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SSouth Africa is unique. It is one country in the world where one can weave a vibrant tapestry of culture and heritage from the many and varied attractions, experiences and influences that permeate daily living.
In South Africa, September is the start of the Spring season, which signals new beginnings and positive tidings. It also ushers in bright and warm sunny days perfect for exploring all the fun and beauty that this multi-cultured country has to offer.
It may be the arresting vistas of a kloof, or the meandering route up a ragged mountain range, perhaps the picturesque and tranquil surrounds of a national botanical garden, or the calming warm waters of the Indian Ocean on the east. It may even be the sweeping panoramic views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the west, replete with marine life, or maybe the exhilarating and majestic Orange and Vaal rivers, wherever you look in South Africa, the splendour of natural beauty shines through.
There are plenty of places to see and explore in South Africa. One can choose to visit The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town (Western Cape province) which stands as the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Dating back to 1666 it was a maritime replenishment station for the Dutch East India Company. Or you can explore the Panorama Route of the Kruger Lowveld in the Mpumalanga Province and get to relive the famous Transvaal Gold Rush of 1873 in the quant museum town of Pilgrim’s Rest which is small town but boasts big historical significance. Or you can get up close and personal with Africa’s Big 7 which include the lion, the leopard, the mighty buffalo, elephant, rhino as well the southern right whale and the great white shark in the intrigue of the Eastern Cape. South Africa has plenty of enriching experiences to broaden every traveller’s horizon.
AAs spring sets in, the symphony of nature in the national gardens, gorges, forests and swamps of South Africa rise to a crescendo. The flowers in full bloom in Namaqualand provide a mosaic of patterns and a potpourri of smells as nature wakes up from the slumber of the winter months and life gets back into a glorious rhythm.
South Africa has a rich heritage with cultures as diverse as the county’s wide range of experiences and attractions. From the exuberant Zulu with colourful beads, animal hides, the umqhele (headband) and isicholo hats; the demure and graceful Xhosa umbhaco (long traditional skirt) paired with the dramatic head wraps; to the colour-blocking of the Tsonga and the intricate workmanship of the specially engineered xibelani skirts, there is no short supply of inspiration, during Heritage month, aesthetics come out in full display as the different cultural groups in the various provinces adorn colourful pieces in a radiant expression of heritage.
The Shweshwe prints of the Sotho, their traditional blankets paired with modianyewe (conical hats) and the riot of colour and geometric patterns unique to the Ndebele households expressed in their blanket, bracelets, aprons, chokers and leg braces, are a work of art.
The Tswana makgabe (traditional skirt) and tshega (male shorts) made out of animal hide, the Venda and Pedi symmetrical colour patterns and the unmistakable Swati red and white kangas add to the kaleidoscopic fashion range.
The glittering Indian sari and the Afrikaner velskoen (animal hide shoe) complete the sartorial feast. South Africa is an artist’s canvass bursting with creativity and heritage that has been passed on from generation to generation.
Food is central to South Africa’s heritage. Our cuisine ranges from high end fine dining borrowing from the Dutch, Malay, Indian and French heritages paired with the finest South African wines and fused with traditional food that has been the staple for generations. Our street food showcases a fusion of influences from across the world seamlessly complemented by authentic South African wonders such as braai meat or bunny chows. Every palette is catered for with a range of road side eateries, take away options and top restaurants found in the various parts of South Africa’s nine provinces.
Blessed with plentiful sunshine, pleasant climate all year round, natural beauty, cultural and traditional experiences abound, it’s little surprise that South Africans are so inspired and ready to welcome the world and share the country’s beauty with visitors from all over the world. Come soak up the heritage of a spirited nation to broaden your horizons. Come take in the crisp fresh air in our wide open spaces. Come to soulful South Africa, where inspiration knows no limits.
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