#SAHistory, Week 2: Exploring Rhodes Memorial & a hike up Devils Peak

When planning a trip to Cape Town, we always resort back to the same old tourist attractions - climbing up Table Mountain, wine tasting in Stellenbosch, Lunch at The V&A Waterfront, a trip to Robben Island and a picnic at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. Don't get me wrong, they all remain wonderful, but what other lessor known attractions are there in Cape Town?

For this trip I was on a mission to find something a little bit different to do and what better way to do it than to chat to a local. My friend Tash has lived in Cape Town for many years, and she highly recommended I check out Rhodes Memorial that can be found at the base of Devil's Peak. I had vaguely heard about it in passing, but never really put much thought into it, let alone planned on visiting it.

History was a subject that I most excelled in. There was something about retracing the footsteps of past influencers that got me most excited. Over the last couple of years, I have become immensely fascinated by South African history, and you will recall all my past posts on retracing the footsteps of the Voortrekkers. This is only a small part of my #SAhistory challenge which I started 12 months ago, so you can expect a few more blog posts highlighting SA's top historical sites over the next couple of weeks. My plan is to visit all those places that have made a mark in defining our South Africa and for shaping it to what it is today.

A brief look at the history of Rhodes

The Rhodes Memorial was erected in 1912 in honour of Cecil John Rhodes - a controversial figure in South African history. This power-hungry politician was British born and had an aim of bringing the two Boer Republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal under British control. He further dreamed of extending Britain's influence all the way from the Cape to Cairo, although never succeeding.