11 June 2013 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds and Andrea Weiss

The people of South Africa

South Africa’s history has helped shape its people into a Rainbow Nation that is as diverse and culturally rich as its 11 official languages.

A woman in Tsonga-Shangaan headgear at Satara in Mpumalanga in the Kruger National Park, on her way to church. Photo courtesy of Hilde Juengst, aka hjuengst

The Love South Africa Flickr group is constantly updated with fantastic images taken all over the country. Why not join us?

Each week we showcase some of the images from this group on our blog. This week, we celebrate the Rainbow Nation.

In the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the Khomani San (or Bushmen, as they choose to call themselves) have benefited from a land settlement which gives them access to their traditional hunting grounds inside the park. Visitors can experience the culture of the Khomani San at !Xaus, a luxury lodge owned by the community. The name !Xaus means 'healing' in Nama.

Photo courtesy Janet, aka jansp Photo courtesy Janet, aka jansp

Each year Cape Town plays host to an International Jazz Festival, where you can experience the unique cross-cultural mix of the South African music scene. Visit any other time of the year, and you're sure to find buskers entertaining passersby at the V&A Waterfront.

Photo courtesy Steve Crane Photo courtesy Steve Crane
The area known as Bo-Kaap (or 'above the Cape') in Cape Town has its origins in the emancipation of slaves in 1833, many of whom came originally from Malaya. Former slaves settled in this area, bringing with them the religion of Islam and developing a cuisine known as Cape Malay. Today, this tight-knit community remains true to these traditions.

Photo courtesy juppi du Photo courtesy juppi du

Along the False Bay coastline are a series of villages which form part of greater Cape Town in the Western Cape. One of these is Kalk Bay, home to artists, poets and fishermen. It's a delightful place to take a stroll next to the sea, ride a bike, or just pass the time of day with old friends.

Photo courtesy Quintin Leslie Gilman, aka Quintin Gilman (QLG Photography) Photo courtesy Quintin Leslie Gilman, aka Quintin Gilman (QLG Photography)

The Free State province borders the landlocked country of Lesotho. As a result, there is a strong presence of Basotho people as well as the Sesotho language and culture. Below is a picture of a Mosotho doctor, known as a Ngaka, in the Basotho Cultural Village close to the Golden Gate National Park.

Photo courtesy Teresa Reynolds, aka Nostalgic T+ Allan Photo courtesy Teresa Reynolds, aka Nostalgic T+ Allan

In South Africa's urban centres, many people use minibus taxis to get around. This picture, taken in Durban, the largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, perfectly captures that moment when commuters alight from a taxi and hurry off to their next destination.

Photo courtesy Chris Bloom Photo courtesy Chris Bloom
Markets, like this one in Durban that is informally known as the 'Beggar's Market', bustle with a special kind of energy as people haggle over goods, ranging from traditional medicines to clothing.

Photo courtesy Ralph, aka The Enigmatic Traveller Photo courtesy Ralph, aka The Enigmatic Traveller

Soweto (an abbreviation of South Western Townships), close to Johannesburg, is where you'll find Vilakazi Street, once the home to two Nobel Prize-winners, namely former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Soweto is also the birthplace of other famous people, like singer Lebo M, whose voice you hear in the opening track to The Lion King.

Photo courtesy Dr. T, aka Dr TRX Photo courtesy Dr. T, aka Dr TRX

Our journey ends in Limpopo, a province that derives its name from the river that forms the northern border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Here you'll find the VhaVenda, for whom dance is culturally significant, including a python dance performed at girls' coming-of-age rituals.

Photo courtesy DazMSmith Photo courtesy DazMSmith

Do you have pictures of your South African experiences? We'd love you to share your pictures with our Love South Africa Flickr group.

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