Last month some of the lads from the local South Lancashire football teams headed down to South Africa for some much needed rest after a grueling season of non stop action. After a bit of squabbling and some careful deliberation, the blokes voted unanimously on making Cape Town the number one destination on the itinerary. The goalkeeper from South Lancashire county has a niece working at a place called Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town, nicely situated right at the foot of the world famous Table Mountain, and within walking distance from all the tourist attractions and vibrant Cape Town nightlife. The place has also got a fantastic tours desk if you are looking to go on an adventure tour. There was some apprehension about staying in a “backpackers”, just the term brought up images of some of the dirty and run down hostels I’ve stayed at in my younger days.
The blokes were completely blown away by the quality of the accommodation they arrived to at Ashanti Backpackers. The building is a converted Victorian mansion with some top class facilities. Wifi, crystal clear swimming pool, festival bar area where you can catch all the latest football games, a travel center that you can book a trip to some seriously exotic African destinations, a tennis court adjacent to the property and a convenient internet cafe close to the main reception. Ashanti Lodge is far more than just a Cape Town backpackers , it’s a luxurious home away from home at a very affordable price. The views of Table Mountain from the upstairs pub are spectacular, not to mention the views of some of the scantily clad beauties at the swimming pool below on most sunny days. Ashanti is clean, well run and has an adequate compliment of cheery staff willing to help with anything that needs getting sorted out. We spent a very satisfied week there, exploring Cape Town’s tourist attractions by day, and then venturing out into the wilder side of town in the evenings, partying hard and sleeping till late the next mornings.
It was only toward the end of our stay that we realized that we had not yet experienced the famous Cable Car ride which takes you from the foot of table mountain right to the very top in a matter of a few minutes. It was not something we possibly leave Cape Town without having done, so we scheduled it for later that day. We met at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offices and bought our tickets. The journey to the top of the mountain was quite thrilling, as were the views from the top, so I’m glad we didn’t miss it. There is no doubt about it, the lads were all well impressed with the whole package – great city, great vibe, great beer – a lot of fun to be had. In fact there has even been talk of returning in a couple of months and trying out a full safari in Cape Town. Although somebody recalled a UEFA Cup match being played soon that day so we made haste and bustled off in the direction of Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town again (via Cable Car), so that we would make it in time to catch the game in the Ashanti Pub, enjoying a couple of lagers as the sun slowly dripped into the sea. Ashanti Lodge far more than that, a real jewel in the Cape Crown. The lads had only good things to report when they returned home. Sun tanned faces and full of shenanigans.