Here is an idiosyncratic view of one of South Africa’s loveliest districts. History is certainly revealed, but the book is much more than dry-as-dust facts and chronologies. The mountains and valleys and abundant vegetation of the northern Drakensberg have inspired many people. Their stories enliven almost every page. As Tito Mboweni states in his foreword: ‘This is a book about Tzaneen, the vast splendour of its mountain ranges, the historical events that shaped its history, its rich cultural heritage and, above all, the strength and determination of the many people who have left their footprints here.’ Mboweni, having been born not far from Tzaneen, is one of these.
Other names that enliven the pages include Dr Mamphela Ramphele; John Murray, the 11th Duke of Atholl; writers Rider Haggard, John Buchan and TV Bulpin; geologist Hans Merensky; and a fascinating array of current residents of Tzaneen and its majestic surrounds.