With the help of archival photographs, Jacob Dlamini’s new book Safari Nation sheds light on how and why Africa’s national parks – often derided by scholars as colonial impositions – survived the end of white rule on the continent. What follows is an extract from the book

Exploring South African ideas of nature and nationality


To understand the histories of black presence in the Kruger National Park, one must first understand the history of black mobility, specifically tourism, in colonial South Africa.

In fact, there was a tradition of independent modern black travel going back at least to the start of the twentieth century. As early as 1902, Koranta ea Becoana, a newspaper founded by Sol Plaatje in 1901, was reporting on excursions to the countryside and other parts of the country...

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