South Peninsula Biome - CIEE Cape Town Study Tour

SPRING 2019 

Click to scroll down and read more

Study tours are an integral part of the learning experience at the CIEE Cape Town Open Campus Block program. Specially designed excursions are built into the curriculum of every academic track so you can take your coursework out of the classroom and into the host community. 

SOUTH PENINSULA BIOME

The South Peninsula Biome is a rich, diverse, geographical environment with a variety of indigenous flora and fauna unique to this particular region. Accompanying this plethora of natural phenomena are equally complicated socio-political dynamics. The small fishing community of Hangberg in Hout Bay in the Western Cape is a microcosm of the particularity of this dynamic ecosphere, both topographically and socio-politically. Under apartheid, The Group Areas Act of 1950 declared Hout Bay a “white only” neighbourhood. This meant that the Khoisan, the indigenous residents of Hout Bay, who were deemed by the apartheid system to be “non-white” or “coloured”, were relocated to Hangberg, a sentinel close to the harbour, and served as cheap labour for the fishing industry monopolised by white settlers.

The residents of Hangberg are known for their intimate and reciprocal relationship with nature and continue to fight for the recognition of their humanity, fishing rights and equal opportunities some twenty-four years after the official end of apartheid. Although many residents of Hangberg are proud to identify as “coloured” — a term bestowed to them under apartheid — they do not take any pride in still being burdened by the social, economic and political inequalities that accompany their identity. The coloured identity in the Western Cape continues to be synonymous with the stereotypes associated with gangsterism and drugs.

Sample Itinerary

Click to Open

FRIDAY

INTRODUCTION TO HOUT BAY BY DONOVAN VAN DER HEYDEN
Longtime resident, Rasta, fisherman, artist, social justice activist and descendant of the Khoisan, Donovan will introduce students to the history of Hout Bay and Hangberg, particularly focusing on the narratives of the indigenous Khoisan fishing community. Donovan will talk about the various social, political and economic issues that have been bubbling in the minds of local residents over the past 24 years — particularly over land and the fishing rights that have not only been part of their culture, but a means of supporting themselves for centuries. Donovan will also introduce you to the work done by the Harvest Youth Project — an organization that seeks to address challenges facing disadvantaged youth growing up on the margins of Hout Bay, by training and establishing opportunities in the visual and performing arts sector. Here you will also get an opportunity to interact and engage with members of the community who are the brains behind this initiative.

TALK BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WORKSPACE COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS
The representative of Workspace will take us through the Workspace Community Workshop that forms part of the Harvest Centre in Hout Bay Harbour. This community based organization is the hub for democratic exchanges of knowledge, skills and resources between people from different walks of life. The Workspace allows artisans from various art disciplines to engage, create and display their crafts with the aim that sharing knowledge and skills will empower disadvantaged people of Hout Bay to take their rightful place in South African society as full citizens.

SUNSET CRUISE VIA SEAL ISLAND
We will leave the backpackers for the Hout Bay harbor where we will embark on a cruise to Duiker Island Seal Colony where thousands of indigenous wild Cape Fur Seals can be viewed up close in their natural habitat. You will be treated to breathtaking views as we travel back to the harbor along the cliffs and caves of Chapmans Peak.

SATURDAY

FORAGING TRIP UP TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Donovan will take us through a foraging trip on the shores of the Atlantic ocean, where he will introduce us to traditional fishing culture known to the Khoisan. He will explain how current day politics has left traditional fishermen struggling for the recognition of their right to fish. Students will gather first-hand experience in collecting and preparing wild foods offered by the landscape, using methods derived from the Khoisan people.

SUNDAY

MEDICINAL PLANTS HIKE
Donovan and a cohort of Rastafari and Bossie Doktors (literally Bush Doctors) will lead a gentle hike to see indigenous medicinal plants. Along the way you will hear about the healing properties of indigenous plants and the important role that the natural environment plays in health, culture and the spiritual wellness of Rastafarians and people who identify has having Khoi heritage. Amongst stopping to take in great views, student will also enjoy a cup of organic indigenous tea accompanied by traditional Afrikaans cookies.

Free Time Suggestions

HIKE UP LITTLE LIONS HEAD

Suitable for early morning or late afternoon, the Klein Leeukoppie (Little Lions Head) Hike starts at Mount Rhodes Drive - left off Victoria Road when heading up Suikerbossie from Hout Bay towards the city of Cape Town. This hike is fairly easy, but does get challenging for a short while towards the end. The hike generally takes an hour, but should take fitness enthusiasts way less than that to reach the summit.

WORLD OF BIRDS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AND MONKEY PARK

World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa with over 400 different species, more than 100 spacious landscaped walk through aviaries, allowing you the most intimate closeness with nature.

EXERCISE ON HOUT BAY BEACH

Hout Bay backpackers is situated off the scenic shores of Hout Bay Beach. This exquisite white sand beach makes for some of the most satisfying outdoor activities. Whether
you want to jog, walk, exercise or do yoga on the beach, you will be in for a treat.

SHOP FOR ART AND SUPPORT AN OUTREACH PROGRAM

Original T-Bag Designs is an innovative business model using recycled tea bags to create canvas artworks, d├ęcor items, notes pads and various authentic creations. This socially responsible business was established by Jill Heyes to empower previously disadvantaged communities of Hout Bay and its surrounding. Tours of the workshop and production house are always welcome without bookings. 

WHAT ARE THE STUDY TOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?

The intercultural learning objectives of the study tour curriculum—delivered in two parts, pre- and post-tour—are to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to experience new and unfamiliar experiences without relying on stereotypes and heuristics.

Each study tour should achieve learning objectives in each academic track whereby students can:

ARTICULATE some of their own values and beliefs, and explain how these values and beliefs, as well as their experiences, have shaped their own views surrounding politics and international
relations in general.

RECOGNIZE diversity and difference within the local cultural context, and be able to compare and contrast this with the diversity that exists in other contexts with which they may be familiar.

IDENTIFY at least two ways in which practices surrounding media in the host environment are culturally-influenced and/or ways that media practices in the host environment impacts culture.

EVALUATE at least two ways in which social and cultural factors in the host environment have influenced values, beliefs, assumptions, or practices surrounding local healthcare.

DECONSTRUCT their own assumptions and values and analyze how these shape their views on international business. In addition to achieving learning objectives in the academic tracks a study tour presents opportunities to support students understanding the cultural beings of Self and Other. These include developing abilities to self-reflect and become more self-aware, increase their understanding of the salient values in their previous and current environment, and develop their capacity for the awareness of others in their previous and current cultural context.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

CIEE Open Campus Block Program

Apply now to begin your study abroad experience

Apply