South Africa

Traveling to South Africa was a dream come true for me, and the country did not disappoint.  My point of entry was Cape Town, which after traveling to 105 countries, I believe is one of the world most beautiful cities. The views of the city with Table Mountain in the background are breathtaking.  Taking a short drive from the city to Cape Point one finds the scenery even more incredible. My next destination was a self drive from Johannesburg to Malalane (just south of Kruger Park). It was from here that I saw the greatest array of free animals then I have ever seen in my life. My full day ride in Kruger Park was one of the most incredible days of my life. Three prides of Lions, two Leopards, two Rhino's, dozens of Elephants, Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Zebra, Birds, ect. ect. After a week in the area I drove back to Johannesburg and took a tour of Soweto and Johannesburg, before flying on to Zambia. I highly recommend South Africa as a travel destination and would love to return at some point myself.

The Dutch settled South Africa in 1652, after a Dutch ship was shipwrecked on the Cape for over a year. Those that were shipwrecked went back to the Dutch East India Company and talked them into settling the Cape as a stopping point for ships on their way to India and beyond. Fruit and vegetables were grown to battle scurvy aboard ships and meat was traded with the Khoikhoi and San people early on to sell to the ships. Over time the Dutch would start farming and would eventually increase their settlements across the entire tip of southern Africa, pushing many of the native peoples off their land. After Napoleon conquered most of Europe, South Africa became a British colony. Many of the Dutch went north to get away from the English and their new anti-slavery laws. Here they encountered the Zulu Tribe which over time, had moved south from central Africa. A period of wars between the Dutch Boers and the Zulus (Known as the Zulu Wars) would ensue. The Boers eventually won and created two Afrikaner states in the north. In 1899, after the Dutch Boers found Diamonds and Gold, the English would claim the Boer States and the Boer Wars broke out. By 1910 South Africa became a union, between the English and Afrikaner states, but still controlled somewhat by the English Government. In 1960 South Africa would finally gain independence from Britain, leaving the Commonwealth and became a republic. It was during this period that racist right-wingers would gain control the the government and it was they that instituted the hateful Apartheid laws. After a serious struggle by Black South Africans to become citizens in their own country and with the help of the international community who put serious sanctions on South Africa,  the 90’s would see a sea change, with the release of Nelson Mandela (who became the countries first freely elected president) and the abolition of the hateful Apartheid laws, South Africa would go through an amazing transformation. Today South Africa is a beacon of hope for the whole world. A country were all men and woman are free without exception and a nation were as Nelson Mandela put it would never again have second class citizens.

Animals of Kruger National Park

Birds and Animals of Kruger Park and it's environs

Birds and Animals of South Africa

Images from Cape Town and Cape Point

Images from Soweto and Johannesburg

This beautiful background is the design of artist from