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ID #4114

Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Formerly known as the Eastern Transvaal.  No need to wonder why it is one of South Africa’s top tourism destinations. Some are drawn by the magnificent scenery, others by the flora and fauna as well as the saga of the 1870’s gold rush and a wealth of fascinating tribal legends.

Few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the escarpment and lowveld. Mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests characterise the landscape.  This is Big5 country, the setting of dozens of sanctuaries teeming with wildlife and birds. Among them, the Kruger National Park is world renowned, as are several private reserves on its western boundary. The area offers opportunities for bird watching, hiking, horse riding and fishing. Streams once panned for gold have become the haunts of anglers and fortune seekers.  Steeped in the history of pioneers, hunters and fortune seekers, fascinating gold-rush towns abound.  Barberton and Pilgrim’s rest are most famous.

An additional dimension occurs in the Middleveld region that is inhabited by the Ndebele.  They are renowned for their strikingly attractive dress, characterised by vivid colours, metal rings and beaded hoops. The quality of their beadwork is also notable, as are the strong, geometric designs on the walls of their homes.  The older mural designs were usually painted in earth colours on a whitewashed background. In more recent times, bright bold colours have increasingly been used. It is rumoured that Picasso borrowed the geometrical patterns in creating his abstract paintings such as Guernica. An urban legend?  Perhaps our readers would like to comment? AOMlanga

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Last update: 2014-05-13 13:58
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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