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South Africa

Bourdain’s Field Notes

In July 2013, when I went to South Africa, 95-year-old Nelson Mandela was critically ill, and the country he freed from white minority rule was already in mourning—and already fearful of what the future might be without him.

A good friend of mine, a really great travel writer, said something: “the more I travel, the less I know.” I feel that particularly strongly here in South Africa, a place I came in a state of near total ignorance, loaded with preconceptions.

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“There have been very few figures in the entire history of the world as revered or as important as Nelson Mandela. But the question is, what happens next?”

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