Africa, South Africa

Mellow Melville

No Comments 20 December 2010

Mellow Melville

During his June/July 2010 travels, the Monkey found a quiet corner of one of Africa’s largest cities. Johannesburg’s Melville area is perched on one of the city’s numerous hills, with fantastic views over the Central Business District and a funky vibe on its happening little streets.

Monkey on Qatar Airways
The Monkey en route to Johannesburg, South Africa, via Doha, Qatar.

Monkey and Otter with World Cup tickets
Upon arrival in South Africa, the Monkey made his way to his lovely lodgings in the central neighborhood of Melville, Johannesburg, where he met up with his long-time friend and fellow traveler, the Otter. They posed for a brief photo with their prized tickets to the 2010 World Cup, before heading out to a cool Melville pub to catch the second half of the host nation’s defeat of the French, a team that had arrived in the tournament through the disgraceful cheating of Thierry Henry and then acted as if they didn’t want to be there in the first place. It was a glorious night spent celebrating the South African victory, despite Bafana Bafana going out of the Cup along with the wantaway French.

View from Melville Koppies
The next morning, the Monkey was in buoyant mood and made for the Melville Koppies, a hilltop nature reserve with stunning views over many sections of Johannesburg. Here, he surveys the skyline of the Central Business District, with Melville’s relaxed streets in the foreground at the right of the photo.

Melville street
On one of Melville’s village-like streets, the Monkey encountered this rather exotic plant—half cactus, half fiery pine cone. While he’s no botanist, the Monkey believes this is a Cape Aloe. Whatever it is, he liked it.

Melville Koppies wide angle
This wide angle shot shows the grand vista from the Louw Geldenhuys section of the Melville Koppies. The reserve is home to many native flora, as well as remnants dating back to the Stone Age. The Monkey is not enough of an archaeologist to have spotted those artifacts, but he has it on good authority they’re there.

This Monkey adventure has been viewed 1446 times since the 2010 website relaunch.

South Africa


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48,782,756 (2008)

Land area:

1,219,912 sq. km.


Pretoria (executive; est. pop. 1,000,000; 2005). Cape Town (legislative; pop. 2,893,251; 2005). Bloemfontein (judicial; 369,568; 2005)


In 2006, South Africa ranked 121st in the UNDP Human Development Index and 26th in total GDP, with a per capita GDP of $5,380.60. Public debt accounts for 31.3 percent of total GDP, while 50 percent of South Africans are beneath the poverty line.

Main language(s):

From most to least spoken, Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana, English, Sotho, Tsonga, Swat, Venda, and Ndebele are all official languages. Most South Africans are bilingual at a minimum, and many can communicate in upwards of three or four.

Monkey's name:

The Monkey isn’t sure about his name in all 11 official languages. He believes his name in Zulu and Xhosa is Inkawu. In Afrikaans, it’s Aap. And in English, the country’s de facto business and media language, it’s Monkey.

Fun fact:

The world’s first heart transplant operation took place under the knife of Dr. Christiaan Barnard, at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, in 1967.

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