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Introduction to South Africa

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The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern tip of the vast African continent, flanked by the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. South Africa's area is one-eighth the size of the United States and more than five times larger than Great Britain. The various population groups of South Africa have combined to create a society of diverse historical and cultural backgrounds, which has often been described as a fascinating ethnic mosaic.




Apartheid policies were born in 1948 when the National Party won elections. The government embarked on a policy of racial segregation and separate development that literally tour apart the very fabric of South African society.
Anti-apartheid structures both within and outside of South Africa began to gather momentum and reached a peak in the late 1980's and early 1990's. These culminated in Nelson Mandela being released from 27 years imprisonment and the first truly democratic elections in 1994. A wealth of cultural diversity African Angel tours are all designed to give the traveller an deeper insight into the way South Africa's diverse cultures co-exist. Locals take travellers into the heart of some of these communities, to experience their customs and ways of life

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From fossil remains, it is believed that early man in South Africa evolved in isolation from other prehistoric populations to the North. By the year 7000AD, there were two primary groups in southern Africa - the Negroid, who later be known as the Bantu's, and the Capons, who were subsequently named Hottentots and Bushmen.





Various migrating African tribes inhabited the tip of Africa. The first westerner-Bartholomew Dias-landed at the Cape of Good Hope accidentally whilst trying to find a short cut to the East for the lucrative spice trade. It was not until 1652 that the first Dutch settlers arrived to live in South Africa. 1688 saw the migration of French refugees, followed by an influx of British settlers in 1820.

When diamonds and gold were discovered in the late 1800's, masses of fortune hunters - mainly from Britain - poured into South Africa. They would later fight the three-year Anglo Boer war, which ended in victory for the British, and the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The indigenous people were marginalized from any powers of government



Last modified on Sunday, 22 May 2011 18:32

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