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South African Destinations

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Moira de Swardt
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:19 pm
Location: The City of Gold

South African Destinations

Unread post by Moira de Swardt » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:32 pm

The front inside cover has a map of South Africa with seven broad biomes, forest, fynbos, savannah, grassland, Nama Karoo, succulent Karoo, and thicket.

An historical timeline featuring interesting snippets of ecoinformation and major events in South African history takes three pages. In 1799-1800 the blue antelope became the first mammal species to officially become extinct in South Africa. In 1883 the last quagga died in the Antwerp zoo. In 1930 the black rhino was officially no longer extant in the Kruger National Park. They were later successfully reintroduced.

Provincial facts and stats follow, together with details of all the national parks as well as some important regional ones. The people and culture is discussed and thereafter some important general South Africa ecological information is given.

The aforegoing serves as a good general introduction and uses 28 pages. The next 120 pages explore the country, province by province. The final 12 pages comprise an ecoadvisor, a glossary and an index.

The book is informative and richly illustrated with gorgeous photographs. Sweeping vistas and delicate miniatures mingle with portraits of animals and happy snap type pictures which illustrate the diversity of this country and the many things one can do here. The cutest photo of all is of two ground squirrels, one above the other on a rock, grooming the lower one.

Various insets provide delightful tidbits of general knowledge. For example “What do birdwatchers and prison inmates have in common? The Zonderwater Wetlands on the estate housing the Pretoria prison. About 50 ha of flooded grassland with ponds and reed beds where rare and shy birds live, among them numerous Red-breasted flufftail, African marsh warblers and African rails, as well as Black-headed heron and Little bittern. … Jailbirds, however, cannot be viewed.

This is a book for thinking foreign visitors and locals passionate about the beautiful country in which we live.

Title: South African Destinations
Sur-title: Ecoguide
Author: August Sycholt
Publishers: Briza Publications
Year: 2009
Recommended Selling Price: Unknown
ISBN: 978-1-875093-60-1
I don't get to the Parks nearly often enough, despite two trips to the KNP and one to Golden Gate this year.

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