|African Dream -- Nelson Mandela Description
South Africa is a land of diversity, a fusion of cultures, climates, landscapes, languages and colours, a land that truly has something to offer every individual.
Lying a the southernmost tip of the continent, South Africa covers an enormous area of over 1.2 million square km's (roughly the same as France,Spain & Portugal together ) and is home to deserts, savanna, snow covered mountains, grassland, forest and tropical mangrove swamps. Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the south and east,South Africa has a coastline length of over 3000 km's. The climate is pleasantly warm with sunshine prevailing all year round making it a home to a wealth of varied plant, animal and bird populations.
However, it is the people that give South Africa it's true character. The region's population embraces the Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa and Swazi ) who account for two thirds of the people. With Afrikaners, English, Indians and many expats from the rest of Africa, Europe and Asia making up the rest. Although many cultures and traditions exsist, there is very much a feeling of belonging to one nation, uniting age-old customs and modern ways to build a new South African society to create a better life for all.
Although there are 11 officially recognised languages in South Africa the vast majority speak or understand English, road signs are in English and those involved in the tourist industry will converse in English.
South Africa has three capital cities: Cape Town, the largest of the three, is the legislative capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. South Africa has a bicameral parliament: the National Council of Provinces (the upper house) has 90 members, while the National Assembly (the lower house) has 400 members."
For those that crave the outdoor life, South Africa is a paradise. Residents and visitors can enjoy game watching, whale watching, diving, surfing, river rafting, leisurely mountain walks, fishing, golf and many more outdoor activities at some of the world's best and most beautiful locations.
The main attraction for many is the sweeping national parks and game reserves - all dotted with bungalows and huts of different standards available for rent. The cape area has a small number of these parks / reserves and these are detailed on this website under the staying and playing category.
South Africa has by far exceeded it's projected tourism growth numbers, with overseas arrivals growing every year , in many cases by double digit percentages. South Africa is now positioned itself as one of the world's preffered tourists desinations. The genuine warmth and hospitality shown by South Africans to all visitors is an extra facet to what the nation of South Africa has to offer.
Finally, the South African dream would never have been possible without, probably, one of the greatest men of all time, Nelson Mandela. Some say terrorist, some say freedom fighter. Whatever your view, you cannot take away the fact that this man, through his hardship, courage, determination and leadership, inspired a multi cultural nation for the better. There is so much said and written about this incredible man, we think the quotes below say it all from a wider and personal perspective.
"He is at the epicentre of our time, ours in South Africa, and yours, wherever you are."
Nadine Gordimer, South African writer and Nobel Laureate for Literature, on Nelson Mandela.
"I don't think there is much history can say about me. I just want to be remembered as part of that collective."
Nelson Mandela on Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo
Died: December 5, 2013, Houghton Estate
Spouse: Graça Machel (m. 1998–2013)
Children: Makaziwe Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Makgatho Mandela, Madiba Thembekile Mandela, Zindziswa Mandela
A POEM THAT INSPIRED A NATION --- INVICTUS
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island in 1964, and was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. The prison administration's scheme of numbering prisoners was to follow the sequence number of the prisoner (466 in his case), with the last two digits of the year (64)
The number was imposed on him by the prison for over 25 years, until his release in 1990. "Prisoner 46664" continues to be used, as a reverential title for him, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation uses 46664.com as its website address.
While incarcerated on Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela recited this poem to other prisoners and was empowered by its message of self mastery. It was also used in the powerful biographical film, of that name, released in 2009. This short Victorian poem was written by English poet William Ernest Henley in 1875.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.