South Africa Celebrates Freedom Day

South Africa celebrates the 20th anniversary of Freedom Day

April 2014 • Jules Verne

South Africa Celebrates Freedom Day

Freedom Day on 27th April is an annual celebration of South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It marks the end of colonialism and segregation and the establishment of a new democratic government led by the African National Congress (ANC), and a new constitution. This year's anniversary is perhaps more poignant by the recent loss of Nelson Mandela who in 1994 became the first black president of the then newly liberated nation.

Table Mountain (left); Nelson Mandela Museum (right)
It is worth remembering that there is so much more to South Africa than a dark chapter of its history. Sometimes referred to as “A World in One Country”, South Africa has a wide range of landscapes, flora and fauna. Presided over by the iconic Table Mountain, Cape Town, with its rugged peninsula, offers a variety of experiences. From the historic Mount Nelson and Company Gardens to townships, Robben Island and the waterfront. The greater Cape area of South Africa contains some of the country’s most unforgettable scenery, its greatest concentration of historic architecture and much fascinating local flora and fauna. Its scenic contrasts include the stark and dramatic mountains of the Cape coast, tranquil and verdant valleys of the Winelands, grasslands of the Karoo and delightful unspoilt woodlands around Knysna. Most memorable amongst the unusual animal species one might encounter are the seals, penguins and whales, whilst on land the species most likely to amuse are the playful baboons of the Cape Peninsula and the pea-brained ostriches of the Karoo.

Pretoria (left); Zebras (right)
Off-the-beaten-track is the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape which offers unspoiled natural beauty and the relatively undeveloped home of the Xhosa people. Stretching from East London in the south all the way north to Port Edward and the southern border of KwaZulu-Natal, the region is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world. Close to Port Elizabeth is the Addo National Park where elephants, once almost hunted to extinction, are now numerous and coexist with other animal species, from black rhinos to the flightless dung beetle.

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