Category Archives: Discover South Africa

Things you should know before visiting South Africa (Part 2)

4. Open your mind
There are 11 official languages in South Africa, and most of them are indigenous to the country. Around 40% of the population speak either Xhosa or Zulu. Another major language is Afrikaans, a derivative of Dutch, which will find surprisingly easy to follow by northern Europeans. Although almost everywhere you go you can easilly get by with English – which is commonly spoken in all major cities and towns, at government departments, hotels, and banks.
You‘ve ever been nowhere like South Africa. Desmond Tutu, a famous South African, described South Africa by saying that they of many races, cultures, and languages become one nation. They are the Rainbow People of God. In such a diverse country it’s truely important to remain alert to respect the culture and stay safe.
African Impact Sarah Graham says that it’s natural that when offering broad-spectrum advice for travelers, guidebooks will resort to generalization. You will be able to get into all the nooks and crannies of South Africa and venture off the beaten track to feel the rhythm of the people. The people are friendly and warm, and excited to share their culture and stories with you.
5. Great Mobile Phone Coverage
Luckily, mobile phone coverage in South Africa is easy to access and extensive. Purchase a local SIM card from one of the South Africa’s four key telcos: MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom. When you arrive at the airport you can do this.
In major cities and towns reception and internet speeds are great, but when you head into the wilderness you will lose the ability to connect fast.
Remember that you can only use a local SIM on SIM-unlocked GSM phones. Before you leave check with your mobile network provider in your home country to make sure you can use it on your phone.
You should always buy a SIM card in store at a supermarket, kiosk, or one of the official outlets, never buy off a street seller.
Listen to our podcast if you want to know more about South Africa. We talk about when something goes wrong how World Nomads swings into action, the photographer who survived a deadly snake bite and plus a shark conservation.

Several mistakes about South Africa

Many tourists think that South Africa does not have snow, even only in summer, but in fact it is not.

South Africa is a region, not a country

Many South African tourists who travel abroad get the question: “Which country are you from South Africa?”. Meanwhile, South Africa is also the name of a country located in southern Africa. The continent has more than 50 countries, including the southern region including Botswana, Lesoto, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

South Africa is never cold

In fact, winter still exists in this country, usually starting from May to August. Before traveling to South Africa, don’t forget to see the weather forecast as Cape Town is very wet in the winter. Johannesburg is again characterized by thunderstorms in the summer, while Karoo also has harsh winter days.

Wild animals walk freely

When you first arrived in South Africa, the question you often asked was: “Where is the wild animal?”. The natural world here is rich with animals like elephants, monkeys, penguins, jaguars. However, visitors will not be able to see a lion walking on the street or people riding elephants to work, they have been isolated in a safe area. So to see wild animals, visit nature reserves throughout South Africa.

Local people speak African languages

African is not a language. The country of South Africa has 11 official languages ​​and most people can speak two of the total. English is very popular in South Africa, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost because you don’t know the language.

Country with only black people living

White people make up a small portion of South Africa’s population (about 8% in 2017 statistics). Most of them are of Dutch, German, English and French. After the Apartheid regime collapsed, Bishop Desmond Tutu named South Africa a rainbow country to indicate the harmony of skin, race and culture of different groups of people living together in one country.

South Africa’s unfold stories

Located on the southern tip of the African continent, the Republic of South Africa is a country characterized by the perfect combination of wild nature and the elegant modernity of people from many different cultures. Besides the beautiful tourist landscapes, South Africa also has its own unique features that few people pay attention to.

CONTAIN 3 CAPITALS

South Africa is the only country in the world to have 3 capitals coexisting. It is Pretoria – the administrative capital, Cape Town – the legislative capital and Bloemfontein – the judicial capital. In addition to these three cities, South Africa has another city that is widely regarded as the economic capital of Johannesburg.

MULTI NATIONAL LANGUAGE

South Africa has the most official languages in the world: 11 languages, and all are recognized as administrative languages. In rural areas, English is the common language of communication for people of different races – just like in Singapore. This is also the official language used in communication. Also in the West and South, Afrikaans and Dutch are more commonly used. A South African often knows at least 3 of the country’s 11 languages.

RAINBOW NATION

This nickname comes from Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984. After the 1994 democratic election, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the Republic of South Africa. Archbishop Tutu uses the term “rainbow nation” to describe a country that has eradicated racism after a long time. Combined with the six-color flag, this term refers to the racial, tribal, religious, linguistic and landscape diversity across the country.

BIODIVERSITY

Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuaries; with an area of ​​19,635km2, nearly as wide as the Kingdom of Belgium. Kruger is home to 500 bird species, 100 reptiles, nearly 150 mammals, many amazing archaeological sites and diverse vegetation.