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Dreaming of the enigmatic Africa

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” – Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh, must have been dreaming of Africa at the time of this Epiphany. For it is only the starry expanse of Africa which could induce such nostalgic, reminiscence.
Van Gogh was by no stretch of the imagination an accomplished traveler. He worked at an art dealer’s in London, was later a preacher in Holland and Belgium. Moved to Paris, from there to Arles and Auvers in France.
Van Gogh traveled to Southern France in 1888, the sunny weather of Provence gave him inspiration for such scenes as, cypress trees, peasants and the , rustic life characteristic of the region.
We, mere mortals who do not possess the insight which this incredible man displayed, have to make do with such, as travel to our favourite/dream destinations.
Van Gogh’s, spiritual and physically endowed paintings as well as drawings, shows the vitality which he saw in ordinary phenomena. Imagine if this great man, visited Africa, we would have many more fantastic African vistas to marvel over.
Unfortunately van Gogh never came to Africa. So we will never know what he would have seen. We can only imagine as we do our own travels, “what he might have felt inspired to paint or draw”.
Africa has always been that enigmatic destination, which conjures up myriads of fantastic visions and ideas. The dark continent, has been known to allow it’s light to be viewed and enjoyed by visitors.
Traveling through the Southern part of Africa is an eye opener, the contrast between old and new, is a startling revelation to the ignorance of most of the Westernized world. Most of us still has the idea that Africa and African people are a backward and simple, people.
Landing at OR Tambo International airport, a technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing sight to behold. One would be amazed to know you are in Africa, for the sights and sounds could just as well have been London, Chicago or New York. A world class transit system is in place here. The Gau-Train, a high speed rail link, between Sandton and the Airport, was launched just in time for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World-Cup. Less than a hour away one could be in Pretoria, the administrative capital. In a more westerly direction, also about an hour away, lies the “cradle of humankind”.
From this hub, all of the most fascinating and interesting destinations are no more than 3hours flight away. South Africa has proven its credentials as a bona-fide tourist destination.
Birding and indescribable fauna and flora, can be viewed at such destinations as the Kruger National Park. The Drakensberg mountain range is a sight to behold. Further South we may find spectacles such as the Table Mountain Nature Reserve.
A hop and a skip, and we could be wiping the mist of the Victoria falls, from our brows. I can just imagine, van Gogh, immortalizing these sights on canvas. Vincent van Gogh was an avid letter writer, the more than 700 letters he wrote to his brother Theo, bears evidence, hereof.  One could imagine this brilliant creative mind and hand, describing and painting the views of Namibia.
Southern Africa, will stay an enigma, unless the need is satisfied, the need to live that dream and spend a few nights under the African skies.

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