Participate in any or all of the Three Parts, though we recommend at least two.
This is an unequaled opportunity to explore the history, the cultures, the ecology of southern Africa, and thereby to understand modern Southern Africa, and the factors influencing it geologically, politically and economically. At the same time enjoy stunning landscapes, wondrous wildlife, and world class hospitality in the two most democratic countries on the continent – South Africa and Botswana.
Part A includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, respectively the commercial and administrative capitals of South Africa, for museums, art, and theatre, then takes you to what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa, the Province of Kwa Zulu-Natal. Touching on the Anglo-Boer War, the coastal World Heritage sites, and a unique Game Reserve with its distinctive ecological environments, and ending at the multicultural city of Durban – South Africa’s most important domestic tourist destination and the largest port in Africa.
Part B takes you to the eastern part of the famous “Garden Route” of the Cape Province, with its exceptional beauty and diverse flora and fauna from the Titsikama Forest, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Wilderness and the Little Karoo, followed by the stunningly beautiful surrounds of the “Mother City”, Cape Town, and ending in Kimberley, where the African diamond industry began, where we will stay at the historic Kimberley Club
Part C begins with a visit to Africa’s greatest natural wonder, the Victoria Falls, followed by a safari through Botswana’s remarkable land, including the extraordinary Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. Always in absolutely unique environments experienced in lodges and tents at beautiful properties, and ending with a gala dinner in Johannesburg. Botswana is today the largest producer of gem diamonds in the world
Four South African Nobel Peace Prize Winners
SOUTH AFRICA has seldom been out of the headlines in our lifetimes. This complex country (it has 11 official languages) is a First, Second and Third World Country rolled into one. It has a mix of races, tribes, religions and cultures matched by few other countries. The arrival of the dominant European culture in 1652 was to set the stage for cultural conflict for the following 350 years, not all of it based on colour, however. The Boer/Brit struggles were as significant to the history as was the Zulu domination of large numbers of black tribes. The discovery of diamonds and then gold on a scale unknown in history was the catalyst for large scale white immigration, the beginnings of industrialization and the clash between British imperial avarice and the frontier independence of the Boers. The White/Black cultural clash was more notable primarily because the numbers involved were greater, and the cultural gap was wider. The absurd impracticability of the apartheid policy was a reflection of the desperation felt by the dominant white culture in attempting to find a solution that did not involve their domination by the culture of the majority black population. Extraordinarily, cometh the hour, cometh the men. The change in political control required not only a generosity of spirit, exemplified by Nelson Mandela, but a courageous repudiation of pseudo-religious dogma among the Afrikaner people by Frederick de Klerk. South Africa today faces enormous problems, but there is a spirit in the land that perhaps reflects that the people have been to the precipice, and have turned back from it to the broad uplands of hope. We want you to experience this ambiance, but above all we want you to understand this land better, so that your brief sojourn in it will in turn make this country, with all of its problems and challenges, better understood in the world.
A Still Young Country
BOTSWANA is undoubtedly the most successful of the great number of African countries that attained their independence from colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s. This is most likely due to a relatively homogenous and small population, a far-seeing and able first President, Sir Seretse Khama, and considerable mineral wealth, especially diamonds. To day it is the largest gem diamond producer in the world. An arid land, originally home to the hunter/gatherer Koi and San peoples (sometimes known as Bushmen), who were overwhelmed by both white men from the south and black men from the north, it is landlocked and surrounded by Namibia on the west, Zimbabwe in the north, and South Africa in the east and south. It has a remarkable and unique exception to the general aridity – the largest inland Delta in the world – the Okavango. Created a British Protectorate in 1885 at the initiation of Cecil Rhodes, the people lobbied hard and successfully in London to avoid becoming part of the territory under the control of Rhodes’ British South Africa Company. Botswana has been independent since 1966.