South Africa is hard to define. The landscape is vast, encompassing some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to expansive parks filled with exotic animals that we dream of when we are children. The cities are colorful and so are the people. Its politics are complicated, its national languages tally 11, and its infinite amount of wealth in culture and richness make South Africa commonly known as the Europe of Africa.
A few hundred years ago, European explores came upon the Cape of Good Hope with excitement, furry, and colonialism. Then came the Dutch, the English, influences from imported workers from Malaysia and India, the diamond pursuers,the gold miners, the activists, the animal hunters, the animal lovers, and now refugees from every other nation in Africa. It’s no wonder South Africa has an incredibly challenging time maintaining its politics.
One should not go to South Africa before researching how Apartheid has left its mark on this dynamic country. It’s proudly, one of the few countries in the world to change governments without a bloody civil war, thanks to revolutionaries like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Walter Sisulu (just to name a very few). While S.A. is booming with that hip indie culture 80% of the population still struggle to pay their bills, maintain electricity, and live in quality standards of housing. Mansions overlook divine beaches ranking first in most expensive property in Africa and just a short drive away lies the South African township, for those less monetarily fortunate.
South Africa is a country not to be missed on the bucket list. It’s dynamic scenery is a tourist’s heaven, its political atmosphere is a historian’s dream, and South Africa’s potpourri of cultures is a traveler’s utopia. But beware, don’t let the allure deceive you, South Africa can open your eyes to all of its beauty and break your heart with poverty and sickness at the very same time and leave you feeling ever so exhausted at trying to understand it. But that’s what makes visitors fall in love with it over and over again.
Like we said, it’s complicated.
Useful South African Sites: