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A Toast to South Africa


Nelson Mandela would have marked his 100th birthday on 18 July – and if you head to South Africa this year, you’ll discover cities busy outgrowing their apartheid-era constraints, and landscapes fit for an epic story such as Mandela’s. He came from the Xhosa-speaking part of the Eastern Cape, where rolling grasslands are dotted with conical-roofed rondavel huts. Its starkly beautiful shore is dubbed the Wild Coast, and is home to little-known nature reserves that provide habitat to zebras, wildebeest and others. A more settled but no less stirring coastline (pictured) runs south and east from Cape Town, under the eternal vigil of Table Mountain. The view looks across the city’s scattered neighbourhoods to Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. Visitor ferries shuttle back and forth from the historic V&A Waterfront, and when the boats return, they drop passengers off a few yards from Zeitz MOCAA, a museum of modern African art opened last year. It’s growing into its space, rather like the country Mandela helped to shape.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - August 2018
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