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Sandy Alpert, restaurateur, is one of many creative people who have made Calitzdorp their home. She also happens to be a qualified music teacher, and loves playing her accordion when there is a spare moment. We look at the history and heritage of this village in the Little Karoo – page 17. Photo: Annalize Mouton

We identified this flower from the Marloth Nature Reserve as Protea grandiceps, but a reader says it looks more like the Broadleaf Sugarbush, Protea eximia. Photo: J L du Plessis

Number 23 : April 2007


Tales of yore

Articles on history have proved to be very popular with our readers, and have become a hallmark of Village Life. Writing such stories from long ago is, however, somewhat harder than one may think: the people in a story may have died a hundred years ago, buildings have disappeared, and documents are stowed away in archives and libraries.

The easy way of dishing up bits of history is to cull material from other people’s books, which often constitutes the accepted truth about a place or events, but very often is not correct. The way Annalize does research for her articles on the old farms and families of South Africa, is to go back to primary sources, such as title deeds, inventories of deceased estates and writings by contemporary authors. This sometimes involves consulting literally hundreds of pages, often handwritten in florid Dutch!

Luckily many of these papers are now available on the internet, such as Cape documents in the State Archives in the Netherlands, or the complete Scottish census from a century ago. But she still needs actual books, and recently added the journals of Jan van Riebeeck to our already substantial library. What a find!



4. At the office

Letters from readers, and the first winnner of our subscriber prize


4. Win a stay at Aquila Safari

Subscribe and stand a chance to win


5. The show goes on at the Arts Theatre in George

A volunteer society that thrives, thanks to the support it recieves from the community


8. Chameleons: why do people love them or hate them?

Dr Krystal Tolley, co-author of a new book on the chameleons of Southern Africa and Madagascar, introduces her “little monsters”


12. Villages with heart

Well-known author Hans Fransen chooses his favourite villages


17. Calitzdorp: Growth through hardship

Resident Malan Roux recounts the history of this Little-Karoo village


21. Book offer: Old Towns and Villages of the Cape

Exclusive offer for readers of Village Life from Jonathan Ball Publishers


22. Marloth: the man and the reserve

This nature reserve at Swellendam was named after a remarkable man

Photographs by J L du Plessis


26. Louié Lemmer, sensitive soul

In memory of the artist who wrote about edible seaweeds for Village Life


28. Hippos are back in the Karoo

Geoff Tribe recounts how hippos were exterminated over large parts of southern Africa when hunters with firearms arrived, and how these mammals are now being reintroduced in a river in the Karoo that used to be their home


32. Coenradenberg, picture of the past

Annalize Mouton looks at how the first settlers lived at he Cape 300 years ago


37. Book offer: Focus on the Anglo-Boer War

Exclusive offer for readers of Village Life from Cederberg Publishers


38. Howick: Darling of the Midlands

The redbrick and stone of this historic town, by Darryl Earl David


42. Taung: Where the history of humankind was rewritten

Dr Judy Maguire visits this important fossil site


47. The other side of village life

Subsistence living at the old quarry


48. A big bill and a boom!

Veteran birder Nico Myburgh tells stories about the Ground Hornbill. Read full text


52. Local, but it’s French

Recipes from our Country Table


54. From the Sargasso Sea

Jen Lemmer continues our series on edible seaweeds


56. Foot note

Two kittens find a cozy home. View as PDF


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Head of Cape Dwarf Chameleon. © Krystal Tolley

The amazing detail on a Cape Dwarf Chameleon. Photo: Krystal Tolley

A street scene in Calitzdorp, Little Karoo. © Maré Mouton

A street scene in Calitzdorp, Dr Hans Fransen's favourite village. Photo: Maré Mouton

A hippo in the Seekoeirivier in the Karoo. © Brent Naude-Moseley

A wary hippo in the Seekoeirivier ("sea-cow river") in the Karoo. Photo: Brent Naude-Moseley

Threshing-floor wall and stables, Coenradenberg, Swartland. © Maré Mouton

Coenradenberg near Hopefield in the Swartland offers a snapshot of colonial life 300 years ago. Photo: Maré Mouton

A cairn marks the spot where the famous fossil was found at Taung. © Judy Maguire

A cairn marks the spot where the famous fossil was found at Taung. Photo: Judy Maguire

Plates of cooked carrots & other vegetables

One would say it is typically South African, but it is in fact from a French ccokbook. More recipes from our Country Table

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