The Bethulie Concentration Camp cemetery – a sad part of our history

Bethulie in the southern Free State is one of those places not many people pass through as it's not really on any of the main thoroughfares going south (or north, depending how you look at it).  On my last trip up to Johannesburg I deviated off the normal route to see what this town on the banks of the Orange River is all about.  One of the things I found out was that Bethulie was the site of one of…

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Graaff-Reinet town hall and the Victory Peace Angel war memorial

Statues is a bit of a sore point in South Africa at the moment (referring to the Cecil John Rhodes statue at UCT and and and...) but there are some truly special ones out there.  One of these is the War Memorial or "Victory Peace Angel" outside the town hall in the Karoo Heartland town of Graaff-Reinet.About three months after the end of World War One, the Mayor of Graaff-Reinet called a public meeting to discuss the erection of a war memorial. …

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My Old Fort adventure in Durban

I get to visit Durban once a year during the annual Tourism Indaba but other than stopping in Umhlanga and taking walks on the beachfront, I've never really had an opportunity to explore the city much.  This year I decided to pinch off an hour to explore and discover at least one new place and the choice fell on The Old Fort.  From outside the place didn't look like much but I pressed on and in and was pleasantly surprised by what…

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South African Heavy Artillery Memorial in Durban

I wouldn't really call war memorials a specific interest on my side, but I really enjoy discovering historic sites and attractions.  Just about every city and town in South Africa has a war memorial of some sort and Durban is no different.  Usually cities have a number of war related memorials and the first one I found in Durban was the city's South African Heavy Artillery Memorial, one of six around South Africa.  After the end of World War I the Imperial Government…

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Uitenhage War Memorial

I'm fascinated by a lot of things so I won't say that war memorials fascinate me, although I find it very interesting how the war memorial in every town - because yes, just every town has some kind of war memorial - looks different.  Ranging from cenotaphs to historic cannons and massive monuments to small simple objects.  This is the war memorial in Uitenhage containing a list of men from the town who died during the two World Wars.

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South African Museum

I'm a museum kinda guy.  There is always something new to discover even if you have been to it so many times before.  My favorite museum to go to is the South African Museum in Cape Town.  Its the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa and was established in 1825 by Lord Charles Somerset.  It is both a research and educational institution and offers collections of natural history and anthropological objects that document all forms of life - living and extinct - from…

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Cape Town War Memorial

As you would know I am always on the lookout for something interesting to photograph, doesn't matter if its natural or historical.  As far as historical attractions go you tend to find some kind of war memorial in just about every town and city around South Africa and Cape Town was no different.  In actual fact I found two right next to each other.  At the top of the Company Gardens just below the South African Museum is the Cape Town…

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Montagu War Memorial

I've said it before and I will say it again and again and again (every time I find another one).  Just about every town has a war memorial.  Click to see those in Knysna and Mossel Bay which I've blogged about before.  Driving around Montagu I was looking for interesting places and stumbled upon the Montagu War Memorial remembering those from the town who fell during the Anglo Boer War, WWI and WWII.  I'm not a war junkie so I…

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Union Buildings

The Union Buildings on Meintjieskop in Pretoria is the official seat of the South African government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa.  The Boer Republics of the ZAR (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State united with the Cape Colony and Natal Colony in 1910 to for the Union of South Africa.  Pretoria was selected as the administrative capital of the Union.The cornerstone of the building with its two identical wings was laid in November 1910, shortly after the…

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South African National Defence Force Memorial

The South African Defence Force Memorial is situated just outside the entrance to Fort Klapperkop in Pretoria. The memorial was unveiled on May 31 1979 and includes a statue of a soldier holding a R1 rifle, in memory of all members of the South African Defence Force who lost their lives serving their country. The individuals who have lost their lives are honored with an inscription on a number of marble plaques mounted around the statue. 

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