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Presenter : Justine Shapiro

South Africa and Lesotho


Justine Shapiro’s journey begins in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town on the West Coast of South Africa.

She visits Robben Island, where President Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for 18 of his 27 years in prison. She speaks to an ex-political prisoner who lived in the cell opposite to Mandela for 7 years.

The townships in Cape Town are the scene of much history and political strife. Justine explores a Cape Town township and visits a South African faith healer.

From Cape Town Justine heads east on board the Trans Karoo Express, through the lush wine regions north of Cape Town, then into the arid landscape known as the Great Karoo. She stays with an Africaan family in Laingsaburg and rides an ostrich in Oudtshoorn.

Kavadi-Festival-small-by-William-ChoAfter going deep sea fishing in Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast, Justine arrives in South Africa’s third largest city, Durban. One a white enclave, Durban’s streets now reflect a wide variety of cultures. It has always been home to the largest Indian and Pakistani community in South Africa, and the Kavadi festival in February where devotees celebrate the Hindu God Muruga by allowing their bodies to be pierced all over. Later, Justine hangs out with the young Durban surfers and meets the National Surfing Champion Shane Thorn, before having a go at surfing herself.

The next destination is the Zulu homeland north of Durban, where she attends a Zulu ritual and talks with a young Zulu about the history of this warrior tribe.

Justine journeys on into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. A country in itself, it has its own language, culture and currency. The people of Lesotho are known as Basotho and Justine attends a puberty initiation ceremonies for the young teenage boys of the tribe.

From Lesotho Justine travels north-west through Lesotho, and back down to the South African border, reaching Ficksburg and Rustlers Valley. Here she stays with a hippie community and experiences a ‘sound journey’.

Kruger National Park has the greatest variety of animals of any game park in Africa and Justine gets to see the big five: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino.

Finally Justine ends her journey in the township of SowetoJohannesburg. She lived in South Africa as a child and returns to visit her nanny, Linda, who she has not seen since the age of 10. Justine has a tearful reunion with Linda, who is surprised and delighted to see her after so long.


Places Mentioned - Lesotho, South Africa

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