Cultural African Dance and Dinner

Our first evening in Cape Town we attended an African Dance and Dinner at the Africa Cafe. Through the universal rhythm of popular dance, emotive rhythm of popular songs, and the thunderous beat of he African drum, we witnessed the cultural evolution of this beautiful land. From the powerful war dance of African warriors, the show moves into the industrial era of Southern Africa.


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 No dance reflects this era better than the gumboot dance for which the dancers wore heavy gumboots. Originating in the mines of Africa, this rhythmic dance evolved from the need to communicate in code (with a thud and slap of boots on the boards) while deep in the bowels of the earth. The gumboot dance later evolved as a means to pass time while miners lived away from their families for months at a time. 

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 The dances then moved onto the dance-hall days of the 1940’s and ‘50s. Jazz was the tune of the day, and even though South Africa was in strife, nothing suppressed the indomitable spirit of the nation.

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After the show we enjoyed a 14-course African dinner, outlined below:

Africa Café Cassava Bread

Baked tapioca and cheese flat bread


Malawi Mbatata Chesese and Sim Sim Balls

Sweet potato and cheese balls rolled in sesame seeds 

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Traditional lamb stew sweetened with dates

Xhosa Imifino Patties

Spinach and maize patties


Channa Fish

Dusted with chic pea flour and lightly fried


Basmati Rice


Ethiopia Dora Wat Chicken

Chichekn thighs in a medium berbere-paprika sauce


Egyptian Koshery

Lentils, brown rice and noodles topped with a rich garlic tomato gravy


Cape Malay Dhal Curry Roti

Medium strength lentil curry in spelt flour roti


Congolese Spinach

Fresh spinach cooked with peppers and tomato


Africa Cafe Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup flavored with seaweed


Traditional Vetkoek

Lightly fried bread balls


Ethiopian Lab

White curd cheese with homegrown herbs



Carrot Cake

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As an interesting side note, Devyn Milne from Canada was one of our traveling companions (along with her mother and grandmother).

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 She spent most of her days onboard the ship enjoying Club HAL, which is a special children’s program for youngsters from toddlers to teens, with age specific activities for each group. As a special activity our first day in Cape Town, the ship arranged for some of the dancers and drummers to come to the ship to show the kids how to drum and some of their dance steps. So it was a special treat for Devyn to participate in the evening festivities with her more senior companions and to see how it all fit together during the performance.

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One Response to “Cultural African Dance and Dinner”

  1. Wow ! Those ladies really have supporting type legs … must be all the dancing. Maybe you should lay off dancing for a while.

    But, so colorful … the pictures simply radiate. Clearly, you all know how to handle your equipment and materials.

    So lovely.

    When do you arrive back in the US?

    Here’s to your continuing safe travels Sh

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