South Africa: Diversity

on the water capetown, south africa
cape town, south africa
South Africa is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The diversity of cultures, people, and scenery make it a top must-see destination.
Some fun facts about S. Africa…
Capital :: Pretoria
Population :: About 50 million people
Currency :: Rand – $1 equals about 6.71 ZAR
Flag ::
south african flag
Language :: S. Africa has 11 official languages – English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
National Anthem :: The National Anthem of South Africa – click  here to read the translation.
map of south africa
We lived in the Mpumulanga province near the city of Nelspruit for about three years . We had much to do at our fingertips but the best part was being only about 20 minutes from Kruger National Park. This was my kid’s favorite part about living there. Who wouldn’t love a safari drive through a park the size of Israel for sightings of Africa’s Big Five? (Click here and here to view and download various printables of African animals.)
elephant ears
Quiz Time! Can you name the five most prized and difficult animals to hunt in Africa, commonly referred to as The Big Five? Answer found here!
S. Africa is a very outdoors culture. Outings to botanical gardens, sipping coffee at outdoor cafes, and frequent braais (pronounced bry), or what we would call BBQ’s, all contribute to this culture who would rather go barefoot than take the time to slip on shoes. My 9 year old loves this and still doesn’t understand why he has to wear shoes to attend American schools!
South Africans love their meat! Borewors, a sausage made with minced beef and spices, is found everywhere in SA. Sauces and chutneys are also very popular. On the dessert menu, you will always find malva pudding, melktart, and rusks (similar to biscotti) for dipping into your coffee. Black Africans love such delicacies as chicken feet and pap, a finely ground maize that looks like mashed potatoes.
stirring pap
As foreigners in a beautiful land, we can’t be mesmerized by our surroundings and forget the 50 million orphans that lie at our doorsteps. Perhaps the sweetest sightings are the ones I’ve seen of my own kiddos loving on a child who has experienced so much pain and loss at such a young age. There is much power in their tender acts of kindness.
s. africa
There’s so much more that my kids and I would love to share with you about S. Africa. It’s an amazing country with amazing people. A couple of kid’s books on SA we’ve enjoyed include…
safari in south africa
david livingstone
Wife, mother, lover of people, photographer, knitter, blogger and world traveler, Jen Price has traveled to dozens of countries, not merely as a tourist, but rolling her sleeves up and going well off the beaten path so that she might get to know the people, learn the culture, and find the heart of the place. In 2005, Jen co-founded Ten Thousand Homes, an organization dedicated to bringing hope and homes to thousands of children orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa. She and her family lived in southern Africa for three years before returning to the USA last year. Jen continues to travel internationally, camera in tow, with more passion than ever to tell the stories of beautiful people the world sometimes forgets. You can check out her stories and photos on her blog, I Believe In Love.
exploring geography at mama smiles
Exploring Geography is a weekly feature at mama smiles, showcasing cities, states, and countries in a child-friendly manner. Email mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com if you are interested in contributing.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

15 thoughts on “South Africa: Diversity”

  1. MaryAnne, I’ve been loving this series of Around The World posts. They are amazing! Thank you for coming up with the idea for them, and for sharing them with us! I’ve learnt so much from the ones you’ve posted. 11 languages! Such diversity. Some time I’d love to do a post on Singapore for you – can I, please? Not sure when, given how much we’ve got going on, but I’d be happy to try. I’m not so good with deadlines – I mean, I manage to make them, but then the family starves for about a week. If only there were time-management pills to take. I’d buy a whole crate.

    1. I would LOVE that!!! Whenever you manage to find the time! All I need is the post html, or a document with the text and photos attached (if they aren’t already being hosted somewhere). And of course you know that photos have to be correctly sourced and used with permission =)

      If you want a deadline, let me know and I’ll give you one. Otherwise I’ll just assume that you’ll get it to me when you get the chance!

      Thanks so much!!!

    1. Me too! Elephant and rhinoceros were the two I came up with, although I really should have thought of lion…

  2. I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I have spent a good deal of time in Africa, but never South Africa. It is on my wish list!

    Kerri

    1. I’ve never been to Africa, but would love to visit someday!

      Let me know if you’re interested in a guest post – about somewhere in Africa you have been, or somewhere else! =)

  3. Very nice guest post. I never been to South Africa but thanks for sharing some information about South Africa.

  4. What a great post! It’s interesting to learn about this country from someone who lives there, not just visiting for vacations. I do hope to come and visit one day :)

  5. It does look beautiful. My boys would certainly love going to Africa because their favorite animals are from there (giraffe and lion).

  6. I agree with Natalie about learning from someone in the country, now I don’t know about visiting, but I love these posts :-). I’m enjoying finding new blogs too!!

  7. I am from South Africa and have been living in the US for about 8 years now. I stumbled upon your blog post by accident and it made me smile. Thank you for sharing that and I am so glad that you enjoyed your experience in my home land!!!

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