South Africa grows in admiration from a long list of impressive assets, it is a rich country.
- People – There is a Nelson Mandela spirit among its population of 58 million, reminders and statues of him at many locations. I find the South African spirit to be positive, respectful and want to be respected, easy to smile, congenial and happy. They acknowledge problems but believe solutions will be found, so be happy and have a great day! I include a photo of group of teenage boys on a school outing at the beach, supervised by a nineteen year old girl. The boys were playful typical 12 to 14 year olds, the girl was delightful as we sought her advice on area attractions.
- They have great roads and highways everywhere, I’d argue better than at home in the absence of our freeze – thaw cycle.
- The country is sun drenched. In my view, it is a perfect country for generating solar power but we saw very few solar panels. Though we did see one, and only one, Wind Farm.
- By all appearances, a strong economy. I include a phototaken in the port of Durban. How is it those containers don’t fall of the ships?
- Many car manufacturers, including Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW among others, assemble cars in South Africa. What they don’t sell domestically they ship principally from Port Elizabeth and Durban.
- We have squirrels and raccoons, they have zebras and baboons. I admire the diversity and abundance of South African wildlife.
- I think they have Great Wildlife management. It would be interesting to look up the value of the wildlife tourism industry. It’s got to be huge.
- South Africa can feed Africa – growing water crisis not withstanding. The variety and abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish is simply outstanding. They have an abundance of seemingly fertile earth, drenched in sunshine. Given the number of vineyards that appear to be replacing all other crops, they can feed the Africa and keep it intoxicated also!
- Surprisingly high mountain ranges, each coupled with just as impressive valleys. We were told that 200 or 400 million years ago, South Africa’s mountains were like today’s Canadian Rockies. I find them more imposing than the Laurentians or Appalachians.
- They, like many countries, have a urbanization challenge as many people are leaving the country side and moving to cities. They generally arrive unemployed, under skilled, with few housing options. The South African Government appears to be responding constructively with job creation programs, skill development and housing projects.
This is the week that the ANC forced the South African President to resign over corruption. This action is required in the interests of all South Africans, and to keep their economy growing.
This morning, we are cruising the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar, which is the Mozambique Channel. We left Maputo (the Capital of Mozambique) the day Friday and we arrive in Nosy Be, Madagascar on Monday. Previously this week, we had 5 successive days of non stop port visits, we’ve been busy being tourists. Hard work!
This morning we awoke to a calm ocean, light winds, bright sunshine, there is a tropical feel to the air, warmer and more humid than we are used to, and very comfortable.
It wasn’t this way for the past number of days. The captain informed us that strong headwinds and stronger than normal current as we rounded the coast of South Africa, significantly delayed our progress. Access to some decks were closed, walkers on the ship’s walking track, which is on the very upper level, faced a battle fighting the strong and gusting wind as they moved up ship and had to lean back in the downship direction. As a result of this unexpected adversity, we arrived about 3 hours late in Maputo, Mozambique which short changed on our visiting time (it was still fine).