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Carnivore Restaurant is an open-air restaurant in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. Carnivore's specialty is meat, and features an all-you-can-eat meat buffet. They serve a wide variety of meat and are famous for their meat. It is a popular destination. In 1999, the restaurant seated 350 people and the restaurant's 330 employees served over 1000 people per day. The game, including giraffe, wildebeest, ostrich and crocodile, is raised on Hopcraft Ranch, 25 miles outside Nairobi. The meat is skewered on Maasai swords and cooked on coals, and the meat is served on cast-iron plates. It does have a vegetarian option. It ranked 47th on the 2003 "The World's best 50 restaurants" list by UK destination
Bomas of Kenya is a tourist village in Langata, Nairobi. Bomas (homesteads) displays traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes. It was established by the government in 1971 as a subsidiary company of Kenya Tourist Development Corporation as a tourist attraction. It also wanted to preserve, maintain and promote rich and diverse cultural values of various tribal groups of Kenya.
Hell's Gate National Park lies to the south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, North West of Nairobi. The park which is mainly comprised of savannah ecosystem habours a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the frequently observed animal species include lions, leopards, and cheetahs. There are over 100 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux's Eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle, and baboons are also common. The park is also home to klipspringer antelope and Chanler's mountain reedbuck. Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It received the name "Hell's Gate" by explorers Fisher and Thomson in 1883. In the early 1900s, Mount Longonot erupted, and ash can still be felt around Hell's Gate. The comprehensive Olkaria Geothermal Station, the first of its kind in Africa, was established in 1981 and generates geothermal power underneath Hell's Gate from the area's hot springs and geysers. The park was officially established in 1984.

Thomson's Falls is a 74 m (243 ft) scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Ng'iro river, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Range. It is situated two miles from the town Nyahururu in central Kenya, at 2,360 m (7,750 ft) elevation. 1883 Joseph Thomson was the first European to reach Thomson Falls, and named them for his father. He was a Scottish geologist and naturalist who was also the first European to walk from Mombasa to Lake Victoria in the early 1880s. The mist feeds the dense forest below. Visitors can view the falls from above, or there's a trail down to the bottom of the ravine. Upstream from the falls is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya. Ewaso Narok River is a tributary of the Ewaso Ng'iro river. The falls spans a height of 72 meters. It is a major economic resource for the adjacent town Nyahururu. Most of the revenue is received from tourists both international and domestic who are charged at the gate. According to the community around the falls, the falls is notorious for people come from far and wide and commit suicide by dropping from the steep cliff.

Kit-Mikayi (also spelled Kit Mikayi, Kitmikayi, and Kitmikaye) is a rock formation, a tor, around 40 m high situated about 29 km west of the town of Kisumu in western Kenya. It is about 1 km from the Kisumu-Bondo road. The sign board is on the gate of Kit Mikayi primary school and entrance is via N’gop-Ngeso primary school. Kit-mikayi means "the stone of the first woman", or "stone of the first wife", in Dholuo, the Luo language. Legends The legend behind Kit Mikayi, which in Luo dialect means "the stone of the first wife", is that: Long time ago, there was an old man by the name Ngeso who was in great love with the stone. Every day when he woke up in the morning, he could walk into the cave inside the stone and stay there the whole day, and this could force his wife to bring him breakfast and lunch everyday. The old man became passionately in love with this stone to the extent that when people asked his wife his whereabouts, she would answer that he has gone to his first wife (Mikayi) hence the stone of the first wife (Kit Mikayi). An explanation of the shape of this unique stone is that the structure represents the Luo cultural polygamous family which had the first wife’s house (Mikayi) built further in between on the right hand side was the second wife’s house (Nyachira) while the third wife’s house (Reru) was built on the left hand side of the homestead. This rock also is seen to have a nuclear family whereby the father (Ngeso) being the middle stone followed by the bulky Mikayi (first wife), then Nyachira (second wife) followed by Reru (third wife) and further in front they have the child which is representing Simba (which is the house for the first born boy in the homestead). From a long time, this stone has been a sacred place for the villagers to worship in times of trouble.
Menengai Crater is a massive shield volcano with one of the biggest calderas in the world, located in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Farmland occupies its flanks. Menengai is located 10 km (6 mi) north of Nakuru, the fourth-biggest city in Kenya. At Menengai Crater in Nakuru, Kenya, curious tourists are drawn to a controversial cave by stories of strange happenings that have convinced many that this is a haunted place. A number of strange things are said to happen in the crater, such as people disappearing without trace, Others losing directions for hours (or even days) only to be found by their relatives wandering around in a trance. The local people believe that the crater is haunted by evil spirits that capture people and animals and hide them in the netherworld. It is said that in the late 1950s and early 1960s, ghosts used to farm on a fertile piece of land on the floor of the crater. According to eye witnesses, the ‘demons’ used to plough the land with tractors, plant wheat and harvest all within an hour. The locals even claim to have seen the devil riding a motorcycle on a hill called “Kirima Kia ngoma (Devil’s Hill)” situated next to the crater. There is also the widespread allegation of a ‘flying umbrella’ that normally appears whenever it rains But despite the eerie stories about the crater, pilgrims from as far as Kisumu, Kakamega and even Mombasa come to pray and fast at the site for days. Some even stay in the cave at the south of the crater for months. They say that they feel very close to God when praying in the crater. Menengai Crater is an extinct volcano with striking views of Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria as well as the crater itself. The site offers excellent hiking opportunity, scenic site, hot springs, geysers, mud pots among others.
The Kerio Valley National Reserve is a protected area in the Kerio Valley, Kenya, a branch of the Great Rift Valley. The 66 square kilometres (25 sq mi) reserve was created in 1983 and is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The isolated Kerio Valley lies between the Cherangani Hills and the Tugen Hills. The Elgeyo Escarpment rises more than 1,830 metres (6,000 ft) above the valley in places. The valley is 4,000 feet (1,200 m) deep. It has semi-tropical vegetation on the slopes, while the floor of the valley is covered by dry thorn bush. The most comfortable time of the year is in July and August when the rains have ended and the temperatures are not excessive. The reserve is on the west side of the crocodile-infested Kerio River, while the Lake Kamnarok National Reserve is on the east side. The reserve has dramatic scenery, and prolific birdlife. As of 2006 there were no fees and no facilities, although it was possible to camp in the bush beside Lake Kamnarok. After the reserve was established there was an increase in the wildlife population, including elephants. These caused some damage to neighboring crops and beehives.[5] Most of the people here are Kalenjin herders. Kerio Valley lies between the Tugen Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment in Kenya. It sits at an elevation of 1,000 m. in the Great Rift Valley. The isolated Kerio Valley is situated in a narrow, long strip that is approximately 80 km by 10 km wide at its broadest, through which the Kerio River flows. 4,000 feet (1,200 m) deep, the valley lies between the Cherangani Hills and the Tugen Hills. The Elgeyo Escarpment rises more than 1,830 metres (6,000 ft.) above it in places. It has semi-tropical vegetation on the slopes, while the floor of the valley is covered by dry thorn bush. The most comfortable time of the year is in July and August, when the rains have ended and the temperatures are not excessive. The Kerio Valley National Reserve has been established since 1983 along the Kerio River to the north of Lake Kamnarok. The Kerio Valley is the site of elaborate irrigation systems that were constructed during earlier periods of history. These structures are believed to have been built by descendants of the Neolithic Afro-Asiatic peoples who introduced domesticated plants and animals to the Great Lakes region a succession of societies collectively known as the Stone Bowl cultural complex. Most of these early northern migrants are said to have been absorbed by later movements of Nilotic and Bantu peoples. Although the particular irrigation systems in the Kerio Valley are today maintained by the Maraket subgroup of the Nandi Nilotes, the latter aver that they were the work of a northern people of peculiar language called the Sirikwa, who were later decimated by pestilence. According to the Maraket, the Sirikwa "built the furrows, but they did not teach us how to build them; we only know how to keep them as they are." In Kimwarer in the southern part of the valley, fluoride is mined by the Kenya Fluorspar Company. The southern parts of the valley are settled by the Elgeyo people and the northern part by the Marakwet people. Tugen people live on the slopes of the Tugen Hills. These three groups together with the Nandi and the Kipsigis belong to the Kalenjin people.
Kisumu is a port city in western Kenya at 1,131 m (3,711 ft.), with a population of 355,024 (1999 census). It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the immediate former capital of Nyanza Province and the headquarters of Kisumu County. It has a municipal charter but no city charter. It is the largest city in Nyanza region and second most important city after Kampala in the greater Lake Victoria basin. Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe in Luo) is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake. With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq. mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world's third largest freshwater lake by surface area (only Lake Michigan–Huron and Lake Superior in North America are larger). In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world's eighth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water. Lake Victoria receives most of its water from direct precipitation or from thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. There are two rivers that leave the lake, the White Nile (known as the "Victoria Nile" as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake's north shore and the Katonga River flows out at Lukaya on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George. Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 metres (276 ft.) and an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft.). Its catchment area covers 184,000 square kilometers (71,040 sq. mi). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828 kilometres (3,000 mi), with islands constituting 3.7% of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6% or 4,100 km2/1,600 sq. mi), Uganda (45% or 31,000 km2/12,000 sq. mi) and Tanzania (49% or 33,700 km2/13,000 sq. mi). The lake supports Africa's largest inland fishery. Kisumu port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway and named Port Florence. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports. Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade "sumo". The city has "Friendship" status with Cheltenham, UK and "sister city" status with Roanoke, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, USA.
The tourism indaba was held in Durban 11th - 14th May 2013 where a number of stakeholders in the tourism industry from SADEC countries showcased their services.
Ndere Island is a small island (4.2 km or 1.6 sq. mi) in Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria in Kenya. It was gazetted as the Ndere Island National Reserve in November 1986 and has since that time been uninhabited. Ndere means "meeting place" in Dholuo. According to Luo folklore, early tribal migrants rested up near Ndere after their long journey south up the Nile River Valley. They found the lush shoreline so pleasing that they stayed. Notable fauna associated with the island include African fish eagles, swifts, hippopotamus, and Nile crocodiles. About fifty impalas have been introduced to the island. The Waseges flows through regions of intensive coffee cultivation where heavy use is made of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which may be polluting the lake. Many visitors are attracted to the hot springs on the western lakeshore, and these cause pollution from solid wastes. Siltation is another threat to biodiversity.
The park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.

Discover one of the most beautiful paces on earth.

Location & Scenery

Kenya lies astride the equator on the eastern of Africa. It is a medium-sized country by continental standards, covering an area of about 586,600km2. Inland water bodies cover some 10,700km2, the bulk of this is Lakes Victoria and Turkana.

Kenya has tremendous topographical diversity, including vast plains, glaciated mountains with snow-capped peaks, the Rift Valley with its scarps and volcanoes, ancient granitic hills and mountains, flat desert landscape and coral reefs and islets. With this diversity comes a of wealth experiences and activities ranging from wildlife safaris, birding and hot air balloon rides, to spar treatments, golf and skydiving. Whatever your desire, Kenya has it all on offer.

 

Lake Bogoria National Reserve is in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, covering Lake Bogoria and the land immediately surrounding the lake. It is administered by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The lake lies in a trough below the Ngendelel Escarpment, a sheer wall 600 metres (2,000 ft.) high. The lake covers 32 square kilometres (12 sq. mi). It is geothermically active on the western shore, with geysers and hot springs. The geologist J.W. Gregory described the lake in 1892 as "the most beautiful view in Africa". The reserve is in a semi-arid area. The only major river feeding the lake is the Waseges River, which rises on the northern slopes of the Aberdare Range. The Waseges runs through productive agricultural land higher up, through bush and scrub used for grazing, and then through very dry bush before entering the lake at its northern end.[5] The lake is surrounded by grasslands dotted with bushes. There is acacia-ficus woodland to the south, and the north merges into a papyrus swamp. The park was opened in November 1970. Facilities for tourists include the park lodge, three public campsites and one privately operated campsite. Visitors may also bathe in the hot springs, which form a natural spa. The reserve was submitted as a candidate World Heritage Site in 1999. The lake is alkaline, feeding blue-green algae which in turn feed flamingoes. At times the number of flamingoes feeding in the lake may be as high as two million. Raptors such as tawny eagles prey on the flamingoes. In total, 135 species of bird have been recorded. They include little grebe, pratincole, swift, little bee-eater, cape wigeon, yellow-billed stork, African spoonbill, augur buzzard, gabar goshawk, water dikkop, gret tit, starling, hornbill and crombec. The reserve has a herd of the relatively uncommon Greater Kudu. Other large mammals include buffalo, zebra, cheetah, baboon, warthog, caracal, spotted hyena, impala and dik dik. The Waseges flows through regions of intensive coffee cultivation where heavy use is made of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which may be polluting the lake. Many visitors are attracted to the hot springs on the western lakeshore, and these cause pollution from solid wastes. Siltation is another threat to biodiversity.

California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the most populous U.S. state, home to 1 out of 8 Americans, and is the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second and fifth most populous census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation's 50 most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.

California is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, and the Mexican State of Baja California to the south. California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada in the east – from the RedwoodDouglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by the Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the 3rd longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida). Earthquakes are a common occurrence due to the state's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire: about 37,000 are recorded annually. The name California once referred to a large area of North America claimed by Spain that included much of the modern-day Southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula. Beginning in the late 18th century, the area known as Alta California, comprising the California territory north of the Baja Peninsula, was colonized by the Spanish Empire as part of New Spain. In 1821, Alta California became a part of Mexico following its successful war for independence. Shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a group of American settlers in Sonoma declared an independent California Republic in Alta California. Though its existence was short-lived, its flag became the precursor for California's current state flag. American victory in the war led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States. Western areas of Alta California became the state of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

The California Gold Rush beginning in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic change, with large scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad and an accompanying economic boom. Key developments in the early 20th century included the emergence of Los Angeles as the center of the American entertainment industry, and the growth of a large, state-wide tourism sector. The late 20th century saw the development of the technology and information sectors, punctuated by the growth of Silicon Valley (part of the San Francisco Bay Area). California's prosperous agricultural industry also emerged; at least half of the fresh fruit produced in the United States are now cultivated in California, and the state also leads in the production of vegetables. Other important contributors to its economy include aerospace, education, and manufacturing. If California were a country, as of 2012 it would have been the 9th largest economy in the world and the 34th most populous nation.

The word California originally referred to the entire region composed of the Baja California peninsula of Mexico, the current U.S. states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

The name California is most commonly believed to have derived from a fictional paradise peopled by Black Amazons and ruled by Queen Calafia. The story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a remote land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts, and rich in gold.

Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California, very close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, which was inhabited by black women without a single man among them, and they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with strong passionate hearts and great virtue. The island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the bold and craggy rocks.

The name California is the fifth oldest surviving European place-name in the US and was applied to what is now the southern tip of Baja California peninsula as the Island of California by a Spanish expedition led by Diego de Becerra and Fortún Ximénez, who landed there in 1533 at the behest of Hernán Cortés.

Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal., Cali., Calif. and us-CA.

This article is about the city proper in Nevada. For the tourist destination, see Las Vegas Strip. For the metropolitan area, see Las Vegas Valley. For other uses, see Las Vegas (disambiguation).
"Vegas" redirects here. For other uses, see Vegas (disambiguation).

Las Vegas (/lɑːs ˈvɡəs/), often known as simply Vegas, is a city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of Nevada, the county seat of Clark County, and the city proper of the Las Vegas Valley.Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city known primarily for gambling, shopping, fine dining and nightlife and is the leading financial and cultural center for Southern Nevada.

The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is the 29th-most populous city in the United States, with a population of 603,488 at the 2013 United States Census Estimates. The 2013 population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 2,027,828. The city is one of the top three leading destinations in the United States for conventions, business, and meetings. In addition, the city's metropolitan area has more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world, and is a global leader in the hospitality industry. Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Established in 1905, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in that century (a similar distinction retained by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films, television programs, and music videos.

Las Vegas is generally used to describe not just the city itself, but areas beyond the city limits—especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip—and the Las Vegas Valley. The 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Las Vegas Strip is in the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise, located in Clark County.

Grand Canyon

 
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon view from Pima Point 2010.jpg
 
View from Mohave Point of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon
 
   Grand Canyon is located in Arizona
   Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
Arizona, United States
Floor elevation approx. 2,600 feet (800 m)
Long-axis length 277 miles (446 km)
Width 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29.0 km)
Geography
   
Watercourses Colorado River

The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Spanish: Gran Cañón), is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, the Havasupai people and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters). Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests that the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon ("Ongtupqa" in the Hopi language) a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.

The Apartheid Museum is a museum complex in Johannesburg, South Africa dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. The structure pictured here is owned by Gold Reef - the Casino Company.

In 1995, the South African government created a process to grant casino licenses, and established an agency called the Gambling Board. As a part of any bid to build a casino in South Africa, developers are required to demonstrate how their casino would attract tourism and stimulate job growth.

A consortium, called Akani eGoli, put in a bid to build a casino in Gold Reef City whose plans included a complex called Freedom Park. Their bid was successful, and space was created for the complex next to Gold Reef City Casino. The name of Freedom Park was later changed to The Apartheid Museum at Freedom Park leading to the name controversy and legal action. The construction costs of the Apartheid Museum were around 80 million Rand, which was paid for by Akani eGoli.

The museum was registered as a Section 21company, which means that it was incorporated not for profit, with an independent board of trustees. The company is separate from Akani eGoli, which has leased the museum to the Section 21 Company for the duration of its casino licence. The museum therefore relies on donations, contributions, and sponsorships to sustain its growth.

Visitors Information

Open from 9am-5pm, the Museum is closed Mondays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission costs R55 for adults and R40 for pensioners, students and children. An audio guide is available. Guided tours are an additional R5 per person and must be booked in advance. If you proceed at a reasonable pace you should be able to view and engage with the permanent exhibition in 2 hours. The museum also has an ongoing programme of temporary exhibitions so add an extra 15 minutes to your visit for this. There is a coffee shop and bookshop. A proportion of the museum's exhibitions are outside and will be wet if it is raining.

One of the most prominent artifacts in the church is the painting entitled "The Madonna and Child of Soweto", mostly referred to as "The Black Madonna", depicting a black Virgin Mary holding an infant Jesus (also black). The painting was created by artist Larry Scully in 1973, as a part of a campaign to raise funds for the education of black South Africans. The painting was then bought by a benefactor and donated to the church. A highly symbolic element of the painting is a large eye right under the Black Madonna. According to journalist Mpho Lukoto of newspaper The Star, the pupil of the eye represents the township of Soweto; two forks directed towards the pupil from the sides represent the violence that was used against the people of Soweto during the apartheid era, and the cross in the center of the pupil represents the Church that illuminates the people with hope.

After the end of apartheid, a large park was built before the church, with a fountain and memorials, including a "peace pole" donated to the church by Japanese Christians. The church is still a popular place for the people of Soweto and it has also become a prominent tourist attraction in the area.

Regina Mundi and the anti-apartheid movement

Regina Mundi played a pivotal role in the struggle against apartheid in the second half of the 20th century. Since political meetings in most public places were banned, the church became the main place where Soweto people could meet and discuss. Even funerals often ended up as political meetings. For this reason, Regina Mundi earned the reputation of being one of the main centres of anti-apartheid activism in the province of Gauteng.

During the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976, when students where shot by the police in Orlando West (with Hector Pieterson and others being killed), many demonstrants fled to Regina Mundi. The police entered the church, firing live ammunitions. No one was killed, although many were injured and the church itself, as well as its furniture, decorations, and symbols (for example the marble altar and the statue of Christ), were damaged. Both the interior and the external walls of the church still bear the signs of the shootings.

After the end of apartheid, from 1995 to 1998, several meetings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were held in the church, presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. From 1995 on, funds were raised to restore the church. The campaign eventually collected 1.5 million rands, and restorations were made.

The events of 1976 are commemorated by a dedicated ceremony held in the church every year on June 16.

Bill Clinton's visit and controversy

In March 1998, Regina Mundi was visited by the President of the United States of America Bill Clinton with his wife Hillary. Their visit was controversial as they took the Communion in the church, despite not being Catholics. Clinton's visit was also widely covered by the media because the sermon mostly revolved on the topic of adultery, seemingly to the discomfort of President Clinton who was at the time involved in the Lewinsky scandal.

Visit of Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama, during a visit to South Africa as part of a wider African tour, visited Regina Mundi Church, with the Archbishop of Johannesburg and other women leaders in attendance, to address the Young African Women Leaders Forum there. 

The Sudwala Caves in Mpumalanga, South Africa, are set in Precambrian dolomite rock, which was first laid down about 3800 million years ago, when Africa was still part of Gondwana. The caves themselves formed about 240 million years ago, making them the oldest known caves in the world.

The caves were used for shelter in prehistoric times, probably due in part to a constant supply of fresh air from an unknown source in the caves. In more modern times, the caves were discovered by Somquba, one of the sons of the Swazi king Sobhuza I, who was fleeing from his brother Mswati II. Somquba and his followers used the caves as refuge, until Somquba was killed in an unexpected attack. Survivors stayed on under the leadership of an inDuna (headman or leader) named Sudwala, thus the name.

During the Second Boer War, in 1900, the caves were used by the Boers to store ammunition for their 94-pounder Long Tom guns. It was thought that the caves may have been used by President Paul Kruger to store the legendary "Kruger Millions", gold bullion which reputedly disappeared somewhere between Waterval Onder and Nelspruit during Paul Kruger's flight from Pretoria to Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).

In 1914 a company was formed to excavate huge amounts of bat guano; this was sold as fertilizer to farmers.

The Sudwalaskraal farm that is home to the caves was purchased in 1965 by Philippus Rudolf Owen, and he opened the caves as a tourist attraction.

The major chamber in the Sudwala Caves is the P. R. Owen Hall; it is 70 metres in diameter and 37 metres high, with a constant temperature of 17°C. This chamber was used as a concert hall on a number of occasions, including July 1970, when the Russian singer Ivan Rebroff gave a concert. Concerts were stopped due to vandalism in the caves in 2002, but were started again in 2006.

There are a number of calcium structures in the cave, known by names such as the "Lowveld Rocket", "Samson's Pillar", and the "Screaming Monster"; some have been dated to 200 million years old. There are also microbial fossils of a cyanobacterium known as collenia in the rock; these formed 2000 million years ago.

The Sudwala Dinosaur Park

The Sudwala dinosaur park, situated near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga South Africa is a pre-historic themed park featuring life-sized dinosaur models in an outdoor setting and forms just a part of the PR Owen museum, which is also home to the well-known Sudwala Caves.

The dinosaur park is well maintained and accessible and is an enjoyable tourist attraction for anyone visiting in or around Nelspruit, and is also a fantastic and exciting educational tour venue.

You may take a leisurely stroll through the park on your own should you wish, but you also have the option of having an informative guided tour, where several aspects of pre-historic life and evolution are covered – and you can be sure to leave with a wealth of knowledge about dinosaurs and an insight into pre-historic life.

The Sudwala Dinosaur Park is a neighbour to the Sudwala Caves, near to other attractions around the Kruger National Park and is not a great distance from Nelspruit for a day trip with the family.

The Cradle of Humankind Site comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossillised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a worm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago.

The Cradle of Humankind site lies mainly in the Gauteng province with a small extension into the neighboring North West Province, and covers 47 000 hectares of land mostly privately owned. The Cradle of Humankind Site comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossillised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a worm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago.

As the reefs died off they were transformed into limestone which some time later was converted into dolomite. Millions of years later after the sea had receded, slightly acidic groundwater began to dissolve out calcium carbonate from the dolomite to form underground caverns. Over time the water table dropped and the underground caverns were exposed to the air. The percolation of acidic water through the dolomite also dissolved calcium carbonates out of the rock into the caverns, which formed stalactites, stalagmites and other crystalline structures. Continued erosion on the earth's surface and dissolution of the dolomite eventually resulted in shafts or avens forming between the surface of the earth and the caverns below. Bones, stones and plants washed down these shafts into the caves; and animals and hominids fell into the caves, became trapped and died. The bone and plant remains became fossilized and along with various stones and pebbles became cemented in a hard mixture called breccia. 

At least seven of the twelve sites have yielded hominid remains. In fact, together these cave sites have produced over 850 hominid fossil remains, so that to date they represent one of the world's richest concentrations of fossil hominid bearing sites. The scientific value of this area lies in the fact that these sites provide us with a window into the past, to a time when our earliest ancestors were evolving and changing. Scientists have long accepted that all humans had their origins in Africa.

Through the use of biochemical evidence they have argued that the split of the human lineage (Hominidae) from that of the African apes took place around 5-6 million years ago. The study of hominid fossils from sites in Africa thus enables scientists to understand how these hominids have changed and diversified since then.

Sterkfontein Caves

The Sterkfontein Caves are located within the Isaac Edwin Stegmann Reserve about 10km from Krugersdorp. These caves were donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family. A section of the caves is open to the public, and there is a gravel platform from which the public can view the excavation site. Other facilities include a tea-room and small museum in which information about significant findings are on display.

Right from the start the caves proved rich in hominids. In 1936 the Sterkfontein caves produced the first adult australopithecine. In 1947 the almost complete skull of an adult female Australopithecus africanus was found. Initially named Plesianthropus transvaalensis ("near-man" of the Transvaal), which inspired the nickname 'Mrs. Ples'.

'Mrs. Ples' is estimated to be between 2.8 and 2.6 million years old and ranks high on the long list of australopithecine discoveries for which Sterkfontein is now famous. The world's longest sustained excavation ever carried out at an ancient hominid site was started in 1966 and continues today. A further 500 hominid specimens have been recovered, making Sterkfonteln the world's richest hominid site.

The site is also renowned for studies carried out on fossilised fauna, wood and stone tools which were made, used and discarded by hominids in the past.

The fossil remains from Broom's excavations are housed In the Transvaal Museum (Northern Flagship Institution), Pretoria, while the remains from 1966 onwards are housed at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Swartkrans

Swartkrans is located about 1.5km north-west of the Sterkfontein Caves and is owned by the University of the Witwatersrand. Drs. Broom and Robinson carried out the first scientific excavations at Swartkrans towards the end of 1948. To date, more than 200 hominid specimens, mostly attributable to Paranthropus (Australopithecus) robustus, numerous animal remains and stone and bone tools have been recovered from this site. Apart from these robust hominids, however, Swartkrans was also the first site In Africa to yield remains of Homo ergaster. Homo sapiens, in Africa, is thought to be responsible for the stone tools and possibly for the use of controlled fire at Swartkrans. Deposits at Swartkrans date between 1.8 and 1 million years ago. Hominid and faunal specimens from Swartkrans are housed at the Transvaal Museum (Northern Flagship Institution).

Minnaars

This site is located about 1 .1 km to the north-west of the Kromdraai store on a steep hillside overlooking the BloubankspruIt. No recent excavations have been carried out, however there it is a possibility that hominid remains may be found If excavations are resumed.

Plover's Lake

Plover's Lake Is located north-east of the Sterkfonteln Caves, about 2.5km from the Kromdraai -Broederstroom road. Excavations have been carried out by Dr. Francis Thackeray of the Transvaal Museum (Northern Flagship Institution) in association with scientists from Washington University. The ancient cave roof has disintegrated as a result of erosion leaving" exposed calcified sediments rich with fossils. The site has yielded abundant faunal remains Including antelope, extinct zebra and a leopard lair.

Wonder Cave

The Wonder Cave Is located about 2.5 km from the Kromdraai. The enormous cave chamber with a volume of 46 OOOm Is believed to be 2.2 million years old. This cave has the best example in the region of a relatively young taluscone (a few thousand years old) which helps us understand how the older caves in the area were filled in. Wonder Cave contains drip stone formations as beautiful as those in the Cango Caves. It also has a resident bat population. Hourly tours are conducted by on well-lit pathways where no crawling is necessary.

Drimolen

The site is located 1.6 km to the west of the Wonder Cave. It is one of the most recent fossil hominid sites to be discovered, and is already the 3rd richest fossil hominid site. 75 specimens of Paranthropus (Australopithecus) robustus and 5 specimens of Homo sapiens have been unearthed together with a substantial faunal sample.

Kromdraai

The site, Kromdraai, is situated about 1 .5 km north of the Sterkfontein caves. Kromdraai is known for the first discovery of Paranthropus robustus, a more robust line of hominid that existed between 2-1 million years ago in South Africa. Current excavations are being carried out in the open by the Transvaal Museum (Northern Flagship Institution). The University of the Witwatersrand and Harvard University.

Bolt's Farm

Bolt's Farm consists of a series of lime quarries some 2.5-km south-west of Sterkfontein Caves. Fauna discovered from this site Include fossil elephant, pig, antelope, saber-toothed cat and rodents. The fossils indicate a range, of different dates. Certain fossil rodents, for example, dating to about 4.5 million years, make these the oldest deposits in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Other species have been dated to between 3.4 -2.9 million years old.

Coopers B

Coopers B is situated about 1.25 km from Sterkfonteln Caves. It became the third South African cave deposit to yield a hominid fossil when a molar tooth was found. Apart from a significant sample of faunal remains the site has yielded part of the face of a Paranthropus (Austra/opithecus) robustus and some isolated teeth.

Gladysvale

Gladysvale is located 14km north-east of Sterkfontein in the John Nash Nature Reserve and includes three underground caves and a considerable volume of breccia. Gladysvale preserves one of the most extensive time sequences of any cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. With sediments dating from over 3.0 million years to around 250 years ago. Apart from a few hominid specimens, including two ape-man teeth, the site has yielded the skeleton of a wolf, the skull of a giant hyena and some plant remains.

Haasgat

Hassgat is situated about 5 km from the Hartbeeshoek-Broederstroom road. Early lime mining removed a basal ftowstone from the cave, causing part of the roof to collapse. The collapsed blocks of breccia have yielded a significant faunal sample, although the bone concentration is not particularly high. No hominids have been found thus far. Discoveries in this site include early forest-dwelling monkeys, which indicates that the deposits may be around 1.3 million years old.

Gondolin

Gondolin is located 3.2 km south-west of Broederstroom village. Unlike all the above- mentioned sites, which are located in the Gauteng Province, Gondolin falls within the North West Province. Identified fossils from this site suggest an age of about 1.2- 1.3 million years ago.

At present only the Sterkfontein Caves and the Wonder Cave are open to the public.

 

The Hector Pieterson* Memorial and museum opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where 12 year-old Hector was shot on the 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprising that today is a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government.

Soweto, a city developed as a township for black people during apartheid, lies south of Johannesburg. Its residents number some two million people with homes that range from shacks to extravagant mansions, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial site is included on any number of tours through the area. On 16 June on the day Hector was killed, school children had gathered to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools. There are contradictory accounts of just who gave the first command to shoot but as children began singing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, and before they could be dispersed, the police opened fire. Some 20 children died in the ensuing pandemonium.

Hector Pieterson has become something of an iconic image of the fateful day, mostly due to a photograph published across the globe by Sam Nzima, photographer at the time for The World newspaper in Johannesburg, of the dying Hector carried by a fellow student, Hector’s sister alongside, her hands held out in panic. Today 16 June is National Youth Day to honour young people.

Since its erection, the memorial plaque for Hector Pieterson has been repeatedly vandalized; ironically it seems due to children who don’t understand the relevance or important historical implications of the memorial.

* Since June 1976, Hector's surname has been spelled Peterson and Pietersen by the press but the family insists that the correct spelling is Pieterson. The Pieterson family was originally the Pitso family but decided to adopt the Pieterson name to try to pass as "Coloured" (the apartheid-era name for people of mixed race), as Coloured people enjoyed somewhat better privileges under apartheid than blacks did.