There is something about this country that steals into you, slowly spreading throughout your entire being. Like an incoming tide, each wave advances a little deeper into your soul until you are fully submerged; completely captivated by her beauty and her people.
“South Africa never leaves one indifferent. Its history, its population, its landscapes and cultures – all speak to the visitor, to the student, to the friend of Africa.” – Tariq Ramadan
I wholeheartedly agree. Here’s why:
“Sunset is still my favourite colour, and rainbow is second.” – Mattie Stepanek
If you have ever watched the sun melt into the hazy South African horizon, or its golden glow reflecting on the waters of her ocean, you will understand why. However, just as one can marvel at the soft hues of a sunset, one can be captivated by the stark colours of a rainbow…an altogether different type of beauty. South Africa is a melting pot of different ethnic groups and eleven official languages: a true testament to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Rainbow Nation”. Our diversity is woven into a rich tapestry and held together by a fierce love of our country. Just like the promise of a rainbow after the rain, it is both beautiful and inspiring – a symbol that the best is yet to come.
“Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.” – Brian Jackman
From the famous Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo) roaming our reserves to hundreds of species of birds soaring in the sky; from dolphins frolicking in the waves along our beautiful coastline to hippos wallowing in our rivers and dams; from the laughing of the hyaena to the singing of the cicada; from crocodiles basking in the sun to frogs rejoicing in the rain – South Africa is blessed with abundant wildlife.
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Robert Wyland
At the rocky headland of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, you can witness the meeting of the cold Atlantic Ocean with the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. Whether it is to experience this phenomenon, laze on the golden beaches, surf the curve of a wave, go deep sea fishing, enjoy the marine life or simply feel the sand between your toes: the ocean offers something for everyone.
“You have to taste a culture to understand it.” – Deborah Cater
Potjiekos. Biltong and droëwors. Chakalaka. Cape Malay curry. Pap. Boerewors. Samp and beans. Bobotie. Bunny chow. Morogo. Rusks. Malva pudding. Vetkoek. Koeksisters. Melktert. Rooibos tea. Amasi. Pinotage. Umqombothi. Amarula.
You will not be disappointed!
“I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.” – Thabo Mbeki
Mother Nature in South Africa mirrors the diversity of her people. An amalgam of mountains, plains, desert, wetlands, forests and oceans; she provides a sense of space and therefore freedom that is unparalleled. Every time I return home to her, it feels like a fog lifting in the morning light, unmasking spectacular vistas that steal your breath while simultaneously breathing life into your soul.
Even though she is no longer my country of residence, she will always be my home. Ubuntu, the Springboks, Bafana Bafana, the Proteas, braais, the Garden Route, Jozi, Madiba, lekker, Table Mountain, Shosholoza, yebo, Trevor Noah, Beacon White Easter Eggs, howzit, Nando’s ads, The Power of One, the Kruger National Park, tea and rusks, penguins…I am in love with it all.