Southern Africa

The extreme southern verge of Africa has been a crossroads for a very long time, and its history is quite complex as a result.

Presently this covers: Ambohimanga, Andries-Ohrigstad, Anjouan, Antongil Bay, Boina, Botswana, Butua, Campbell, Fort Dauphin, Gazaland, Goshen, Grand Comoro, Griqualand East, Griqualand West, Ile St. Marie, Klipdrift, Lesotho, Lijdenburg, Little Free State, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Minor Boer States, Mohéli, Mozambique, Munhumutapa, Mwali, Namibia, Natal, Ndebele, New Republic, Njazidja, Nzwani, Orange Free State, Phillipolis, Sangole, the Seychelles, South Africa, Stellaland, Swaziland, Transvaal, Utrecht, Winburg-Potchefstroomm, Xhosa, Zimbabwe (Great, or Old), Zimbabwe (Modern), and Zululand


AMBOHIMANGA A local kingdom on the island of Madagascar, the core of what became the basis for the more-or-less united Madagascaran state of the 19th century.

ANJOUAN (Nzwani) An island in the Comoros, about 340 miles (545 km.) west of the northern tip of Madagascar, and 280 miles (450 km.) east of northern Mozambique. See also Grand Comoro, Mayotte, Mohéli.

ANTONGIL BAY (Ranter Bay) and ST. MARY'S ISLAND (Île St. Marie) A large anchorage at the northeastern end of Madagascar - St. Mary's is an elongated strand just south of the entrance to the Bay. The region has been a resort of European mariners since the 16th century, and both the island and the mainland have played host to a number of establishments

BOINA A local Kingdom in Madagascar.

BOTSWANA The arid interior north of South Africa, comprising the Kalahari Desert.

FORT DAUPHIN A port on the far southeast corner of Madagascar, the oldest French colony in the island.

GAZA (amaGaza, Gazaland) 
A region involving much of far southern Mozambique, covering most of the modern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, and the southern thirds of Manica province and Sofala province. The Gaza Empire was built by a Bantu leader of  the Nguni people, who formed a coalition of various local tribes who were being oppressed by the neighbouring Zulu. He expanded his territory rapidly at the expense of both the Zulu and the Portuguese, leaving a large state which endured for seventy years.

GRAND COMORO (Njazidja) Largest and westernmost of the Comoros Island group, about 440 miles (700 km.) west of the northern tip of Madagascar and roughly 200 miles (320 km.) east of northern Mozambique. See also Anjouan, Mayotte, Mohéli.

LESOTHO A landlocked Kingdom entirely surrounded by South Africa. A British Protectorate 1868-1966.

MADAGASCAR A large island off the southeastern coast of Africa. The indigenous people are more closely related to the Melanesians of the western Pacific than they are to the people of continental Africa.

MAURITIUS An island in the western Indian Ocean, about 600 miles (960 km.) east of Madagascar. Perhaps best known as the home of the ill-fated Dodo.

MAYOTTE Easternmost of the Comoro Island group in the Mozambique Channel, about 300 miles (480 km.) west of the northern tip of Madagascar, and roughly 320 miles (515 km.) east of northern Mozambique, on the African mainland. When the Comoros became independent in 1975, Mayotte elected to remain French, a circumstance not recognized by Comoros, which claims Mayotte to the present day. See also Anjouan, Grand Comoro, Mohéli.

MINOR BOER STATES In addition to the establishment of Natal, Orange Free State, and Transvaal by Boer settlers in the 19th century, a fairly large assortment of smaller and more ephemeral separatist communities were set up at one time or another in various parts of South Africa. Here is a reference for these locales.

MOHÉLI (Mwali) One of the Comoro Islands group, 40 miles (65 km.) southeast of Gran Comoro and an equal distance west of Anjouan. It was governed 1997-2002 by a secessionist movement. See also, Anjouan, Grand Comoro, Mayotte.

A large state extending across the southeastern coast of Africa, from Delagoa Bay in the south to the Ruvuma River in the north. Established as a series of Portuguese fortifications under the authority of the Viceroy at Goa in India, it has, with a few exceptions, hugged the coastline for most of it's history - in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, inroads were made into the interior, and it had reached the present territorial size by 1890.

NAMIBIA The arid highlands northwest of South Africa. Note as well...

NATAL In southeastern South Africa, a Boer state established by the Vortrekkers of the 1st haslf of the 19th century.

ORANGE FREE STATE A Boer Republic in central South Africa, established as a result of the Vortrekker migrations of the 1820's and 30's.

A town in the far northeastern corner of Mozambique, about 25 miles (40 km.) from the Tanzanian frontier, and about the same distance west of the coast.

SEYCHELLES ISLANDS A scattered archipelago of small coral atolls in the western Indian Ocean, the largest of them, Mahé, in the far northeast corner of the group, is about 640 miles (1030 km.) northeast of the northern tip of Madagascar, and about 1160 miles (1865 km.) due east of Mombasa, Kenya.

SOUTH AFRICA The blunt southern end of the continent, in part semi-arid highlands, in part some of the lushest and wealthiest land on earth. This list follows the development of the Cape Province, the central, western, southwestern, and southern portions of South Africa. The Union era is in black tint since it was a member of the British Commonwealth.

SWAZILAND The Swazi are a southern Bantu folk with a landlocked Kingdom on the eastern edge of South Africa, adjacent to Mozambique, and north of Zulu territory. A British Protectorate 1894-1968. As an aside, King Sobhuza II is apparently the longest-reigning monarch about whom definite records have been preserved.

TRANSVAAL A Boer state covering all of the north and northeast of South Africa. Established after the Vortrekker migration in the first half of the 19th century, with its capital at Pretoria. The legal name of the state was the South-African Republic.

XHOSA A Bantu people (with some Bushman influences) who dwelt originally in the Cape Province of South Africa, they migrated into eastern South Africa as a result of conflict with the Vortrekkers. Nelson Mandela is a Xhosa.

ZIMBABWE A lush highland region north of Transvaal, northeast of the Kalahari, west of Mozambique, and south of the Zambezi River; an early center of civilization for this region.

ZULULAND A southern Bantu people, and originally a clan of the Nguni, the Zulu formed a separate nation at the beginning of the 19th century.