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See Another Side of South Africa

Many tourists who come to South Africa do so for two reasons: to visit beautiful Cape Town or to go on a wildlife safari in Kruger National Park. Both are worthwhile reasons to come and deserve to be on your itinerary, but if they’re the only places you visit, you’ll miss out on seeing another side of the country. Among the many things to do in South Africa, a closer look at local life should be on your list.

There are several ways to dig deeper into your South African experience – after paying all that money for flights to South Africa, you probably want to make the most of it and go beyond the posh hotels and gourmet meals.  Trekking to the top of Table Mountain, diving with sharks and sipping some of the area’s delicious wines are all excellent activities, but there is also so much more history and culture to explore.

To start with, take a boat to Robben Island to learn more about apartheid and the slow reunification of South Africa. Then check out a cooking class in the Bo-Kaap, or Cape Malay quarter. Or take a trip into one of the country’s townships, like Soweto, where you can see how people of varying income levels live. It’s not the insulated tourist view, but it will help you better understand the past and present of South Africa.

You can also visit, Bakone Malapa, a living history museum that offers a look at the life of the Bakone people, a sub-group of the Northern Sotho tribe. Here, tribal members demonstrate their traditions of fire making, maize grinding, beer brewing, pottery, wood carving, bead work, grass weaving, and drum making in an effort to educate visitors about their culture.

Photo by Urban Adventures