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Africa Travel Planner
South and South-Central Africa
South and south-central Africa offer a mix of lively cosmopolitan cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, and wildlife-rich countryside for safaris in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and beyond. Adventurous spirits can tackle the rapids of the Zambezi River, while history buffs will want to visit places such as the Robben Island Heritage Site, where former South Africa president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. Other memorable experiences include a day-trip to Soweto, the all-black Johannesburg township where political energy helped put an end to apartheid; and wine tastings in South Africa (the seventh largest producer of wine in the world), most notably in and around Cape Town.
Africa: Biography of a Continent, by John Reader (Vintage Books, 1999) Photojournalist John Reader chronicles the evolution of African people, animals, and plants.
Wines and Vineyards of South Africa, by Wendy Toerein (New Holland/Struik, 2001) A guide on the best wines and vineyards in South Africa, written by the former editor of Wine magazine.
South African Wine: A Celebration (New Holland/Struik, 2001) An introduction to South Africa's wines—plus tips on wine tasting, deciphering wine terminology, and more.
African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe, by Doris Lessing (Harper Collins, 1993) A true story about a British writer who returns to her roots after her exile from old Southern Rhodesia.
The Lost World of the Kalahari, by Laurens Van Der Post (Harvest Books, 1977) An account of the author's journey to find the ancestors of the Kalahari bushmen.
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Little Brown and Company, 1995) A revealing account written while Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime.
South Africa—The Beautiful, by Brian Johnson Barker (BHB International, 1997) A colorful description of Africa's flora and fauna.
Songs to an African Sunset: A Zimbabwe Story, by Seki Nzenza-Shand (Lonely Planet, 1997) The true story of a woman who returns from Australia to her homeland and sees the effects of AIDS, drought, polygamy, and witchcraft.
My Traitor's Heart, by Rian Malan (Grove Press, 2000) A South African who was exiled returns to face his country, his tribe, and his conscience.
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