Posts Tagged ‘Tourism’
People certainly like to visit gorgeous places but are in some cases disappointed when they find that those locations are rather touristy. SA still manages to provide a genuine travel experience however if you especially appreciate taking a trip along the unbeaten path, then the west coastline could be an excellent choice for you.
The West Coast is less touristy than the East Coast because the East Coast has warm seas whereas the West Coast has a colder ocean. The East Coastline is well known for its Garden Route and vineyards, whereas the West coast has traditional farms with vegetables and fruit.
Exactly what the West coastline has to offer though can be particularly pleasurable in September and October, when it is Springtime in South Africa. During this period the dry semi-desert area of Namaqualand, also referred to as “the South African Wilderness”, goes into bloom and you will find kilometers on end of extraordinary colourful flowers. The Namaqualand Flower Route starts off in the West Coast National Park near Langebaan and runs along the N7, through towns like Garies, Kamieskroon, Port Nolloth, and Springbok.
2 of the jewels of the west coast are the Cedaberg Mountains and the Cedaberg Wilderness; 710 000 hectares of rugged beauty where it is still possible to find ancient rock art and go hiking and abseiling. The West Coastline ends on the North border of the country and encountering Namibia further north and the Kalahari desert to the East. There are lovely coastal towns to visit along the way, such as Lambert’s Bay, Saldanha Bay and Paternoster.
There are many methods to enjoy your holidays in South Africa. The value for money is outstanding and most of the fish is actually prepared on open fires as you drink a sun-downer at one of the open air tables.
The whole of the Olifant’s River valley is fantastic for its vintage beauty and values. You will meet lots of descendants of the first Dutch inhabitants that have actually been working this land for over four centuries. Citrusdal can be particularly excellent when the oranges are ripe on the trees and contrast with the dark green foliage and the deep turquoise sky.
Do not confuse the Oliphant’s River Valley with the Oliphant’s River which offers cruises to see hippos and crocodiles. That Oliphant’s River is on the other side of the country near the Kruger National Park.
If you begin your vacation in Cape Town, we recommend that you head directly for the Namaqualand experience, from there you can take a plane to the Kruger National Park if you are interested in a Safari, otherwise you can invest a few days in Cape Town and see the botanical Gardens called Kirstenbosch, the City Center, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Table Mountain. After that you can head for Cape Point then possibly drive along the Garden Route if you want.
On the East Coastline you will be able to appreciate Ocean Safaris. In the winter months you can take a boat ride and get within 50 m of the whales. In the summer you can get “up close and personal” with the dolphins. Maybe stop off a night or 2 in Wilderness, which is the perfect lazy spot with a superb beach to get some rest before you make your way back home.
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When you take a trip someplace, it is always nice to eat the local foods because it really permits you to get to know a country. South Africa’s cuisine accurately mirrors its political situation, having various cuisine for each ethnic group. Specific recipes have actually stayed true to their beginnings however other dishes are a mix of the cooking styles of the various other ethnic groups.
To understand where particular tastes originate from, it serves to understand how the South African Population is divided. On the one hand we have the indigenous Bantu population, then we have the European colonialists who were mainly Dutch and English, and then we have the Muslim community which has created its own ethnic group over centuries.
The Muslim ethnic group originated in the 17th century, when the colonialists brought slaves in from Madagascar, India and Indonesia. They were forbidden to follow the Christian religious beliefs therefore slowly turned to the Islamic faith. They had children with the native Koi and San populations who were also enslaved and slowly, in time, gave birth to an ethnic group with physical traits which were halfway in between the Africans and Indians.
The food of these people is very much influenced by the Indian culture, and spices such as cardamom and curry are plentiful. corner shops will sell ‘samosas’, thin triangular pastry savories filled with veggie or meat curry. Another very common meal is called ‘sosaties’ which is similar to the kebab found in the middle east.
From the native African population, we have a number of meat dishes which use antelope, springbok and ostrich meat. There is likewise a typical Xhosa dish called ‘samp’, which is made from dried corn kernels which have actually been partially ground, but not entirely.
From Dutch descent, we have a specific way of drying meat which produces rather hard, but very delicious strips of meat. This is called ‘biltong’, from the two Dutch words ‘bil’ (rump) and ‘tong’ (strip). A variation of this is ‘droewors’ which is dried sausage. The word ‘braaivleis’ is likewise of Dutch origin and has become one of South Africa’s greatest culinary traditions. It is essentially a barbecue, but the marinade is commonly sweet and can consist of Indian chutney, beer or even Coca-Cola! Any South African, Malay, Bantu or Dutch descendant likes a ‘braai’ with pals over the weekend!
The Dutch cooking custom is really rather vast and includes dishes which were made use of by the first ‘Settlers’. One such recipe is called ‘potjiekos’ and is a vegetable and meat stew which is cooked in a three legged pot over the fire. In some cases beer or sherry and Indian spices are added to this delicious stew.
From the English custom, we have the traditional fish and chips, which have obtained an entire new flavor in South Africa! If you go to the little harbor of Hout Bay, you will have the pleasure of tasting some of the most unforgettable fish cakes you are likely to ever eat! The chips are served with vinegar and are great smelling and soft.
Speak to your tour guide, or to some local residents, and see if it is possible to get invited to a braai. In the South African tradition, the men prepare the meat whilst the women organize the salads. Quite a lot of beer is served before the meal prepares and this creates a very dynamic event!
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