South Africa is a country rich in history, culture, amazing scenery and unlimited exploration. Getting to know South Africa and its people on an emotional, spiritual, and intellectual level can be achieved by participating in the country’s many festivities. By sampling the distinctive foods, participating in the traditions, and absorbing the range of cultures can provide the traveler with a better insight of this African country. South Africa features a land rich in history, magnificent vistas, and unlimited exploration to create the ultimate itinerary for travelers visiting the country.
Experience the best in the culinary arts
South Africa is often referred to as the rainbow nation not just because of its diverse cultures and people, but also due to the extraordinary range of cuisine. A large number of traditional dishes reveal the new cooking methods introduced by immigrants, and therefore, sampling the dishes is an excellent way to capture the essence of the country’s rich history.
A popular dish prepared with a distinct taste and texture is called bobotie, a spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. The dish originates from Cape Malay, a community made up once from slaves brought in from the Dutch East India Company’s colonies, in what is the presently the Republic of Indonesia.
This prominent Indian cuisine can be found in the city of Durban; although the introduction of many different culinary practices with sweets, chutneys, and samosas can be witnessed first-hand throughout South Africa. The unusually-named Bunny Chow dish, a carved out half loafed bread stuffed with curry, chicken, lamb, beef or vegetable, is a popular snack. Another well-known dish not to be overlooked is biltong, a kind of cured meat made with a variety of spices.
Attending a braai, or barbeque, visitors can sample a variety of dishes such as boerewors, a sort of sausage, stywe mieliepapa, stiff maize porridge with tomato, onion, and chilies, and also savor a wide selection of game meat.
Unique destinations combined with traditions
For those who are fascinated with culture, it is well worth the time to visit a sangoma, a practitioner of healing and traditional medicine. If you choose a guided tour, it may be possible to observe a sangoma initiation, and healing ceremony, and possibly even purchase herbs or concoctions at several of the markets.
Combining rich history along with food, music, art, language, and dance in the urban township of Soweto is an experience not to be missed. Touring the town of Soweto, visitors will learn about the township’s importance during the struggle against apartheid. Important sites to visit include the Mandela House Museum and Freedom Square.
When touring the southern region of the country, visitors will be able to explore the town of Howick, to view the incredible sculpture of 50 steel columns. This impressive sculpture is located at the Nelson Mandela monument and represents 50 years since his arrest by apartheid police.
The power of art can provide insight for those interested to better understand the country’s unique history as well as the different cultures. The South African National Art Gallery located in Cape Town exhibits the diversity of the country with more than 8,000 African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art collections dating back to the colonial era.