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Extra Information

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More Information: [South Africa] [Durban with street map]

Since being sighted by Vasco da Gama in 1497, Durban's natural harbour has given birth to a vibrant, go-ahead and ever changing city. Apart from having the busiest harbour in Africa, Durban is served by its own international airport only 15 minutes from its Central Business District. The attractive Yacht basin near the hub continues to provide anchorage and a safe haven for sailors from around the globe.

Durban is an ideal base from which to explore the beauty and splendors of Southern Africa.  Within two hours you could be on a safari at one of the country's renowned game reserves - home to some of the world's rarest and most exotic species - or you could be in the fairest Cape.  Ninety minutes by road and you could be hiking or trout fishing in the magnificent Drakensberg mountains.

Other options: a day or two away could put you at the origins of man in the Sterkfontein Caves or in the midst of a miraculous flower transformation in the Namaqualand Desert.  You could be etching into memory the glorious sunsets and camp fires of the Kruger and other National Parks in South Africa, visit neighbouring Zimbabwe to witness the majesty of the Victoria Falls, game parks of Botswana or Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

There are many faces to Durban - city of great beauty and cultural diversity where you can witness the Dance of the Virgins, a Zulu war dance and attend a performance of the ballet or Opera all in the same day.  The only constant is the famous South African weather - and Durban can serve up the best of it, with an average of 320 sunny days a year.  A surfer's paradise and international holiday mecca.  Mile upon mile of unspoiled, sun-soaked beaches, bronzed life guards and bikini beauties.  Seagulls, pelicans and exotic birds. Colourful  rickshas, beautiful parks, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.  Here architecture encapsulates the diverse histories and cultures of  the people.  Graceful Victorian buildings, exotic temples and dignified mosques all stand side by side.




Interactive map of SA Interactive map of SA

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Scenic Earth History & Kruger Wildlife Tour

For those delegates interested in the scenic splendour, geology, anthropology and wildlife of South Africa, a post conference tour: "Scenic Earth History & Kruger Wildlife" is offered by Geo-Expeditions. Starting from Durban on Saturday 30 August, this 17 day tour (shorter options are possible) will be guided by Dr Thomas Wallmach and Aki Wilhelm. Full details are available on the Geo-Expeditions website:

South African Wild Life Pictures South African Wild Life Pictures

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The logo reflects the structure of iscorite, a mineral, first obtained by accidental synthesis in a blast furnace at the Pretoria works of the South African Iron and Steel Corporation (ISCOR). The crystals appeared on the walls of a furnace that failed to perform properly. Crystallographic analysis identified the cause of the malfunction as a layer of the silicon-rich iron silicate, later named Iscorite.

Subsequent enquiry revealed the source of the excess silicon as a load of sand, shoveled into the furnace, while down for service, by an enterprising labourer.

Details of the Iscorite structure (J Smuts, JDG Steyn & JCA Boeyens. Acta Crystallogr. B25, 1251 (1969)) remained dormant until the mineral reappeared in the samples brought back from the moon after the first Apollo landing.

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