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

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).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We wish all people over the world a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may you be blessed for 2015 and be safe during festive season. From Afrikaya Leisure Travel and Afrikaya Tours

Merry_Christmas

Johannesburg, Gauteng

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Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Joburg, Jolburg, Joni, e-Goli orJoeys, abbreviated as JHB, is, by population, the largest city in South Africa. Johannesburg is the provincial capital ofGauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. The city is one of the 50 largest urban agglomerations in the world, and is also the world’s largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline.

While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, which has the final word on interpretation of South Africa’s constitution, and is the provincial capital of Gauteng. The city is the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills.

According to the 2007 Community Survey, the population of the city of Johannesburg was 4,434,827 and the population of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area was 7,151,447. A broader definition of the Johannesburg metropolitan area, including Ekurhuleni, the West Rand, Soweto and Lenasia, has a population of 10,267,700. The municipal city’s land area of 1,645 km2 (635 sq mi) is very large when compared with that of other cities, resulting in a moderate population density of 2,364/km2 (6,120/sq mi).

Johannesburg includes Soweto, which was a separate city from the late 1970s until the 1990s. Originally an acronym for “SOuth-WEstern TOwnships”, Soweto originated as a collection of settlements on the outskirts of Johannesburg populated mostly by native African workers in the gold-mining industry. In 1985 Mr. Nigel Mandy (BA Law – CA), who was the first General Manager of the Carlton Centre, published a book called “A City Divided” – meaning Soweto and Johannesburg cities were divided from a fiscal point of view, were divided by law and people – he also assisted the Provincial Government of the old Transvaal as well as post 1994, in developing a process whereby Black, Coloured, Indian and White people could become homeowners previously deprived from ownership during the apartheid era. (Ronnie Stevens – Gauteng Human Settlements – 2014) Eventually incorporated into Johannesburg, the apartheidgovernment (in power 1948–1994) separated Soweto from the rest of Johannesburg to make it an entirely black-residents area. The area called Lenasia has always been part of the City of Johannesburg. Lenasia is predominantly populated by those of English-speaking Indian ethnicity.

Etosha National Park

Etsosha

Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia. The park was proclaimed a game reserve on March 22, 1907 in Ordinance 88 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist. It was designated as Wildschutzgebiet Nr. 2 which means Game Reserve Number 2, in numerical order after West Caprivi (Game Reserve No. 1) and preceding Namib Game Reserve (No. 3). In 1958, Game Reserve No. 2 became Etosha Game Park and was elevated to status of National Park in 1967 by an act of parliament of the Republic of South Africa which administered South-West Africa during that time.

Etosha National Park spans an area of 22,270 square kilometres (8,600 sq mi) and gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The Etosha pan (4,760 square kilometres (1,840 sq mi)) covers 23% of the area of the total area of the Etosha National Park.[2] The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.

The park is located in the Kunene region and shares boundaries with the regions of Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa.

Zambia

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The Federation was dissolved in 1963, its only enduring monument the Kariba Dam across the Zambezi, intended by the federalists to bind Northern and southern Rhodesia forever. In January the following year Zambia’s first universal adult suffrage elections were held and though the ANC performed well in a few substantial areas, UNIP won convincingly, Kaunda becoming Prime Minister. Then at midnight on 24th October 1964, Zambia became an independent republic with him as president.

The one-party state was abolished and free elections were held in October 1991. Kaunda and UNIP were defeated eighty per cent to twenty per cent by the newly formed Movement for Multi-party Democracy, a broad coalition of different interest groups.

The Great Rift Valley, which cleaves the earth from the Lower Zambezi River in Southern Zambia to the headwaters of the Nile in Egypt, is now known to be one of the cradles of the human race, and Zambia’s present population lives on lands that have been inhabited by our forebears for uncountable aeons.

Archaeologists have established that in the northern African Rift Valley, the civilizing process got underway at least 3 million years ago, and crude stone implements, similar to some of that age found in Kenya, have also been found beside the Zambezi River.

Early stone age sites have been unearthed in many parts of Zambia, the most significant being at the Kalambo Falls in the North and at Victoria Falls in the south. At the former there is evidence that primitive humans began using fire systematically some 60,000 years ago. At the latter, a complex has been fully exposed showing the development of skills from the most distant past (this ‘dig’ is enclosed at the Field Museum at the Victoria Falls).

The skull of Broken Hill Man, dated to 70,000 years ago, gives an indication of what humans of that period looked like.

It was during the next phase – the middle Stone Age – with its refinement in the manufacture of tools, differentiation between populations, and burial of the dead, that modern man probably emerged in Zambia, at least 25 000 years ago.

We may imagine family groups of small-statured people living near water and sustaining themselves by hunting the abundant game as well as gathering fruits, tubers and honey from their surroundings (some skulls show serious tooth decay caused by honey?) They would often be on the move, following the antelope as they migrated with the seasons. By 15,000 years ago, the Late Stone Age commenced.

People began to live in caves and rock shelters, the walls of which they decorated with paintings. Very few of these have survived Zambia’s seasonally humid climate, and those which have, do not display the sophistication found in the Rock Art found in Zimbabwe or South Africa. But a surviving drawing of an eland at Katolola in the Eastern Province suggests that this art was more than decorative, that it had a ritual or religious meaning: it has been shown in South Africa that this animal was sacred to the Late Stone Age people there.

This spiritual and artistic development occurred alongside another, the invention of the bow and arrow, which revolutionized hunting and also gave humans a mechanical weapon of war, a musical instrument, and a method of starting fire! It has been determined that the people of the Late Stone Age neither tilled the soil nor kept livestock.

Malawi

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The Malawian people are, without doubt, its greatest asset: friendly and welcoming to a fault. Every visitor is met with a smile and the warmth of the welcome is genuine and long-lasting. With a population of a little more than 14 million, Malawi is one of the more densely peopled countries of this part of Africa. Most of the population is rural, living largely in fascinating traditional villages. Many of today’s Malawians are descendants of the Bantu people who moved across Africa and into Malawi for hundreds of years up to the fifteenth century.

Tribes

There is a rich cultural mix in Malawi with the Chewa being the most numerous tribe. Others include the Yao, the Nyanja and the Maravi. In the north the Tumbuka are prominent. Each tribe has contributed to the modern Malawi scene, whether it be in dress or dance or language. Masks are commonly used in various dances and ceremonies and these are usually tribe-specific, the best known being the Gule Wamkulu, performed by the Nyau of the Chewa. Traditional (African) doctors still attract many people and the two main ‘modern’ religions, Christianity and Islam, frequently exhibit a continuing adherence to traditional beliefs.

Namibia

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Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east.

This country is home to vibrant cities where people are excited about the future, while remaining deeply connected to their rich, cultural past.   A stable, democratic government, infrastructure that allows guests to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons that beckon you to explore define this country and its people. 

Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul. 

This is Namibia, where you are sure to find adventure, and you may just find yourself. 

Our Bushmen?

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Southern Africa’s first people. The people with no name. For when you are the only ones, you have no need to distinguish your kind from others. Those whose exclusive domain once stretched from the Zambezi to the Cape of Good Hope, from the Atlantic to the Indian Oceans. Their Tswana neighbors in the Kalahari, who arrived here 1,200 years ago, call them the Basarwa, the “people who have nothing.” Their pastoralist cousins, the Khoi, call them San, outsiders or vagabonds. They are a people with an ancient past but almost no recorded history, save for one glorious exception, rock paintings of antelope and elephants, dancers and hunters, some of which remain startlingly vivid despite being lashed by wind and rain and baked by sun for 3,000 years. The most recent paintings show sailing ships and mounted horsemen. Then there were no more.

We can also arrange for you a 2-3 night adventure with the bushmans in the Kalahari! Learn how they hunt, eat, living, tracking, story telling and more….

Cecil John Rhodes

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Names: Rhodes, Cecil John

Born: 5 July 1853, England

Died: 26 March 1902, Muizenberg, Cape Colony

In summary: South African statesman, proponent of British imperialism, and businessman after whom Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) was named

Cecil John Rhodes was born on 5 July 1853 in England. He was the fifth son of Francis William Rhodes and his second wife, Louisa Peacock. A priest of the Church of England, his father served as curate of Brentwood Essex for fifteen years, until 1849, when he became the vicar of Bishops Stortford, where he remained until 1876. Rhodes had nine brothers and two sisters and attended the grammar school at Bishops Stortford. He fell ill shortly after leaving school and, as his lungs were affected, it was decided that he should visit his brother who had recently immigrated to Natal. He arrived in Durban on 1 September 1870. He brought three thousands pounds his aunt had lent him and used it to invest in diamond diggings in Kimberley.

After a brief stay with the Surveyor-General of Natal, Dr. P. C. Sutherland, in Pietermaritzburg, Rhodes joined his brother Herbert on his cotton farm in the Umkomaas valley in Natal. In October 1871 Rhodes left the colony for the diamond fields of Kimberley. He supervised the working of his brother’s claim and speculated on his behalf. Among his associates in the early days were John X Merriman and C D Rudd, who later became his partner in the De Beers Mining Company.

In 1872 Rhodes suffered a slight heart attack. Partly to recuperate, but also to investigate the prospects of finding gold in the interior, the Rhodes brothers trekked north by ox wagon. Their trek took them along the missionary road in Bechuanaland as far north as Mafeking, then eastwards through the Transvaal as far as the Murchison range. The journey inspired a love of the country in Rhodes and marked the beginning of his interest in the road to the north and the northern interior itself.

In 1873 Rhodes left his diamond fields in the care of his partner, Rudd, and sailed for England to complete his studies. He was admitted to Oriel College, but only stayed for one term in 1873 and only returned for his second term in 1876. He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin’s inaugural lecture at Oxford, which reinforced his own attachment to the cause of British imperialism. Among his Oxford associates were Rochefort Maguire, later a fellow of All Souls and a director of the British South Africa Company, and Charles Metcalfe. His university career engendered in Rhodes his admiration for the Oxford ‘system’ which was eventually to mature in his scholarship scheme: ‘Wherever you turn your eye – except in science – an Oxford man is at the top of the tree’.

Whilst at Oxford, Rhodes continued to prosper in Kimberley. Before his departure for Oxford he and Rudd had moved from the Kimberley mine to invest in the more costly claims of what was known as old De Beers (Vooruitzicht) which owed its name to Johannes Nicolaas de Beer and his brother, Diederik Arnoldus de Beer, the original owners of the farm Vooruitzicht.

In 1874 and 1875 the diamond fields were in the grip of depression, but Rhodes and Rudd were among those who stayed to consolidate their interests. They believed that diamonds would be numerous in the hard blue ground that had been exposed after the softer, yellow layer near the surface had been worked out. During this time the technical problem of clearing out the water that was flooding the mines became serious and he and Rudd obtained the contract for pumping the water out of the three main mines.

In April 1880 Rhodes and Rudd launched the De Beers Mining Company after the amalgamation of a number of individual claims. With 200 000 pounds capital the Company, of which Rhodes was secretary, owned the largest interest in the mine. In 1880 Rhodes prepared to enter public life at the Cape. With the incorporation of Griqualand West into the Cape Colony in 1877 the area obtained six seats in the Cape House of Assembly. Rhodes chose the constituency of Barkley West, a rural constituency in which Boer voters predominated. Barkley West remained faithful to Rhodes even after the Jameson Raid and he continued as its member until his death.

The chief preoccupation of the Cape Parliament when Rhodes became a member was the future of Basutoland, where the ministry of Sir Gordon Sprigg was trying to restore order after a rebellion in 1880. The ministry had precipitated the revolt by applying its policy of disarmament to the Basuto. In 1890 Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and implemented laws that would benefit mine and industry owners. He introduced the Glen Grey Act to push Black people from their lands and make way for industrial development.

Rhodes’ policies were instrumental in the development of British imperial policies in South Africa. He did not, however, have direct political power over the Boer Republic of the Transvaal. He often disagreed with the Transvaal government’s policies and felt he could use his money and his power to overthrow the Boer government and install a British colonial government supporting mine-owners’ interests in its place. In 1895 Rhodes supported an attack on the Transvaal. It was a failure and Rhodes had to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape.

Rhodes also used his wealth to pursue his dream of expanding Britain’s empire in Africa. His British South Africa Company, which had a police force, was used to colonise Mashonaland, present Zimbabwe. They had hoped to start a ‘new Rand’ from the ancient gold mines of the Mashona, but the gold had been worked out of the ground long before. The White settlers who accompanied the British South Africa Company to Mashonaland became farmers. When the Matabele and the Mashona rebelled against the coming of the White settlers to their land, the British South Africa Company police crushed them. The conquered lands were named Southern and Northern Rhodesia, to honour Rhodes. Today, these are the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

He died at Muizenberg on March 26 in 1902.