Acilia Schoeman is a tour guide in Cape Town

I am a local South African-born, nationally-registered tourguide who has

lived in Cape Town for the last 20 years. I graduated from the University

of Stellenbosch in the wine lands with a degree in languages and with a

lot of experience of the wine industry! I started work at the University of

South Africa and then for South African television. My working life has

taken me to most of Europe, especially our heritage countries, filming

programmes dealing with the South African culture and heritage. This has

encouraged my wanderlust, which has in later years taken me to the

United States, China and India and around the horn of South America and

other fascinating places too!

Before I finally decided on my present profession I was fortunate enough

to gain intimate experience of both the old and the new South Africa from

a position close to the centre of government. In my position as public

relations officer I assisted ministers with their official functions, press

programmes and parliamentary duties. In this capacity I also acted as

guide to official visitors from all over the world. It was my job to draw up

programmes suited to their interest-field and to accompany them during

their stay in South Africa, arranging interviews with major public figures

from all walks of life on a political, socio-economical level.

It was experiences such as these that inspired me to decide to become a

freelance tourist-guide. And I am so glad I did! I find it hard to believe

that I have been fifteen years at it now! The fact that I speak German,

Spanish, Dutch, French and Flemish, as well as English and Afrikaans

have made it possible for me to engage with a wonderfully diverse range

of people.

My philosophy of life has great sympathy with the traditional African

philosophy of UBUNTU which believes that a person is a person, through

their communion with other persons. In South Africa this idea applies to

cultures as well as individuals. The diversity of lifestyles, from cuisine to

religion, has led to our Mr Mandela calling us his “rainbow nation”.

I enjoy the finer things in life like art, antiques, jewellery-making (as a

hobby), wine and cuisine. I also love ballroom dancing, art-movies and

gardening. I am married to a philosophy professor at the University of

Cape Town who has written several books on African philosophy.

On a tour with me I try to take you through the beautiful surface to a

deeper vision of the South African spirit. I have travelled far and wide yet

I can now feel that I live in the most perfect place on Earth. I think that

guests who tour with me find that they have been changed by their

experiences here. They take home special memories of their visit as well

as marvellous photos or jewellery and artwork they have bought as well

as food for thought!

Languages Afrikaans, Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish
Currencies United States dollar (USD)

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