An Overview Of South Africa For Travelers


An Overview Of South Africa For Travelers

The Republic of​ South Africa was once the​ home to​ apartheid. a​ movement and a​ man,​ Nelson Mandela,​ changed that. Here is​ an​ overview of​ the​ country for travelers.

An Overview of​ South Africa for Travelers

As recently as​ 1991,​ apartheid was the​ rule of​ law in​ South Africa. the​ term means separate and effectively divided the​ country along racial lines in​ practically every element of​ society.

The Portuguese were the​ first to​ land in​ South Africa in​ 1488,​ but didn’t claim a​ colony. the​ Dutch East India Company arrived in​ 1652,​ with Dutch and Germans moving to​ the​ country. These whites became the​ Afrikaners and eventual dominate class of​ South Africa. in​ 1779,​ the​ British moved in​ on​ the​ proceedings and the​ Afrikaners moved north. Known as​ the​ Great Trek,​ this shift put the​ Afrikaners in​ conflict with Zulu tribes and warriors. the​ Zulus won most of​ the​ conflicts following their legendary leader,​ Shaka. in​ 1828,​ Shaka was assassinated and momentum turned.

Diamonds were discovered in​ 1870 and gold in​ 1886. Europeans immigrated like mad to​ the​ area. the​ British eventually took the​ Afrikaners land,​ but more or​ less gave it​ back to​ them when they were put in​ charge of​ the​ newly created Union of​ South Africa in​ 1910.

Although native blacks had no power,​ apartheid didn’t officially begin until 1948. in​ 1912,​ black groups formed the​ eventual African National Congress. the​ ANC became a​ problem and eventually was banned. One of​ its leaders,​ Nelson Mandela,​ was jailed and became a​ national symbol of​ the​ fight against apartheid.

In February of​ 1990,​ the​ ruling white party gave up the​ ghost on​ apartheid. the​ ANC was recognized as​ a​ legal political group and Nelson Mandela was freed after nearly 30 years in​ prison. He was eventually elected President in​ 1994.

The transition from white to​ black leadership has not been without its problems. Crime and economic problems crippled the​ country for years. Johannesburg was a​ wild,​ wild west city at​ night with rape and other crimes being common. the​ country has recently seen better times,​ but it​ is​ still rough going for most people.

Modern day South Africa covers an​ area of​ roughly 470,​462 square miles. the​ capital is​ Johannesburg. the​ country has diverse geographic elements,​ but a​ moderate climate.

The people of​ South Africa are known as​ “South Africans.” Totally population is​ just over 46 million,​ with 79 percent black,​ 9.6 percent white,​ 8.9 percent colored and 2.5 percent Asian. the​ primary languages are English and Afrikaans. Life expectancy is​ a​ relatively low 50 years for men and 52 years for women.

Following 80 years of​ apartheid,​ it​ is​ hardly surprising that South Africa has had its problems. That being said,​ the​ country is​ much more stable than it​ was 10 years ago. it​ is​ also a​ beautiful land as​ most guidebooks will show you.






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