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Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

Experience as a small group tour for couples and solo travellers, the beautiful landscapes of the Garden route and the unique wildlife at places such as Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Chobe Game Reserve. During the program participants will have the opportunity to learn about the culture, the politics and the social issues facing South African people in Soweto and more. How the natural resource managers are caring for their wildlife reserves in the face of land enclosure, climate change and poaching.

From A$10,995 AUD

Available

Highlights

  1. 1. Discover the delights of Chobe National Park, home to one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa.
  2. 2. Marvel at Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya, the "Smoke that Thunders."
  3. 3. Travel along the Garden Route, between Cape Town and Knysna
  4. 4. Experience a relaxing sundowner cruise down the mighty Chobe River.
Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
02 April 2022

Ends 20 April 2022

Selected
27 August 2022

Ends 14 September 2022

01 April 2023

Ends 18 April 2023

26 August 2023

Ends 13 September 2023

Visit the Southern Africa Region with Odyssey Traveller

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Southern Africa and beyond. We explore Africa's natural beauty, its heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of South Africa, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

Odyssey Travellers’ Southern Africa small group tour for mature and senior travellers is an unforgettable, fully escorted 19-day tour of Africa’s southernmost countries designed with the (mature) senior traveller in mind whether as a couple or solo traveller. Travellers will be amazed by southern Africa’s scenic beauty, cultural diversity, and astounding wild life. This historically complex and beautiful region features rich farmland, vast plains, rugged mountains, cosmopolitan cities, and traditional villages

This tour will begin in Cape Point and weave across southern Africa to visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia, ride through Chobe National Park in Botswana, and end in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest urban area and its centre of commerce. In this city, travellers will have the option to extend their holiday to Namibia and Madagascar, also with Odyssey Traveller.

Enjoy the Coast in Cape Town

Cape Town is a coastal city and the legislative capital of South Africa. It is the oldest urban area in the country, developed in the 17th century as a waystation for ships travelling to the Dutch East Indies (what is now Indonesia) by employees of the Dutch East India Company. Here, we will have a full-day tour of the city and a half-day tour of Cape Point, which provides spectacular sights of stone cliffs, beaches, and rolling valleys.

Highlights of this leg of the tour are the wine farms on the Constantia Wine Route, a drive to the city past famous landmarks, a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, initially a maritime replenishment station and now the seat of the military in the Cape; a revolving cable car ride to Table Mountain (weather permitting) and Signal Hill, and the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town.

Experience Nature in Oudtshoorn and Knysna

We visit the Western Cape to stop at the “ostrich capital of the world”, Oudtshoorn. Lying between the mountain ranges of Klein Karroo, Oudtshoorn's rugged scenery makes the perfect backdrop for learning about the history of ostrich farming. In the mid-19th century, ostrich feathers were all the rage and the trendiest fashion accessory a woman could have adorning her hat. Farmers in Oudtshoorn realised that the environment was perfect for raising ostriches and began to capitalise on the trend. Although ostrich plumes are no longer in high demand, ostrich meat has become a popular alternative to red meats like beef and lamb, much like kangaroo and there are many ostrich farms still running today.

In Knysna, we will visit the Featherbed Private Nature Reserve, a pristine piece of paradise situated accessible only by ferry and Monkeyland, the world’s first free-roaming primate sanctuary.

See the City of Pretoria

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Here we will visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine, also known as the Premier Diamond Mine, which has uncovered some of the largest diamonds in the world today. Following this we head to the majestic Voortrekker Monument, situated south of Pretoria in a nature reserve; Kruger House, the historical Pretoria residence of the Boer leader and President of the first South African Republic, Paul Kruger, and Kruger National Park, a game reserve with a high density of wild animals, including the “Big 5”: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos.

Visit Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana

We will travel out of South Africa to take a tour of Victoria Falls and walk through the rainforest and take a game drive across Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Learn History in Johannesburg

We will return to South Africa, where the tour ends in Johannesburg. Our trip here is focused in the township of Soweto, where we will visit the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, site of the Congress of the People who drew up the Freedom Charter as an alternative to the repressive policies of the then-apartheid state, and visit the present home of Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the first home of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email.

Namibia & Madagascar small group package tours

Namibia & Madagascar small group package tours are timetabled to be linked to Odyssey Traveller's Southern Africa tours each year.

To find out more about our optional extension to Namibia, please click here. This tour also links with our Madagascar tour. For more information about Odyssey's Madagascar wildlife small group tour; Lemurs & avenue of Baobabs please follow the highlighted link in the text.

We have several articles about Africa including an article about the history of Madagascar. Other articles of possible interest is this two-part post filled with travelling tips for seniors, an article on the many nifty gizmos and gadgets you can bring on your trips, and an important article about practising responsible travel.

Itinerary

19 days

Day 1: Cape Town

Upon arrival in Cape Town we will transfer to our hotel. Our tour commences with our welcome dinner at the Greek Fisherman restaurant.

(D)

Day 2: Cape Town

After breakfast, we meet at the hotel where our local guide will escort us on a half-day tour of Cape Point, which will include visits to the Good Hope Nature Reserve, which has magnificent fynbos vegetation, birdlife, endemic antelope species and zebras, historic shipwrecks,

Afterwards, we enjoy lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant.

In the afternoon, we continue our tour with a half-day wine Route at Constantia. The Wine Valley here is the most spectacular wine experience in the world, offering a unique blend of centuries-old established wine homesteads and new stylish boutique wineries in a setting of unsurpassed beauty and heritage. Later on, we enjoy a group dinner at Meloncino Restaurant.

(B,L,D)

Day 3: Cape Town

Today, we enjoy a full-day tour of Cape Town City, including lunch.

The Mother City is steeped in history, culture and scenic wonders, and offers an abundance of things to see and do.

The drive to the city takes us past famous landmarks. We will pass the Dias statue, the Van Riebeek statue and Train station, before your visit to the Castle of Good Hope, built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Castle was developed as a maritime replenishment station, and from 1678 it was the center of civilian, administrative and military life at the Cape until the area grew and operations expanded elsewhere. Today, the Castle is the seat of the military in the Cape, and is open for visitors to explore and learn more about its history.

The route then leads us to the magnificent Table Mountain (weather permitting), or in the event of inclement weather, Signal Hill. You will ascend to the top by the revolving cable car. Here, you will see wild flowers, daisies, silver tree, and marvel at a birds-eye view of the city and its beaches. On a clear day it is even possible to see Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

After that we descend back to the city and move on to a visit of the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town, home to a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary, and driving through Malay quarters, also known as the Bo-Kaap, which means “Above Cape” because of its location up against the slopes of Table Mountain. There after visit Greenmarket square for some souvenirs.

Next we visit the V&A Harbour, a shopping and entertainment complex with a final stop at the Cape Town Diamond Museum, situated in the bustling heart of the world-famous Clock Tower precinct at the V&A Waterfront. Discover a 3 billion year old story unfold from a diamond’s formation to the final polished stone. Explore the origins of South Africa’s famous diamond industry and get introduced to some of the great names in diamond history, including Cecil John Rhodes, Barney Barnato and the Oppenheimer family.

(B,L,D)

Day 4: Cape Town – Oudtshoorn

Today we journey to Oudtshoorn, where we enjoy an ostrich farm tour including lunch.

Here, we learn about the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, which lays the largest egg, and has the most beautiful feathers and captivating eyes. Each tour has two parts – the main yard and the farmlands. In the main yard, we will be shown different ostrich feathers, the incubators and how they work, gizzard stones, and we will have the opportunity to feed the ostriches ourselves!

The farmlands are where we will be shown the anatomy of an ostrich, visit the breeding pairs nest and – for the brave- we may even get the chance to ride one!

In the afternoon,we experience the world famous Cango Caves tour.

29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lie the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, we will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.

(B,L,D)

Day 5: Oudtshoorn - Knysna

Today we experience a full day Featherbed Tour, including lunch

Featherbed is a privately-owned, registered Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site. It is a pristine piece of paradise situated on the Western Head of Knysna and is accessible only by ferry.

Many people make a day of it, catching the ferry across the lagoon, going on a drive or walk through the reserve followed by a picnic under milkwood trees, in the hopes of sighting the beautiful green, but rather elusive, Knysna Loerie.

(B,L,D)

Day 6: Knysna

Today, we enjoy a full day Birds of Eden and Monkey land Tour, including lunch.

Monkeyland opened its doors to the public on the 6th of April 1998. The unique primate sanctuary is currently the top eco-tourism attraction on the Garden Route and for good reason. Monkeyland has captured the hearts of visitors in its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates. The sanctuary is exceptional as it caters for several species of primates who are not caged. They are free to move about the forest and live harmoniously with one another.

Monkeyland has as one of its aims to create awareness about the plight of primates and to show that with a greater understanding of our primate cousins, we can all live in harmony.

(B,L, D)

Day &: Knysna - Johannesburg

After breakfast, we enjoy a half day Johannesburg City Tour

Whilst this tour takes in many activities, it is not a difficult day as there will be several stops and opportunities to relax.

The tour commences in the new financial heart of the African continent in the Sandton CBD with a drive past the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and moves onto the wealthiest suburbs on the African continent, Sandhurst and Hyde Park and then progresses to Houghton with a drive past President Mandela’s home in this beautiful suburb.

Thereafter we enter the bustling high rise cosmopolitan suburb of Hillbrow formerly the home to most of South Africa’s European immigrants and now home to South Africa’s African diaspora.

We then progress to Constitution Hill, the home of the Constitutional Court, down to the business district of Braamfontein which hosts the world famous University of the Witwatersrand. From there, we head across the Nelson Mandela Bridge into Newtown for our first stop at Main Street where we will walk around the old Mining House District, home to most of the World’s largest mining companies such as Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

We re-join our vehicle for a drive past Gandhi Square named after Mahatma Gandhi who lived in South Africa during his early years as a lawyer and then disembark on our second stop at the Carlton Centre, Africa’s tallest building.

From the 50th floor of this building we will enjoy panoramic views of downtown Johannesburg, its skyscrapers and the iconic yellow gold mine dumps surrounding the city.

(B,D)

Day 8: Johannesburg

After breakfast, we head off on a full day city tour of Pretoria.

The morning leads to the east of Pretoria, and the village of Cullinan where the world’s largest Diamond was discovered in 1905.

The Cullinan Diamond Mine, also known as the Premier Diamond Mine, has uncovered some of the largest diamonds in the world today and the mine lies over one of the biggest Kimberlite pipes in the world (Kimberlite is named after Kimberley in South Africa and refers to a type of Potassic volcanic rock known to contain diamonds).

A visit to the mine will include a detailed above ground tour (surface tour) of the mine with lots of facts and technical information on the mine and the diamond industry in South Africa.

Move on to the majestic Voortrekker Monument, situated south of Pretoria in a nature reserve. It is a unique monument which commemorates the pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country. This Monument also manages the Heritage Foundation and various other monuments and cultural historical sites country-wide.

Kruger House is the historical Pretoria residence of the Boer leader and President of the first South African Republic, Paul Kruger. It was built in 1884 by architect Tom Claridge and builder Charles Clark. Milk was used, instead of water, for mixing the cement from which the house was constructed, as the cement available was of poor quality.

Lunch at La Madeleine restaurant

Enjoy a tour of the administrative capital of South Africa. Pretoria / Tshwane lies about 50 km north of Johannesburg. The population is just under a million and consists mainly of government officials and other related government personnel. In Pretoria, life goes at a much slower pace than in Johannesburg and it is quite easy for travellers to navigate their through the city, which is laid out like a chess board. Pretoria lies 1367m above sea level, which makes it about 400 m lower than Johannesburg. It is surrounded by mountains and is home to the magnificent Union Buildings

As the capital of the country for over 100 years it is strewn with many official buildings and memorials dating back to the early 1900’s.

(B,L,D)

Day 9: Johannesburg - Kruger National Park

After breakfast, we depart JHB Airport for our flight to Nelspruit. In the afternoon, we meet up with our game lodge ranger and then depart on our evening game drive, before heading back to the lodge for dinner. These game drives provide the opportunity to see some of the most magnificent wildlife

(B,D)

Day 10: Kruger National Park

Today, we enjoy an early morning game drive with the ranger, before returning to the Lodge for breakfast and a morning at leisure. In the afternoon, we head out on another evening game drive, before returning for dinner.

(B,L,D)

Day 11: Nelspruit

This morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we head off for Nelspruit. We then head to Dullstroom via the beautiful Panorama route. Along the way, we visit the Three Rondavels, the Blyde River Canyon, and the God’s Window and the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, before reaching the hotel in time for dinner.

(B,D)

Day 12: Livingstone - Victoria Falls

After breakfast, we depart for Zimbabwe, where we take a tour of Victoria Falls.

Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in more modern terms as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.

One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge.

Other vantage points include the Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls.

Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April and the full power of the falls can be experienced in all its glory. As the floods abate the view of the falls gets better and better through the year, but at its lowest, around November and December the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all.

(B)

Day 13: Victoria Falls

After breakfast, we spend more time enjoying the Falls, with a comprehensive tour.

The Victoria Falls – Now in Its 150 Millionth Fantastic Year – Reaches Its Zenith In May each year. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality, and nothing prepares we for our first sight.
This tour is conducted in the morning and afternoon. En route, we may be taken past the ‘Big Tree’ where they may stop and take photos.

We will be accompanied through the Rainforest by one of our qualified Guides who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird & wildlife and other points of interest.

(B)

Day 14: Chobe National Park

After breakfast, we transfer to Chobe, where we meet our lodge range and go on another evening game drive. We enjoy a group dinner after returning to our lodge.

(B,D)

Day 15: Chobe National Park

Today we head out for an early morning game drive, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After a day of relaxation, we depart on a boat cruise around the local area, spotting numerous kind of flora and fauna. We head back to the lodge for a group dinner.

(B,D)

Day 16: Chobe National Park

After breakfast we meet up with our ranger for a sightseeing morning boat cruise. Later on in the day, we enjoy a Namibia Village walk tour.

(B,D)

Day 17: Chobe - Johannesburg

After breakfast, we depart for the Kosane, from where we fly to Jo’burg. Upon arrival, we transfer to our new hotel.

(B)

Day 18: Johannesburg

After breakfast, we enjoy a half-day tour of Soweto.

The history of African townships south west of Johannesburg that would later form Soweto was propelled by the increasing eviction of Africans by city and state authorities.

Africans had been drawn to work on the gold mines that were established after 1886. From the start they were accommodated in separate areas on the outskirts of Johannesburg, such as Newtown.

We will then proceed into the iconic suburb of Soweto, where we will visit the Kliptown Memorial, site of the famous Freedom Charter gathering on which South Africa’s constitution is based and then past the present home of Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu followed by a stop at Nelson Mandela’s first home in Johannesburg for some pictures.

On our departure from Soweto we will have one final stop at the Hector Pieterson memorial.

(B)

Day 19: Johannesburg

The tour concludes today after breakfast.

Those connecting to Odyssey’s Namibia tour will head to the airport for an a morning flight to Windhoek.

Tour Notes

  • Due to flight schedules, passengers may require additional night pre or post tour in Johannesburg.
  • There is an optional extension Namibia Experience.
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • Coach transport in air-conditioned coach.
  • 18 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 11 dinners.
  • Services of local guides.
  • Lectures, field trips, entry fees to parks and attractions as indicated.
  • Game drives and boat cruises.
  • 18 nights of accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels and game lodges offering en-suited share twin rooms.
  • Internal flights.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.
  • All porterage fees.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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Departure

02 April 2022

Available

Ends 20 April 2022 • 19 days

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Room Type

Single room
A$13,995
Twin room
A$10,995 pp

Payment Type

You can reserve your spot by paying a A$500 deposit, pay the rest 90 days before departure (excludes AU/NZ tours).

Pay Deposit
A$1,000
Pay Full
A$21,990

Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2021.

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Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.

Reviews

Great small group touring. A mix of city and rural experiences. Our tour guide was interested in both the history and peoples of South Africa and in the amazing wildlife, and was responsive to our interests. The Apartheid Museum was a must-visit venue, arranged at our request. Gabrielle F. Aug 18

A very varied and interesting tour in a region that sometimes seems a bit daunting to the individual traveller. Anne B. Aug'18

This was an outstanding travel experience. The itinerary was very well planned to include many highlights of a large region of Southern Africa, and all transport and accommodation arrangements were excellent. There was a good balance between social and urban aspects on the one hand, and wildlife and nature on the other. The tour leader and all local guides did a lot to enhance the experience. Strongly recommended to those interested in this fascinating part of the world. Michael F. Aug ’18

THE TRIP WAS FANTASTIC.

BARRIE ASHTON

The Victoria Falls were an outstanding treat.

Participant -16

Exceeded Expectations

Participant -16

The drumming experience and the cultural food at the Gold restaurant in Cape Town was fantastic

Participant -17

All the guides were good, but I thought Daryl in Pretoria and Johannesburg was excellent. His knowledge of South African history and his passion for his country was impressive. He took us to see places that were important in that history. He does tend to talk too much and run out of time, but he was always worth listening to.

Participant -17

Without exception the hotels were of high standard. They were comfortable and clean and had plenty of hot water. Any problem that I had, such as not having the right electrical adapter, was solved quickly and pleasantly.

Participant -17

Reading List Download PDF

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa

Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics. The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years “[an] astute history.… Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”

By Martin Meredith

Amazon

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

By Nelson Mandela

Amazon

A History of South Africa

A magisterial history of South Africa, from the earliest known human inhabitation of the region to the present. Lynn Berat updates this classic text with a new chapter chronicling the first presidential term of Mbeki and ending with the celebrations of the centenary of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress in January 2012.

“A history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

By Leonard Thompson

Amazon

Short-Changed?: South Africa since Apartheid

What have been the most significant developments—political, social, economic—in South Africa since 1994? How much has changed since the demise of apartheid, and how much remains stubbornly the same? Should one celebrate a robust democracy now two decades old, or lament the corrosive effects of factionalism, greed, and corruption on political life? Colin Bundy tries to answer such questions, while avoiding simplistic or one-sided assessments of life under Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma. He recognizes real advances under ANC rule but also identifies the limits and contradictions of such progress. Bundy demonstrates, too, how the country’s past permeates the present, complicating and constraining the politics of transition, so that genuine transformation has been short-changed.

By Colin Bundy

Amazon

Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa

Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. Repressive laws mandating separation of the races were thrown out. The country, which had been carved into a crazy quilt that reserved the most prosperous areas for whites and the most desolate and backward for blacks, was reunited. The dreaded and dangerous security force, which for years had systematically tortured, spied upon, and harassed people of color and their white supporters, was dismantled. But how could this country--one of spectacular beauty and promise--come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors?

To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. Amnesty was granted to those who offered a full confession of any crimes associated with apartheid. Since the commission began its work, it has been the central player in a drama that has riveted the country. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P. W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey.

Country of My Skull captures the complexity of the Truth Commission's work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog's powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog's profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.

By Krog, Antjie

Africa: A Modern History

The end of the Second World War signalled the rapid end of the European African empires. In 1945, only four African countries were independent; by 1963, thirty African states created the Organization of African Unity. Despite formidable problems, the 1960s were a time of optimism as Africans enjoyed their new independence, witnessed increases in prosperity and prepared to tackle their political and economic problems in their own way.

By the 1990s, however, the high hopes of the 1960s had been dashed. Dictatorship by strongmen, corruption, civil wars and genocide, widespread poverty and the interventions and manipulations of the major powers had all relegated Africa to the position of an aid 'basket case', with some of the world's poorest and least-developed nations.

By exploring developments over the last fifteen years, including the impact of China, new IT technology and the Arab Spring, the rise of Nigeria as Africa's leading country and the recent refugee crisis, Guy Arnold brings his landmark history of modern Africa up to date and provides a fresh and insightful perspective on this troubled and misunderstood continent.

By Guy Arnold

Long Walk To Freedom

'The authentic voice of Mandela shines through this book . . . humane, dignified and magnificently unembittered' The Times

The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Nelson Mandela became the democratically elected, first black president of the republic of South Africa on 27 April 1994. Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.

'Burns with the luminosity of faith in the invincible nature of human hope and dignity . . . Unforgettable' Andre Brink

'Enthralling . . . Mandela emulates the few great political leaders such as Lincoln and Gandhi, who go beyond mere consensus and move out ahead of their followers to break new ground'
Donald Woods, Sunday Times

By Nelson Mandela

After Mandela: The Battle for the Soul of South Africa

When Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress declared victory over the bitter injustice of apartheid, some thought South Africa's future was assured. But despite Mandela's mission of reconciliation, rampant inequality remains; race relations are uneasy, violence is endemic and many in the ANC appear to have lost sight of the liberation ideals. With the election in 2009 of Jacob Zuma, a charismatic populist embroiled in scandal, uncertainty over the trajectory of the nation has only intensified.

South Africa now stands at a crossroads, and award-winning journalist Alec Russell draws on his deep knowledge of the country to tell us how it got there and to give us a compelling account, revised and updated for this edition, of the journey from Mandela to Zuma.

By Alec Russell

Articles about Southern Africa

Garden Route - South Africa

A history of South Africa for senior travellers

Escorted small group tour of South Africa provides a platform for the senior traveller interested in continuing to learn, whether as a couple or solo traveller about this fascinating country full of history and incredible people and amazing wildlife and stunning scenery. This article provides the background information for senior and mature travellers to begin their small group tour to South Africa.

21 May 20 · 29 mins read
Read Article
Southern Africa Mature travelers affordable escorted small group tours

Exploring Southern Africa: The Definitive Guide for Travellers

Exploring Southern Africa Southern Africa, a subregion of the African continent, is composed of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (The United Nations geographic region of Southern Africa, on…

3 Jan 19 · 12 mins read
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Johannesburg. Introduction for a South African tour.

Johannesburg. Introduction for a South African tour.

Article for mature and senior travellers to learn about South Africa, the cities, the people and the wildlife. This article links to the Garden route and Soweto a small group tour suitable for senior couples and solo travellers.

10 Jan 21 · 6 mins read
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Giraffe among savanna in Africa -

Small group tour of a game reserve.

A small group escorted tour of Southern Africa will send visitors away from a safari with wonderful photographs and amazing experiences of wildlife, birds and truly magnificent scenery as the backdrop for stories on any of the South Africa modern "5" to see on a small group journey into the wildlife reserve.

28 May 20 · 5 mins read
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Garden Route - South Africa

South Africa's garden route.

The Garden Route leaves the rich farmland and passes through the Karoo National Park which is a wildlife reserve of semi-desert area covering 750 square kilometres. Bushbuck and Blue Duikers are common in the forested areas, and Common Eland can be seen on the slopes up from the road.

28 May 20 · 6 mins read
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Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa

Soweto for the senior traveler

Soweto a must see for visitors interested in the history of South Africa. An Odyssey Traveller small group package vacation, escorted tour visits Soweto with a local guide who can share the stories of this historic place for mature and senior travellers couples and solo travellers.

27 Jun 20 · 4 mins read
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