South Africa or the Republic of South Africa, is located on the Southern tip of Africa. The country comprises of nine provinces making it the 25th largest country in the world. Sharing its borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,Swaziland and Lesotho, the inhabitants of South Africa are a diverse and uniquely cultured nation.
History of South Africa
South Africa is known as the birthplace of man, it holds some of the oldest prehistoric fossils found to date. The Gauteng province’s very own cave system has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known as the Cradle of Humankind.
It is believed that before the inhabitants of modern human 170 000 years ago, Southern Africa was home to various tribes, including; the Khoisan who inhabited the Northern Cape area, the Xhosa in the East, and the Bantu in the Kwazulu Natal region. These tribes each have their own unique languages, to date, there are now 11 official languages in South Africa. These include:
- English – European Influence
- Afrikaans – Dutch / South African English descent
- Northern Sotho – Standardised version of Sepedi
- Fanagalo – Primarily based on Zulu
- Tsotsitaals – Mix of township languages mainly spoken in Gauteng
- Shona – Bantu first language
- Southern Ndebele – African language of Ngunigroup of Bantu languages, spoken by the amaNdebele
- Scamto – A youth language comprises a mix of many languages
- SASL – South African Sign language
- Oorlams – A dialect of Afrikaans
A country so rich in culture it seems to have everything going for it, unfortunately, South Africa has a rough and hard past. Heavily colonized by the British and ruled under oppression for years, South Africans have proven to come together as a nation and pull through, despite the odds. In 1994 the country celebrated their first free elections without racial discrimination. The country was now on the map with a spirited captain, Nelson Mandela, at the helm.
During the colonisation, a lot of the smaller African tribes disintegrated, however, the legal systems have incorporated Indigenous African laws into its own Constitution. Known as one of the best legal systems in the world, South Africa’s hail from a Canon Law (English Law), Indigenous Law and International Law heritage who still praise scholars like Socrates and Plato.
Things to do in South Africa
Today, South Africa has become a tourist hotspot with people flocking from all over the world to experience the wildlife, culture and pristine beaches. Upon our visit with the people of South Africa, the cultural diversity and hardships are prominent in everyday life. Streets are brightly decorated as if to celebrate every day.
South Africa is home to the Big 5 and its lands are peppered with reserves and game parks that are fully dedicated to the preservation of wildlife. The most popular Nature Reserve would have to be the Kruger National Park, it is also the biggest reserve in South Africa. Not far from the Kruger and very close to the city of Johannesburg, you can find the Pilanesberg National Park, also a favourite amongst tourists.
Other Nature Reserves worth visiting in South Africa
Cradle Of Humankind in Maropeng
One of the 8 world heritage sites, the Cradle of Humankind is known as the origin of humankind. In 1924 the first hominid (Great Apes) was found at Taung and is now widely visited all year round.
There are 13 excavation sites within the area and they are all recognized as a National Heritage Site. The excavation sites spread from Maropeng to the Sterkfontein Caves, all just an hour from the city of Johannesburg.
Enjoy a guided tour of the excavation sites or visit the visitor centers and view and learn about the many exhibits on display.
- Entrance Cost: Maropeng Site – R105 – Adults | R60 – Children (Ages 4 – 14 Years) | R75 – Pensioners/Student (With valid ID/Student Card) | Free – Children (Under 3)
- Sterkfontein Caves: R110 – Adults | R65 – Children (Ages 4 – 14 Years) | R75 – Pensioners/ Students (With Vaild ID/Student Card) | Free: Children (Under 3)
- Operating Hours: Daily from 9am – 5pm
- More Info: Website
Sun City Resort in Johannesburg
Sun City is a world unto its own, the tropical landscape that was developed on an old volcanic crater is now home to a variety of wildlife and a plethora of activities.
Sun City offers a selection of accommodation with day visits option for those looking for a day out in the sun. The resort boasts various swimming holes and leisurely outdoor fun.
- More Info: Sun City
Pretoria Zoo spans across an 85-hectare property and is conveniently located just 5 minutes from the city center. Housing over a thousands of species of wildlife, the Zoo is also boasted as the largest inland marine aquarium and reptile shed.
- Entrance Cost: R110 – Adult | R75 – Children
- Operating Hours: Daily from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
- More Info: Pretoria Zoo
The Big Swing in Durban
One of the most sought-after activities in Durban happens at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where thrill seekers are elevated above sea level to experience the highest swing in the world. Reaching 120 km/h as you make your descent, this activity is not for the faint-hearted.
A pre-jump procedure ensures the utmost care and safety is taken during your experience, in a matter of seconds you will be hurled towards the ground during your 60-meter free fall swing over the football field. Many have boasted this to offer the best views of Durban and the newly built Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Entrance Cost: R695 per Jump
- Operating Hours: Daily from 9:30 am – 4:30am
- Address: Moses Madiba stadium, Masabala Yengwa Ave, Stamford Hill Durban
- More Info: Website
Cape Town’s Beaches
Cape Town boasts some of the best white flag beaches in the world. The shores are touched by both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, bringing a plethora of wildlife into the waters. Many annual festivals are scheduled around the visiting of breeding whales, Oyster harvesting, and Great White Shark activity.
The pristine beaches are visited all year round as the subtropical climate promises sunny days even in the colder seasons. One of the few places in the world where one can enjoy the sunset over the Atlantic with the towering mountain peaks overlooking the white sand beaches Cape Town has on offer.
- More Info: Cape Town Beaches
These are some of our favourite things to do in South Africa and we found them by using the online platform called Vibescout, a pretty cool guide on things to do in South Africa.