Big Swing

Coming across some of my adventures through the years, one of them I wish to share with all of you. This jump was paid for me. WHY? If I jump, my guest will jump!!!

Tell us your adventure or show videos-photos!

Experience the adrenaline of a 68 metre freefall at 180 km/h in under 3 seconds on one of the worlds highest Cable Gorge Swings! Or fly across the gorge on a 135 metre High-wire “Foefie Slide”, 130 metres above ground zero and witness breath-taking Graskop Falls as never seen before!

Big Swing Graskop, Mpumulanga, South-Africa

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Why visiting Southern Africa?

We have decided to make use of National Geographic’s video.

Our 17 & 25 day tours go through South-Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho (4X4).

Our 29 day tour go through Namibia, Botswana and visiting Victoria waterfalls (Zimbabwe side).

Mozambique is great place to visit for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Visit: http://www.afrikayatours.com

http://www.afrikayaleisuretravel.com

Watch the movie!

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/destinations/africa-south-dest?source=searchvideo

Bophuthatswana

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The Bophuthatswana Territorial Authority was created in 1961, and in June 1972 Bophuthatswana was declared a self-governing state. On 6 December 1977 this ‘homeland’ was granted independence by the South African government. Bophuthatswana’s capital city was Mmabatho and 99% of its population was Tswana speaking. This new country’s independence was recognised by South Africa and the Transkei only. In order to gain independent country status internationally, its President, Lucas Mangope, launched a campaign to build top-class facilities, including hospitals, schools and sports stadia. Bophuthatswana’s application to be declared an independent state outside the rule of South Africa was turned down in 1986. In 1993 the country’s population was 2 489 347. It was estimated that in the same year, her military force was some 4 000 soldiers.

Lucas Mangope became the first Prime Minister of Bophuthatswana in 1972, and retained the position until independence in 1977 after which he was appointed as the first President of the country. He remained in this position until 1994, when the country was reincorporated into South Africa. On 10 February 1988 Rocky Malabane-Metsing became the President of Bophuthatswana for a day when he took over government through a military coup. The situation was quickly reversed by the following day by the intervention of the South African government and Defence Force, and Mangope continued his presidency.

Its main political parties were the Christian Democratic Party and the Progressive People’s Party that was established in 1987 and later banned. Prior to 1994 a group of Afrikaner right-wingers attempted to stage a coup in Bophuthatswana, but the army and police dealt with the intruders, killing several on live television.

In March 1994 Bophuthatswana was placed under the control of two administrators, Tjaart van der Walt and Job Mokgoro. The small, widespread pieces of land were reincorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994. Bophuthatswana is part of the North West Province under Premier Edna Molewa.

Republic of Transkei, South Africa

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Originally the Transkei included the territories of Idutywa Reserve, Fingoland (Mfenguland) and Galekaland (Gcalekaland). Following their annexation they were restructured into the divisions of Butterworth, Tsomo and Nqamakwe for Fingoland; Kentani and Willowvale for Galekaland; and Idutywa for the Idutywa Reserve.

Transkei, former republic (though never internationally recognized as such) and Bantustan in Southern Africa. It lay along the Indian Ocean and was surrounded mainly by the Republic of South Africa, though to the north it also touched Lesotho. Transkei consisted of three separate land units, two much smaller than the third. The capital was at Umtata.

Transkei was administratively created by the South African government in 1959 as a non-independent Bantustan designated (together with Ciskei) for the Xhosa-speaking peoples. Transkei was made nominally independent in 1976 in order to serve as a legal homeland for millions of Xhosa-speaking blacks who had lost their South African citizenship under the apartheid system of racial separation.

By the early 2nd millennium ce, the area to the east of the Great Kei River was occupied by the ancestors of the present-day Cape Nguni. These peoples are primarily speakers of Xhosa and closely related dialects—Thembu (Tembu), Mpondo (Pondo), and Mpondomse (Mpondomise). After 1820 they were joined by the Mfengu (“Homeless Wanderers”), people of various chiefdoms from what is now the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, who were fleeing before the Zulu chief Shaka.

As Europeans (Boers) moved into the territory from the west, they clashed with the resident Africans, and in 1778 the Great Fish River was fixed as a boundary between the Xhosa (the southernmost Cape Nguni) and the Cape Colony; but the Xhosa did not understand that the treaty was intended to limit their westward expansion. The Europeans attached the name “Ciskei” to the Xhosa lands between the Great Fish and Great Kei rivers; those lands lying east of the Great Kei they called “Transkei.” A series of Cape Frontier Wars ensued between 1779 and 1879. In 1847 the British annexed Kaffraria, an area directly west of the Great Kei that was attached to the Cape Colony in 1866. Between 1879 and 1894 the other Transkeian geographic regions—Griqualand East, Pondoland, and Tembuland—were incorporated within the Cape Colony. In 1894 territorial councils were established, replacing the Cape Nguni’s traditional political system, and by the beginning of the 20th century, these were grouped under a single General Council for the Transkeian Territories. In 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed, these territories were incorporated into it as part of the Cape of Good Hope province.

Under the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act of 1959, Transkei became the first of the Bantu Homelands, or Bantustans, and in 1963 a Legislative Assembly was introduced, all of whose actions, however, had to be approved by South Africa. Upon the creation of a (nominally) independent Transkei in 1976, all black Africans with language ties to Transkei (whether or not they lived there) lost their South African citizenship and became citizens of the new country. TheOrganization of African Unity urged the world to shun Transkei on the grounds that recognition would constitute acceptance of apartheid, and the United Nations supported its view.

Under the South African constitution that abolished the apartheid system, Transkei was reincorporated into South Africa in 1994 as part of the newly created Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

Ciskei, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Xhosa people

The Ciskei Bantustan in the Eastern Cape was created as an enclave for the South Africa’s Xhosa-speaking people as part of apartheid racial segregation. Despite Government rhetoric that this ‘independent state’ would encourage cultural protection and separate development of these people, the Ciskei along with other Bantustans served to provide White South Africa with cheap, controlled labour pools.

The working population of Zwelitsha township, first declared the capital of Ciskei, were mostly employed in nearby ‘White’ towns such as Grahamstown. Later a new capital of Bisho in King Williams town was declared.

Ciskei history dates to the early 1920s, when the South African Union government restructured the Bunga system that was applied to administer the area under British colonial rule. The Bunga, which was an advisory council, comprising traditional authorities and the educated elite held little power. The Bunga local unit consisted of a headman or the traditional inkundla (local assemblies) system. Before colonial rule these were autonomous and their decisions were collective. Within the Bunga system, local assembly authority was subject to the Magistrate’s Court. The Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 withdrew their remaining power, bringing them under direct control of the government. Traditional authorities were thus bureaucratised. Chiefs and headmen were no longer accountable to their people, but to the government. The purpose of Bantu Authorities was to pave the way for the creation of Bantustans and racial segregation. This caused much anger.

The government of Ciskei was formed in 1961 after the South African government declared it a separate administrative territory. In 1972 the status was elevated to self-governing territory. This coincided with stronger efforts to forcibly remove Xhosa-speakers to Ciskei. On 4 December 1982, Ciskei became an independent republic, recognised only by the South African government and other ‘independent’ homeland states in South Africa.

Most South Africans rejected and fought against the idea of Ciskei. “Ciskeians” lost their South African citizenship. The Ciskei remained with its neighbour, Transkei, among the most neglected areas of South Africa. Jobs in the Ciskei were limited to government or government-sponsored projects, and South African-sponsored factories. Most of these factories were neither economically viable nor legal entities in terms of labour practice. They were mostly Taiwanese owned emerged out efforts to attract foreign investors with promises of cheap labour and repression of unions. These factories became the target of popular anger in the final days of the Apartheid regime. After the 1994 democratic elections in South Africa, bantustans were dissolved and the area known as Ciskei , restored to the Eastern Cape province.

Pietermaritzburg, South-Africa History

Umgungundlovu – Place of the Elephant

The symbol of Pietermaritzburg is the elephant. The Zulu King, Dingaan (died 1843), was known to his people as “The Elephant”. As a result, his residence was called Umgungundlovu (“The Abode of the Big Chief”) the literal translation being “The Abode of the Elephant”. When the Location System was established in Natal by the Colonial Government in the 1840s, each location was placed under the control of a Zulu chief, who was directly responsible to Lieutenant-Governor Martin West in the capital, Pietermaritzburg. By a natural transition, the capital became known to the Zulu’s as Umgungundlovu, the place where the Big Chief (Martin West) resided. This, then, is the significance of the elephant symbol of Pietermaritzburg, which features on the city’s crest. The azalea is the city’s floral emblem.

Pietermaritzburg is one of Africa’s most important historical cities. Contrary to its strong British Colonial architecture, the founding of the City of Pietermaritzburg had nothing to do with the British. In 1838, the Dutch-speaking Voortrekkers moved into Natal from the Cape and laid out a town between the Umsunduzi River and the Dorp Spruit (stream). They named it after their leader, Pieter Retief. At the time of the town’s centenary in 1938, it was decreed that the leader of the second trek into Natal, Gert Maritz, should also be commemorated and the city’s official name became Pietermaritzburg.

Here is a city proud of its heritage and determined to conserve buildings of character. Outstanding among the many Victorian and Edwardian buildings of red brick is the City Hall, built on the site of the old Voortrekker Raadsaal (meeting hall) in 1900 and declared a National Monument in 1969. Notable for its domes and fine stained glass windows, it is the largest all-brick building in the Southern Hemisphere and an ideal starting point for tourists. 
The city also has strong links with the French Royal House, through The Prince Imperial – Louis Napoleon. Pietermaritzburg has one of the most significant liberation histories in the world. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have extensive links with the city and the great liberal author Alan Paton was a Pietermaritzburg citizen. Another one of the city’s 39 historic (national) monuments, Publicity House, is only 100 metres from the City Hall. The international “I” (for information) sign ensures visitors a warm welcome. Maps and brochures are available, plus unique Pietermaritzburg and Colonial Natal souvenirs, postcards, and even video programs to show the folks back home.

On the morning of June 1, the troop set out, earlier than intended, and without the full escort, largely owing to Louis’s impatience. Led by Carey, the scouts rode deeper into Zululand. Without Harrison or Buller present to restrain him, the Prince took command from Carey, even though the latter had seniority.

At noon the troop was halted at a temporarily deserted kraal while Louis and Carey made some sketches of the terrain, and used part of the thatch to make a fire. No lookout was posted. As they were preparing to leave, about 40 Zulus fired upon them and rushed toward them screaming ……

A few hitching rails in the central area are reminders of the city’s romantic and leisurely past. One is outside the Imperial Hotel, from whence Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial of France, rode to his death in a Zulu ambush in 1879.

Another stands near the entrance to The Natal Witness, South Africa’s oldest daily newspaper, founded in 1846 by David Dale Buchanan, a Scottish immigrant. Opposite the newspaper offices are the soaring columns and copper domes of the old Natal Parliament buildings, where tourists catch a glimpse of the splendor of colonial days.

These buildings, and the old Supreme Court (Tatham Art Gallery) completed in 1871, are linked to the central network of quaint pedestrian lanes – a charming attraction for visitors. Upon the hill overlooking the city there is much evidence of the settlement’s transformation into a garrison town. Fort Napier was founded in 1943 when the 45th Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) camped there and remained for 15 years – a record in the British Army for the length of overseas service.

The fort’s St. George’s Church, built in 1897 by troops as a memorial to their comrades, and the nearby cemetery with its military graves dating back to the 1840s, are favorite spots for tourists who like to soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. Because of its founders, Pietermaritzburg played an important role in Afrikaner history, and the few tangible reminders of the trekking pioneers attract thousands of visitors every year.

After Pieter Retief’s death at the hands of the Zulu’s early in 1838 and the subsequent massacre of more than 600 Voortrekkers in the Weenen district, a vengeful commando under the leadership of Andries Pretorius defeated the Zulu army at the Battle of Blood River on December 16, 1838.

At a prayer meeting before the action, the Boers vowed to build a church if they were granted victory, and the Church of the Vow was completed in 1841 in Pietermaritzburg. It is now a fine museum.Andries Pretorius’ house and statues of Retief and Maritz complete this popular tourist complex.

Also evident is the later contribution of the city’s Indian population, descendants of indentured labour brought to Natal in the 1860s to work in the sugar cane fields. They added a distinct Eastern blend – Hindu temples, Moslem mosques, colourful saris, spice shops and the annual fire-walking ceremony on Good Friday.

Pretoria, Gauteng

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History
First inhabitants

The Southern Transvaal Ndebele occupied the river valley, which was to become the location of the city of Pretoria, by around 1600. During the difaqane in Natal, another band of refugees arrived in this area under the leadership of Mzilikazi. However, they were forced to abandon their villages in their flight from a regiment of Zulu raiders in 1832.

The first “Boer” homestead in the Pretoria area was probably the home of J.G.S. Bronkhorst, who settled in the Fountains Valley in 1840. More Boer families put down roots around the nearby Elandspoort settlement. In 1854, two years after the Sand River Convention conferred formal independence on the territory north of the Vaal River, the residents of Elandspoort had the village proclaimed the ‘kerkplaas’ for central Transvaal. This made it the focal point for communions, baptisms and weddings.

The Founding of Pretoria

Pretoria itself was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. Andries Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal. Pretoria, at it’s founding year, consisted of about 80 houses and 300 residents.

Pretoria became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860. The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers’ settlement movements of the Great Trek.

Development of Pretoria as we know it today

Commandant-General Marthinus Wessel Pretorius had bought a large amount of land in the area, which was taken over by the government as they foresaw the development of a large centre. The town proper began to take shape in 1856 as a result of Andries du Toit, a presidential advisor, exchanging of one of his Basutho ponies for the entire area known, today, as Arcadia. He spent the next two years surveying his property with pegs and chains. Stephanus Meintjies developed the area and was honoured by having a nearby hillock named Meinjieskop. This resulted in Pretoria extending from Potgieter Street in the west to Prinsloo Street in the east and from Boom Street in the North to Scheiding Street in the South.

Not long after its establishment it became known as the ‘city of roses’ because its climate encouraged the growth of rambler roses, which covered gardens and hedges all around the city. In 1888 J.D. Cilliers, a resident ad avid gardener, imported Jacaranda trees from Rio de Janeiro to plant in his Myrtle Grove garden. These trees flourished and as a result the city is now aptly known as the ‘Jacaranda City’, with about 50 000 Jacarandas lining its streets.

The British annexed the Transvaal in April 1877, which resulted in a steady flow of immigrants and migrants. During the Transvaal War of Independence the British withdrew and Paul Kruger took over.

The Boer Republics of the ZAR and the Orange Free State were united with the Cape Colony and Natal Colony in 1910 to become the Union of South Africa. Pretoria then became the administrative capital of the whole of South Africa, with Cape Town the legislative capital. Between 1860 and 1994, the city was also the capital of the province of Transvaal, superseding Potchefstroom in that role.

On 14 October 1931, Pretoria achieved official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria remained its administrative capital.

Post Apartheid

After the creation of new municipal structures across South Africa in 2000, the name Tshwane was adopted for the Metropolitan Municipality that includes Pretoria and surrounding towns.

Pretoria previously had a rather sinister image as “the capital of Apartheid South Africa”. However, Pretoria’s political reputation was changed with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black President at the Union Buildings in the same city.

In 1994 Peter Holmes Maluleka was elected as transitional mayor of Pretoria, until the first democratic election held later that year, making him the first black mayor of this capital of South Africa. Maluleka later became the chairman of the Greater Pretoria Metropolitan City Council (later Tshwane Metro Council), then was elected Speaker of the Tshwane Metro Council and in 2004 was chosen to be a member of the South African Parliament for the Soshanguve constituency.

Significant Landmarks

Church Square has always been the hub of Pretoria, although it was initially called Market Square. This was where the first church, a mud-walled building, was built. It burnt down in 1882 and was replaced by a much grander structure. Open markets were regularly held in the Square and Albert Broderick, an Englishman christened Albertus Broodryk, by his Afrikaans friends and customers established himself as shopkeeper. He also ran the community’s first bar, the ‘Hole-in-the-Wall’.

When Mr. Sammy Marks, a well-known Jewish industrialist and close friend of President Paul Kruger, was allowed to build the town’s first synagogue he expressed his pleasure by commissioning the sculptor Anton van Wouw to produce a statue of the president. A plinth was erected in Church Square to receive the bronze figure that had been cast in Rome. Unfortunately the South African War broke out and the statue was held up in the then Lorenzo Marques. This resulted in the statue only being erected in 1854, after several changes of site. Church Square was redesigned as a tramway in 1910, much to the disappointment of many of Pretoria’s residents who had tried to convince the civic authorities to create a gracious area of fountains, gardens and Continental-style paving in order to showcase Pretoria as a city.

During the rule of the old dispensation Pretoria was the Administrative capital of South Africa. The modern city has many features that retain a position of importance in, especially, the white history of the country. These include the Union Buildings, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, which still houses government establishments; the old Raadsaal (council chamber) of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek on Church Square and the house where President Paul Kruger lived until his exile in 1900.

Outside the city towers the Voortrekker Monument and the two massive forts, Klapperkop and Schanskop, built by the Boers to protect their capital against the British. Here you can also find the large and imposing buildings of the University of South Africa (UNISA).