People who never visited South Africa don’t always understand my endless love for this country. They don’t understand the hankering I feel to always go back there. “But you have seen it already, right? Why don’t you go and explore the mountains of Mongolia, visit Washington DC or go and smoke cigars and drive around in oldtimer cars in Havana (Cuba)?”
In this new category ’20 reasons why I love South Africa’ I will explain you in 4 blog posts – 5 reasons each time – why South Africa is the country of countries, the “Miss Universe” of all beauties, the Rolls Royce of holiday destinations, and the best feeling of all. I will try to explain why it’s a place on earth you always want to come back to, over and over again, not just to tick off your travel bucket list, but just to be there again. To feel, smell, taste, touch, hear, see and experience this country again. My home from home. “My” South Africa.
Reason 15: The big Five
Wild life and close animal encounters are the best, unique, and most natural on the African continent. Yes, there are places as Aquila (to avoid if you’d ask me!) what are just big zoo’s. But most of the Game Parks in South Africa, for example Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands, but also iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, Pilanesberg, Phinda, Umfolozi are so very much the real deal when it comes to real wildlife. Animals must survive all by themselves, find their own food, live in their own territory and space, it’s nature, the circle of life. I absolutely love this all, and quite recently I was out in the bush for some days. Read more about my last Kruger National Park adventure in this article.
Reason 14: Dusty & charming African villages
Greyton, Barrysdale, Stanford and Prince Albert; all very much my cup of tea. I like small country dorpies in South Africa. They are boring in the good way, there is nothing, they are beautiful, picturesque, photogenic, the people are friendly and they live happy, slow lives. You start your day with a stroll to the bakery or local coffee-bar and buy a new paper. You have coffee. Or tea. And breakfast. A chat with someone you don’t know. Then you do a hike, go horse riding, swimming in a local dam or lake, or just read a book. You probably will organise a relaxed braai with cold beers and tasty wines. Then afternoon nap. A swim in the pool or a fresh shower. Walk into town to be surprised by simple but excellent cuisine of one of the local restaurants. You often will be more surprised about the bill being so cheap. Then you will probably be in bed before 10pm and sleep like a rose. This is village life in South Africa. This is the country side. I embrace and love those places, maybe you do as well? My advice: go there, don’t stay too long, but go! It’s lovely..
Reason 13: Sushi is half price compared to Europe
And probably twice as good. Sushi in South Africa is delicious and not expensive comparing to Europe. My favourite places for sushi in Cape Town are Willoughbys & Co, Beluga and Nobu. When you get the chance to go to Willoughbys, order the following: beef tataki to start with, with extra garlic chips. Bowl of steamed rice on the side, to dip into the delicious tataki sauce. Then share a chicken salad, or go for the ebi tempura (tempura prawns). Finish your foodie feast with the foodporn on the image above; Creamy rock shrimp maki, with spicy tuna inside and a shrimp with Japanese mayo on top. And have glass of MCC Graham Beck Brut (bubbly). Or a beer. You’ll love it.
Reason 12: endless beaches
South Africa is well known for her coast line that doesn’t seem to end. Surrounded 3 sides by Ocean, there obviously is a lot of beach! Whether you speak about Plettenberg Bay, Durban, Ballito, Gonubie, Coffee Bay, Paternoster, Llandudno, Mossel Bay, Umhlanga, Clifton, Cape Vidal or Camps Bay or every beach in between and around; the beaches in South Africa are stunning! Spacious, nice views, beautiful sea, birdlife and sea animals (Yep, also sharks, be careful) and relaxing.
Reason 11: The light
“Besides, we could not live in London. We’re African. Pierre needs the ocean and I need the sky, the wide South African sky. Your sky hangs low, it’s ominously close to your heads, you realise that?’
Quotation of the book ‘Tribe’ by Rahla Xenopoulos. While reading this sentences the only thing I could do was nodding. I understand exactly what the protagonist in this book means with these words.
It’s no surprise that so many world class top photographers chose to live in South Africa, or at least come and visit this country often. The light is exceptional. Bright and clear, a blue sky is really blue. The sky is high up, without an end, while in Europe the sky often is ‘lower’. People who have been in South Africa know what I mean. Day is day, dark is dark. There hardly are grey days. It’s either sun and brightness, or rain and storm. Not all those in between days we are stuck with in cities as Amsterdam or London. I love the early morning light in South Africa the most, but late afternoon light can be pretty for photographs too. During the day, between 11am and 4pm it’s often too light to make a good photo. Not many countries in the world who struggle with that ‘problem’.
Click here… to read the first five reasons why I’m hooked to South Africa.
&Stay tuned…. for 10 more reasons why one can easily fall in love with South Africa
*Note: I have not been asked paid or invited to write about South Africa. It was my own idea. All images are mine.