In a globalised world, where the term 'cultural diversity' has lost its potency, South Africa offers authentic cultural encounters with real communities like the San and the Nama. Their presence in southern Africa dates back millennia, and their way of life remains virtually unchanged.
2Cultural World Heritage Sites
South Africa’s cultural World Heritage Sites are among the most compelling in the world. Far from being consigned to the annals of history, the ongoing hominid fossil discoveries at the Cradle of Humankind, and the message of the triumph of the human spirit contained in Robben Island, keep our sites current and relevant.
Townships offer open-minded travellers a chance to visit significant freedom sites, to interact with ordinary people, and experience genuine cultural diversity. Most visitors find their experience transformational and leave with a very different impression than when they arrived.
4A sense of place
South Africa has shied away from over commercialising our unique cultural icons. Whether you tour Soweto, visit the District Six Museum, or explore the Kamberg’s San rock art sites, they are unadulterated, with a unique sense of place.
Conserving rock art, acknowledging our hominid ancestors, recording oral testimony for posterity, or welcoming visitors is how we show our humanity. Respect for each other and for human rights is at the core of our South Africanness. We’re infectiously friendly and we don’t need a TV camera to turn on our smiles.
6Dynamic cultural heritage
South African culture was created by a mix of African, European and Asian influences; and we continue to embrace cultural change. We honour our immigrant and indigenous heritage, and we celebrate what makes us different whilst still remaining proudly South African.
7The freedom experience
South Africa’s triumph of democracy over apartheid ranks as one of the most significant human rights achievements in modern history. South Africa’s struggle for freedom is within living memory, and visitors can tangibly experience our nation’s amazing journey on the streets of our cities and through the living heroes and ordinary citizens that made this peaceful transition possible.
South African cultural experiences are among the most affordable and accessible in the world. Rarely are there hefty entrance fees, long queues, cultural protocols or red tape to contend with. South Africans are accessible and willingly share their stories and experiences.
The diversity and depth of South African culture can be experienced in world-class museums, memorials and galleries. From exploring in the open-air grasslands of Madiba’s birthplace in rural Qunu, to the acclaimed Apartheid Museum.
South Africa is a place where creativity flourishes and our endless cultural variety is expressed through traditional and modern forms of song, dance, art, theatre, design, fashion and food.