Posted by: howvoicebegan | 13/06/2011

My Top 5 Favorite Things About South Africa

After living for a year in South Africa, there are many things I have come to appreciate about this country and its people. Here are my top 5 favorite things about South Africa:

5. The animals

Zebra blending into its surroundings

The first introduction to the majestic Big 5 is the currency, which prominently displays the animals that South Africa is famous for. Many reserves exist, large and small, where animals roam freely and live their lives without knowing that they are in a reserve. Watching a large elephant crossing the road or seeing some lions lazing in the sun is a silencing moment. Even the birds I wake up to each morning have beautiful and unique voices.

4. The weather
The weather makes it into the top 5 because I come from Seattle. If I were from Arizona I probably wouldn’t notice it, but after 22 years of cold, rain, and cloudiness, beautiful and reliable weather is something that I have come to love about living here. You can still sit outside in the winter and enjoy the beautiful sun, and the summer is hot– just the way I like it.

3. The scenery

The Union Buildings are quite a showy display of nature

Good weather brings beautiful landscape. It’s lushly green in the summer, and the colors of the trees perfectly compliments the rusty red soil and mountains. In Pretoria, the Jacaranda tree has been planted lining the streets, and in October the trees burst with thousands of brilliantly purple blooms, which is a sight to behold.

2. The languages
South Africa has 11 official languages, and I have tremendous respect for South Africans for coping with the diverse means of communication. Many speak 4 or 5 languages fluently, and often the attitude about learning a new language is to tackle it rather than think of it as a daunting, fruitless task, an outlook Americans tend to have. I have been rather fascinated with exploring the languages I am frequently exposed to- isiXhosa, isiZulu, and Northern Sotho.

1. The people
But best of all in South Africa are the people. Their joy and hospitality are something of an experience in themselves, and the culture of singing and dancing so saturates the community that it is one of my favorite experiences.I have learned much from my cultural exchange here.  Of all the things in this country, it is the people who continue to draw me back here.

Some of my favorite people doing what they love to do: sing.



  1. Great top 5! Thanks for the video – they are precious.

  2. heheh singing, Thats what its all about! what a cutie.

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