Below are a couple of the 35-40 nominations that were sent into Wanderlust in support of Selwyn for the Paul Morrison award of 2007

 


Guide's name: Selwyn Davidowitz:

Location: Capetown,   South Africa
Dates of Time in Capetown: August 15- August 21, 2004
Dates of   Guided tours: August 17 and August 18, 2004
Booked through his website: ILoveCapetown.com

Through our pre-trip email correspondence, Selwyn made a point of learning and knowing all about us before we arrived and the historical orientation to Capetown and South Africa with which he began our tours was tailored to our interests and sensitivities. He is an enthusiastic and born teacher, with a prodigious amount of knowledge about everything, especially everything Capetonian; the arts, wines, geography, history, sociology, politics, flora and fauna. His capacity for listening to and hearing his clients and remembering even our needs is remarkable, i.e. knowing my husband was having hip pain he drove us to the door of every place we went to minimize the amount of walking we would have to do. He remembered that opposed to eating in fine restaurants I like tasting local food and he not only stopped in local out of the way food shops, but had African snacks in the car for me to munch on. Though we had not yet met, he called the night we arrived to suggest the weather would not be good for the activity we had scheduled to do on our own the following day, with ideas of other things we could do. Knowing him was like visiting with family in Capetown, He even provided a CD copy of all the photos he took of our travels together specially formatted for the peculiarities of my computer. He shared relevant (to the things we were doing or talking about), and  interesting information about himself and his experiences in South Africa.   For us, it is only through conversations with real people about what we are seeing or doing, and what their life is like that we can go beneath the surface of being in a foreign country. Just seeing  lots of new and interesting and beautiful sights keeps one on the surface and  can become boring after a while. He offered the opportunity to go beneath the surface of what we saw that to us, makes travel meaningful.   Though I resisted it at first, his dedicated interest and involvement in the people and life in one of the townships, and our visit there provided us with a real appreciation of the complex and heterogeneous social society that exists behind the township walls. I learned something I would never have known or understood.

He has that unique ability to connect with a wide variety of people of  diverse interests and personalities. It is a rare guide who can make all his clients feel as though being with them is something interesting and special to him; that he too is having a great time, but that is the way Selwyn made everyone we have referred to him feel.

Selwyn is a unique combination of all the qualities you list as being necessary to be a good, no, a Great Guide. I know he loves being a guide, but having him recognized by your organization would give back to him a little of what he gives to others.

Leni Winn and Andy Tuck
New York, NY USA

 

 From: Robin Liston

To: topguide@wanderlust.co.uk
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 11:11 AM
Subject: Nomination for the Paul Morrison Award for Tour Guides

NOMINATION FOR THE PAUL MORRISON AWARD 2007

I would like to nominate Selwyn Davidowitz for the Paul Morrison Guide Awards 2007.

He runs a small extremely personal tour company called I Love CapeTown Tours (www.ILovecapeTown.com) and specialises in tailor-made tours for up to six people around Cape Town, the Cape Winelands. Hermanus Whale Viewing, The Garden Route and, more unusually, the African township of Kayamandi, on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.

Selwyn is a retired engineer and clearly works as a tour guide because he has a real passion for Cape Town and South Africa and loves to communicate this passion to his clients. But perhaps more importantly he invests a large part of the income he receives in the development of Kayamandi. He has started up a foundation to support two crèches and runs two projects called "Trash for fruit" as well as "Fruit for kids". These projects ensure that between 180 - 250 children are being fed a fresh fruit for four days of the week, in exchange for clearing up litter in the township. He is also involved in developing a pottery project.

I stumbled across Selwyn while searching the Internet for a tour of the Cape. I was planning to travel on my own to South Africa but felt that it would be more interesting to travel with someone  who really knew the Cape and would act as a companion as well as guide.

Obviously this was quite a financial commitment, so I wanted to be sure that I would travel with someone would be more than the type of 'sheep herder' or 'mechanical churner out of facts' that I have encountered all over the world. From our e-mail communications prior to agreeing a tour, it was obvious that Selwyn was someone special. His website and communications were slightly quirky but thoroughly engaging, and it did not take long for me to see that Selwyn and I were going to get along really well.

From the moment he met me at Cape Town airport on 27 September 2004, it was like being met by an old friend. He was efficient and business like but at the same time relaxed and extraordinarily enthusiastic. While I knew he had hundreds of clients and I was just the latest in a long line, he made me feel that I was a special visitor.

We discussed the politics of South Africa at length, but it was clear that he was tactful enough not to push any particular point of view other than the desire for his home country to prosper and develop. His knowledge of Cape Town and the surrounding area was immense and he always seemed to know the answers to whatever question I put to him.

He was always reliable, turning up on time on every occasion and never rushing me. He even steered me through the stressful process of recovering stolen travellers' cheques.

I felt after four days that I understood some things about this complex and fascinating country that I would never have learnt from a conventional tour guide and that I had made a lasting friend. Indeed we have been in regular touch since my return to the UK.  It was also fascinating if sobering to visit an African township with someone who was truly involved in its welfare. For more details visit http://www.ilovecapetown.com/tours/liston/liston.htm

I believe that Selwyn Davidowitz is an exceptional tour guide who should be considered as a serious contender for this prize.

Robin Liston
London UK

 

 

Guides Name                        Selwyn Davidowitz

 Location of your trip            South Africa -Garden Route Tour from Capetown to Capetown  (31 May - 4 June)

                                                Day trip - winelands tour to Stellenbosch, including Afrikaans Language Monument and visit to the squatter township of Kayamandi. (6 June)

                                                Day trip to Cape Point (7 June)

Collected + tour of city + taken to airport. (8 June) (gratis by Selwyn)

 How booked                         Recommended by our tour guide of Zimbabwe
Nicholas Duncan of Save Foundation Aust. Inc.
 
(www.save@savefoundation.org.au)

                        Corresponded with Selwyn by email prior to our tour +

                        Visited website  www.ilovecapetown.com.

Selwyn's website and emails all reflected his enormous enthusiasm and love for his country and its people.

Five West Australians (4 females + 1 male - ages between 60 & 73) booked these private tours with Selwyn.   Selwyn nicknamed us "WA5".   Despite our ages we were all fit and well.  He tailored our tour expertly, so that every day was not just sitting in the car viewing the scenery, but involved exercise, delicious food, and restful sleep.

Visit www.ilovecapetown.com/tours/mcskimming/mcskimming.htm) to see an extensive pictorial coverage of these tours.  Each evening Selwyn loaded onto the www the snapshots he took during the day, and your family can log on and see where you have been.  A unique service.           

Every day was different.  Surprises were the spice of life.

1.     Sleeping in an isolated holiday home a few metres from the ocean, with a privately cooked delicious Afrikaner dinner, and breakfast.  Next morning allowed to beach comb for a couple of hours, prior to departure.  

2.  Woken at  6.30 and driven to a beautiful pristine beach. We had great fun as we walked barefoot, skipped stones, searched in pools for all sorts of creatures, and after our 7km invigorating walk driven back home for breakfast.

3.  Watching a spectacular sunset over beautiful Knysna Lagoon

4.  Enjoying morning tea in a private home on Belvedere Estate.  Being escorted over the Estate by our hosts, and learning the history of the area.  Fascinating.

Selwyn had searched out the most interesting food places, i.e. upmarket candlelit 7 course dinners, a gourmet picnic lunch on an unspoilt beach, visiting the fish markets and dining on fresh fish and chips, visiting the Africa Café where we enjoyed a 17 course meal   (This being a free meal from Selwyn, as 3 of our party did not drink alcohol, and he had not spent the drinks budget - amazing man, and a truly unforgettable evening.)

 As we drove, Selwyn explained the history, the architecture, the farming and local stories relative to each area.  The meals were varied and delicious,(we sampled all the unusual delicacies South Africa has to offer),  the accommodation was always spacious and comfortable, and this together with Selwyn's elephantine knowledge of all things South African made for a memorable tour.               

 For all of us,  the highlight of our tour was the sobering visit to the squatter townsite of  Kayamandi.  22,000 people live in this Shanty Town.   Anything and everything is used to make these homes, and power lines dominate above.

Here we met some of the leaders, the children and their families - visited in two of the shack homes, and enjoyed an afternoon of great choral fun with the Bana Ba Kgotso (Children of Peace) choir.)

We watched Selwyn reward the younger children who had collected a plastic shopping bag full of rubbish, with a piece of fruit.  A novel way to encourage cleanliness.

As we walked round this town, we saw the ablution area - communal troughs where people collect water.  Rows of locked toilets with shower rose on left wall - up to 8 families use each one!!

This visit gave us a fascinating insight into the character of our guide.  His love,  compassion, encouragement and practical help for these poor, neglected and often forgotten people.   We observed the respect he had earned because of his hard work for these people.  We salute you Selwyn.     You are not only an awesome tour Guide, but a compassionate philanthropist as well.

WA5
Joy Blyth  Subiaco  Australia
Jean Johnson, Mandurah. Australia
Dot Wishart,  Wembley  Australia
Peter & Jean McSkimming, East Perth Australia

 

 

Nomination for The Paul Morrison Guide Awards 2007

Guide’s Name:                     Selwyn Davidowitz
Location of Tour:                 Cape Peninsular; Winelands and Township Tour; Cape
Town, South Africa
Date of Tour:                       9th and 10th October, 2006
Booked through:                  Website: www.ILoveCapeTown.com

Key criteria:   We are a family of 4; 2 adults, daughter age 17 and son age 16.  We had 2 interesting and wonderful days touring with Selwyn Davidowitz.

Selwyn was very welcoming, and to quote the children, they felt ‘safe and comfortable’ with him.  He has a vast knowledge and love of his country, especially the region of Western Cape.  With the help of maps he passed on facts and history as well as many anecdotes, keeping us all both informed as well as entertained throughout the 2 days.  His love of, and believe in the future of South Africa shone through at all times.  We particularly enjoyed visiting the township of Kayamandi near Stellenbosch.  As each tour is tailor-made for those present, we ended up staying most of the afternoon and well into the evening in the township, meeting people and experiencing first hand what life is really like for the people of the township.

Selwyn kept us all well entertained when travelling between destinations, establishing an immediate contact and communication with our 2 teenage children.

The tour was based on our needs and wishes, and Selwyn’s ability to empathise with his guests made the experience all the more memorable.  It felt like touring with an old friend, who was proud to show off his country!

For more impressions of our tour, please see: www.ILoveCapeTown.com/tours/Tallo/Tallo.htm . 

Other considerations:     Selwyn is actively engaged in the Township of Kayamandi, in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.  He brings many of his guests here, showing them and involving them in life there for a few hours.  His guests experience how the less fortunate with South African society live.  His engagement includes running and financing a youth centre including sending a group of talented young dancers to school.  He is also involved in financing a crèche.  While we were there, he organised a large group of children to each fill a plastic bag with rubbish, rewarding them with fresh fruit.  He also is involved in providing hot meals to many children.  The people of Kayamandi owe him a lot for his contribution towards the future.  

We would like to nominate Selwyn for the Paul Morrison Guide Awards 2007.

John, Kristin, Nicolai and Therese Tallo,
Aberdeen,
Scotland, UK

 

 

During our 1 December - 4 December, 2003 winelands and Cape Town trip, our guide was SELWYN DAVIDOWITZ. We booked our trip with him at www.ILoveCapeTown.com. He started by talking with us for about an hour, describing the history of South Africa from the early Portuguese and Dutch settlers through Apartheid to the present; it helped us put much of what we saw into perspective.* The most significant experience of the trip was our introduction to the people of KAYAMANDI, a "township" where we visited a day care centre, met locals, heard the young peoples' choir and got to know a little of what life is like for them now compared to the Apartheid years. In my journal I wrote "we will never forget this!!!" and we have not. Selwyn has a special relationship to Kayamandi and many of the people there. As a result we were able to interact at a level I would not have thought possible. We visited a woman who has lived in the same house for over 60 years, since she was 2 years old. She told us of the improvements she has made to the house, adding rooms, electricity and running water based on her earnings as a laundress and cook. Experiences such as that are rare and enlightening.

Selwyn's COMMUNICATION is a mixture of knowledge and passion. He clearly loves South Africa and Cape Town and shares his enthusiasm freely. By invoking personal stories and history, he brings historical and cultural sites to life in ways that continue to be meaningful.

EMPATHY/SENSITIVITY are so evident in the way Selwyn plans each day. He selects interesting, off-the-beaten-path routes and lodgings. He knows that we are interested in nature and animals and goes out of his way to drive us through venues such as the Paarl Nature Reserve. Dining venues range from basic, eat-where-the-locals-eat places, to wonderful finds with great views. Most importantly, when an opportunity for a unique experience presented itself and we expressed an interest, Selwyn was always willing to make an adjustment and accommodate our interest. His vehicle is spotless and comfortably equipped with beverages, snacks and information resources. He sets an ambitious agenda

Along the way, Selwyn takes photos that he loads on to his web-site so that we can download them, go back and relive part of our vacation and remember what a wonderful, informative, eye-opening experience it was.

In short, SELWYN DAVIDOVITZ is not only a wonderful guide, he is a treasure.

Peggy Morgan
Marlton NJ USA

PS. I should point out that prior to meeting Selwyn for our tour with him, we had been touring in Botswana and South Africa with a major tour company. The local, licensed guides in Cape Town had shown us around for 2 days and we had learned almost nothing, which became abundantly clear once we began learning from Selwyn.

 

From: theresa wigginton <madstinn@aol.com>
Date: January 10, 2007 9:54:02 PM PST
To: topguide@wanderlust.co.uk
Subject: nomination of Selwyn Davidowitz for Paul Morrison award

Our guide in Cape Town was Selwyn Davidowitz . We were referred to  our guide by a mutual friend, Brent who had taken the tour on his  honeymoon and could not say enough good things about it. Our tour was October 5, 2006 and pictures are posted at http:// www.ilovecapetown.com/tours/wigginton/wigginton.htm This is a special touch that Selwyn does and is nice as you can   refer them to your families back home while you are still away,  since the pics are posted the next day!!! Through Selwyn, we saw another side of beautiful South Africa, the   lives of the families at Kayamandi and we were very impressed with  how happy they seem in such minimal living conditions. Selwyn has great passion for the tour that he gives, is BEYOND  knowledgeable about the culture and history of South Africa, while  his empathy and sensitivity are truly inspiring. The tour added  another dimension to our trip to SA and we cannot imagine not having done it. On the personal side, Selwyn helped us move hotels and took us shopping for clothes when our suitcase was missing, above  and beyond the duty of a tour guide to take 3 women to the Mall!!!!!!! Please feel free to contact me for any more in formation.

Theresa Wigginton
Santa Clara
CA   USA

 

Guide's name: Selwyn Davidowitz
Location of Trip: Cape Town, South Africa
Dates of trip: Sept. 16-23, 2003

Contact Information: Selwyn is self-employed, and can be contacted through www.ilovecapetown.com, or at sd@ilovecapetown.com  Why I am nominating Selwyn: In our years of travel, we have had the pleasure of meeting tour guides whose personalities added as much to our travel experience as the destination itself -- guides whose names we will remember forever.  Foremost among those is Selwyn, who led us on a tour of Cape Town and its surrounding areas in 2003.  As a lifelong resident of Cape Town, he has a passion for the area and a communication style that is positively infectious.  He has an enyclopedic knowledge of everything a tourist would want to know, ranging from historical and cultural facts to logistical details about when is the best time of day to visit certain tourist attractions.  He views the relationship between tourist and guide as so much more than just a job assignment, and you cannot help ending a tour with him considering him a friend in addition to a guide.  One example of his enthusiasm for making sure travelers understand the real Cape Town is his relationship with an area township, Kayamandi.  Most tourists would likely not include a township tour in their itineraries, but Selwyn takes virtually every tourist to this township in the Cape Town area, and has developed a relationship with the people there that allows tourists to meet the people there and hear about their lifestyle and experiences.  In doing so, he promotes economic development for the township's residents (who would otherwise probably have very few economic opportunities) and raises tourists' awareness that there is far more to Cape Town than beautiful views and wineries.  In addition, Selwyn epitomizes the "empathy" consideration for this award, being constantly attentive to the traveler's desires in terms of pace, emphasis and activities.  We wanted to pack in as much as possible into our short stay in Cape Town, and Selwyn accommodated us by picking us up at 8am every day and staying out with us sometimes until almost midnight.  We spent literally every waking hour with him for several days, and each hour was packed with helpful and unsolicited information about whatever we were seeing.  Even when we were not with Selwyn (for example, we went out on a white shark cage diving boat), he was calling us on the boat to ask how our experience was going.  Selwyn's exemplary service as a guide was the single thing that defined our experience in Cape Town, and we have remembered him fondly and recommended him to numerous friends over the intervening years. I hope that you will consider him for the Paul Morrison Guide Award, as I have never met any other guide who so perfectly meets the criteria for the award.

 My contact information:
Chris Willis
Atlanta, USA

Selwyn,

Below is my write up for the Morrison award entry. Hope that you like it as I  put a lot of effort into writing it. One of the hardest parts was paring it  down to 500 words or less. Please review any "facts," e.g. background, efforts  in Kayamandi, etc., for accuracy, as I do not want to misstate anything.  Please respond ASAP so I can enter your nomination before the deadline.

As an aside, Barb and I mean everything contained in this.

Mitch 


Among our many travels, our trip to South Africa with Selwyn Davidowitz as  our guide was outstanding. He is a native South African, a resident of Cape  Town, has an engineering degree, ran a family manufacturing business before  changing careers, and has been a tour guide for over 25 years. 

I found Selwyn through the Internet.  What impressed me most was his  willingness to act as a good will ambassador. He would answer anyone's questions about his beloved South Africa. Answers ranging from the political climate,  history, what to see, where to eat, places to stay, etc., all with no commitment to  hire him.

His web site provided a long list of people that had toured with him.  Prior to engaging him, I contacted several, and everyone replied how much they enjoyed their trip.

To arrange our tour, we communicated via voice mail through our computers. By the time we arrived in South Africa we were already friends, and by the time  we left, we were family.  My wife and I spent two marvelous weeks touring  throughout the country, with just the three of us. He made all of the arrangements, and everything was as outstanding as he promised. He is a fountain of knowledge, is very proud of his country, and has a profound love for it.  He took us to some places that most tourists would never see or experience, and accommodated all of our needs.  We were together from morning to night, and never had a problem.

Just prior to our arrival, I had injured my arm.  Immediately, he took me to  a hospital. He arranged for treatment and tests, got me in to see a specialist  within a few minutes, and set up a follow up appointments in the towns where  we would be on the tour. He even took pictures of our trip and my progress and posted them daily. (see http://www.ilovecapetown.com/photos/Photo-Danzig.htm)  Selwyn cares deeply about the underprivileged of South Africa. He is very involved in improving the lives of the people of Kayamundi, a black township in the Cape Town area. He contributes his time and money, raises funds, and organizes programs. He was instrumental in establishing, and running, an education center there, where presently, English and dance are being taught.  Additionally, he helped establish a number of university scholarships for students from there. 

He took us to this township where we met some of the people and visited a  nursery school. It was one of the highlights of the trip, an experience that few would have done on a regular tour.

He takes time off from his busy schedule to seek out new areas and residences  for future tours. He is fully committed to his clients, and takes great pride  in providing them the best experience and service possible. He has conducted  hundreds of tours, (touring a few people at a time) which speaks of his  reputation.

After five years, we still stay in contact, and consider ourselves very fortunate to know him.

Mitch and Barbara Danzig
Davis, California, USA

 

Nomination: Selwyn Davidowitz

Our tour of Cape Town with Selwyn Davidowitz (I Love Cape Town Tours) was the experience of a lifetime.  Selwyn came highly recommended by our hotelier as a man who was passionate about the Cape and South Africa and loved sharing his knowledge with tourists. On our tours August 1, 2, and 4, 2005, we found that description to be most apt. He was also articulate and thoughtful. When weather did not permit our climbing Table Mountain, he graciously rearranged that day's tour.

There was not a dull moment in the days we spent with Selwyn, even though we were out each day for ten hours.  There is a big difference between the interests of retirees and a seventh grader like our grandson, but Selwyn spanned the gulf. He kept the three of us mesmerized by his information, insights and questions.  He did not follow a script; rather, he spoke spontaneously and knowledgeably about Cape Town. 

In our three days with him, we observed many penguins and whales.  We marveled at the South African flora when we stopped to take pictures and buy souvenirs.  We enjoyed the beauty of the wineries and vineyards. When we visited the Afrikaans Language Monument, he explained the pride of the Boers and Nelson Mandela's wisdom in working to make South Africa a rainbow nation.  Selwyn moved us from one point of interest to another without rushing us or staying too long anywhere.  He even provided us with caps and sunscreen to protect us from the South African sun's intensity.

At times we ate at typical South African restaurants and at other times at places patronized by locals, like an exquisite pancake place in Stellenbosch. Once we stopped for pannekoeks at a quaint roadside stand. At the African Café, servers in traditional regalia entertained us with their drums, native songs, and ululation.

Because we wanted to converse with poor South Africans, Selwyn took us to the Kayamandi Township, where he helps residents improve their lives. We visited a preschool with 65 children where he distributed donated books from the USA.  The children, clean and well mannered, clustered around us and begged us to read to them.  We visited a community activist who shared her understanding of ubuntu and her optimistic view of the future.  When we visited township homes, we were amazed at the residents' pride of place in the midst of such desperate poverty.  At the community center, we watched teenagers rehearse an extraordinary dance routine, which they had written and choreographed for an upcoming performance.

Our visit ended too soon, but we were forever changed by the experiences Selwyn had arranged for us. We deeply treasure our memories of South Africa and the Cape. Selwyn Davidowitz is more than a tour guide --- he's an ambassador of good will for Cape Town. It is indeed an honor to nominate him for the prestigious Paul Morrison Guide Award.

Gene and Norma Turner

I am nominating Selwyn Davidowitz, our guide in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2005 for the Paul Morrison Award.  He was the most extraordinary guide we have ever had and this comes from all six of us on our tour of Cape Town.  I did not book Selwyn through a company but I kept seeing his name and wonderful tidbits about his tours through Fodor's Travel Talk.  I wrote him directly asking him to guide our group for two days in September 2005.  What a treat!  More than a treat -- we learned so much about South Africa, its history, contemporary life, its politics and its complexities.  It was really an education for all of us.

Selwyn was a warm, gracious and sensitive host.  He knew so much about the places we visited -- his knowledge made our tours informative and FUN.  We experienced the wine country, Cape Point and one of the highlights of our entire three weeks in South Africa, a township tour of Kayamandi where it was obvious that Selwyn was seen as a respected part of the community.  In our visit to Kayamandi, Selwyn gave us insights into the history and the current implications of life in the townships.  His involvement there helped us to meet and get to know residents in the community.  Obviously Kayamandi is a community of great need and to see Selwyn's involvement and to be able to give back in even a small way was a wonderful experience for all of us.  We spent time visiting with one of the women in the township where we felt right at home as we talked about her life and our lives as African American women.  It was a very special time for us to share with other Black women in South Africa as we talked, sang and danced our way through the township.  What a blessing to have such an intimate experience because of Selwyn -- not just a regular tour looking at the community from the bus. 

In preparation for our trip to South Africa we had all read articles and books about the country but what made our tours with Selwyn so very special were his personal insights.  For example, we went to the Afrikaans Language Monument, a part of the tour that I first told Selwyn we did not want to see.  He encouraged us to tour the monument. His knowledge into the history of the Afrikaans and the importance of language and its tie into the history of South Africa made it an important stop on our tour.  In our days with him, the historical insights helped us tremendously to understand this wonderful and complicated country.  But he was provided extras -- the champagne he presented on the Chapman Peak's Drive at sun set (he knew just when to get us to the best spot), the people he introduced us to in Kayamandi so we could have real personal experiences, the special restaurants he selected for additional fun.  Selwyn made our time with him the best part of our three week stay in South Africa.  He is an extraordinary, well versed, sensitive and knowledgeable guide.  We are felt we made a special friend in South Africa.   

Carrolle Devonish
22 January 2007
Anguilla, British West Indies

 

Dear Sirs,

This is my nomination for The Wanderlust Paul Morrison Guide Award.

Guides name :  Selwyn Davidowitz

Location :        Cape Town, Western Cape and Garden Route, South Africa

Dates of our (3) trips : December 2001, February 2003, November 2006   

Guides Contact Details

http://www.ilovecapetown.com

sd@ilovecapetown.com

+27 - 21 439 1778  (Home)

+27 - (0)88 021 439 4239   (Fax)

+27 - (0)83 439 1778  (Mobile)

 Nomination under Categories max 500 words

1. Communication and Knowledge

Selwyn's gift for communication is revealed long before you arrive in South Africa !    An initial questionnaire, then emails flying backwards and forwards suggesting many options, it was clear that every tour is painstakingly tailor made.  A retired  engineer , married to Bette, a Science Professor at Cape Town University,  he was born and has worked all his life in The Western Cape , and has an amazing affinity with its people and its history.   There seems to be no end to Selwyn’s enthusiasms and in depth knowledge for everything the Western Cape has to offer : his extensive knowledge covers the wine  production in the Cape and he knows the best wineries to visit  for winetasting; Wildlife and Plantlife ( I will never forget him spreading a tablecloth on the grass and producing a home made picnic in the middle of a privately owned game reserve surrounded by curious zebras )  : The only well known tours he provides are to Cape Point and Table Mountain : Other than that you will be shown what he calls the "real" South Africa.  His walking tour of Cape Town City and learning about the political history was riveting. We ate deliciously for a pittance in places that you will never find in the guide books.   But what he loves most is being part of the building of the New South Africa. . Our visit to a small rural township called Kayamandi near Stellenbosch has been the highlight of each of our 3 trips .Here nothing is scheduled  : Selwyn has so many friends in this township that he likes to arrive at 16.30 (most formulaic township tours take place in the morning)  as this is when everyone is home from work and school and the place is buzzing. We went to his friend Lily for a traditionally made meal (delicious!) ,  were welcomed into the homes (mainly shacks) of many residents and get the chance to talk and find out so much about their problems and hopes, we visited the creche and the community centre where saw the most talented kids practising in their dance class : went with some of his friends to the Opera at Spier , It is mainly due to Selwyn that we now repeatedly return to Cape Town and he always has  new discoveries for us.  

Empathy/Sensitivity 

Selwyn has made every day we have spent with him entirely comfortable (he has excellent vehicles kitted out with a fridge, water, snacks, sunblock , he anticipates everything you might require.  The journeys are all part of the tour as the conversation flows non stop .  You can see by the genuinely warm welcome he receives wherever he goes that Selwyn is a very popular local and when he talks about his hopes for the future of South Africa you have got on to his favourite subject.  A boundless enthusiast ,  he  is constantly stopped by people in the township seeking advice ,  as his combination of  openness and kindness makes him very approachable.

Other Considerations

Selwyn refuses to accept any tips although he will accept a donation for Kayamandi, to this purpose he has created a foundation : this supports and creates community projects in the township.  A very significant portion of his guide fee also goes into The Foundation , We have been able to see for ourselves over the years the most amazing projects ( we saw the English and Dancing classes in operation!) and improvements . His website is a fount of great photographs and information

http://www.ilovecapetown.com/township-tours.htm

Selwyn has a unique service  : throughout your tour he will take many photographs and put them on his website , you can see how he does this at

http://www.ilovecapetown.com/Phototours.htm

My Details

Lynn Winton

London