At the closure of the first IACAPAP World Congress, members of SAACAPAP (The South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions) proudly bid farewell to delegates they had come to know and bond with over the duration of the Congress. The members felt proud of the manner in which the first IACAPAP ever held on African soil had been concluded in South Africa. There was the air of a job well done and optimism in the air, such that many international delegates felt inspired to travel south from Durban and spend a few days relaxing and exploring Cape Town.
And why shouldn’t these dedicated men and women who had given up so much of their lives leading up to the Conference, be allowed a little bit of time to decompress In Cape Town’s loving arms ? The motion had my full support, and after discussing a few trivial matters, it was decided that the eight of us would head down to Cape Town and enjoy the Cape Weather, Wines and Hospitality for seven days, before having to regroup with the rest of the delegates before they finally departed South Africa.
Ok, so we had a loose plan in place now, all we had to do was get to Cape Town, find reasonable accommodation, check in and then have some fun for a week, before meeting up with the rest of the delegates at the end of the week…….
OK! Book flights for eight people, asap, to Cape Town. Everybody turned to their mobile phones and started frowning while stroking and wiping their glass screens. I presumed this meant they had begun trying to source flight times etc from airlines. Dino broke away from his mobile phone “god” first, and claimed to have found us the perfect accommodation in Cape Town, It’s Ashanti Lodge, Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Cape Town ! Whist the term backpacker was not all that inspiring as it conjured up memories of shoddy places I’d stayed at when I was much younger, there was a round of applause from the rest of the gang. It seemed that Ashanti Lodge was far more than an ordinary backpacker. Our Accommodation agreed upon, things sped up from there, and less than an hour later I was at the Durban airport waiting to board my flight for Cape Town. An almost peaceful hour and thirty minute flight, where we all seemed to regroup and acknowledge that we were escaping for a weeks holiday in Cape Town.
We made quick of the airport formalities, gathered our luggage and entered the airport collections area. Straight up ahead was a chap holding a card above his head that stated “ASHANTI – IACAPAP DELEGATES”. Bags loaded into the transporter, we hopped in and began our drive into the city. Glen, the Ashanti Lodge driver, pointed out points of interest, including the Majestic Table Mountain.
Twenty five minutes later when we arrived at the Lodge, it was after 4pm and you feel the sun slowly starting to sink into the Atlantic Ocean, casting a golden light over everything it touched. Ashanti Lodge Cape Town Backers is perhaps the oldest backpacker in Cape Town, started more than twenty years ago. The original building is a converted Victorian Mansion, nestled just below Table Mountain, in the Cape Town Gardens District. It’s location is unbeatable, 2.3km from Table Mountain, 800m from the Iziko South African Museum, and 4.7 km from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront’s shops. Apart from the converted Victorian Mansion, their are two other smaller properties in the adjacent street that offer something to those looking for a bit more comfort.
Our crew parted ways with an air of excitement, eager to put our bags down in our rooms and explore the friendly surroundings. The lodge was busy at that time of year, so we were largely surrounded by people young and old of different nationalities, as excited as we were to be in Cape Town, and ready to start exploring. Dino reported back in 10 minutes. “There’s a pub upstairs with a pool table that has the most amazing views of Table Mountain….but if you just peek over the balcony, there is a beautiful crystal clear swimming pool filled with scantily clad frolicking Swedish girls !! Haha, I had to laugh. We were in Dino heaven. If you are ever considering spending a week in Cape Town and need accommodation in a Cape Town Backpackers, I cannot stress how much you need to just take a peek at Ashanti Lodge. The setting cannot be beaten, the location is so perfect, the staff and general friendly vibe is what really set me on it though. A beautiful little oasis, smack bang in the center of Cape Town.