Travel Tips: Making the Most of South Africa
You’ve no doubt heard it said before: One of South Africa’s greatest attributes is its diversity. Its people, its cultures, its scenery and its leisure offerings are all tremendously varied, which creates exciting holiday opportunities, but it also makes it tricky to decide where to start. Don’t fret! In this blog, we’ll share a few insider’s tips and a handful of our favourite spots to help you make the most of your visit.
1) Mix it up
We’ve got world-class cities, game reserves, mountains, beaches and other spectacular settings that offer you the opportunity to enjoy a completely contrasting yet complementary experience. With a choice of local flights, you can easily hop from Cape Town to Mpumalanga or from Johannesburg to Limpopo, just to give you two examples, to create a city-bush holiday combo.
If time is not on your side, then why not book a stay with us in Cape Town? Frequently voted among the world’s top destinations, this city offers easy access to endless entertainment in the upbeat CBD, spectacular views from the top of Table Mountain or Lion’s Head and a variety of beaches, from Boulder’s Beach to Camps Bay, just to name a few ideas.
In our following three blogs, we’ll be sharing more details on how to enjoy the city, the wild and the beach in South Africa (and beyond) with Newmark.
2) Be adventurous…or not
Adrenaline junkies, take note: South Africa is definitely going to get your heart pumping! How do you fancy the sound of eco-friendly shark cage diving, paragliding over Cape Town or, the best of both worlds, zip-lining and wine tasting? Well, those activities can all be checked off your list during your visit. Click here for more info. Further afield, in Mpumalanga, you have the chance to enjoy guided nature walks or mountain bike rides at Nkomazi Private Game Reserve. Similarly, in Limpopo, you can enjoy safari walks in the bush at Motswari Private Game Reserve.
Prefer things on the calmer side of the spectrum? Not to worry, because we’ve got plenty on offer for you too. Enjoy a range of scenic tours in Cape Town or a walking tour through Maboneng – one of Johannesburg’s most hip and happening neighbourhoods. While you’re there, you could also explore the art scene at AGOG Gallery. Art also happens to be a big focus at Motswari Private Game Reserve, where works by Owner, Marion Geiger are displayed in a gallery. Of course, artworks are displayed in nature too and the sky is no doubt the greatest canvas. For an incredibly memorable South African experience, be sure to set aside time for a stargazing session at Nkomazi Private Game Reserve.
3) Forget the calories
Some say gastronomes are happiest in France. We say, they might just be happier here. South Africa truly offers an array of culinary delights, many of which will bring you a step closer to experiencing our cultures firsthand. Earlier this year, we shared a culinary bucket list in Cape Town and some of the top spots to eat in Maboneng. We’re sure you’ll enjoy these gems! If you’re wondering what dining in the bush is like, take a sneak peek into the fare at Motswari Private Game Reserve here, and enjoy a traditional recipe or two on the house too!
4) Learn the lingo
We mentioned earlier that there are plenty of cultures “housed” in South Africa, but you should also know that there are eleven official spoken languages in our country. While you certainly aren’t expected to converse in all of these languages, there are slang phrases you’ll hear quite often and we thought we’d share a few to help you catch on as quickly as possible.
South African Term - Rough Translation
Biltong - Seasoned dried meat, similar to beef jerky
Braai - Barbeque
Bru - Pal or buddy
Bunny Chow - Curry served in a hollowed out, half loaf of white bread
Chow - To eat
Eish - An exclamation to express surprise or shock
Fundi - An expert in a particular field
Hayibo - An interjection that expresses disbelief
Howzit - Hello
Laduma - Used to express celebration when a goal is scored, usually in soccer
Lekker - Multiple meanings, including “nice”, “great” or “tasty”
Sarmie - Sandwich
Ubuntu - A reference to humanity and the embodiment of compassion
Yebo - Yes
5) Make it Instagram official
Will your friends, family and colleagues believe just how beautiful South Africa is without you showing them? We wouldn’t want them to think you’re exaggerating! Will your memories of all the awe-inspiring scenery fade with time? Let’s not take any risks. Follow Newmark at @newmarkhotels on Instagram (and Facebook), and feel free to tag us when sharing your #NewmarkExperiences.
We look forward to welcoming you!