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South Africa: Rich Africa Corner II.

Published: 11.5.2011
Nature History Museum, established in 1892, belongs to most important Pretoria Museums. Nowadays, this institution serves as a research and documentation centre of South African flora and fauna.

The Anthrophology and Archaeology Museum  is placed in South African National University Building. The institution has available 10 collections and more than 27 000 objects, describing cultural life and traditions of local clans, including Ndebele and Xhosa, presenting artefacts from Stone Era or Iron Era. Here, you can find a collection of subjects from old-time African Kingdom of Mapungubwe, which prime was within 1 000 - 1 300 A.D.

Pioneer Museum: it is old-time farm estate, built approx.150 years ago. This building presents amazing outline of architecture, building materials and technologies, used at that time period. Separate pieces of furniture, ceramics, glass or china (porcellain) reflect not only way of life of pioneers, but also trips of merchants from Cape Province into inland.

Pretoria, as well as its environs, is a paradise for all lovers of wild nature and holidays. So, you can find the are Pretoria National Botanical Garden, founded in 1946. It is a seat of African National Botanical Institute. The garden takes the extent of approx. 50 ha and represents flora of South African corner. This botanical garden is a home for 198 sorts of birds, as well as for many reptils and small mammals.

National ZOO-Garden belongs to one of the bests of the world. At least 600 000 visitors come there each year, ready to admire 3117 sorts of animals, living on total surface of 85 ha. This ZOO-Garden could be proud on the biggest aquarium of the country, reptile park and the third biggest collection of exotic wooden trees.

Close to Pretoria, famous Tswaing Meteoric Crater is to be found. It is a crater, scooped out after meteorite fall (its height was 100 m and diameter of 1 000 m), approx. 220 000 years old. A force of such stroke was equal to the equivalent of approx. 100 atomic bombs, thrown down to Hiroshima. 

Cape Town 

Cape Town is situated among two oceans and Table Mountain. This town is gently named as „Town-Mamma“. The locality belongs to one of oldest towns of South Africa, its „age“ exceeds 300 years. Just there, in Cape Town, various actual novelties, nationalities or habits are mixed there: old Dutch houses, dancers with painted faces, performing traditional African dances, smelling aroma of Malaysian kitchen, excellent local South African wines, solemn ringing of Cathedral bells or sad  Muezzins´ songs.

History 

The history of this town reflects the history of the whole country. The Portugueses were the first Europeans, theirs visit was documented. It happened in 1488, when navy way to India was looked for. Bartholomew Diaz navigated around a cap and named it as Cabo da Boa Esperanca (A Cape of Good Hope). Nevertheless, he did not stopped there for long time. He dreamed about gigantic jewels of East Africa and India. The leading of Dutch East-Indian Company (established in 1602) took into account some advantage - to have available permanent colonization on such place. So, in 1652, they sent there an excursion, formed with three navies and eighty mercenaries, under leading of Jan van Riebeck, young sailor and doctor.

The clans of Busmans and Hottentots were not enthusiastic with neighbourhood of Europeans, as armed encounters were arisen among them. So, J. Riebeck let to set a hedge made from wild almonds, in order to „protect“ his European community. The hedge was situated along west slope of Table Mountain and descended into Table Bay. Its some sections could be seen in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.

Text: Maxim Kucer

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

Foto: Wikipedia.org - Alkivar, aprillynn77, Self, Self foto 2, Warren Rohner, Adrian Frith


 



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