The first official day of the KwaZulu-Natal tour started with a morning tour of Durban. I took Pat along Durban’s “Golden Mile” (a 6km long stretch of beachfront), whilst chatting a little bit about Durban’s history; the day was perfect for the beach, blue skies and a cool breeze and postcard-perfect ocean views.
Tuesday the 17th marked the first day of a 7-day tour to the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal and a “Big-5” Safari. The itinerary I had planned called for firstly a night of Zulu cultural experience, followed by a few days in the battlefields area before spending the remaining days in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.
I had a little time this morning before a short tour to head on down to the beachfront. I was going to find a spot to have a cup of coffee and kill some time, but I got distracted by the nearby “Sunken Gardens” which have been rehabilitated.
There’s two separate stories (as far as I know) as to how the gardens came to be.
Not too many people are aware that Durban has the largest concentration of Indian people outside of India! Originally brought in during the 1860’s by the British as indentured workers for the sugar cane plantations, many chose to remain after their 4 year contracts had ended and brought their families over from India to Durban and started their new lives as store owners and artisans.
In 1997 the new national anthem of South Africa was adopted. The anthem itself is a hybrid song containing lyrics of the old anthem, and includes 5 different languages; Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English. Language Lyrics English translation Xhosa Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo, God bless Africa Raise high its glory Read more…
In 1993 a competition was held to design a new flag for South Africa in which 7000 designs were received by the National Symbols Commission. Interestingly 6 of the designs submitted were presented to the public and the Negotiating council but none recieved any support. Even after some design studios were contracted to design a flag, by the time Parliment went into recess at the end of 1993, there was still no new national flag!
Not much more is heard from Gardiner during the rest of his stay in Port Natal. Not long after his self-imposed exile into the bush, Dingane attacked a Boer deportation causing an uproar in Durban which in turn lead to a panicked evacuation onto a coasting vessel (the Comet) in the bay, which included Gardiner. Gardiner was never to return to Durban after the vessel sailed away on 11th May 1838, most hands were against him and the Zulu’s had destroyed his mission stations in Berea and Tongaat.
Gardiner who originally arrived in South Africa and Durban specifically to spread the word of God, was not quite finished with his stint with the politics of the time. He promptly left the township of Durban for the Cape in order to ask Sir Benjamin D’Urban to take the area over as a colony and to appoint proper officials. After a false start which saw Gardiner having to return to Durban in order to avoid a native war, he was able to meet up with the Cape Colony Governor in Port Elizabeth on the 3rd December 1835.