I'm a sucker for old stuff. People, history, antiques, photographs, books, magazines, all of it. I found these vintage travel posters promoting South Africa and think they are too amazing not to share.
These images not only all show how far the tourism and design industries have come, they're a symbol of an exceptionally thrilling era of travel. Ships, airplanes and railway lines had been developed and the world was becoming a 'smaller' place in the sense that it became increasingly easy to explore - at the very least far easier than the undertakings of Livingstone's era.
It's fascinating to see the tinges of deep, dark, guttural Africa present in these posters, propagated by fiction like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness juxtaposed against the hunting and safari image made popular by the likes of Ernest Hemingway. The Golden Age of Travel was short-lived as World War Two diminished the excitement greatly and various embargoes prevented fun travel, but post-WW11 there bloomed a boom in intercontinental air travel.
There's a tangible romance and dreamy aura clinging to these posters. I think some of it has been lost in modern travel as everything is simple and convenient. I like these image because they say 'adventure' and to me, that's the most important part of travel.
The poster above really makes me giggle because all I can picture when I read 'the comfort and safety of your car' is the elephant that sat on a VW Polo in the PIlanesberg and the impala that jumped through the window of a Prado to escape being eaten. Obviously, things have changed.
You can also buy prints in a similar style by the Anderson Design Group who were inspired by vintage travel prints from the Golden Age of poster design of oSouth Africa's big cities from Superbalist.