Cultural Connections in Southern Africa
Collected by Marie Frei, AFAR Local Expert
The best way to experience the culture in Southern Africa is by traveling to both cities and rural areas. Recipies, like languages, are passed down through generations. Sample savory curries, exotic meats, and new fruits. Learn about history in museums and really listen when locals open up to you about their lives. Turn on the radio as you cruise the open road towards your next destination. Seek out live music and you'll know why people say Southern Africa knows how to throw one heck of a party.
Masiphumelele, Cape Town, 7975, South Africa
In the 1950's, Apartheid laws forced non-white residents of Cape Town into government-built townships or informal settlements in the Cape Flats region. While it's still not advisable for tourists to self-drive around the townships, there are a...
25A Albertus St &, Buitenkant St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
District Six was originally a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants. Marginalization and forced removal of the residents began early in the last century and, in 1966, the neighborhood was declared a white...
Ny 115, Guguletu, Cape Town, 7751, South Africa
Mzoli’s began life in 2003 as a humble butchery serving the community of Gugs (as Gugulethu is affectionately known) where it’s owner, Mr Mzoli Ngcawuzele himself, was born and raised. Mzoli prides himself on his choice cuts, so it wasn’t long...
Scibono Discovery Centre, Miriam Makeba Street, corner of President Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
On the western edge of downtown Johannesburg, a neighborhood named Newtown has emerged as the city’s cultural heart. Once a gritty industrial center, Newtown is now a gathering place for South African writers, artists, and musicians. Begin your...
Cape Town, South Africa
I was in for a real treat when I arrived Cape Town from Kruger Park. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival was happening and I was lucky to score a ticket for The Mahotella's 50th Celebration night. They was amazing! Two of the women are in...
Kayamandi, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
When ever I travel I try to connect with the local community whenever possible and luckily for me this was easily done in Stellenbosch thanks to the Bites and Sites food tour company. One of there most popular tours is an afternoon in the local...
192 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7950, South Africa
Housed in the splendid Casa Labia, a stately home on Cape Town’s False Bay Coast, overlooking the ocean in Muizenberg this is the former residence of Count and Countess Natale Labia. Ideally situated for those undertaking a tour to Cape Point,...
Diagonal St, Johannesburg South, South Africa
On a recent inner city tour I attended with tour operator, Past Experiences, we went past some of the local stores, one of which was a Muti Store. Muti is the Southern African traditional medicine which is prepared by a Sangoma or traditional...
Tsodilo Hills, Botswana
The plight of the San Bushmen of Botswana is today at a critical juncture as the Govt of Botswana wrestles with the land use pressure that comes with development. But this has been a long running issue. On this journey at the age of about 10, I...
Our guide hooked us up with a local entrepreneur who grew up and still lives in the Swakopmund Townships, and now runs his own official tours for visitors. His enthusiasm to educate, pride in where he's from, and knowledge made us very comfortable...
Katutura, Windhoek, Namibia
Kamaya Restaurant (adjacent to Catakombe Bar in Windhoek's former Apartheid township of Katutura), is a great place for some truly authentic local Namibian cuisine. You can dine on local delicacies like porridge and soup made from cornmeal, millet...
127 Johannes Nkosi St, Greyville, Durban, 4001, South Africa
In Southern Africa, muthi is a term for traditional medicine, derived from the Zulu word for “tree.” Learn more at Durban’s Muthi Market, where you’ll find stalls selling everything from herbs and roots to animal skins,...
corner Denis Hurley (old Grey) Street and Dr. Yusuf Dadoo (old Queen) Street, Durban Central, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Until last year, when it was usurped by the Turkish-style Nizamiye Mosque in Johannesburg, the Grey Street Mosque was the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Though the road has been renamed Doctor Yusuf Dadoo Street, locals continue to call it by...
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