Elephantastic South Africa Tours Safety Tips

 

Elephantastic South Africa Tours strongly advises that you take note of the following important safety and health related matters.

 

Please ensure that you have adequate travel insurance and that valuable items are covered by insurance.

 

Health:

 

  • Talk to your health care professional about anti-malaria medication and TB vaccination prior to your visit.
  • Carry your prescription glasses (and an extra pair) and any medication you may need in your carry-on luggage.
  • Please keep all medicines in their original labeled containers.
  • If your medication is unusual or contains narcotics, please carry a letter from your doctor testifying that you need these drugs. This can prevent customs problems.
  • Always carry antihistamine tablets and cream/ointment.

 

Safety:

 

  • Try to stay in the group at all times. Don’t wander off on your own.
  • Don’t carry large sums of cash on you or make displays that could be construed as displaying wealth.
  • Dress conservatively and do not wear expensive jewelry.
  • Do not leave valuables where they can be easily seen.
  • Use credit cards or travellers cheques rather than cash wherever possible.
  • Avoid the use of handbags and outside pockets.
  • Please ensure that any items of value are adequately insured.

 

Enjoy your stay in South Africa and please stay alert and vigilant at all times.

 

South African History Timeline

 

Compiled by Kevin Tutty, South African National Tourist Guide.

 

3500 million years ago – “Stromatolites” – Hills around Barberton – fossilised remnants – blue-green algae – oldest in the world – first period – earth’s history – volumes – oxygen.

 

3 million years ago – pre-historic man – hominoids – fossil finds – Cradle of Humankind

 

Original Recorded Inhabitants:

 

Khoikhoi – pastoralist lifestyle – sheep – later cattle – area between modern day Namibia & Eastern Cape – generally near coast.
San – hunter-gatherers more widespread.
Today collectively known as the Khoisan.

 

Approximately AD 400 – start of movement of Black Tribes from Central & East Africa. Farmers with basic mining and forging skills.

 

1488 – Portuguese explorer Barthomew Dias – Mossel Bay (East Coast, Garden Route).

 

1497 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama – Table Bay (Cape Town).

 

1652 – Dutch – Jan van Riebeeck – Dutch east India Company (VOC) – establish Cape Colony – trading station – supplies for passing ships.

 

1657 – settlers awarded farms – colonial authorities – arable land – around CT. Wine & wheat – major products. Labour needed – slaves imported – East Africa – Madagascar – Asia.

 

Early 1700s – colonists began to spread – hinterland – beyond nearest mountain ranges. Independent mobile farmers – trekkers – pastoralists – hunters – largely free of Dutch authorities (free burghers).

 

1713 – Smallpox epidemic – decimated Khoisan – decline in culture.

 

Mid 1700s – increase labour demands – slave numbers increase – more slaves than “free burghers”.

 

Asian slaves – concentrated in towns – formed artisan class – brought Islam – gained adherents – influenced working class culture in Western Cape.
Slaves of African descent – farm workers.

 

Late 1700s – Khoisan – more determined resistance – colonial encroachment – across length of colonial frontier.

 

From 1770s – contact & conflict Bantu-speaking chiefdoms – 700km east of Cape Town. Racial paranoia – integral – white frontier politics. Result – frontier warfare – endemic – much of 19th century. Xhosa wars. Century – intermittent warfare – colonialists (Dutch & British) gained ascendancy – first over Khoisan – Xhosa-speaking chiefdoms – east.

 

1795 – British annex Cape Colony – 1803 – returned to Dutch – 1806 – ceded back to British.

 

1816-1826 – Shaka king of the Zulus – formed empire with formidable military capability. Mfecane/Defecane – time of turmoil – Shaka bringing smaller tribes under his control.

 

1820 – British settlers – East London & Port Elizabeth areas – 1820 settlers.

 

1828 – Ordinance 50 – guaranteed – equal civil rights – “people of colour” – within colony – freed from legal discrimination. Same time – powerful anti-slavery movement internationally.

 

1834 – proclamation of emancipation of slaves – 4-year period of ‘apprenticeship” – farm owners – prepared for freedom – 1 December 1838.

 

Cape slave owners – oppose emancipation. Compensation money – British treasury – sweeten the pill – injected unprecedented liquidity – stagnant local economy. Spurt of company formation – banks – insurance companies – investment in land – wool sheep in drier regions – late 1830s.
Ex slaves – Khoisan servants – reality of freedom – different from promise. Wage based economy developed – remained dispossessed – exploited – little opportunity.

 

1834-1840 – Great Trek – Voortrekkers. Whites move into interior.

 

Two land locked republics – the South African Republic (Transvaal) – Orange Free State. Principles – racially exclusive citizenship – absolute – despite reliance on black labour.

 

1852 – British grant limited self-government to the Voortrekkers in the Transvaal.

 

1856 – Natal separated from Cape Colony.

 

1860 – 1911 – arrival of Indian Labourers – mainly for the sugar industry in Natal. Basis of today’s SA Indian population. Prominent – Mohandas Gandhi – refined – technique – passive resistance – later used in India.

 

1867 – diamonds discovered – Kimberley -tens of thousands – black & white – first industrial hub in Africa – largest diamond deposit in the world.

 

1871 – British – ousted rival claimants – annexed diamond fields. The Colony of Griqualand West – created.

 

1877 British annex Transvaal.

 

1879 – British defeat Zulus (Zulu Wars)

 

1880 – Colony of Griqualand West incorporated into Cape Colony.

 

1880 – 1881 – First Anglo Boer War – negotiated peace – Transvaal restored as republic – Zuid Afrikaanse Rupubliek (ZAR).

 

1886 – discovery – Witwatersrand goldfields – turning point – SA history. Emergence – modern SA industrial state. Once extent – reefs established – deep level mining viable investment. only matter of time – Britain – pretext for war – Boer Republics – Transvaal & Orange Free State.

 

Demand – franchise rights – English speaking immigrants – lever – applying pressure – Paul Kruger’s Government. Egged on – deep level mining magnets – Boer government – obstacle – expectation of uitlander uprising – Britain annexed Tvl & OFS republics.

 

Mineral discoveries – radical impact – every sphere of society. Labour required – massive scale could only be provided by Africans – drawn away from land. Many responded – opportunities – wage labour – travelling long distances – earn money – supplement rural – homestead economy.

 

Conquest – land dispossession – taxation – pass laws – designed – force black men off land – channel into labour markets – esp mines. Gradually opportunities available to them closed – decline – homestead economy – wage labour – increasingly essential – survival. Integration – emerging urban & industrial society should have happened – recurrent labour migrancy – suited employers – authorities. Closed compounds – pioneered – diamond fields – means – control migrant labour – effect – lower wages – denying rights – keeping families & dependents subsistence plots in reserves.

 

1889 – 1902 – Second Anglo Boer War – harsh treatment of Boers – concentration camps.

 

1902 – Treaty of Vereeniging – end of war – the two former Boer Republics become self-governing colonies of the British empire.

 

31 May 1910 – The National Convention – constitution – 4 colonies – independent dominion – Union of SA. SA had four provinces as this time.

 

1912 – Native National Congress – later African National Congress (ANC) formed.

 

1913 – land act – prevent Blacks from buying land outside of reserves. Not applied in Cape province.

 

1914-1918 World War 1 (WW1) – Afrikaners generally dissatisfied to fight on the side of the British.

 

1914 – Nationalist Party formed.

 

1918 – Broederbond – secret society – advancement of Afrikaner cause was formed.

 

1919 – German South West Africa – now Namibia – SA control – protectorate – League of Nations. (After WW1).

 

1931 – Statute of Westminster – removed British legal control over Union of SA.

 

1934 – Status of the Union Act – declared Union of SA – “a sovereign independent state”.

 

1945 – End of World War 2 (WW2)

 

1946 – miners’ strike – turning point – emergence – politics – mass mobilisation. post WW2 – difficulties – enhanced discontent. National Party – primary appeal – determination – maintain – white domination – face – rising mass resistance – uplift poor Afrikaners – challenge – pre-eminence – English – public life – professions – business – abolish – remaining Imperial ties.

 

1948 – National Party wins election.

 

1950 – population classified by race.

 

Mid 1950s – drastic step – overriding 1910 Constitution of union – remove coloured voters – common voters roll. Enforced – residential segregation – expropriating homes – policing massive forced removals – coloured “group areas”.

 

1952 – Defiance Campaign – mas mobilisation – new heights – banner – non-violent resistance to pass laws – influenced – in part – philosophy – Mohandas Gandhi.

 

1955 – Freedom Charter – Congress of the People – Kliptown Soweto. Enunciate – principles – struggle – binding – the movement – culture of human rights – non-racism. Next few decades – charter – elevated – important symbol – freedom struggle.

 

1956 – 1961 – Treason trial – 150 anti-apartheid leaders put on trial for treason – Palace of Justice – Pretoria. All acquitted.

 

1959 – Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) – Robert Sobukwe – philosophies – “Africanism” – anti-communism – broke away – Congress Alliance.

 

March 1960 – 69 anti- pass demonstrators – killed – police – fired – demonstration – called by PAC. State of emergency – detention without trial.

 

Black political organisations – banned – leaders – exile – or arrested. ANC – PAC – abandoned – long standing commitment – non-violent resistance – turned to armed struggle – underground – organisation & mobilisation – international solidarity. Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) – Spear of the Nation.

 

1961 – NP – PM HF Verwoerd – declared – SA – republic – whites only referendum. New Currency – rand – new flag – anthem – coat of arms. Apply – continued membership – Commonwealth. withdrew application – demands – end apartheid. Figure head president replaces queen – HOS. Apartheid – continuation – more brutal – systematic – segregation policies – previous governments.

 

1963-1964 – Rivonia Trial – 8 ANC leaders – including Nelson Mandela – convicted of sabotage – life imprisonment.

 

1966 – Hendrik Verwoerd assassinated (second attempt).

 

1970s – policy of separate development – formation of “Black” homelands.

 

1976 – beginning – sustained – anti-apartheid revolt. June 16 – school pupils – Soweto – all around the country. Harsh repression followed.

 

1979 – school students – Congress of SA Students – college & university students – Azanian Students Organisation formed.

 

By 1980s – armed struggle – mass mobilisation – international solidarity – intensifying.

 

1982 – hardliners – breakaway – Conservative Party – NP – more open – flexible – modernising influences. After split – factions within – Afrikaner elite – open pronouncement – more inclusive society.

 

Mid 1980s – township revolts – regional – national – states of emergency.

 

By late 1980s – popular resistance – mass defiance campaigns – struggles – more localised issues – broad sections of communities – mobilised – united action. Popular support – released political prisoners – armed struggle – openly expressed. Response – to rising tide of resistance – international community – strengthened – support – anti-apartheid cause. Sanctions – boycotts – by countries – & UN.

 

1989 FW de Klerk – replaced PW Botha as president.

 

1990 – unbanning – liberation movements – release of political prisoners including Mandela.

 

27 April 1994 – SA’s first democratic election – 27 April 1994 – under interim constitution.

 

Interim constitution – 9 new provinces – previous 4 + 10 homelands. Nelson Mandela elected President. ANC – 62% majority – main opposition NP – 20% nationally – majority in Western cape – Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 10% – mainly KZN. NP & IFP – part of – Government of National Unity until 1996 – NP withdrew. ANC led Government – embarked – programme – reconstruction & development – country – institutions.

 

1996 – 2003 – Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) – Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu – commitment to accountability – transparency – SA’s public life – helping – heal wounds – inhumanities – apartheid era.

 

1996 – Parliament approved new constitution.

 

Second democratic election – 1999 – ANC – just short of two thirds – Mr Thabo Mbeki – president. Sharp decline – NP (NNP) – Democratic Party – Mr Tony Leon – official opposition. NNP + DP – Democratic Alliance – NNP left – 2001.

 

Third democratic election – 2004 – Thabo Mbeki – second term.

 

Fourth democratic election – 2009 – Jacob Zuma.

 

Fifth democratic election – 2014 – Jacob Zuma – second term.

 

2018 – Jacob Zuma resigned as President and replaced by Cyril Ramaposa.

 

2019 – SA going to polls for sixth democratic election.

 

2019 – Still challenges – poverty – HIV & Aids – service delivery – unemployment – crime – land ownership.