29 Harvard Road, Roadsfield, Kempton Park
Tel: +27 11 394 5968 Fax: +27 86 743 4930
O. R. Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNB, ICAO: FAOR) (ORTIA) is a major airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa, near the city of Johannesburg. It serves as the primary airport for domestic and international travel to/from South Africa and is Africa's busiest airport with a capacity to handle up to 28 million passengers annually. The airport is the hub of South Africa's largest international and domestic carrier, South African Airways (SAA), and a number of smaller local airlines.
It was formerly officially known as Johannesburg International Airport and before that as Jan Smuts International Airport (hence the airport's former ICAO code, "FAJS") after South Africa's internationally renowned statesman by that name. The first renaming was done in 1994 when the newly reformed South African government implemented a national policy of not naming airports after politicians. The policy was however reversed later, and the airport renamed again on 27 October 2006 after Oliver Tambo, a former President of the African National Congress. - Content & Photograph Courtessy of Wikipedia.org
O. R. Tambo International Airport
Gautrain is an 80-kilometre (50 mi) mass rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. It was built to relieve the traffic congestion in the Johannesburg–Pretoria traffic corridor and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg has limited public transport infrastructure. The project was completed with the opening on 7 June 2012 of the final section between Rosebank and Johannesburg Park Station, which had been delayed by problems with excess water seeping into the tunnel between the two stations.
Ten stations are in operation:
Johannesburg English: (joe-hannes-burg); Afrikaans: (yo-hannes-berggg) also known as Jozi, Joburg, Joni, eGoli or Joeys, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, 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 metropolitan areas in the world, and is also the world's largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline. It claims to be the lightning capital of the world, though this title is also claimed by others.
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. 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.
Johannesburg is served by two international and one domestic airport. O.R. Tambo International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Africa and a gateway for international air travel to and from the rest of Southern Africa is to the east of the city and Lanseria International Airport to the west. Rand Airport to the south east only handles general aviation flights, though it has the capacity for large jet aircraft.
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 to 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. Eventually incorporated into Johannesburg, the apartheid regime (in power 1948–1994) separated Soweto from the rest of Johannesburg to make it a completely Black 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.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations; in 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.
The matches were played in ten stadiums in nine host cities around the country, with the final played at the Soccer City stadium in South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg. Thirty-two teams were selected for participation via a worldwide qualification tournament that began in August 2007. In the first round of the tournament finals, the teams competed in round-robin groups of four teams for points, with the top two teams in each group proceeding. These sixteen teams advanced to the knockout stage, where three rounds of play decided which teams would participate in the final.
In the final, Spain, the European champions, defeated third-time finalists the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time, with Andrés Iniesta's goal in the 116th minute giving Spain their first world title, becoming the eighth nation to win the tournament, and the first European nation to win the tournament outside its home continent. Host nation South Africa, 2006 world champions Italy and 2006 runners-up France were all eliminated in the first round of the tournament. It was the first time that the hosts were eliminated in the first round. New Zealand with their three draws were the only undefeated team in the tournament, but were also eliminated in the first round.
2010 FIFA World Cup
JSE Limited (previously the JSE Securities Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange) is the largest stock exchange in Africa. It is situated at the corner of Maude Street and Gwen Lane in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2003 the JSE had an estimated 472 listed companies and a market capitalisation of US$182.6 billion (€158 billion), as well as an average monthly traded value of US$6.399 billion (€5.5 billion). As of 31 December 2012, the market capitalisation of the JSE was at US$903 billion. The JSE is currently the 14th largest stock exchange worldwide.
The JSE is planning to create a pan-African exchange by initially enabling investors to trade in shares from Ghana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Later it intends to expand this across the rest of Africa.
The Nelson Mandela National Museum, commonly referred to as the Mandela House, is the house on Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto, South Africa, that former South African president Nelson Mandela lived in from 1946 to 1962. It is located at number 8115, at the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane streets, as short distance up the road from Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Mandela donated the house to the Soweto Heritage Trust (of which he is the founder) on 1 September 1997, to be run as a museum. It was declared a National Heritage Site in 1999. The house is a single-story red-brick matchbox built in 1945. It has bullet holes in the walls and the facade has scorch marks from attacks with Molotov cocktails. The inside hosts some original furnishings and memorabilia including photographs, citations given to Nelson Mandela and the word championship belt given to Mandela by Sugar Ray Leonard. As of 2009 the property includes a visitors' centre and a small museum.
n 1999 Soweto was the 16th most popular place for tourists to South Africa to visit and part of that popularity was ascribed to the opening of Mandela House in December 1997.
Mandela returned to the house after his release from prison in 1990, despite suggestions from government officials that he find a safer home. At a rally welcoming him home to Soweto his opening words were, "I have come home at last." However, after 11 days back at the house he moved out again.
He later wrote in his autobiography:
That night I returned with Winnie to No. 8115 in Orlando West. It was only then that I knew in my heart I had left prison. For me No. 8115 was the centre point of my world, the place marked with an X in my mental geography.
Nelson Mandela National Museum
Montecasino is a leisure and casino complex located at No.1 Montecasino Boulevard in Fourways, Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Montecasino is built on 26 hectares of land. It was designed and built by South African architect company, Bentel Associates International, at a cost of R1.6 billion rand. It first opened its doors on 30 November 2000. It currently attracts over 9.3 million visitors annually. It is themed after Monte Cassino It has been meticulously designed to replicate an ancient Tuscan village. The main building with the casino even has a fake sky, painted on the roof, inside going from light to dark from one side to the other.
Montecasino is owned by Tsogo Sun. Tsogo Sun is a partnership between Southern Sun and Tsogo Investments. Tsogo Investments is a black empowerment group and the hotel component of Tsogo Sun's casinos are developed and managed by Southern Sun. Tsogo Sun holds the casino license for Montecasino.
The Union Buildings (Afrikaans: Die Uniegebou) form the official seat of the South African government and also house the offices of the president of South Africa. The imposing buildings are located in Pretoria, atop Meintjieskop at the northern end of Arcadia, close to historic Church Square and the Voortrekker Monument. The large gardens of the Buildings are nestled between Government Avenue, Vermeulen Street East, Church Street, the R104 and Blackwood Street. Fairview Avenue is a closed road where only officials can enter to the Union Buildings. Though not in the center of Pretoria the Union Buildings occupy the highest point of Pretoria, and constitute a South African national heritage site.
The Buildings are one of the centres of political life in South Africa; "The Buildings" and "Arcadia" have become metonyms for the South African government. It has become an iconic landmark of Pretoria and South Africa in general, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and an emblem of democracy. The Buildings are the location of presidential inaugurations.
These buildings, built from light sandstone, were designed by the architect Sir Herbert Baker in the English monumental style and are 285 m long. They have a semi-circular shape, with the two wings at the sides, this serves to represent the union of a formerly divided people. The clock chimes are identical to those of Big Ben in London. The east and west wings, as well as the twin-domed towers, represent two languages, English and Afrikaans, and the inner court symbolizes the Union of South Africa. These buildings are considered by many to be the architect's greatest achievement and a South African architectural masterpiece. The Nelson Mandela statue in Sandton City's Nelson Mandela Square was commissioned originally to stand on the spot where Nelson Mandela gave his inaugural address.
The building was sited on a disused quarry, which now makes up the amphitheatre. The matching statues on top of the domed towers are Atlas, holding up the world, sculpted by Abraham Broadbent. The statue on the domed rostrum in the amphitheatre between the wings is Mercury, a mythic Roman messenger and a god of trade, sculpted by George Ness. The closest suburb to the Union Buildings is Arcadia, which means "Playground Of Gods". Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world, after Washington, D.C., most of which are located in or near Arcadia.
The design of each level differs, and therefore each stone had to be individually cut. The Architectural styles of the building ranges from the lower levels' Edwardian style to the top levels' Cape Dutch design with shutters on the windows. The windows from bottom to top are elongated and become shorter towards the top floor. This is to give the illusion of height.
The Union Buildings are the site of presidential inaugurations. The official offices of the president are on the left-hand side of the Union Buildings, and the South African national flag is flown on the left-hand side if the president is in office.
The Buildings are divided into three sections; the left offices, amphitheatre, and right offices. All are 95 metres in length. Each offices block contains three inner courtyards providing light and air to the offices. Each block has a basement and three floors above ground. The central curved building behind the colonnade houses the committee rooms, a library and conference rooms while the basement contains the kitchen, dining rooms and lounges.
The interior is treated in the Cape Dutch style: carved teak fanlights, heavy doors, dark ceiling beams contrasting with white plaster walls and heavy wood furniture.
The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site first named by UNESCO in 1999, about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Gauteng province. This site currently occupies 47,000 hectares (180 sq mi); it contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed Mrs. Ples) was found in 1947 by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull, "Taung Child", by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue.
The name Cradle of Humankind reflects the fact that the site has produced a large number, as well as some of the oldest, hominin fossils ever found, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago. Sterkfontein alone has produced more than a third of early hominid fossils ever found.
In 1935 Robert Broom found the first ape-man fossils at Sterkfontein and began work at this site. In 1938 a young schoolboy, Gert Terrblanche, brought Raymond Dart fragments of a skull from nearby Kromdraai which later were identified as Paranthropus robustus. Also in 1938 a single ape-man tooth was found at the Cooper's site between Kromdraai and Sterkfontein. In 1948 the Camp-Peabody Expedition from the United States worked at Bolts Farm and Gladysvale looking for fossil hominids but failed to find any. Later in 1948 Robert Broom identified the first hominid remains from Swartkrans cave. In 1954 C.K. Brain began working at sites in the Cradle including Coopers and he soon would initiate his three decade work at Swartkrans cave which would result in the recovery of the second largest sample of hominid remains from the Cradle. The oldest controlled use of fire was also discovered at Swartkrans and dated to over 1 million years ago.
In 1966 Phillip Tobias began his excavations of Sterkfontein which are still continuing and are the longest continuously running fossil excavations in the world. In 1991 Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand discovered the first hominid specimens from the Gladysvale site making this the first new early hominid site to be discovered in South Africa in 48 years. In 1994 Andre Keyser discovered fossil hominids at the site of Drimolen. In 1997 Kevin Kuykendall and Colin Menter of the University of the Witwatersrand found two fossil hominid teeth at the site of Gondolin. Also in 1997, the near-complete Australopithecus skeleton of "Little Foot", dating to around 3.3 million years ago (although more recent dates suggest it is closer to 2.5 million years ago), was discovered by Ron Clarke. In 2001 Steve Churchill of Duke University and Lee Berger found early modern human remains at Plovers Lake. Also in 2001 the first hominid fossils and stone tools were discovered in-situ at Coopers. In 2010, Lee Berger discovered the partial remains of two hominids (Australopithecus sediba) in the Malapa Fossil Site that lived between 1.78 and 1.95 million years ago.
Cradle of Humankind
Vredefort Dome crater is the largest verified impact crater to have existed on Earth, more than 300 km across. It was located in the present-day Free State Province of South Africa and named after the town of Vredefort, which is situated near its centre. While the crater itself has long since eroded away, remaining geological structures at its centre are known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. In 2005, the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest.
The asteroid that hit Vredefort is estimated to have been one of the largest ever to strike Earth (at least since the Hadean eon some four billion years ago), thought to have been approximately 5–10 km (3.1–6.2 mi) in diameter. The bolide that created the Sudbury Basin could have been even larger.
The original crater was estimated to have a diameter of roughly 300 km (190 mi), although this has been eroded away. It would have been larger than the 250 km (160 mi) Sudbury Basin and the 180 km (110 mi) Chicxulub Crater. The remaining structure, the "Vredefort Dome", consists of a partial ring of hills 70 km in diameter, and are the remains of a dome created by the rebound of rock below the impact site after the collision.
The crater's age is estimated to be 2.023 billion years (± 4 million years), which places it in the Paleoproterozoic era. It is the second-oldest known crater on Earth, a little less than 300 million years younger than the Suavjärvi Crater in Russia. In comparison, it is about 10% older than the Sudbury Basin impact (at 1.849 billion years).
The dome in the center of the crater was originally thought to have been formed by a volcanic explosion, but in the mid-1990s, evidence revealed it was the site of a huge bolide impact, as telltale shatter cones were discovered in the bed of the nearby Vaal River.
The crater site is one of the few multiple-ringed impact craters on Earth, although they are more common elsewhere in the Solar System. Perhaps the best-known example is Valhalla Crater on Jupiter's moon Callisto, although Earth's Moon has a number, as well. Geological processes, such as erosion and plate tectonics, have destroyed most multiple-ring craters on Earth.
The nearby Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) and Witwatersrand Basin were created during this same period, leading to speculation that the Vredefort bolide's mass and kinetics were of sufficient magnitude to induce regional volcanism. The BIC is the location of most of the world's known reserves of platinum group metals, while the Witwatersrand basin holds most of the known reserves of gold.
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq. mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in north-eastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. The administrative headquarters are in Skukuza. Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa's first national park in 1926.
To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Trans frontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve (the "Biosphere").
The park has 9 main gates that allow entrance to the different camps. The park lies in the north-east of South Africa, in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Phalaborwa, Limpopo is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger National Park. It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) The park is approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) long, and has an average width of 65 kilometres (40 mi). At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometres (56 mi) wide from east to west.
To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 km distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 m in the east and 840 m in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers.
The climate of the Kruger National Park and Lowveld is subtropical. Summer days are humid and hot with temperatures often soaring to above 38 °C (100 °F). The rainy season is from September until May. The Kruger National Park website lists September and October as the driest periods, culminating in rains late in October. The dry winter season is the ideal time to visit this region for various reasons. There is less chance of contracting malaria and the days are milder. Viewing wildlife is more rewarding as the vegetation is more sparse and animals are drawn to the waterholes to drink every morning and evening.
Kruger National Park
Mapungubwe National Park is a national park in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is located by the Kolope River, south of the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers and about 15 km to the NE of the Venetia Diamond Mine. It abuts on the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, and forms part of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It was established in 1995 and covers an area of over 28 000 hectares. The park protects the historical site of Mapungubwe Hill, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe, as well as the wildlife and riverine forests along the Limpopo River. The Mapungubwe Hill was the site of a community dating back to the Iron Age. Evidences have shown that it was a prosperous community. Archaeologists also uncovered the famous golden rhino figurine from the site. It is one of the few places in Africa that has both Meerkats and Nile crocodiles.
Mapungubwe National Park is renowned for its scenic landscape. Unique sandstone formations, woodlands, riverine forest and baobab trees combine to give it a fascinating look.
The park supports numerous animals and bird species. Beside the usual residents like the elephant, giraffe, white rhino, lions, leopards and hyenas, there are numerous antelope species in the park. A total of 400 species of birds have been recorded from the park, including Pel’s Fishing Owl, Kori bustard, and Tropical Boubou.
The status of the park as part of the Transfrontier Conservation Area is severely threatened by the planned exploitation of coal reserves in the immediate vicinity of the reserve. An open-cast coal mine and power plant are planned in the buffer zone of the National Park, which threaten its Natural and Cultural values. In addition, the large amount of water required for the mining activities will impact the ecology of a large part of the region.
Mapungubwe National Park
Durban (Zulu: eThekwini, from itheku meaning 'bay / lagoon') is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is also the 2nd most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa and Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. The municipality, which includes neighbouring towns, has a population of almost 3.5 million, making the combined municipality the biggest city on the east coast of the African continent. The metropolitan land area of 2,292 square kilometres (885 sq mi) is comparatively larger than other South African cities, resulting in a somewhat lower population density of 1,513 /km 2 (3,920 /sq mi).
Archaeological evidence from the Drakensberg mountains suggests that the Durban area has been inhabited by communities of hunter-gatherers since 100,000 BC. These people lived throughout the area of present day KwaZulu-Natal until the expansion of Bantu farmers and pastoralists from the north saw their gradual displacement,incorporation or extermination.
Little is known of the history of the first residents, as there is no written history of the area until it was sighted by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who sailed parallel to the KwaZulu-Natal coast at Christmastide in 1497 while searching for a route from Europe to India. He named the area "Natal", or Christmas in Portuguese.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a stadium in Durban, South Africa, named after Moses Mabhida, a former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party. It is a multi-use stadium.
It was one of the host stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium has a capacity of 62,760 during the World Cup and 54,000 afterwards. The stadium is adjacent to the Kings Park Stadium, in the Kings Park Sporting Precinct, and the Durban street circuit used for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
It includes a sports institute, and a transmodal transport station.
This newly built stadium is located on the grounds of the Kings Park Soccer Stadium, in the Durban sports precinct in the suburb of Stamford Hill. The stadium had the capacity to hold 62,760 spectators during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Its design allows the stadium seating to be adjusted; 54,000 for local matches or up to 80,000 for events such as the Olympic Games. It has two permanent tiers of seating, a temporary third one has been added for the World Cup.
There are 150 corporate hospitality suites with 7,500 seats.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
The uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site in Southern Africa, covering 242,813 ha (2,428 km2) of area. The park spans parts of both South Africa, in its KwaZulu-Natal province, and Lesotho. The park includes Royal Natal National Park, a provincial park, and Drakensberg National Park, which covers part of Drakensberg, the highest mountain in Southern Africa.
On 30 November 2000, the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park was added to the World Heritage List. It is described by UNESCO as having "exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts...the site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants...[and it] also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara.
Most of the higher South African parts of the Drakensberg mountain range have been designated as game reserves or wilderness areas. The uKhahlamba or Drakensberg National Park, located in KwaZulu-Natal, near the border with Lesotho, is also in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (under the Ramsar Convention). Adjacent to the Drakensberg National Park is Cathkin Estates Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary which spans 1044HA of virgin grassland and represents the largest privately owned game park in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg region.
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park
The Garden Route (Afrikaans: Tuinroete) is a popular stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. It stretches from Heidelberg in the Western Cape to the Storms River which is crossed along the N2 coastal highway over the Paul Sauer Bridge in the extreme western reach of the neighbouring Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley; with George, the Garden Route's largest city and main administrative centre.
It has an oceanic climate, with mild to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. It has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world, after Hawaii, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Temperatures rarely fall below 10°C in winter and rarely climb beyond 28°C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in the spring months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast.
The Route is sandwiched between the aforementioned mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest and offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of bird life are to be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right Whale which come there to calve in the winter and spring (July to December).
The Garden Route is home to golf courses, forests, shopping malls, retirement homes, craft villages and the worlds highest bridge bungy jump, the Bloukrans Bridge Bungy.
Table Mountain (Afrikaans: Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. The view from the top of Table Mountain has been described as one of the most epic views in Africa.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
The cliffs of the main plateau are split by Platteklip Gorge ("Flat Stone Gorge"), which provides an easy and direct ascent to the summit and was the route taken by António de Saldanha on the first recorded ascent of the mountain in 1503.
The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain's slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called "table cloth" of cloud. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks. When the table cloth is seen, it symbolizes the contest.
Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula. To the south of the main plateau is a lower part of the range called the Back Table. On the Atlantic coast of the peninsula, the range is known as the Twelve Apostles. The range continues southwards
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in the historic heart of Cape Town's working harbour is South Africa's most-visited destination, having the highest rate of foreign tourists of any attraction in the country. Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain and set against a backdrop of sea and mountain views, it offers a variety of shopping and entertainment options to visitors, intermingled with office locations, the Somerset Hospital, hotels (such as the historical Breakwater Lodge - once a 19th century prison) and luxury apartments in the residential marina.
It houses the Nelson Mandela Gateway which offers boat trips to Robben Island, as well as the Two Oceans Aquarium and Chavonnes Battery museum. The SAS Somerset is used as a museum and moored within the inner basin.
Prince Alfred, second son of Queen Victoria, began construction of the harbour in 1860. The first basin was named after himself, the second after his mother, hence the name.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront development is a renewal project that incorporates much of the historic harbour infrastructure. The whole complex is managed by a private company owned by Transnet. An international consortium of Dubai World and London & Regional Properties acquired the development in 2006 at a record value in South African terms of 7.4 billion rand. They sold the completed attraction to South African owners Growthpoint, the country's largest property company, and the Public Investment Corporation in 2011.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Robben Island (Afrikaans: Robbeneiland) is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island". Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. The island is composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks belonging to the Malmesbury Group. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. Kgalema Motlanthe, who also served as President of South Africa, spent 10 years on Robben Island as a political prisoner, as did current president Jacob Zuma.
Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. Its first prisoner was probably Harry die strandloper (Autshumao) in the mid-17th century. Amongst its early permanent inhabitants were political leaders from various Dutch colonies, including Indonesia, and the leader of the mutiny on the slave ship Meermin. After a failed uprising at Grahamstown in 1819, the fifth of the Xhosa Wars, the British colonial government sentenced African leader Makanda Nxele to life imprisonment on the island . He drowned on the shores of Table Bay after escaping the prison.
The island was also used as a leper colony and animal quarantine station. Starting in 1845 lepers from the Hemel-en-Aarde (heaven and earth) leper colony near Caledon were moved to Robben Island when Hemel-en-Aarde was found unsuitable as a leper colony. Initially this was done on a voluntary basis and the lepers were free to leave the island if they so wished. In April 1891 the cornerstones for 11 new buildings to house lepers were laid. After the introduction of the Leprosy Repression Act in May 1892 admission was no longer voluntary and the movement of the lepers was restricted. Prior to 1892 an average of about 25 lepers a year were admitted to Robben Island, but in 1892 that number rose to 338, and in 1893 a further 250 were admitted.
During the Second World War the island was fortified and BL 9.2-inch guns and 6-inch guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town.
Robben Island was used as a prison for political prisoners and convicted criminals from 1961. It was a maximum security prison for political prisoners until 1991. The medium security prison for criminal prisoners was closed in 1996.
In the South African general election, 2009, the Democratic Alliance won the island.
Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform that runs north-south for about thirty kilometres at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent in the Republic of South Africa. Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town are close to the northern extremity of the same peninsula. The cape is located at 34°21′26″S 18°29′51″ECoordinates: 34°21′26″S 18°29′51″E, about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) east and a little north of the Cape of Good Hope on the southwest corner. Although these two rocky and beautiful capes are very well known, neither cape is actually the southernmost point in Africa; that is Cape Agulhas, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) to the east-southeast.
The peak above Cape Point is higher than that above the Cape of Good Hope. The rugged sandstone (Table Mountain sandstone) ridge that rises from Cape Point at sea level develops into two peaks. There is a major peak that dominates the skyline locally but there is also a smaller peak about 100 m further south. The higher peak has the old lighthouse on the top. The Flying Dutchman Funicular runs from a car park to the north up to slightly below the level of the old lighthouse and a short flight of steps leads to a viewing platform at the base of the lighthouse. From the end of the railway a second path leads to the lower peak.
The new lighthouse is at a lower elevation (87 meters above sea level), for two reasons: the old lighthouse could be seen 'too early' by ships rounding the point towards the east, causing them to approach too closely. Secondly, foggy conditions often prevail at the higher levels, making the older lighthouse invisible to shipping. On 18 April 1911, the Portuguese liner Lusitania was wrecked just south of Cape Point at 34°23′22″S 18°29′23″E on Bellows Rock for precisely this reason, prompting the relocation of the lighthouse.
The new location cannot be seen from the West until ships are at a safe distance to the South. The light of the new Cape Point lighthouse is the most powerful on the South African coast, with a range of 63 miles (101 km; 55 nmi) and an intensity of 10 megacandelas in each flash.
Bloemfontein (English pronunciation: /ˈbloom-fon-tain/; Afrikaans: [ˈblum-fon-tein], Dutch for "fountain of flowers") is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals – the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.
Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there. The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs" and it has been included in the Mangaung Local Municipality since 2000[dated info].
Bloemfontein is situated on dry grassland at 29°06′S 26°13′E, at an altitude of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level. The city is home to 369,568 residents, while the Mangaung Local Municipality has a population of 645,455.
Though historically a predominantly Afrikaner settlement, Bloemfontein was officially founded in 1846 as a fort by British army major Henry Douglas Warden as a British outpost in the Transoranje region, at that stage occupied by various groups of peoples including Cape Colony Trek Boers, Griqua and Basotho. Although modern day Bloemfontein has a reputation for its flowers in an otherwise arid region, the origin of the city's name is unclear. Popular legends include an ox named "Bloem" owned by one of the pioneer farmers that was taken by a lion near a fountain on his property, while another story names Jan Blom (1775–1858), a Korana KhoiKhoi leader who inhabited the area. Bloemfontein literally means fountain of flowers or flower spring in Dutch. With colonial policy shifts, the region changed into the Orange River Sovereignty (1848–1854) and eventually the Orange Free State Republic (1854–1902). From 1902–1910 it served as the capital of the Orange River Colony and since that time as the provincial capital of the Free State. In 1910 it became the Judicial capital of the Union of South Africa.
The first diamonds here were found on Colesberg Kopje by members of the "Red Cap Party" from Colesberg on the farm Vooruitzigt belonging to the De Beers brothers. The ensuing scramble for claims led to the place being called New Rush, later renamed Kimberley. From mid-July 1871 to 1914 up to 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,720 kilograms (6,000 lb) of diamonds. The Big Hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 metres (1,519 ft) wide. It was excavated to a depth of 240 metres (790 ft), but then partially in filled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 metres (705 ft). Since then it has accumulated about 40 metres (130 ft) of water, leaving 175 metres (574 ft) of the hole visible. Once above-ground operations became too dangerous and unproductive, the kimberlite pipe of the Kimberley Mine was also mined underground by Cecil Rhodes' De Beers company to a depth of 1,097 metres (3,599 ft).
There is currently an effort in progress to register the Big Hole as a World Heritage Site.
In 1872, one year after digging started, the population of the camp of diggers grew to around 50,000. As digging progressed, many men met their deaths in mining accidents. The unsanitary conditions, scarcity of water and fresh vegetables as well as the intense heat in the summer, also took their toll. On the 13 March 1888 the leaders of the various mines decided to amalgamate the separate diggings into one big mine and one big company known as De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited, with life governors such as Cecil John Rhodes, Alfred Beit and John Rhodes.[disambiguation needed] This massive company further worked on the Big Hole until it came to the depth of 215 metres, with a surface area of about 17 hectares and perimeter of 1.6 kilometres. By 14 August 1914, when over 22 million tons of earth had been excavated, yielding 3,000 kilograms (14,504,566 carats) of diamonds, work on the mine ceased after it was considered the largest hand-dug excavation on earth.
Kimberly (Big Hole)
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