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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

PANORAMIC JOURNEY THROUGH KZN (article first published : 2000-05-15)

Published by Struik earlier this year, Panoramic Journey through KwaZulu-Natal is a landscape shaped 96-page hardcover publication containing 100 full-colour photographs, most of which are taken by Shaen Adey.

Little is mentioned in the book about Shaen Adey, who is a well-known travel photographer, but his work is undeniably impressive. From the cover pic of Cathedral Peak and the stunningly dramatic dawn shot of fisherman on North Beach to the final image of the convoluted branches of a massive fig tree in Ndumo Game Reserves, the book offers a splendid pictorial journey of KwaZulu-Natal.

Various full centre-spreads give magnificent views of areas such as the Glengary Farm in the Kamberg (Drakensberg); Rawdons Hotel in the Midlands taken from across a wide expanse of dam covered in water lilies or clouds hovering over a vast expanse of land leading up to Garden Castle. A hut at Tendele Camp nestles under the towering majesty of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre; the Cascades at Royal National Park give the impressive of molten silk, and an early morning shot as dawn breaks over the snow-covered Drakensberg highlights the russet tones of the winter landscape. A shot of rural KZN shows the mix of traditional thatched Zulu huts dotted among the more modern-two-roomed buildings.

Other notable images are the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at night, the Valley of a Thousand Hills, fishing in the Kamberg, San rock art and a bead seller surrounded by her wares. There’s a magnificent view of the start of the 948 metre high Tugela Falls, the second highest in the world, and the superb and unspoilt La Lucia estuary is depicted in a stunning shot of five hikers walking along the sand dunes.

There is little text other than captions for the photographs and these are in English, German and French. Produced on high quality paper, the publication should be a must for tourist organisations selling KZN as a holiday or conference area. It would also make the perfect gift for corporate visitors or VIP delegates to the province.

There are certain inaccuracies, though, which should have been picked up prior to publication. Photographs clearly depicting the Golden Mile or Marine Parade are wrongly described as being the Esplanade. The Durban City Hall is not late-Victorian but Edwardian. Built in 1910 (Queen Victoria died in 1901), it is in fact considered one of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture of its kind in the world. Photographs of memorials to the fallen at battlefields such as Isandlwana, Ginginhlovu (not eMgungundlovu as written) are stated as situated on the Midlands Battlefield Route when they are on the Zululand Battlefield Route. Also photographs taken at the traditional Zulu village of the Shakaland hotel/conference venue are attributed to Shaka’s Kraal, two quite different places.

Panoramic Journey through KwaZulu-Natal sells at R119,95.

Other titles in the “Panoramic Journey” series include Mpumalanga, Johannesburg and Surrounds and the Garden Route.




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