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South Africa's New Era Tour
12 Day Tour

DAY 01:


Depart New York via your South African Airways flight enroute to South Africa.


DAY 02:


Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Photo: PZFUN
Arrival in Capetown.  Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Capetown is a beautiful city built at the base and lower slopes of a series of magnificent mountains. In 1910, Capetown was made the legislative capital of South Africa.


DAY 03:


This morning the tour begins with a drive to Signal Hill and a ride to the top of Table Mountain by cable car to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view this affords.  Drive through the centuries old Malay Quarter:  the Cape Malays are mostly the descendants of slaves brought in from Asia in the second half of the 17th century.  They are Muslims and live in a separate neighborhood close to the business district.  The Malay Quarter is worth a visit for the sight of the pastel colored little houses, the minarets, and the kindly people themselves. Visit the Cathedral of the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, the first black to hold the post of Archbishop of Capetown and a Nobel Peace Laureate.


DAY 04:


Robben Island Prison
Robben Island Prison
Today you will cruise to Robben Island Prison, where former President Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 year incarceration. It was likely that on many a day that Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela could see the Statehouse in Capetown. While in office he sat in that same Statehouse and saw Robben Island Prison that once held him. It is the most spectacular miracle of our time.  IF THE CRUISE IS OPERATING.  In case of cancellation of cruise, tour will be to Mitchells Plain & Khayelitsha Townships.


DAY 05:


Tip of the Cape
Tip of the Cape
Depart this morning on a full day tour to Cape Peninsula. This tour offers unsurpassed scenery and a drive spanning the whole peninsula, one of the most beautiful promontories in the world. This tiny outcrop of land is washed on the west by the Atlantic and on the east by the Indian Ocean.  Travel along magnificent Marine Drive beyond Lion’s Head, past Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles to Hout Bay, a quaint fishing village on the Atlantic seaboard. Over Constantia Nek, past Pollsmor Prison, over Silvermine Pass, via Kommetjie to Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean’s merge. Cape Point Nature Reserve covers 7750 unspoiled hectares of the southernmost part of the Cape Peninsula. The peninsula divides at the tip into three points. The Cape of Good Hope is the most southerly point; east of this is Cape Maclear, named after Sir Thomas Maclear, the 19th century astronomer; and still further east is Cape Point. Among the 150 species of birds that can be seen in the reserve, are the ostrich, white-fronted plover, black backed gull, cormorant and sugarbird. Travel through the attractive False Bay resorts of Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek, along Boyes Drive, which offers glorious views of the False Bay coastline, and the Hottentots Holland Mountains, then over De Waal Drive with excellent views of Table Bay to Capetown.


DAY 06:


Visit Paarl, a suburban settlement one hour north of Capetown and through the township in a section called Silvertown.  Its name was derived from the corrugated zinc from which many of the shacks are constructed.  No running water, no toilets, no privacy!  One dwelling nearby, was used to house factory workers, it contains a block of four to six rooms, each about nine by fourteen.  It was the residence of twelve persons with only six cots.  Each resident has his or her own paraffin (oil) stove creating an unimaginable fire peril while food is being prepared.  The occupants sleep in turns.  Women and men are housed irrespective of gender.  It boggles the mind that similar conditions, some worse, and a few a little better, can be replicated millions of times.  Transfer to the airport for your flight to Durban.  Upon your arrival in Durban you will be met and transferred to your hotel.


DAY 07:


Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Embark on a full day tour to Hluhluwe Game Reserve and the new authentic Dumazulu cultural village.  People interested in history, culture, and heritage will enjoy "Zululand" where many an epic struggle took place between the Zulu and the British invaders.  Time is allowed for a visit "people to people".  Late afternoon return to Durban.


DAY 08:


This morning, take a panoramic tour of this seaside resort town and South Africa's busiest port.  More Indians live in Durban than in any other city outside of India.  Mohandas K. Gandhi, non-violent fighter for Indian independence first came to Durban in 1893 as a young lawyer.  Because of his race, he suffered personal indignities. Gandhi conceived his philosophy of non-violent defiance in South Africa where he led mass protests against discriminatory laws.  He lived in Durban on and off for 21 years.  Visit the bustling Indian Market to see some of the beautiful baskets and smell the aroma of exotic spices.  Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg.  Upon your arrival in Johannesburg you will be met and transferred to your hotel for overnight.  The balance of the day is at leisure after a panoramic tour of Johannesburg to see the Shell House which is the headquarters of the African National Congress. Most of the world's great cities were built alongside rivers, but Johannesburg had to make do with an underground stream...of Gold!  That was enough to transform it in three years from meager grazing land to the biggest town in South Africa.  A century later, it is a dynamic metropolis of a bit more than two million people.  Like all South African cities, Johannesburg's historic population patterns had been dislocated by the racial separation laws.  Thus, some 50,000 Asians were resettled in their own suburb, Lenasia, and the blacks were assigned to vast townships on the outskirts; Soweto, by far the biggest and best known, is home for perhaps two million people.


DAY 09:


This morning you will visit the new "Museumafrica".  In this sleek new gallery, black mineworkers, squatter-camp families, speak easy hostesses and domestic servants have a place of pride.  The museum is housed in a cavernous, brightly renovated building that used to be the city's main fruit and vegetable market.  It is in the lively downtown complex that also contains the Market Theater, the center of anti-apartheid dramatic ferment and still a source of inventive energy.  An exhibit on housing includes two shacks purchased from squatter-camp residents and reconstructed to approximate the atmosphere in which some 8 million South Africans live, without electricity or indoor plumbing. 

Slums in Soweto
Slums in Soweto
Continue for a visit to Soweto, a familiar name around the world, which is actually an acronym for Southwest Township.  It is home for more than 2 million "blacks and coloureds" to use the designation of apartheid.  The laws of apartheid had prohibited blacks from living within the city proper save for a few live-in female houseworkers.  During the daylight hours, downtown Johannesburg looked just like Newark or Detroit.  At night, it was suddenly all White as if someone had waved a wand and made the Blacks disappear.  Their exodus was to the sprawling township, southwest of Johannesburg, hence its name - Soweto.  The name Soweto has been burned into our consciousness by the children's uprising against the hated Bantu education that prepared the Blacks for service jobs only and the Afrikkan language for its usefulness to their prospective masters and employers.  From the children's revolt until the present, Soweto was the scene, oft times the center, of the resistance against apartheid and the racist regime.  Time and again, Soweto has been the site of confrontation between the proponents for liberation and the armed might of the South African Defense Forces.  Nelson Mandela's home is in Soweto as well as Desmond Tutu's. The ground in Soweto is soaked with the blood of martyrs, men, women and children alike.  As you approach Soweto on the super-highways, one can see a blue-gray smoke that hangs like a pall over the entire area stretching for 17 miles.  Soweto in its expanse and nearly 50 communities would make ten Harlems!  There is Orlando East, Orlando West, Kliptown, Chiewelo, Eldorado Park, Niceville, Lineas, Racecourse, etc.  Time is allowed to meet and talk with residents.  Visit the Holy Cross Anglican Church of Orlando West which was Bishop Tutu's seat before he was elevated to Archbishop of South Africa.


DAY 10:


Church Square, Pretoria
Church Square, Pretoria
Drive north over the Transvaal Highveld to Pretoria, one of South Africa's three capital cities, visiting the Voortrekker (Pioneer) Monument, historic Church Square dominated by Paul Kruger's statue and the Union buildings - seat of the government. Pretoria is the administrative capital of the republic as well as the provincial capital of the Transvaal.  The historic heart of Pretoria is Church Square, where the early settlers built their first church in the 1850's.  In the middle of the square stands a statue of Paul Kruger, a rugged pioneer who was elected President four times in the late 19th century. Around the base of the monument are statues of four rifle-toting citizen-soldiers of the era. Facing the square are some distinguished official buildings of earlier days:  the old Raadsaal (parliament) in Italian Renaissance style, the South African Reserve Bank, designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker, and the Palace of Justice, used as a hospital during the British occupation of 1900. For miles around Pretoria you can see the Voortrekker Monument on its hilltop. From afar it might be mistaken for an electric power station or some such windowless leviathan, but its purpose is purely symbolic - a shrine dedicated to the fortitude of pioneers of the 1830s who trekked from the Cape to the Transvaal to perpetuate their religion, language and austere way of life. It is a shrine built to celebrate the white domination of black people. Inside the granite monument, an aperture in the high domed roof is placed so that at noon on every December 16th, a beam of sunlight penetrates to a crypt far below, illuminating the inscription on a sarcophagus: Ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika (meaning We're for you, South Africa).  This inscription was at the heart of the racist notion that God had somehow given South Africa to the white settlers and they were by "Divine Right" saviors of South Africa. December 16th is the anniversary of the 1838 Battle of Blood. Over 3000 Zulu warriors were killed in this battle over land that the Boers had taken from the Zulus.


DAY 11:


Morning at leisure. Transfer to the airport in time to connect with your return flight home.


DAY 12:


Arrival back in the USA in the morning local time.