Dhe helicopter pilot is not stingy with jokes intended to drive away our nervousness. Nothing indicates a wild ride this afternoon. A blue sky stretches over Cape Town, which seems to have been lashed down. Even the wind is unusually light, as if Nac Helicopters management had ordered him to hold back. So get in, buckle up and put on the headphones. For emergencies, there is a spooky bag for the stomach filled with South African delicacies. Compared to an airplane, the appeal of a helicopter is that you’re in what appears to be nothing but windows, so you don’t have to crane your neck to get a glimpse of the world below. It is a kind of flying aquarium. And because you can’t look straight down like you can from glass viewing platforms, such a flight is also an experience for those afraid of heights. The start alone! The rotor blades slowly start to move, turning faster and faster, and the helicopter rises into the air, stops briefly like a dragonfly, tilts the angle of the rotor and flies off.
The Atlantic glitters as if set with diamonds. How innocent everything looks from the air. Instagrammable and postcard-perfect, as if this piece of earth had been spared the ugly pages of history. But of course the grandiosity of a landscape reveals nothing about its past. It only envelops the tourist eye. The V&A Waterfront, with restaurant after restaurant and tourists posing for photos in front of Table Mountain while a band plays somewhere, dwindles to a tiny point and disappears. On the left rises the Twelve Apostles mountain range, whose peaks are up to eight hundred meters high and which is part of Tablemountain National Park. Strictly speaking, the name is misleading as it is not twelve but eighteen mountains, but Twelve Apostles sounds nice and weighty, is memorable and well marketable.
The posh suburb of Camps Bay with its white sandy beaches passes by. During the segregation period through the early 1990s, Camps Bay beaches, like many others, were closed to black and colored people, and signs read, “This bathing area is reserved for the sole use of members of the white race group.” Excluded were allowed to use two rocky sections in Camps Bay.
The water doesn’t tempt, after all it’s about sixteen degrees cold. In any case, one always respects the sea, which great white sharks like because of the large seal colonies. The predators, which like to stay near the coast in shallow waters, can grow up to six meters. In any case, you wouldn’t want to meet the sharks except in a cage dropped into the water – a controversial tourist attraction. On some beaches, shark spotters watch the sea just to be safe, although the triangular dorsal fin does not always stick out of the water, which is why shark spotters watch out for moving shadows. Shark spotters discovered about a hundred sharks near the South African beaches in each bathing season. In general, sharks rarely attack people, but if they do, the attacks make for horrific headlines, which in turn fuels an exaggerated fear in the reader. But the great white sharks also have enemies. In May, five orcas attacked three great white sharks off Mossel Bay, slashing open the animals and ripping out their livers. After the attack, the great white sharks disappeared from their traditional territory for weeks.