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Sunday, May 26, 2019


A book for very pleasant reading and a worthy place on your coffee table. (Review by Lesley-May Gibson)

In the introduction of his updated 4th edition, This is South Africa, Peter Borchert introduces the reader to the land, its people, the regions, the path of history and its new era with photography by Roger De LA Harpe and Jean du Plessis.

Borchert is an independent commentator, publisher, conservationist and lifetime protagonist for the value of Africa's wild places and cultural heritage. His media and publishing career spans some 45 years. As the founder and publisher of Africa Geographic magazine, he won high regard for his vision, probing editorials and as a commentator on and about Africa. Over the past six years, he has also pioneered the scripting and presentation of digital content.

Through this lavishly colourful edition which has 160 pages, Borchert takes the reader on a magical journey of South Africa from the North to the South. It begins in the Highveld with Johannesburg at the epicentre – a mining town turned metropolis, thanks to the vast reserves of gold. Then it continues from the Highveld to the Lowveld with its world famous private and state-owned game reserves and the original mining towns bearing quaint names, such as Pilgrim’s Rest, God’s Window and Barberton. This is an area sometimes known as ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ country after Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.

The landscape changes and the journey takes the reader through the verdant hills of KwaZulu-Natal with the majestic Drakensberg mountain range forming its western border. Here, too, are some of the country’s highest peaks.

Borchert then leads us through the Transkei and Eastern Cape offering glimpses into the vast semi-desert regions of the Karoo, and finally into Cape Town with its wine-growing countryside rivalling those of France and Germany.

Through magnificent high-quality photographs, the diversity of the land, its multi-cultural people, and the flora and fauna of this unique land, are richly portrayed. The informative text accompanying the photographs, takes the reader further into the fascinating and beautiful land called South Africa. The stark contrast between traditional African lifestyle and the rich European influence, makes this a book for very pleasant reading and a worthy place on your coffee table.

This is South Africa is published in soft cover by Struik Travel and Heritage in 2018, ISBN, 9781775845157. - Lesley-May Gibson