BIOGRAPHY

BRIAN ALDRIDGE

 

I have been a tourist guide for ten years but before that for 37 years I ran an engineering supply company. I made an important decision in my life at that point in time to have a lifestyle change  and on a carefully planned retirement qualified as a South African Tourist Guide with the intention of sharing with others the intense enjoyment and knowledge I have of South Africa and in particular the Cape. Since youth and being a third generation Capetonian I have had an abiding interest in South African and Cape history, botany, geology, culture, wildlife, architecture and I can go on and on! I am a perpetual student.

In the 1970’s I was chairman of the Historical Society of Cape Town, served on the Environmental Advisory Board of the City Council of Cape Town ( if you want to know the real reason  why there is a freeway ending in mid air in the City ask me as I was partially responsible! ) and had my book, ‘The Pictorial History of South Africa’ published, running into three editions and translated and printed in an Afrikaans language edition. I acquired the Josephine Mill for the Historical Society which was one of the earliest breweries in the Cape for prosperity saving it from being turned into a parking lot for the Rugby stadium and saved the Queens Blockhouse on the slopes of Devils Peak, part of the defence line  against possible enemy attack, from total disintegration.

With my interest in fauna as well as flora I qualified with a certificate as a Game Ranger from the University of South Africa/Wildlife Campus.

Botanically I can make even your mild interest an exciting event in the wild or in places like the exquisite Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

There is a large population of Muslims in the Cape, most of whom are descendants of slaves brought here from the East by the Dutch from the mid 1600's who provide a wonderful sub-culture in Cape Town having made important contributions to our marvellous Cape cuisine, culture, language and architecture. For many years I researched all the facets of their existence in Cape Town and with many friends made and a good knowledge of their religion, it’s development here, and their culture I can give you a very enjoyable introduction to this unique element at the tip of Africa.

All this may sound rather dull on a visit to a new city in your travels but believe me you will leave with an in depth knowledge combined with an enjoyable and exciting experience. "Ex Africa aliquid semper novi"  (Pliny the Elder) – Out of Africa there is always something new. You will agree.