DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY GARDENS
After our seemingly never-ending trip into Cape Town, and a night of much needed rest, the group spent the day exploring Cape Town, led by our fantastic tour guide, Clive De Bruyn. One of the most interesting places we visited was an area of town known as The Company Gardens. The Gardens is a park in the middle of Cape Town, filled with greenery, flowers, and birds and other small animals. The Company Gardens was originally a garden maintained by the Dutch East India Company as a resupply point for its ships passing from India and the Netherlands.
In modern times, the Gardens have become a recreational park for Capetonians to relax, wander, and socialize. One of the more interesting aspects of the park was an area devoted to feeding the impoverished community of Cape Town. It is an exact replication of the original Company Garden, built following the plans from Dutch East India Company. All of the food grown is feely available to anyone. The idea is that homeless people or any others in need of food can walk into the garden and pick any fruit or vegetables they want. Unfortunately, the idea hasn’t quite caught on among the homeless population. It was a very realistic experience to be able to see history and touch modernity in The Company Gardens.