National Geographic : 1953 Aug
198 Rondavels, Copied From Natives' Circular Huts, Are Africa's Own Tourist Cabins Simple in design and comfortable, these thatched round houses also fit admirably into the landscape. They are rented to travelers in many parts of Africa. Some are luxuriously furnished, with electricity and running water. Here the author inspects a rondavel in Zululand's Hluhluwe Game Reserve. sending letters home to the United States, don't, for a city such as Richmond, put "U. S. A." after it, or it will probably be delivered to Richmond, Natal, in the Union of South Africa. There are many towns whose names duplicate ours, and "U.S.A." are the initials in common use for the Union of South Africa as well as for the United States of America. Be sure to make hotel reservations in ad vance. Hotels and inns, with few exceptions, are small and are often full. Keep your passports, visas, and medical records with you at all times. Traveling in much of Africa, you are moving only from one part of the British Commonwealth to another. Just the same, you will be asked to show your papers at each airport. This is because each political subdivision has its own government: Nigeria is a colony and protectorate; the Union of South Africa is a dominion consisting of four Provinces: Northern Rhodesia and Uganda are protector ates, and Southern Rhodesia a self-governing colony; and so on. In some cases, of course, as in the Belgian Congo, Ethiopia, and Egypt, you are moving under a different flag entirely. For the same reason, it is wise not to take too much of one kind of money with you, as the money and postage stamps, of course, change at each border. Also, each time you cross a frontier you have to give account of the money in your possession. Members of the National Geographic Soci ety may be interested to know there are 8,000 fellow members in South Africa alone. They welcomed us in every city we visited. Barefoot Waiters and Jungle Drums Everywhere we went in Africa we found the strange contrasts and contradictions of a continent in transition. Here air-conditioned hotels, model farms, and dial telephones exist side by side with jungle drums, wild elephants. and mischievous baboons. In excellent new hotel restaurants you are startled to find your meals served by a barefoot, white-robed waiter wearing a cummerbund around his waist and a fez on his head-the prevailing waiter's garb from Cape Town to Cairo. Invariably we were impressed by the work British colonial governments are doing in the vast sections of Africa which lie under the British flag. Most of this work in modern times is devoted to improving the status, not of the English settlers but of the Africans; to eradicating disease, improving agriculture, and introducing new industries. Schools, universities, and hospitals have been built; more are going up. And there is great consciousness that the long-range objective is to teach Africans to govern themselves.