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Travel Pictures - SOUTH AFRICA & LESOTHO - 1999

All images Ron Miller

         Culturally speaking, South Africa was the most interesting country I ever visited. The striking contrast of modern cities and impoverished townships was a clear legacy of apartheid and the disparate cultures that, historically, were unable to coexist. I entered the country fearing for my safety but was astounded by the warm welcome extended by the vast majority of South Africans. I arrived in the modern city of Johannesburg and traveled to Kruger NP, the coast at Durban, and the landlocked nation of Lesotho before traveling down the "Garden Route" to Cape Town. 

Me and my guide just before our journey into the epicenter of black repression -
Soweto township, South Africa

The tour guide at the former home of Nelson Mandela. The old row house was converted into a museum to honor
the South African president. Interestingly, this guide, who was from Kenya, claimed to have never experienced racism
or called the "N" word until he attended college ... in the United States ... in Tennessee ... at my Alma Mater! -
Soweto township, South Africa
Typical street scene in the township where residents (during apartheid) were forced to live without electricity or indoor plumbing -
Soweto township, South Africa
These vendors (mother and daughter) were selling vegetables and grilled corn -
Soweto township, South Africa
Close-up of the welcoming vendors and the fresh corn and husks -
Soweto township, South Africa
This local bar, in an overgrown shanty, was the last thing I thought this community needed.
However, considering their plight, perhaps it is exactly what the doctor ordered?
Soweto township, South Africa
This amiable woman invited me into her fortified shanty -
Soweto township, South Africa
Me and my guide visiting a hospitable family on the wrong side of apartheid. The woman, fully aware of her plight, jokingly asked me
how many rooms she had in her one-room shanty. I realized she was presenting me with a trick question and answered "Two" since
there was a blanket draped over a string to divide the room. However, she corrected me by claiming there were three rooms -
a bedroom, kitchen, and living area in the structure no larger than a small bedroom -
Soweto township, South Africa
Most of the residents in Soweto live in a single-room shanty with dirt floors and, if they are fortunate, a television powered by a car battery -
Soweto township, South Africa
Traveling from Johannesburg to Kruger NP, one must drop from the rolling countryside of the highveld to the tropical,
malaria-infested lowveld. This dramatic change in environments happens rather abruptly at the Blyde River Canyon -
near Kruger N.P., South Africa
Grazing animals often congregate together, increasing their ability to spot predators -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
Even the baboons (who often graze in the open) will take advantage of the safety that is found in numbers -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
These horses, recently escaped from prison, seem out of place in the lush greenery of the wet season. Filmmakers typically do their work
in the dry season when animals congregate around waterholes, making it easier to capture the action. Although the vivid green
surroundings are attractive, it seems odd to view African wildlife in a setting reminiscent of the Garden of Eden -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
A family of wary warthogs in the lush environs. Two words you will never find together - warthog and cute -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
Is this warthog religious or is it simply utilizing an efficient grazing method? -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
Amid the terror and ruthlessness of the jungle, there exists one of the natural world's most beautiful scenes. A herd of giraffe in their natural
environment is practically a work of art with the multitudes of long, slender necks rising elegantly out of the foliage. The giraffe's stylish
body seems to be designed more for appreciation of its graceful lines than to forage on the leaves high in the canopy -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
With a little patience, I was able to capture these synchronized giraffes as they foraged -
Kruger N.P., South Africa
Are the daring Africans seen venturing into the ocean, shoulder-to-shoulder in a human wedge
(just left of the green building), creating safety in numbers or merely a shark's buffet? -
Durbin, South Africa
Cheerful Zulu children enjoying a day off from school -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa
Within the community rondavel, the men sit on the right, and the women on the left -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa
A group of Dutch travelers visiting a Zulu schoolhouse -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa

A group of children relaxing in the community rondavel -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa
When our Zulu guide asked these children if they would dance for their white visitors, I was uncomfortable,
as it seemed to encompass so many negative stereotypes about Blacks and Africans. However, once
I overcame my own prejudice, I noticed that the children really enjoyed themselves -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa
At the conclusion of our tour, the Zulu children set out their handmade crafts to sell to visitors. We were all
impressed with the behavior of the children as they never asked for anything during our entire visit.
The values we admired in the children were strongly encouraged by the village elders -
Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa
A window scene of the verdant farmland west of Petermaritzburg, South Africa. In the distance is the tiny landlocked country
of Lesotho, which consists primarily of the high plateau and escarpment of the Drakensburg Mountains -
near Petermaritzburg, South Africa
My wonderful guide Brian at the rugged approach to Lesotho. The harrowing road to enter the rugged
country traverses the gap at the center of the picture (the highest vehicular pass in Africa) -
Cobham Nature Reserve, South Africa
The precipitous slopes of the Drakensburg Mountains, with dark cliffs, green slopes,
and waterfalls, has an uncanny resemblance to the verdant slopes of the Hawaiian Islands -
Cobham Nature Reserve, South Africa
This isolated village of rondavels sits in the high mountains of eastern Lesotho -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
Although the children in this remote mountain village would hide from me as I walked amongst the rondavels, these two
men ran toward me when they saw me sitting quietly at this overlook. When I first glimpsed them racing toward me, I was
preoccupied with thoughts of a mugging or retribution for apartheid. However, they were simply interested in
an outsider, and we had a wonderful visit in spite of the fact that we couldn't speak a word in common! -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
This tranquil village is adorned with tidy gardens and picturesque rondavels -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
The typical Lesothoan home looks more like a fairy-tale creation -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
Here are two children who didn't run from me! The youngsters are dressed in the typical
Lesothoan attire to combat the highland's chilly climate - a blanket! -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
Most Lesothoans travel by foot but there are a few of these "forgotten cowboys of Africa" -
near Mokhotlong, Lesotho
This lovely seaside resort on the Indian Ocean has relatively warm water, tidal pools, sand dunes, large surf, and great white sharks!
At left is a lovely hostel with private bungalows as well as surfing gear for rent. I decided not to surf at this particular beach
because, tragically, a surfer was attacked and killed by a shark on the other side of the headland just prior to my visit -
East London, South Africa
Now you understand why I didn't enter the water except to ankle-deep. "Action in case of shark attack,"
"stop bleeding," and "treat for shock" are not exactly the kinds of words to encourage a leisurely swim -
East London, South Africa
The somewhat touristy town of Knysna rests on a lagoon of the Indian Ocean along the Garden Route -
Knysna, South Africa
A stunning view of Cape Town from the foot of Table Mountain. Cape Town is South Africa's oldest European settlement, and the city's
historic buildings chronicle the migration of Europeans into southern Africa. Their arrival also marked the beginning of
the intense cultural clash between the Europeans and the indigenous Africans -
Cape Town, South Africa
The cloud-shrouded Table Mountain as viewed from Cape Town's modern harbor. The first permanent European settlement at
the cape was a provisioning station established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. Shortly thereafter, the first wave
of European immigrants arrived including Dutch, German, and French settlers. Collectively, they were called Afrikaners,
and they moved inland, founding cities and establishing farming communities -
Cape Town, South Africa
Stunning vista from the summit of Table Mountain. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela
served many of his 27 years in prison, can be seen far out in the cold Atlantic -
Cape Town, South Africa
Dramatic view of Camps Bay from the summit of Table Mountain -
Cape Town, South Africa
These cute and cuddly varmints, Rock Dassies (or Rock Hyraxes), are said to be closely related to the elephant -
Table Mountain, South Africa
 Hairy, little elephants? -
Table Mountain, South Africa
The beaches around Cape Town might look tropical but, even in summer, the water is frigid - 
Camps Bay, South Africa
A stunningly beautiful beach that will take your breath away - especially if you jump into the cold water -
Cape Town, South Africa
The fynbos is the smallest (but richest in species) of the planet's six floral kingdoms,
and it is unique to the coastal regions of southern Africa -
Cape Point, South Africa
This secluded beach is nestled below the cliffs near Cape Point (in the distance) which marks
the end of the Cape Peninsula and the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent -
Cape Peninsula, South Africa
This rock outcrop is used by a vast colony of South African Fur Seal (Cape Fur Seal) to breed, rest, and bask in the sunshine. When in the water,
the seals seem to be enjoying one long play session. However, when they venture out past the underwater kelp forests surrounding the island, they
are at risk of becoming a meal for the prowling great white sharks. This is the area where the great white sharks have perfected the maneuver
called "air jaws" - a highly athletic breaching and hunting behavior in which the "flying sharks" explode out of the water with their entire
bodies going airborne in their attempt to catch a seal. Yet another South African location I chose to pass on a swim! -
   Duiker Island; Cape Peninsula, South Africa
Penguins in Africa? The African Penguin, also known as the Jackass Penguin because of their
donkey-like braying call, has an average lifespan of 10 years -
Boulder Beach, South Africa
Me and several other tourists swimming with the Jackass Penguins. However,
considering the icy water, one must ask who are the real jackasses? -
Boulder Beach, South Africa
A pair of African Penguins striking a pose in their formal attire. This Penguin species is monogamous,
and the lifelong partners will take turns incubating their eggs and feeding their young -
Boulder Beach, South Africa

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All images Ron Miller
For authorized use of these photos, please contact Ron Miller at TheHappyCannibal@gmail.com