South Africa

South Africa

South Africa

South Africa

Excerpt

SOUTH AFRICA IS "WHITE MAN'S COUNTRY," situated well outside the tropics. Lying at the southern end of the vast continent of Africa, it is about one-sixth the size of the United States. South Africa's most southerly province, the Cape of Good Hope, is slightly larger than Texas; its northern province, the Transvaal, is comparable in size to Arizona; Natal, on the Indian Ocean, approximates Indiana; while the Orange Free State, in the center of South Africa, has the area of North Carolina.

In climate the Cape is like the Mediterranean or southern California and, similarly, includes fruit-growing areas. Toward the northeast the land rises in steps to the high veld, the grassy plateau of the interior, which nearly everywhere is 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level. East of the high veld are the spectacular mountains of the Drakensberg, with their sheer 5,000-foot wall above subtropical Natal. Between the mountains and Natal's coastal strip, on which the Indian Ocean crashes incessantly, lie a succession of softly rounded valleys whose lush green vegetation is rivaled only in the Cape, although occasionally elsewhere during the summer rains.

Lack of water is South Africa's greatest natural handicap. Eighty-six percent of the land is semiarid, with six months of . . .

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