Cape Town: A Virtual and Accessible Tour
In the third installment of our virtual travel series we are taking you to the southern tip of Africa to visit Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is a thriving multicultural port city known for its impressive mountainous landscape. We hope that you enjoy exploring this beautiful coastal city from your home. We are trying to make sure the content we suggest is accessible in different ways. Although it can be difficult to find websites that are fully accessible, we review many to offer you the ones that are the most accessible. As always, if you find barriers or have suggestions please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know so that we can improve!
Visit the Museums and Sites
Although there are several museums and sites to visit in Cape Town and the surrounding areas, we are focusing on a couple that have online content that you can enjoy. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is located in an old grain silo complex on the V&A Waterfront. The museum houses 21st century art from Africa and the African diaspora. During the pandemic they have taken to social media to create a Zeitz MOCAA experience at home. Their Instagram features several “MOCAA From Your Couch” stories under their “Learn” highlight. This includes a range of resources with different types of accessibility, such as audio tours and audio experiences on SoundCloud and a panel discussion published in Taylor & Francis Online (there is a built in web tool to read the article aloud). They are also hosting Instagram live discussions, however because these are live and because of the features of Instagram, these do not have captions.
If you are more interested in history, a must-see site when visiting Cape Town is Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela, among many others, were kept as political prisoners during apartheid. They have a virtual tour on their site, however it does not have an accessible version. For other ways to learn about Robben Island you can watch Voices From Robben Island, a documentary available on Amazon video (closed captions available). You can also listen to a chapter of Radio Diaries’ Mandela: An Audio History focused on Robben Island on SoundCloud.
Tune in to Videos, Shows, and Documentaries About Cape Town
Expedia has a general tourist overview of Cape Town available on YouTube (closed captions available). To dive more into the food scene of Cape Town, while simultaneously learning about the city’s history, we recommend watching Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil (Season 2, Episode 5). This show has an audio description track and closed captions available.
For an audio-only documentary, turn to BBC’s Cape Town: Place and Contested Space, which focuses on novelists, poets, and playwrights. For another audio-based experience you can listen to Miles Away: Cape Town, a podcast from The Points Guy. It is available at the hyperlink or wherever you listen to podcasts. A transcript is also available at the hyperlink if you would rather read it.
Venture Out of the City
Many people visiting South Africa schedule a safari as part of their trip. The most famous location for safaris in South Africa, Kruger National Park, is on the opposite side of the country, close to Johannesburg. Tintswalo Safari Lodge sits on a game reserve bordering Kruger. During the pandemic they are hosting virtual safaris on YouTube daily. These videos have auto-generated closed captions available.
BBC’s series Africa has an episode focused on the Cape. A preview is available to watch here. If you are located in the UK and have an account/license you can watch the episode on iPlayer. It appears that the episode has audio description, closed captions, and sign language available (we don’t have a BBC TV license and couldn’t personally confirm these features). The episode is also available to purchase on Amazon with closed captions available, however it does not have an audio description track on this platform.
Get Lost in Cape Town Books
Cape Town’s official travel website has a list of recommended fiction and non-fiction books about Cape Town. Of these, five titles are available on Kindle and one is available on Audible. Destination Reads has another list of books about Cape Town. Of these, four are available on Kindle and three are available on Audible. Although it takes place largely in Johannesburg, Claire highly recommends Born a Crime (one of the titles listed by Destination Read), specifically the audiobook version. Being able to hear the different languages spoken in the audiobook, rather than reading them, adds richness to Trevor Noah’s memoir.
Bring Cape Town to Your Kitchen
A popular food in South Africa is bunny chow, a loaf of hollowed out bread filled with curry. A classic recipe can be found on BBC. Although it is typically a meat-heavy dish, you can substitute beans to make it vegetarian. Veggie Belly has a vegan recipe available. If you are gluten-sensitive you could substitute the white bread for a gluten-free bread or vegetables, such as a hollowed-out potato or a bell pepper.
For dessert (or a sweet breakfast treat) whip up a batch of koeksisters. This treat is fried dough soaked in a sugar syrup with lemon and ginger. A traditional recipe can be found on African Bites and a vegan recipe can be found on Messy Vegan Cook. Although neither of these recipes are gluten-free, you can experiment with different gluten-free flours. King Arthur Flour has a guide with tips and techniques for baking with gluten-free flours.
Where to Next?
Join us next time as we head to Montreal, Canada. A city full of music, art, and, of course, poutine.