“Someone You Should Know Week!”
This week we have the amazing Lavania doing a special piece for us on South Africa!
South Africa is an experience that is unique to you. I think the easiest way to describe it is like a Macca’s burger. Firstly not everyone likes Maccas and for those who do, everyone has their own tastes. Some want gherkins (pickles), cheese, no cheese, no meat, extra sauce, no sauce, etc. It all depends on what YOU want and like with all fast food restaurants you go in there risking a hijacking or two, well the same goes for South Africa.
Being born and half bred there, for me it’s my home, so my experiences are much guided thanks to my parents. For me South Africa is filthy rich, in its food, culture and diversity in races, languages and environment, so you are spoilt for choice.
Food: South Africans love their food, they are spoilt with excellent dining service (please tip, they work hard to make you happy), quality food especially the meat, it must be the cows or something but the meat is so JUICY! They have a great selection of steakhouses and seafood, they aren’t so big on Asian inspired food (sorry to the noodle box lovers). They have fast food chain restaurants that you will commonly find all around the country like, Wimpy (pick the bubble gum flavour milkshake), Steers, Spur, Milky Lane, Mug and Bean (star bucks got nothing on this). Happy Eating! Oh and one more thing it may be expensive for the locals to dine but if you are traveling on the dollar whether that’s Australian or Canadian, it is dirt cheap my friends.
People: Indians (Everywhere! Durban has the second largest population of Indian people of course behind India) Caucasian, Africans, African and Caucasian mixed (known as coloureds, so no they aren’t rainbow people)
Things to see and do:
Johannesburg aka Joburg there are a few places of note, firstly the Lion Park, it’s one of those ‘tick in the box’ type of places. You will get to drive through a mini game reserve, see your dose of wild life, play with lion cubs, which might I add is ridiculously adorable, feed a giraffe whilst get your whole arm licked at the same time by its giant tongue, check out some meerkats and other creatures big and small. Secondly I would highly recommend seeing the Apartheid Museum, just like you would see a concentration camp when in Germany, it’s important to know the struggle the whole country went through in the last century and get to know the man that put this country on the map. For all you ladies please do yourself a favour and go shop in a real shopping centre – Sandton City.
Cape Town, for me is a mini Europe, most of its frontal coast line properties are bought out by, of course rich Europeans! Cape Town is a beautiful stop off, there is Table Mountain which is iconic of the region which can be hiked up or you can take the short cut via the cable way. Here you will get vast views of the coast and the Water Front (promenade dining, seafood galore). You can also see Robben Island from Table Mountain, it used to be a prison, and where famous Nelson Mandela served his time. Now it is a tourist destination must! Good enough even for Obama to go visit. Cape Town is it is perfect for a road trip, excellent coast drive, great views and lots of small towns and little shops along the way. Small tip, no matter how hot it is and how blue the water looks, do not be deceived it is absolutely FREEZING! Thank the Atlantic Ocean for that.
Durban is my home town, it is always going to be the stinking hot tropical place I have known it to be, and as soon as you get out of the airport the heat smacks you in the face. If you are looking for a beach to swim in without freezing, Durban is your place, the water colour depends on the season if they have had lots of rain, the water looks gross, but it is warm I promise. Along the beach front there is also markets they run on the weekends, were you can try spiced pineapple on a stick or spiced green mangos! Bargain please its Africa they will rob you blind if you don’t smarten up. There is also a water park and a marine world park in one called Ushaka, you can see dolphins, ride some awesome slides, dine with the sharks (watching them while you eat, or them watching you, you never know) it’s a good day out in the sun! The best place for shopping in South Africa by far is Gateway, it’s a huge shopping mall with a rocking climbing INSIDE, bowling alley, arcade and outside the Wave House, Skate Park, oh yes shops too.
Only in South Africa: Do not use the public transport unless you are using the Gautrain (built for the 2010 soccer world cup), no taxis either, best to hire a car, keep it locked at all times and please use the paid parking that is NOT on the streets. Best part about the car is you also get to use the valet service at the gas pump, you drive into a pump (or get directed to one), tell the service attendant how much fuel, what fuel, get your oil and water checked and pressure in your tires whilst your butt is still plonked in the car seat! (Don’t forget to tip). Road side venders! Oh my god imagine you get in the car on the way to work and the sun is in your face whilst driving you stop at the traffic light (they call them robots) and a man will have an array of sun glasses dangling of his arm for your convenience to purchase, or how about you are really bored waiting for the lights to change there is a jugglers for your entertainment.
Remember open your eyes enjoy the experience make it your own and don’t eat the MacDonald’s!
– Lavania xoxo
- VIDEO: South Africa’s cycling medicine men (bbc.co.uk)
- Choice – Going to South Africa anyway! (theafrikaanschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Paul Smith opens a new shop in Cape Town (paulsmith.co.uk)
- In the Meantime, in South Africa . . . (medicalmiscreants.com)