Ermak Travel Guide

 

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South Africa

 

South Africa Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Language: English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Sotho and etc.

Currency: Rand (ZAR)

Calling call: +27

 

 

 

South Africa, officially Republic of South Africa (in Afrikaans: Republiek van Suid-Afrika, in English: Republic of South Africa, along with other official names) is a sovereign country of Southern or Southern Africa whose form of government is the parliamentary republic. Its territory is organized in 9 provinces. Its capital is made up of three cities: Pretoria, headquarters of the executive power; Bloemfontein, seat of the judiciary: and Cape Town, seat of the legislature, and the most populous city in the country is Johannesburg, which is also one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world. It has 2798 kilometers of coastline in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It is bordered on the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, on the east by Mozambique and Swaziland, while Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory.

 

South Africa is known for its diversity of cultures, languages ​​and religious beliefs, for what is known as the nation of the rainbow. Eleven languages ​​are recognized as official by the Constitution of South Africa. Two of the eleven languages ​​are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language that comes directly from Dutch and is spoken by the majority of the white and mestizo population, and English. Although English has an important role in public and commercial life, it is, nevertheless, the fifth language by native speakers. South Africa is an ethnically diverse country. 79.5% of the South African population is black, which is divided into different ethnic groups that speak different Bantu languages, nine of which are official. It also has the largest communities of inhabitants of European and Indian origin, as well as multiracial communities of the continent.

 

Travel Destinations in South Africa

 

Blyde River Canyon

 

Blyde River Canyon is a massive geological formation in a Mpumalanga Province in South Africa. With a length of 15 mi (24 km) and a depth of 2,640 ft (800 m) Blyde River Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA.

Cango Caves

 

Cango Caves are underground tunnels with a total length of 3.3 mi (5.3 km), although only one forth are actually open to the public.

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve

 

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a protected area located 280 km North of Durban in South Africa. It covers an area of 385 sq mi (960 km²).

Tugela Falls

 

Tugela Falls is a second largest waterfall in the World after Angel Falls in Venezuela. The best time to visit this magnificent natural wonder is between June and September.

Kruger National Park

 

Kruger National Park is a protected area in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in the North- east corner of South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of South Africa

A man appeared on the territory of the country in ancient times (as evidenced by finds in caves near Sterkfonteyna, Kromdray and Makapanshat). Nevertheless, there is very little reliable information about the early history of this region. Before the advent of the Bantu tribes (the Limpopo River in the north of the country, they reached the middle of the 1st millennium AD), this territory was inhabited by nomadic cattle-breeding tribes Koi-Koin (Hottentots) and Bushman-gatherers (san). Bantu farmers moved southwest, destroying or assimilating the local population. Around 1050, archaeological evidence of their presence in the current province of KwaZulu-Natal belongs. By the time the Europeans arrived, the Cape of Good Hope area was inhabited by koi-koin, and the Bantu (braid tribes) reached the banks of the Great Fish River. Local peoples were familiar with the extraction of metal ores, the processing and manufacture of tools from iron and copper.

Dutch
The first written mention of the permanent settlement of the Europeans dates back to April 6, 1652, when Jan van Riebeck, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, founded the settlement on Cape Storm, later called the Good Hope (now Cape Town). In the XVII and XVIII centuries, colonists from the Netherlands arrived in South Africa, as well as French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland, and settlers from Germany. In the 1770s the colonists encountered a scythe moving from the northeast. A series of clashes ensued, known as border (Kafra) wars and caused mainly by the claims of white immigrants to African lands. Slaves from other Dutch possessions, in particular, Indonesia and Madagascar, were also brought to the Cape Colony. Many slaves, as well as the autochthonous population of the Cape region, mingled with white colonists. Their descendants are called Cape colored and now make up up to 50% of the population in the Western Cape.

British colonization
Great Britain first gained dominance over the Cape Colony in 1795 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: then the Netherlands came under Napoleon’s rule, and the British, fearing that the French would gain control of this strategically important region, sent an army to Kapstad under the command of General James Henry Craig, so that he captured the colony on behalf of the stalter Wilhelm V. The governor of Kapstad did not receive any instructions, however, agreed to obey the British. In 1803, the Amiens Peace was concluded, according to which the Batavian Republic (that is, the Netherlands, as they began to be called after the French conquest) left the Cape Colony behind. After the resumption of the war in 1805, the British again decided to capture the colony. As a result of the battle on the slopes of Table Mountain in 1806, British troops under the command of David Byrd entered the fort of Kapstad.

The British strengthened their presence on the eastern border of the Cape Colony, fighting the scythe by erecting forts along the banks of the Great Fish River. To strengthen their power in these places, the British crown encouraged the arrival of settlers from the mother country.

In 1806, under pressure from various forces within the country, the British Parliament banned slavery, and in 1833 this provision was extended to the colonies. The constant skirmishes at the borders, the abolition of slavery and other disagreements with the British forced many peasants of Dutch origin (called Boers - from the Netherlands. "Boer", which means "peasant") to go to the so-called Great Track deep into the continent, on the high plateau of Veld. There, they encountered the chieftain Ndebele led by Mzilikazi, a former associate of Chaki who fled to the west during the so-called mfekan - the resettlement of peoples caused by internecine wars in Southeast Africa (modern KwaZulu-Natal province). In the end, the Boers founded their states in the continental part of South Africa: the Orange Republic and the Transvaal.

Boer War
The discovery of rich deposits of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) on Witwatersrand led to the economic growth of the colony and an increase in the outflow of capital to Europe, a sharp increase in immigration to the Boer republics and a worsening of the situation of the natives. These events, provoked and encouraged by the British government, eventually led to a conflict between the British and the Boers. In the years 1880-1881, the First Boer War broke out, during which the Boers managed to defend their independence largely due to Britain’s reluctance to wage a protracted colonial war, since the territories of the Orange Republic and Transvaal were not of significant strategic interest, despite the discovery of time deposits of diamonds in the Kimberley area. The Rand Gold Rush (Johannesburg area) began after the First Boer War. It should be noted the small number of British colonial troops in that period. Thus, the annexation of Transvaal by Great Britain in 1877, which was the direct cause of the war, was carried out by an English detachment of only 25 people without a single shot.

 

At the same time, the British established themselves in Natal and Zululend, defeating the Zulus. In the years 1899-1902, the Second Boer War broke out, in which the Boers, despite the initial successes, nevertheless lost to the better trained and equipped British, who had an overwhelming numerical advantage. After the defeat of their irregular forces, the Boers under the command of Louis Both, Jacob Delarae and Christian De Vet turned to the tactics of guerrilla warfare, which the British fought, creating a network of blockhouses, as well as collecting Boer women and children in concentration camps, or using armored trains to fight partisans. Under the terms of the agreement in Feringiching, the British agreed to pay three million (actually - nine million compensation) for the ruin of Boer farms and agricultural land, which amounted to no more than 20% of the damage caused. In addition, blacks were still denied the right to vote (except in the Cape Colony).