0 items

August 2017 Encore..

Dear Friends, Rhodies and Countrymen,   
From The Mountaintops to the moon, as humans we have a deep need to explore and why not, for

For some, a pretty picture of a landscape or foreign city is merely good enough to be a desktop wallpaper or a cover photo on Facebook, while for others, it creates an overwhelming pull to go to that location and be a part of it. Those in the latter group know this feeling as wanderlust and know that the only way to fight it is to book a flight for their next vacation. Well should you have itchy feet you don’t have to go to far as we are doing a dedication to AFRICA our very own SOUTH AFRICA! There are many reasons to remind us why South Africa is the most beautiful country in the world.

Amidst its challenges it is sometimes easy to forget that South Africa has the prestigious reputation of being the most beautiful country in the world. An article by Buzzfeed said this about South Africa, ‘Unsurpassed wildlife and mountains, whales and waterfalls, architecture and antiquity, the world’s most beautiful city, and the world’s most stunning Spring, plus a host of natural treasures make South Africa “The Most Beautiful Country In The World”, and a must-see traveller’s dream.”  We sometimes forget the amazing country that so many tourists experience. A country we sometimes fail to appreciate. It’s time we take a step back and remember many things that make South Africa the most special country in the world.

It is full of beauty, both natural and man-made. Cape Town as a whole encompasses both of these, with the amazing oceans and views as well as the gorgeous architecture and culture. Our coastal drives are above the rest. Chapman’s Peak and the Garden Route are a sight to behold, one that every South African needs to see at least once in their lifetime. Our diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Much of our wildlife can be seen in our national parks, which protect them and aid in maintaining their ecosystems. Not only is South Africa home to the Big Five and number of endangered animals, such as the African Wild Dog and the Pangolin, but we also have a superb variety of marine life as well. Where else in the world could you view a whale from the shore and an elephant grazing with its herd? Our diverse floral kingdom. Even though there are number of alien plant species in South Africa, there are also numerous indigenous plant species. Our plant kingdom is diverse and home to incredible flowers, such as the King Protea. Our unique mountains and what they hold. Our most famous mountain is Table Mountain, named as one of the new 7 wonders of nature, but there’s more. The Drakensberg holds its own beauty, such as the Amphitheatre, and the Swartberg displays technicoloured sandstone cliffs and houses the Cango Caves, one of the most astonishing cave systems in the world. Our country is full of history and a lot of it has come from the earth, where we have found fossils and minerals that expand our knowledge.
We are one of the world’s most colourful countries. Our flag and our people are not only the only reason we should be called “The Rainbow Nation”. In Spring, there are thousands of different types of flowers that bloom, transforming the harshest environments, such as Namaqualand into beautiful, natural gardens. Our sunsets are truly spectacular. No matter where you are in South Africa, our skies share the same beautiful hues and colours of sunset, reminding us that we are in Africa and that our country is beautiful.
 With all of this being said, each person sees South Africa differently but we all call it home.

INFRASTRUCTURE: The world's biggest hospital is the Chris Hani - Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. South Africa is the world's biggest producer and exporter of mohair. South Africa mines deeper than any other country in the world, up to depths of  2.5 miles at the Western Deep Levels Mine. It has the largest hydro-electric tunnel system in the world at the Orange Fish Rivers Tunnel. Electricity costs are the second lowest in the world. South Africa is the world's biggest producer of gold, platinum, chromium, vanadium, manganese and alumina-silicates. It also produces nearly 40% of the world's chrome and vermiculite. The world's two largest platinum mines are located near Rustenburg. South Africa has the world's second oldest air force, established 1920.
Currently, South Africa is the only country in the world which has voluntarily dismantled its nuclear arsenal.
Durban is the largest port in Africa and the ninth largest in the world.
While occupying 4% of Africa's landmass, South Africa boasts more than 50% of the cars, phones, automatic bank tellers and industrial facilities on the continent. The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), now rising from a Karoo koppie in Sutherland is the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere (and third largest in the world), which was completed in 2005.
Entertainment: South Africa has the second oldest Film Industry in the world.
The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world.
M-Net is Africa's largest pay television service, delivering 24-hour programming to dozens of countries across the continent.
Travel & Nature: The Kruger National Park nature reserve supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent. It is roughly the size of Wales, or the state of Massachusetts (USA), which makes it the eighth largest reserve in the world. The Lost City Resort is the largest thermal resort in the world as well as the largest building project undertaken in the southern hemisphere. Home to one of the world's 6 floral kingdoms, South Africa has one-tenth (23 200) of the world's flowering plants, of which nearly 19 000 are endemic, making it the richest region in the world in terms of species to area - 1.7 times richer even than Brazil. It is home to more kinds of mammals than North and South America combined; or Europe and Asia together Kimberley's 'Big Hole' is the largest hand-dug hole in the world and is deeper than Table Mountain is high. Kimberley also has the only drive-in pubs in the world. Mpumalanga province is home to the Blyderiver Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world. The world's best land-based whale-watching spot is located in Hermanus, Western Cape. Seal Island in False Bay is the only place in the world where Great Whites consistently breach (leap completely out of the water) to catch their prey, mainly seals. It also boasts the highest frequency of Great White shark attacks in the world. In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to protect the Great White shark. The Boesmansgat is renowned as the second deepest sinkhole (about 299 metres) and the largest of its kind in the world. Many attempts have been made at world records in cave-diving in this exceptional sinkhole.  Fossilized footprints were found at Langebaan Lagoon, Western Cape, in a sand-dune-turned-rock. The 117,000 year-old fossils are the oldest known footprints of an anatomically modern human. The Sterkfontein Caves, in Gauteng, is the site where the oldest human skeletal remains were found in the world (3.5 million years old). This is the place where the human race was born!
The 2 billion year-old crater in Vredefort is the oldest known crater on Earth. The general estimate of its original diameter is roughly 300 km, which makes it the largest crater on the planet, as well. The St. Lucia estuarine system, in Kwazulu Natal, is the largest estuarine system in Africa. The list goes on and on and on!!!!
And last but not least did you know that?
The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war of the 20th century and saw the introduction of trench warfare, sadly - the first large-scale use of concentration camps for non-combatants, and the most prolonged period of guerrilla warfare by a "conquered" nation's military against a "victorious" army. Camouflage was first used in battle by the Boers, who effectively used camouflaged trenches and adapted battledress to blend into treeless landscapes. It was during this war that British forces were forced to switch from colourful uniforms to more sombre 'khaki'. Technologically, it saw the first use of a generation of weapons that are still with us today - automatic handguns, magazine-fed rifles, and machine guns. The Guiness Book of Records lists the Anglo-Boer War as Britain's most costly war outside of the two World Wars. The world's first news footage and propaganda films were shot during the Anglo-Boer War.
Innovative Inventions to mention but two: The 'Kreepy Krawly', the world's first automatic pool cleaning unit, was invented by two engineers from Randburg.  The CT Scanner was invented by Allan Macleod Cormack, from Cape Town, for which he won a Nobel Physics Prize in 1979. Last but not least the first heart transplant by Dr Chris Barnard happened in Sunny SOUTH AFRICA !!

So Folks enough reasons and facts to give our love to Africa ……and we would like to celebrate the life of Allan Schlosberg, one of John Edmond’s long standing fellow song writing friends who recently passed on. John says that Allan was one of South Africa’s most under rated songwriters. They go back many years and one of John’s great memories of him is time they met up in Brazil where Allan lived for a while and showed John around the music scene of Rio de Janeiro! One of John’s favourite Allan Schlosberg compositions is “Give my love to Africa” and he recorded it on his “Born in Africa” album.  Allan sums up in a couple of minutes just what we have been talking about. Thank you Allan for this beautiful song and as you rest in peace and watch us from above we will think of you when we hear “Give my love to Africa!


Yours in music always…… the Roan Antelope Team.