IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF CASTLE

13 TO 29 JANUARY 2022

TO COMPLETE AN INTERNATIONAL, ON-SITE FILM PRODUCTION

In our last message dated November 2021, we announced the temporary closure of the Castle for day-to-day tourism and other operations. However, due to technical challenges and the festive season break, filming was interrupted hence the earlier than expected re-opening just before the holiday season. These changes ensured an excellent festive season for our visitors, to whom we are incredibly grateful.

However, after tedious re-planning and rescheduling, the wrap-up of this significant filming event is now scheduled to take place from 13 to 29 January 2022.

“We decided to rather close for the next two weeks instead of compromising the safety and security of staff and visitors. The strict COVID-19 protocols to which the movie industry must adhere is another motivating factor.”

On behalf of management and the Board, we want to extend a sincere word of apologies for any inconvenience this necessary measure may cause. We hope to welcome you back on 30 January 2022 and appreciate your patience and support.

Warm regards

Chief Executive - Castle Control Board

Festive Season 2021/22
Message From The CEO


I cannot believe that yet another surreal year is behind us. Yes, when penning this message, the new OMNICRON variant of the Coronavirus was still rearing its ugly head and threatened to plunge us into a stricter lockdown. The latter is on top of the unfair travel restrictions from our major international source markets.

Sadly, this is what the world and its economy have become, and it is up to all of us to overcome.

So, wouldn’t you agree that we need a break from it all? We need time to refuel, rethink and re-strategise about where we are going. For some of us, it is a break-away into the wilderness. Others prefer the beach. Yet others choose to engage with humanity: a monument, a museum, an exhibition, a book, a statue, or an art installation, all on offer right under our noses.

Whatever your choice, the Castle of Good Hope is here to meet your heritage, culture and history needs in a fun way. With museums and exhibitions such as the Mandela-Luthuli, Posterity, Camissa, William Fehr, Rhino, Cape Muslim & Slave Heritage, Crying for Justice, Torture Chamber, Secunde House, Krotoa, Warrior Kings, the Lady of Good Hope, Dolphin Pool, Lady Anne Barnard Banquet Hall, the oldest bell-tower, De Kat balcony, sun-dials and many more, who can go wrong at South Africa’s oldest, surviving colonial building?

And to crown it all – our professional guides provide free guided tours every day, every hour on top of the hour from 10h00!

When you do pay us the privilege to host you, please remember not to let your guard down: wear flat shoes, sun-block, sanitiser, masks and most of all – your wits – to enjoy us responsibly.

At only R50 per adult and R25 for SA senior citizens and under-18s, the attractions mentioned above (plus free parking from the Darling Street entrance) this is an opportunity not to be missed. Please note that besides reputable online booking engines, tickets are only sold at the main entrance opposite the Grand Parade (where the two lions are guarding over the gate).

Our adjusted operating times are 09h00 to 16h00.

Happy holidays and thanks for a year of unwavering support!

Chief Executive - Castle Control Board

South African Museums Association

Recommended Norms & Standards
For The Operating of Museums
During COVID-19

08 July 2020

- Click here to view the document -

 

First ever cyberbullying workshop co-hosted with
Trafalgar High at the Castle of Good Hope
[1 June 2021]

 

Deputy Minister of Defence & Military Veterans
Mr Thabang Makwetla's Visit to the Castle
[3 June 2021]
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Legend Of Isandlwana Lives On

18th November 2018.

 

Zulu King Cetshwayo had been pushed into a war that he never wanted with England. Yet, the first battle of that conflict had the unlikeliest of outcomes, writes Dougie Oakes.

Cape Town – The mood of the congregation was sombre as Bishop John William Colenso stepped up to the pulpit of the Anglican Church in Bishopstowe in the colony of Natal – and started speaking…

Those who expected a sermon full of fire and brimstone were wrong. There were no calls for retribution against the Zulu king, Cetshwayo. There was no finger-pointing (at the Zulu people). And there were no predictions of doom and gloom.

There were deep expressions of sorrow, of course – but what Colenso said was peppered with nuggets of good sense: “We ourselves have lost very many precious lives, and widows and orphans, parents, brothers, sisters, friends are mourning bitterly their sad bereavements,” he said. “But are there no griefs – no relatives that mourn their dead – in Zululand? And shall we kill 10 000 more to avenge the losses of that dreadful day?”

It was March 1879 – and a mixture of anguish and anger was sweeping through the white communities of Natal.

Just a few weeks earlier, Cetshwayo had been pushed into a war that he never wanted with England. Yet, the first battle of that conflict, on January 22, 1879, on a hillside near a towering rock known to local people as Isandlwana, had the unlikeliest of outcomes…

Isandlwana was aptly described as a fight in which “a proletariat army from the world’s foremost capitalist nation was defeated by a part-time force of peasant farmers in a short, bloody and eventually inconclusive battle that rocked the British Empire to its core”.

“The Zulus attacked the red-coated British because they feared for their land and their independence. The British soldiers, drawn from the very poorest level of the working classes, fought back because they had been lured, like Private Moss from Wales, to take the Queen’s shilling’.”

It was a contest between spear and the most modern weaponry of the day, but thanks to a mixture of British arrogance, stupidity and bad planning, it was those who fought with spears who were victorious.

More than 1 500 redcoats, and an even greater number of Zulu fighters, died in the battle.

Cetshwayo was no one’s fool. It had taken a bruising battle – which had later escalated into a civil war – against his brother, Mbuyazi, for him to become the main contender to succeed his father, Mpande, as monarch of the Zulu kingdom.

When he became king in 1872, following the death of Mpande, he was keen to build a good relationship with the British administration in Natal. But he refused to be told how to run his kingdom. He needed to tread a fine line, and in this he succeeded admirably.

But then diamonds were discovered – and matters changed inexorably.

British colonial secretary Lord Carnarvon decided the best way to administer a southern Africa with far greater economic possibilities, but with a growing need for cheap labour, was via “confederation”.

By this he meant a region in which Briton, Boer and every African chiefdom would operate with some independence, under the control of England.

Although it was obvious that Cetshwayo would never agree to such an arrangement, Lord Carnarvon decided that there were many ways to skin a cat.

He left it to his most enthusiastic supporter, his Natal wheeler-dealer, Theophilus Shepstone, to decide how – and when – to bring this about.

Shepstone opted for the tried-and-tested: pick a fight with Cetshwayo and defeat him, using superior weaponry.

The British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, set the ball rolling by pretending a number of minor border incidents were major threats to the security of Natal. The tipping point came when the sons of a Zulu chief seized two of their father’s adulterous wives in Natal, dragged them into Zululand, and killed them.

Cetshwayo was given an ultimatum: hand over the sons, pay 500 cattle in compensation, and disband his army and his age-group system of military organisation – within 20 days.

There was no way he could comply. All he could do was insist that “the king has, however, declared, and still declares that he will not commence war, but will wait till he is actually attacked before he enters on a defensive campaign”.

In January 1879, British forces entered Zululand – and on January 22 came the shock of Isandlwana.

As Cetshwayo feared, Zulu losses at Isandlwana and, on the same day, at nearby Rorke’s Drift were horrific. And as the weeks passed, casualties mounted at an alarming rate, with serious losses at Kambula and Gingindlovu especially.

Then, on July 4, the redcoats attacked the royal headquarters at Ulundi, razing it and forcing Cetshwayo to flee.

On August 28, he was captured in the Ngome Forest and sent to Cape Town, where he was held at The Castle, while the Zulu kingdom was”dismembered” into 13 parts, each of which was put under the control of pliant chiefs.

A striking figure, Cetshwayo handled himself with great dignity, refusing to be regarded as a curiosity and insisting that he be given European clothes to wear while in Cape Town. Many people who saw him commented that he was not the overgrown ogre painted by colonial officials.

Although he couldn’t read and write, he displayed a remarkable grasp of local, national and international politics. In this he was assisted by Bishop Colenso and his social activist daughter, Harriette.

Cetshwayo fought with dogged persistence to win back his freedom – and the kingdom of Zululand. In this regard, his key weapon was a letter-writing campaign that drew in prominent officials and even the monarch of England, Queen Victoria.

In March 1881, in a letter written from The Castle to Sir Hercules Robinson, the governor of the Cape Colony, he wrote: “I have done you no wrong, therefore you must have some other object in view to invading my land.

“How is it,” he asked, alluding to the fact that Shepstone had backed his ascension to the Zulu throne, “that they crown me in the morning and dethrone me in the afternoon.”

Cetshwayo’s persistence earned him a trip to England to state his case.

There, he impressed as many parliamentarians and ordinary people as he did in Cape Town.

He was freed in July 1883, but his return to Natal sparked a war with his main rival, Zibhebhu. Forced to flee his territory, he sought refuge with the British Resident Commissioner in Eshowe, where he died in 1884.

Cape Times

SA Tourism Services Association
Frequently Asked Questions For Tourists Travelling To SA [PDF 2MB]
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The high season is in full swing and that means that visitors from all over will be in Cape Town for a much-needed holiday break. Each visitor must have the best possible experience – particularly with regards to safety.

Please be alert and aware of the following:

  • Only use secured ATMs, such as those in shopping centres or at the CTICC complex.
  • Do not allow anyone to take you to an ATM – fraudsters may attempt to take you to an ATM – say "no" when asked.
  • Do not accept help from anyone at an ATM. This includes uniformed personnel as Fraudsters may dress in uniform and approach you.
  • You do not need a COVID-19 permit or a permit to walk the streets of Cape Town.
  • Crime hotspot areas that should be avoided or proceeded with caution.

Very Important

Please download the Namola Safety App for free on your smartphones. The app can pinpoint their location with GPS and allows you to contact emergency services with a simple touch of a button. Get the app HERE.

Cape Town Cares

Should you be the unfortunate victim of crime in our city, please contact our Cape Town Cares team at: 021 487 6552. They will be able to assist visitors with replacement of lost documents, support counselling, helping visitors lay a charge at SAPS, changing itineraries and more.

An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb band aid logo24/7 Band-Aid
Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb atm logoBe ATM-wise!

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

 

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Tourism Industry Standard Protocols
For COVID-19 Operations

DOWNLOAD the document here.

Updated Lockdown
Level 2 Regulations
25 August 2020

 

ccb SATSA FAQs

Answering your questions on filming procedures during COVID-19 lock down.

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

January 2022
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

Please note that the Key Ceremony, Cannon Firing & Guided Tour activities have been suspended due to COVID-19 protocols at this time.

 

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