Countries of Southern Africa – Blog Post 1

South Africa:

Everybody who has travelled with me through parts of Southern Africa can easily relate to the acronym TIA –  This is Africa.

The Africa continent has for as long as it exists, challenged the Africa dweller. From illnesses that can kill you to animals that will eat you, vast expansions that will take your breath away and colours with each sunrise and sunset that the best artist cannot copy and bring to life it divides itself into 54 countries.

Travelling through the Southern Part of the continent has its own test of time and survival. Being popular worldwide and offering vast natural habitats for animals with invitations to come and explore, I thought we should look at the history of the ever-changing and often harsh environments.

Let us start our journey in South Africa travel through Namibia, explore Botswana and take a break in Zimbabwe.

To describe South Africa as diverse would be an accurate description. With at least 10 official languages and three capitals taking care of our judicial and legislative challenges, we find a way to survive with a frown, looking forward to a better future.

The Capitals:

Pretoria – executive

Bloemfontein – judicial

Cape Town – legislative

Being 1.22 million km² and five times bigger than the United Kingdom South Africa claims the southernmost tip of the continent. It spoils the visitor with inland safari destinations populated with big game. Driving down to Cape Town via the Garden Route, offers forests, lagoons, lush Winelands and beaches. Amazing cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope with winding roads brings you home to the mother city beneath a flat-topped Table Mountain, one of the seven wonders of the world.

It is home to 59 Million people leaving 49people per square kilometre to find a rewarding reason to endure, survive and live.

Receiving its independence from the United Kingdom in 1934 it grew from its baby shoes to constitute the Republic of South Africa in 1961. Now, a proud Republic, it replaced the South African Pound with the South African Rand.

With development and growth the standard for a quality life, infrastructures were set into place and over time, learning from mistakes, supporting what works and adapting to new ideas South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

Democracy

To change from an Apartheid Police State to the Democratic Republic has challenges that one can just not brush off, smile and carry on. You have to face fears, forgiveness and acceptance while at all time try and set an example proving to the world it is possible.

Since Charles Darwin set off a theory that inherent dynamic forces allow only the fittest persons or organizations to prosper in a competitive environment or situation and from the time of the scramble for Africa a sense of security connected itself to standing separately from the rest.

Right or wrong it happened and apartheid was what we knew. To make way for democracy, change was needed and it came in 1994. An anti-apartheid activist and political revolutionary became the first Black President of South Africa.

A man well respected and loved by his people made sure of a peaceful transition between apartheid and democracy and took the lead. His name – Nelson Mandela

Bringing together political rivals brought the support of the world and South Africa was set for a successful new experience that had to be nurtured and cared for. Setting an example of love and forgiveness even opposition party would start to listen and trust. Sooner than later Nelson Mandela was loved and respected by all people in the country.

South Africa has learned how to sit, crawl, run and fall. South Africa will also learn how to get up, work together and build a future for all who see and call themselves South Africans.

Author: Reinier Bredenkamp

About Author

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Reinier Bredenkamp
Being in the touring industry for 8 years I had the opportunity to travel through eleven of the countries offered by the continent known as Africa. I had and still have the chance to visit historical sites, experience nature and meet different cultures in a way that is just not possible for a city dweller. I still find it a challenge to describe the feeling of being one with a tribe that finds you worthy, inviting you in the most natural proudness to join their tribal meeting in a spectacular place like the Okavango Delta. At that very moment, your body tingles with fear, respect and humbleness that you never knew existed in your being. When an elephant stands in front of you and looks into your eyes you can feel its emotions and the only thing you can manage afterwards is to shed tears because you know the eyes of a gentle beast asked only one question. Why? When a baby rhinoceros runs to your truck crying for help because its mother is in state of passing on to the next world being hurt/damaged/killed by poachers you unwillingly change as a human being. At that moment you know you have to share, protect and educate while being environmentally conscious of the effect that modern life and its richness has on nature. You start buying, reading and studying books. You sooner than later build your own library and fill bookshelves with the uttermost respect to the authors giving their life to study and educate. You take their research and broaden the spectrum of knowledge by sharing it to travellers from around the world. My name is Reinier and my blogs may be that of a novice quality, but I eagerly share what I have learned from others in books or received from Africa in gentle hugs looking at stary nights or listening to roaring lions as the dawn makes way for dusk. I will keep on learning, experiencing and sharing with you until I can do no more.

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