Go fly a kite: Having a fun picnic at the Cape Town International Kite Festival 2011

The venue for the Cape Town International Kite Festival 2011 is at Zandvlei near Muizenberg

A brisk wind was blowing at the False Bay coast this last weekend, as Capetonians were treated to the cheerful sight of colouful kites of all shapes and sizes soaring and swooping, zigging and zagging across the skies over Muizenberg.

We had joined our good friends L and V on an outing to the South Peninsula to take Little N, their adorable 7-month daughter, to her first-ever-in-this-lifetime Kite Festival.

It was an exciting occasion – though probably more for us than for her. Although Little N did occasionally gaze at the colourful and fast-moving kites that fluttered across her line of vision, she was more interested in chewing one of her brightly coloured squeaky toys, or grabbing hold of one of those long seedpods that some conifers like to toss down onto the ground – if we weren’t quick enough to wrest it from her little hands – in order to test how those odd-looking pods actually tasted.

Judging from the funny look on her face – not so nice. Well, I guess she’ll remember for next time! 🙂

Nemo the fish, a large seal, and a green crocodile make an appearance

When we arrived at Zandvlei, which was the venue for the sixteenth Cape Town International Kite Festival, proudly hosted by Cape Mental Health and Heart 104.9 FM, on Sunday around lunchtime, there was a seriously long queue at the entrance. Not keen on pushing our way through throngs of visitors, with a pram, in the hope of finding a quiet place for a picnic, we decided to cross the bridge to the other side of the vlei instead. We duly found the perfect picnic spot in the shade of a huge pine tree, and made ourselves comfortable on the grass.

As waves of loud music and snatches of announcements floated across the vlei, we unpacked our picnic of fresh bread rolls and rye bread, various cold meats and jams, and salad. V took charge of preparing and handing out the sarmies, L kept Little N occupied and out of trouble, Richard sorted out the liquid refreshments, and I was free to bustle around with my camera!

That's Maya the Bee at the back, and a small version of Tweety-Bird

What JOY! All the stress and tension of the recent days melted away, as we sat in the shade of our tall tree, enjoying our picnic, pointing out unusual kites and inflatable figures, and playing with Little N.

Quite fittingly, the theme of this year’s Kite Festival was “Uplifting Mind and Body“. It is apparently Africa’s biggest kite festival, attracting over 20,000 visitors (wow!). People even come from far away and overseas to show off their kites, which I did not realise at the time. As to the connection with mental health:

“More and more people are suffering from stress and mental ill-health,” said Ingrid Daniels, Director of Cape Mental Health. “By inviting people to fly their kites, and highlighting the connection between physical and mental well-being, we hope to uplift minds and bodies”. (SA Venues website)

“By filling the sky with kites, Cape Mental Health is making the world a nicer place, not only for visitors to the festival but also for thousands of people with mental disabilities who benefit from the organisation’s services every year. For people with intellectual or psychiatric disabilities, it’s all about being seen, being heard and being included rather than being overlooked, underestimated, and discriminated against. A kite flying high and free is the epitome of a healthy mind – it’s about the freedom to fly ‘up, up and away’ and to reach heights that previously seemed unachievable.” (Safari Now website)

So, I hope you’ll enjoy this slideshow!  May you too feel uplifted and filled with joy!

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8 thoughts on “Go fly a kite: Having a fun picnic at the Cape Town International Kite Festival 2011

  1. My two older brothers were serious kite builders when we were kids. My job was to put my finger on the string as they unraveled it – I was so proud.

    As I recall from my recent visit to the area, Muizenberg’s a hell of a windy spot. What a good idea to hold a kite festival there.

    • Yessss! Muizenberg is definitely a windy spot! Hold on to your hat when you visit!

      Other windy places are the Foreshore (from the City Centre downwards to the Waterfront area) and Devil’s Peak (the suburb on the slopes of the mountain), which the south-easter rips through every year, usually in summer.

      I wish I’d had a kite when I was little… and someone to help me unravel the string and make it fly… sigh…

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