South Africa is not only impressive due to its size but also due to its amazing variety of fascinating scenery. Its paradise-like flora and fauna plus its historic and famous landmarks are totally captivating. Johannesburg is a modern metropolis and with around a million and a half inhabitants is the capital of Gauteng Province and the largest city in South Africa. It was founded in 1886 when gold was first discovered at Witwater Beach. Although European influence is obvious in South Africa the first inhabitants of this fascinating country were of course the various indigenous people of Africa and the village of Lesedi around twenty five kilometres south of Johannesburg provides many insights into ancient Africa’s traditions and dances. Lesedi contains four tiny villages that are inhabited by Zulus, Xhosas and members of the smaller Pedi and Basotho tribes. Close to Pilgrim’s Rest is one of the most beautiful landscapes in South Africa, Blyde River Canyon, a spectacular twenty six kilometre long and eight hundred metre deep canyon where erosion caused by the confluence of the Treu and Blyde rivers has created a number of amazing rock formations. With its many craters Moon Valley is evocative of the lunar landscape. This unusual area was formed during a wet period around four hundred and sixty million years ago by the Swakop River that is one of the longest and widest rivers in Namibia. The region became famous due to a miraculous plant, the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a living fossil that was first discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century and can survive for up to six hundred years. The Etosha National Park in the north of Namibia is one of the largest nature reserves in the world. In the dry winter months hundreds of thousands of animals gather and make this park into Africa’s most populated wildlife area. Man must continue to be fully aware of his responsibility to nature and nowhere more so than in Southern Africa that is one of the last natural paradises on Earth.
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