Kingdom of Swaziland
Swaziland is landlocked country of a similar flavor to Lesotho, with small roads, a blanket speed limit of 80Km/hr, which is completely ignored. There are two big towns, Manzini and the capital Mbabane, both of which are much nicer than Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The road between them is now being upgraded, but was listed in the Guiness book of records as the most accident-prone anywhere. It has the Royal residences, all the big hotels, the (tiny, but good) Mlilwane game reserve, and the Why Not disco and strip bar.
Zululand - South Africa
Finally got out of Eshowe - a very nice place, and a rousing sendoff with the third (now official) shebeen trip. We decided that it took only three minutes this time to go from closed shop to a rocking party. This time we took the president of Rotary, who I am sure was very glad nobody was taking pictures as he danced …
Up the Natal coast, to Amazulu lodge, another backpackers lodge near St Lucia, a wetlands conservation area on the coast.
Yesterday I went to a ’turning of the sod’ for a new High school here in Eshowe, which will be paid for by a number of Spanish NGOs (non-government organisation) and managed by the Eshowe Christian Action group. The ceremony was at a nearby primary school, and included some good zulu dancing by the kids.
Today there was an opening of the first skills centre / technical college in zululand, which cost R2.
Msge from Zululand. (fwd)
| May 28, 1997
From: George Campbell
Tks fr yr msge from Zululand. Things have been humming here. The place is like an armed Camp with trucks full of soldiers carrying sub-machine guns. It would appear that when Mandela came here 2 weeks ago for the Funeral of Van Der Byl who was gunned down, he went to one of our townships to do a ‘walk-around’ and subsequently 2 bombs were found next to the road he travelled on.
Zululand - South Africa
Zululand is the political stronghold of the Inkatha Freedom Party, and Buthelezi, its leader. He is related to the King of Zululand, who owns/administers most of the land, and who is a direct descendent of Shaka Zulu, the (quite recent) founder of the Zulu nation.
Zululand is a place of rolling hills, with traditional Zulu Kraals dotted all over it. Ulundi is the capital, but is a small place. I am staying in Eshowe, the oldest city here, but Eshowe is smaller than Richards bay, a large seaport that ships more tonnage than Durban, primarily coal, timber (wattle and Gum) and sugar (which is grown everywhere).
Zululand - Kwazulu/Natal
I left Richmond, not a moment too soon, it appears, as there has been some political trouble there. Briefly, a member of the ANC-controlled town council, Mr Nkabinde, who were voted in at the last election, was alleged to be a police informer. The ANC expelled him - without, I think, a trial, or with reference to ANC membership rules. Mr Nkabinde resigned, and 9 fellow members of the council resigned in sympathy.
| May 10, 1997
I headed east from Ladysmith to Winterton, in the Drakensburgs, a Mountain range that runs along the eastern border of Lesotho up into Orange Free State.
Pretty much all of South Africas water comes from this range. On the Western side, it flows into Lesotho and then into rivers like the Orange in Western SA. On the Eastern side, it comes into Natal as the source of the eastern rivers.
South Africa - Music
| May 6, 1997
When I went to Rustlers festival near Ficksburg three weeks ago, much of the music was rave - what they listen to, apparently, in Jo’burg. It was interesting, and best summed up by a newspaper article appended to this message.
At Rustlers, and also at Splashy Fen, last weekend, was also a lot of South African Folk music. Splashy Fen, in particular, had some most excellent examples of the genre.
Grahamstown, Umtata, Natal.
I stopped by the home of Rhodes University - a quaint, very British town in the Eastern cape, originally founded by settlers who were bought in as a ‘buffer’ between warring factions at that time.
The University is in the town, and has a beautiful campus. I had been corresponding with a couple of people who were the original founders of Internet in South Africa. I saw the lab, and the FreeBSD machine that originally had a Fidonet connection, and then a 9600 Baud dialup connection to the States.
Transkei - Port St Johns
I spent the last week in the Transkei, the largest of the old black homelands. It is ‘back to africa’ from the luxuries of RSA, with most of the people living in round mud huts with thatched roofs.
I spent a night with a Sangoma - one of the Xhosa herbalists, who study for a long time to gain the knowledge passed down through Sangomas before them.
Our student Sangoma is a white guy who has lived in the Transkei for about three years, and has a good command of the language.