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Nelson Mandela, father of a nation, became South Africa's first black president.

Nelson Mandela, father of a nation, became South Africa’s first black president. (Photo: Getty)

The father of a nation has died, and flags throughout Nelson Mandela’s beloved South Africa were lowered to half-staff yesterday.

Tributes to Nelson Mandela — South Africa’s first black president, after 3 centuries of white domination — extended far beyond the country he helped free from a government-sponsored system of apartheid which, between 1948 and 1994, denied South Africa’s majority equal treatment under the law, in scenes eerily reminiscent of the Jim Crow South.

Upon learning of Mandela’s death yesterday at the age of 95, Harlem’s Apollo Theater quickly adjusted its marquee to read, “He Changed Our World.” President Obama ordered all flags flying throughout Washington, DC, lowered to half-staff. And the South African embassy in Washington, DC, saw passersby leaving flowers and mementos by the statue of Nelson Mandela.

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by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

Delaire Vineyard in South Africa

When you think of great wine, does South Africa come to mind? I’m certainly no wine expert. But a recent visit to the winelands around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch outside of Cape Town gave me a renewed respect for this age-old alcoholic beverage. South Africa’s wine-making traditions are actually much older than those of Napa Valley in California. The fertile, rust-colored African soil has been producing delicious reds and whites for hundreds of years.

I decided to spend a whole afternoon tasting many varieties of South African wine at 2 different estates, both with surreal landscapes. Row upon row of vibrant green vines spread out in all directions, while majestic mountains off in the distance rose up to touch the sky. It’s hard to imagine a better wine-tasting setting than this! READ MORE

by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

South African Penguins

South Africa has a serious problem that’s spiraling out of control. Fluffy, lovable, tuxedo-wearing balls of feather are on the loose. Think you’re immune from the charms of an African Penguin? So did I. But after strolling along the bright turquoise-blue waters around Simon’s Town, I quickly discovered how wrong I was.

Hundreds of these funny birds line the white sand of Boulders Beach, sunbathing in style and protecting their eggs. Normally penguins would have been the last animal I expected to find in Africa. But there they were directly in front of me! Did you know African penguins like to sing too? Unfortunately their songs sound like a cross between a donkey and a kazoo. But don’t tell them that to their faces, as they are easily offended. READ MORE

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