Tuesday, August 09, 2016

5 Crazy Misconceptions About South Africa

South Africa: a beautiful, diverse, incredible country. Of course, you’ve probably seen those words being used to describe pretty much every country on Earth at some point. But many people don’t seem to think that South Africa can be any of those things.

If you want to visit a new andexciting place, let me recommend South Africa to you. And if you hold any of these misconceptions about the place, dismiss them now.

It’s all basically the same

There seems to be this idea that South Africa isn’t that rich in culture. People don’t seem to be sure exactly what kind of place South Africa is, but they do seem to be pretty sure that it’s not very diverse or interesting. Perhaps they’ve only experienced South Africa through the post-apocalyptic films of Neill Blomkamp. In any case, the idea that there’s little of interest in South Africa is utterly crazy. You know how many Nobel laureates comes from South Africa, right? You should check out more about the news and culture of South Africa here.

Lions and tigers and elephants everywhere!

South Africa, as with other areas of Africa (and Australia), is often victim to a “scary beasts” myth. People become convinced that by going anywhere in Africa they run the risk of getting eaten by some Panthera or trodden on by an elephant. Well, Africa is the only continent where many of these creatures still roam free in the wild. But trust me: a lion is not going to interrupt your swim sessions or barbeques or whatever it is you do on vacations!

Where are all my “first-world” amenities!?

And yes, you can go swimming and barbecuing in South Africa. You can see a movie in a movie theater, too, if you like. You can go shopping in luxury malls. You can go bowling or golfing in fancy venues. South Africa is filled with the “developed” pleasures that you’d expect in any other tourist-heavy country. So you can enjoy the sorts of things you’d expect to enjoy in New York, or London, or Paris. And for much, much cheaper, too.

I just have to learn some African words, right?

When you travel somewhere, it seems a smart idea to learn a little bit of the language. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think that the language spoken here, and in other African countries, is “African”. Sorry: there’s no such language. After all, there’s no such country as Africa! To be fair, people may have gotten confused because one of the officials languages is called Afrikaans. But that’s only the third most common language in South Africa. Note how I said one of the official languages? That’s because South Africa has a whopping eleven official languages. The most common is Zulu, but a significant proportion do speak English.

It’s hot and uncomfortable over there

If you don’t think that South Africa is just one big desert, then you may think that it never stops being sunny and hot. Some of you may think this is a good thing. But a lot of people would relish the opportunity to get a break from any intense heat. Well, I have good news for you, if you can call it that: South Africa sees its fair share of wind, rain, and snow!