South Africa

Safari Reveries

Barbara Noe Kennedy

Our guide, who grew up nearby, is a font of knowledge, and he shares tales of the wildlands. The impalas are nicknamed “McDonald’s of the bush,” for their “fast food” role for carnivores; you can identify them by the black “m” on their rear parts. The most dangerous beast is the Cape buffalo, with a wiliness to ambush anyone on its tail. A wildebeest can run after only a few minutes of being born. 

South African Culture and History Come Alive in Durban

Brandpoint

Visitors can take an organized tour deep into tribal lands to experience Zulu culture with its exuberant ceremonies, traditional music, and dancing. You'll learn about Zulu beliefs and healing practices, break bread with local families, and learn the hidden meanings behind their colorful beadwork. Those seeking a truly transformative experience can arrange one-on-one sessions with the village healer or spend the night with a Zulu family in their home. 

How South Africa Is Still Emerging From the Dark Shadow of Apartheid

Michael Verdirame

It does not take long for an outsider visiting South Africa for the first time to observe the racial divide that still exists.  Many of the types of places created by the segregation of Apartheid—such as the townships consisting of makeshift residences constructed with corrugated tin—still exist, some only a short distance from the major urban centers of big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town.  A trip to one of the upscale malls that are appearing all over the country is unlikely to paint an accurate picture of diversity for travelers. 

Modern African Poetry Finds Its Voice Online

Lisa Vives

From the pages of private notebooks to the dog-eared copies of rare published editions, the works of modern African poets are emerging with great fanfare thanks to a dedicated handful of writers and teachers building a network of libraries and websites on the Internet. The South African Badilisha Poetry X-change is one such group which recently posted its archive of poems and writings on a “mobile-first” site. 

From Prisoner to President: Remembering the Late Nelson Mandela

Karolina R. Swasey

Detainee number 46664 would not surrender nor show any weakness. He read and wrote a lot, mastered self-control, discipline, patience, and the fine art of tactfully dealing with opponents by bringing out the good in them — an important leadership quality that would come in handy when the secret negotiations with the apartheid regime began in the 1980s. It was this messianic skill that led to his release from prison and ultimately to the “Wonder of Cape Town,” which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.  

Farewell Nelson Mandela

Stephen A. Crockett Jr

On Thursday Nelson Mandela at approximately 8:50 p.m. left this world in much better shape than he found it. Even the sky is in mourning in Johannesburg as CNN reports, gray rain clouds covering and the area this morning. Children used rocks to spell out "We love you Mandela" in front of his home. Some left stuffed animals, others lit candles and wept. In Soweto township residents gathered around the house where Mandela lived before he was arrested in 1962 and sang freedom songs. Across the nation from D.C. to Los Angeles, flowers and candles were left in front of murals bearing his likeness, CNN reports.

Nelson Mandela’s Long Goodbye

Sandip Roy

Nelson Mandela is almost 95. He has been in and out of hospitals three times this year. Newsrooms around the world have probably gotten his obituary ready more than once. His health has gone up and down, each “recovery” a little slower than the previous one. The man's body is tired. Reports say he has not opened his eyes in days and is largely unresponsive. It's not surprising that South Africans are praying for his recovery. But perhaps a final gesture of gratitude to the man who is indisputably the Father of the Nation is to pray for his peaceful death. 

Cape Town: South Africa's Answer to the Mediterranean

Stephen Delissio

Cape Town is in essence a “tale of two cities”:  the affluent and touristic areas --  prime real estate where a parking spot can go for a few hundred thousand dollars, million-dollar homes along the cape, and a booming tourism industry that demands the best.  Then there are the poor shantytowns and memories of apartheid.  Poverty is still rampant here. The wounds of apartheid have healed, but the scars can still be found.   

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