10 Reasons Why I Love South Africa

We travel for different reasons. For some of us it’s work; for others it’s pleasure but being on the road travelling means that at some point on your international adventure, you are going to miss home. Perhaps it’s the rolling hills you long for or local authentic food… maybe it’s the well-known comforting smiles or even everyday traffic. There have been many days when travelling through China that I’ve missed the warmth of my city back home. So I decided to put it down in a post and share it with you. Here’s my top 10 reasons why I love South Africa.

  1. BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES AND WILDLIFE

South Africa has some of the most breathtaking trails, landscapes and reserves. From the Gold Coast to Table Mountain to The Valley of a 1000 Hills to the Drakensburg Mountains. It is also home to eight UNESCO world heritage sites ranging from the Fossil Hominids to Robben Island. There are great diving spots, game reserves and safaris where you can also get up close to white sharks, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras and so much more.

 

  1. UNIQUE FOOD

Despite visiting over 20 countries there’s nothing in the world that comes close to the mix of cultural flavors making up South African cuisine. Influenced by historical colonization and immigration, there’s a hint of Dutch, German, British, Italian and Indian cuisine in almost everything you taste. I love a good South African braai, mutton bunny chow (hollowed out half loaves of bread stuffed with an Indian curry) or milktart (milky cinnamon dessert).

 

  1. OUR RAINBOW NATION AND MIX OF CULTURES

One thing that makes South Africa so hospitable and beautiful is the different cultures and religions. There are 11 official languages and a range of ethnic groups that merge together to form what is known as the rainbow nation.

 

    4.  RICH HISTORY

From colonial expansion and racial indecisiveness to apartheid and democracy, – the history of South Africa together with the amazing story of Nelson Mandela through his struggle and fight for freedom is a story that continues to be told throughout the land.

 

  1. COMPASSION AND HOSPITALITY

I’ve traveled to over 20 countries but I can safely say there is some truth behind what people say when they mention South Africa’s unique compassion and hospitality. It can be a simple strangers smile or someone who walks up to you because you looked lost and too afraid to ask for directions. Kindness and openhearted warmth is everywhere. That is what we like to call Ubuntu also known as humanity.

 

  1. THE WEATHER

South Africa has a subtropical climate that is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and Indian Ocean on the east. As a result there is warm weather for most parts of the year. This means strolling on the beach is something you can do whenever almost anytime!

 

  1. LANGUAGE

South Africa is famous for its words that nobody besides a local will understand. Eish, bokkie, china, howzit, haibo,Kief, lekker, shweet…

 Do you know what these words mean? If not check out my guide to South African slang.

 

  1. WINE

Who doesn’t love a good glass of wine? I’m pretty proud to say that South Africa has over 17 official wine routes countrywide and is among the top ten wine producing countries in the world!

 

  1. THUNDERSTORMS

There’s something about a true African summer thunderstorm that gets my heart racing so I feel this deserves a special mention. After a blisteringly hot day you can be sure that the evening will be graced in true African style with bright lightening, deafening thunder and heavy downpours. There’s nothing like the smell of the earth after a thunderstorm.

 

  1. THE THINGS WE LOVE TO HATE

Free goodies at the traffic lights, crazy taxi drivers, toy-toying (public strikes) and of course, local government drama. As much as these things can be frustrating, it is what makes South Africa unique.

Are you from South Africa? Why do you love this beautiful place?

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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