Note to readers: My Chinese friends, Zhu Xiaojian (Julia) and Yixian, recently visited South Africa. Julia’s English is excellent; however, we thought it would be fun to have both the English and Chinese versions.
The Republic of South Africa, located in the most southern point of the African continent, is 122 square kilometers (76 sq. miles) of the land. Except for the north part, South Africa is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. This area is the most important and busiest sea route in the world. The climate is mild all year round. Our group was told that the average temperature in the capital Pretoria is 17 ℃ (62 F). Because of its beautiful nature scenery, colorful history and multi-racial population, it is called “Rainbow Nation”. English and Afrikaans (African Dutch) are official languages as well as four other local languages.
South Africa is the only country that has three capitals: administration capital Pretoria, legislation capital Cape Town and the judicial capital Bloemfontein. The president works in these three places. When you see the national flag waving in front of the building, you know that the president is working here today. Nelson Mandela is much respected in this country. His portrait is seen everywhere. There is a huge statue in front of the palace in Pretoria. Many people come to pay their respect.
We visited The Sun City, a famous leisure and recreation place for local people. It is like a national park with a large casino. Nearby the Sun City is one of the four wild animal protection zones. People can drive into it to see wild animals wandering on grassland. We saw elephants, rhinos, springboks, giraffes, zebras and many wildebeests, which was the spotlight of this trip. How exciting! South Africa does very well in protecting wild animals.
We toured the capital in the van, so we did not see much of the capital. At five o’clock in the afternoon, the streets were deserted. The sun did not set before eight, but no activities were arranged in the evening. On Sunday many people go to church and some have their tribe rituals outdoors.
The next day, after visiting a diamond processing plant, we flew to the second largest city in South Africa — Cape Town. Waters of Atlantic and Indian Ocean join here. In early history, ships of the East India Company journeyed to the east and stopped here for supplies before continuing to the east. In 1652, the Dutch built the first port and supply station, a castle called Good Hope and later a settlement. Gradually, it became the largest city before gold and diamond were found in Johannesburg, which became the largest city and administrative capital. But Cape Town is still called the “Mother City”.
第二天，参观过一家著名的钻石加工厂之后，我们飞往南非的第二大城市 – 开普敦，印度洋和大西洋交汇之处。早期，东印度公司驶往东方的船只必须停靠在此补充给养。1652年，荷兰在开普敦建了第一个码头和补给站，还建了一个叫做“好希望”的城堡，并逐步发展成一个定居点。开普敦早年是南非的第一大城市，直到后来约翰内斯堡发现了金矿和钻石矿并发展起来后，才退居第二。
This city is famous for its beautiful port, sandy beaches and scenery. Many people come here for their holiday. The most famous spot is The Table of God, the Table Mountain. It stands by the sea with a flat mountain top for people to walk around and have a spectacular bird’s eye view of the Table Port below. At the end of the peninsula, stands the oldest lighthouse on top of the Cape of Good Hope. Breathtaking waves flap the rocks with seas of white foams. No wonder it was crowned the most dangerous water in the world.
With the mild climate and rich soil, South Africa is one of the six famous grape planting areas, which brew 3% of the wine in the world. There are many wine chateaus along the Wine Route. In 1688, persecuted Huguenot Christians left their homeland immigrating to South Africa with their advanced brewing skill. Driving along the road, hills of grape yards, rivers, lakes and red-roofed European houses composed a lyric nature symphony. The most recommended is Franschhoek Vine Valley. We were inebriated, not only by the tasty wine, but, also by the beautiful landscape made by hard-working people. The city is kept clean and neat.
While there, we also visited the botanic garden and ostrich farm.
All of us feel like staying in this country for long. But in deep, there is still much room to improve.
Julia and Yixian’s tour was arranged by China Comfort Travel.
About the Author:
Zhu Xiaojian taught English at the university in Fuzhou, China. She also briefly lived in the U.S. to learn English and become familiar with the American culture. She is the co-author of Walk Beijing. When I lived and taught English in Fuzhou (1996-97) Zhu and I became close friends. She did her best to teach me Mandarin. We never lost contact with each other. In 2007, I called Zhu and asked her if she would like to co-author a guidebook to Beijing. In August of that year, we joined forces to live in Beijing and write what became Walk Beijing. She is an incredible person and I am honored to be her friend.