Is it true that South Africa is so incredible like they all say? Is it true that the light on Table Mountain is so extraordinary? How can I imagine a real safari? Is the Apartheid really over? Is Capetown really such a dangerous city?
To answer these and lots of other questions there is only one solution: I have to check it out by myself.
So we decided to travel to South Africa last fall for more than two weeks – in the end maybe the best journey of my life until now.
We landed in Johannesburg and our hosts for the next days Serena and Charly from EVERSEEN SA picked us up directly from the airport. We went straight to the GRAYSCALE – in this time the only graffiti store in town to get some paint cause there was not my addiction for graffiti (yes maybe a little bit). No. There was this little “project” they asked me before we arrived to paint a wall at our safari lodge. For sure I couldn`t say no – even if we ajusted to nature, wild animals and relaxing. So hurry hurry grab some Montanas and off to the Mhondoro Safarilodge – around 2 hours north by car. This lodge is located in a private reserve called Welgevonden Game Reserve), which covers around 40.000 hectare and is famous for an extraordinary protection of species and their respectful treatment with mother nature.
We`ve spent a few days there and had an unforgettable time with mindblowing safaris, awesome food, a legendary service and even a few elephants visited us while we were relaxing at the outdorr pool. Besides I had the pleasure to give that pretty big grey wall close to the kids playground a portion of funk.
But there was so much we wanted to do on this journey: So heading back to Johannesburg and from there we took the plane down South to Port Elizabeth. Now it was time to start our roadtrip along the Garden Route – destination: Capetown. For sure you could spend two weeks just for this 800km distance and I`m pretty sure that it yould not be boring one single day. But we gave ourselfes a time limit and nevertheless we wanted to take it easy and see as much as possible at the same time. Because we went to Port Elizabeth by plane I was not allowed to take spraycans with me. With this handicap the first destination was fixed: Boogie needs paint! I was not sure which “Paradise Painting Spots” we will pass on this route. The South African hadwarestores (like BUILDERS) are pretty well stocked with RUSTOLEUM which I already knew from my trips to the US. A bit pricy but you can t have your cake and eat too.
Our route led us pass these huge dunes at the Ostkap, past the small surfer town Jeffrey`s Bay to Plettenberg Bay with this unbelievable coast and the whales directly to Knysna and after all to Wilderness. There we found this lost railway bridge – one of these spots I was talking about and which you HAVE TO paint. Unfortunately I missed to take a photo if this sign in front of the bridge “SERIOUS MUGGING AREA AHEAD”. I should had to remove it and take it with me.
From the next stop Mossel Bay we went directly to Stellenbosch – THE wine region. For us as highly esteemed wine experts (NOT!) exactly the right thing. Nevertheless an absolutely stunning landscape and we had probably the best dinner ouf our life at Delaire Graff Estate.
Our last stop was awesome Capetown – the city of contrasts. We had around 5 days left for our flying visit to get a little Capetown flavor. For sure: much too less but the impressions were overwhelming from every angle. 25 years after the official end of the apartheid you still can feel the contrasts between wealthy and subsistence level significantly. And exactly this contrast brings lots of danger especially if you hang around the non gentrified areas of Capetown. This has not necessarily something to do with the color of your skin – it`s just a struggle to survive. I mean if you can rob a tourist his AirMax and sell them for 20,- to buy crack or food for your family then these conditions are just sad and difficult to understand for a European who was growing up in Peace and prosperity. All you can do is to remember sometimes about how happy and thankful most of us should be and to think about the others when you are upset that you can not get the new Yeezy in that special limited colorway. Think about it!
Alltogether we didn`t had any problems in Capetown. Maybe one reason was, how you act and who you are hanging around with. But to stand one time on Table Mountain in the sunset is definitely something really special and I still get goosebumps when I think about it. If you are looking for a safe and honest graffiti connection then you should go to SHELFLIFE – the sneaker-& graffitistore in Capetown. Thanks again to Steve (one of the employees) who opened my eyes in a serious way – especially in case of trainwriting. Also I wanna say Thank you to my friend and local legend AWEH who organized one of the dopest spots I`ve ever painted: a rooftop between Table Mountain, Lions Head and Train Yard in the centre of Woodstock. All that in combination with perfect wheather, great people and good vibes. Two days before my first graffiti connection SLEGH took me to the local “tourist spot” and we spent a day in the hard African sun.
But also far away from all this graffiti tourism Capetown is worth a visit. Fantastic food, mindblowing landscapes and culture en masse (go to the MOCAA if you should have the chance!). Everything is – compared to other world cities – pretty affordable.
To me personally South Africa has me under its spell and this was definitely not my last visit there.