National Geographic : 1900 Mar
BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA AND THE TRANSVAAL 83 in English territory. It starts from Cape Town, passes through Cape Colony, and follows closely the western frontier of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. It passes through Kimberley and Mafeking, from whence a wagon road runs to Krugersdorp and Johannesburg. This road runs as far north as Bulawayo, about 1,300 miles north of Cape Town. The third road starts from Durban, in the colony of Natal, passes through Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the colony, and reaches Ladysmith, where it separates into two sections, one section extending westward into the Orange Free State and the other north ward to Heidelberg and Johannesburg, in the Transvaal. This road enters the Transvaal territory through a tunnel under Laings Nek, a pass in the Drakensberg Mountains near Majuba Hill, where the English met such a crushing defeat in 1881. The fourth line starts from Lourengo Marques on Delagoa Bay, traverses the Portuguese territory, enters the Transvaal at Komati poort, and terminates at Pretoria. This is the only road by which the Transvaal government has been able to obtain supplies since the outbreak of the war. The South African Republic was until a few years ago little known to the outside world. It was merely a pastoral and agricultural region, and such notoriety as it had achieved was due principally to the frequent wars and bloody contests between its Boer inhabitants and the British local and imperial authorities and the native tribes. Twenty years ago it was seldom visited except by traders and hunters in quest of big game, but the discovery of the marvelous gold deposits of the Witwatersrand in 1885 brought a rush of adventurers in search of wealth. It is true that gold had been discovered in the Lydenburg district as early as 1867, but not in sufficient quantities to attract great attention. Immediately a multitude of French, Portuguese, Germans, English, and Americans streamed into the country and the city of Johannesburg sprang up, like Aladdin's palace, in a day. The Transvaal lies immediately north of her sister Boer republic, the Orange Free State, between the Limpopo or Crocodile River on the north and the Vaal River on the south. The country on the north and west is British. The republic has no seaport, as the Portuguese possessions and the colony of Natal shut it off from the Indian Ocean on the east. The Vaal River is the chief tributary of the great Orange River, which rises in the Drakensberg and flows across the continent into the Atlantic. The Limpopo empties into the Indian Ocean. The gold-bearing region, the Witwatersrand, or " White Water Range," forms the watershed between the two rivers.