homeAntiquarian Advice Home



north america
south america
world tour


A Month's Tour through the Cape Colonies

including Cape Town, Buluwayo, Victoria Falls, Kimberly, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Natal Battlefields and Durban

The best way to reach South Africa either from Europe or America is by one of the Cape liners from England ; or, if the traveler wishes to approach it from the eastern side, connection can be made at Aden for Beira, Portuguese East Africa, where there is railroad connection with the interior. The voyage from England to Cape Town is a pleasant one of eighteen days by the mail steamers, touching at Madeira; whereas the intermediate steamers, taking twenty-two days, touch at Las Palmas or Teneriffe and St. Helena.

1st day
Cape Town. The metropolis of South Africa, with a population of about 80,000 and all the attractions of a cosmopolitan city. Its history is that of the colony, since 1651, when three $ vessels under Jan van Riebeck arrived in Table Bay. As seen on approaching it by ocean steamer, this great seaport ranks in picturesque- ness with Naples, Rio Janeiro and San Francisco. The majestic Table Mountain rises as a background for the town in a sheer precipice of 3,582 feet, while on either side is a lesser peak, the three hills forming the horseshoe valley in which Cape Town stands. South Africa is a country of long distances, and the traveler should avail himself of the best railroad service the country affords. One of the best trains is the weekly train de luxe, the " Zambesi Express," which covers the distance from Cape Town to Bulu- wayo, the capital of Rhodesia, a journey of 1,362 miles, in seventy hours. Travelers from the north and east, via Aden, debark at Beira, Portuguese East Africa, where there is train service twice a week to Buluwayo, taking sixty- seven hours for the journey of 670 miles. The trip can be broken at Salisbury, the first city of importance in Rhodesia, but stopping there will necessitate a lay-over of two or three days.

8th day

Buluwayo, 1,362 miles from Cape Town and 670 miles from Beira, was formerly the chief town of the native province of Matabili, and is now the capital of Rhodesia. Government House occupies the site of the old royal kraal, and the tree under which justice was dispensed by Mosili- katze and Lo Bengula has been left standing. Buluwayo is a Zulu word which, literally translated, means " the place of the killing." The Matoppo Hills can be visited by rail or road. This wonderful district proved impregnable when held by the Matabili in the 1896-97 rebellion, and has been described as a rough sea of mountain ranges a hundred miles long by thirty-five miles broad, full of passes and gigantic caves, interspersed with fertile and sometimes almost . inaccessible valleys. The scenery is impressive, especially the panorama known as " the world's view," to be seen from the summit of the granite hill where Cecil Rhodes lies buried. Sixty miles from Buluwayo are the celebrated Mombo Ruins, said to have been constructed for three purposes, namely, solar worship, fortification and gold production. These are considered the most interesting ruins to be found south of the equator.
12th day
Victoria Falls, 282 miles by rail from Bulu- wayo, are among the most wonderful, if not the most wonderful, waterfalls in the world. A convulsion of the earth created a cleft or fissure across the Zambesi River, causing the falls — more than a mile in length'and 350 feet high, or more than twice as long and high as Niagara. The vast column of spray rises to a height of over a thousand feet, and the roar of the cataract is audible for many miles. A bridge, crossing the Zambesi at the Victoria Falls, was opened September 12, 1905. It is 420 feet above the river, at low water, and is the highest in the world. It is of the cantilever style, constructed in three spans, and has a width of thirty feet.

16th day

Mafeking, 492 miles by rail from Victoria Falls via Buluwayo, celebrated for its splendid defense, under Col. Baden-Powell, against a large investing force of Boers, from October 12, 1899, till its relief, May 17, 1900, a period of 217 days.
18th day
Kimberley, 223 miles by rail from Mafeking, is the headquarters of the diamond industry of South Africa and has produced, since its discovery in 1867, twelve tons of diamonds, representing a value of some ^80,000,000 sterling. The richest mines are the Kimberley and the De Beers, the latter being the show mine.
21st day
Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange River Colony, is 397 miles by rail from Kimberley, via De Aar.
23d day
Johannesburg (Transvaal Colony), the "City of the Golden Rand," 264 miles by rail from Bloemfontein, dates from September, 1886, when a few straggling shanties began to rise along the auriferous reef . In 1902 the Standard Bank purchased four stands, on Commerce Street, for .£145,000. Twenty-one miles by train from Johannesburg is Krugersdorp, the scene of the surrender of Dr. Jameson and his raiders, on January 2, 1896.

25th day

Pretoria (Transvaal Colony) , forty-six miles by rail from Johannesburg, or thirty -two miles by coach across the Witwatersrand range. Oom Paul Kruger's capital of the Transvaal, named after Commandant Pretorius, first president of the South African Republic, in 1855. A beautiful city with handsome buildings and tree- lined streets.
27th day
Ladysmith (Natal), 320 miles by rail from Pretoria. From its strategical position, it was the pivot round which the tide of war flowed and ebbed in the earlier months of the Boer-British war, and is consequently a most interesting and convenient center from which to visit neighboring battlefields, several of which are in close proximity to the town. Colenso is sixteen miles, and Spion Kop (January 20, 1900) eighteen miles distant. Some fifty miles to the eastward is Rorke's Drift, on the Buffalo River, the scene of the heroic and successful defense of commissariat stores, January 22-23, l&79, by eighty men of the 24th British Regiment under Lieutenant Chard, against several thousand Zulus. A short distance farther on is Isandhlwana, the scene of the destruction of a British column by the overwhelming force of Cetewayo's impi. To the northward are Majuba Hill and Laing's Neck.
30th day
Durban, 189 miles from Ladysmith, the hand- some and well-laid-out capital of Natal. This colony has been the battlefield of South Africa, from its close proximity to Zululand and the Transvaal. Cape Town is reached by steamer in five days from Durban, and Australia in about thirty- five days.


Contact me