Even during loadshedding, I love living in South Africa. I have always been proudly South African and have never felt the pull to move anywhere outside of Africa.
I will admit though, I am dreaming of moving to a farm in Botswana where I can have chickens, grow my own veggies and let my kids run wild. But South Africa has my heart.
It is not just because we have absolutely amazing weather or because South Africa is home but there is something special about the country I was born in and I have never felt a pull to any other country I have visited.
I grew up in Durban, spent a few years working in Mpumalanga, settled in Gauteng and spend most long holidays in the Western Cape. I have travelled the country pretty extensively and every time I visit a new city I fall more and more in love with South Africa.
So what makes South Africa so great?
Our game parks, without question.
I visited the Kruger National Park for the first time when I was 20, as a Hospitality Student. It was love at first site. The Kruger National Park is one of those must see places if you are visiting South Africa.It is also such a big part of so many South African childhoods. It has changed and I know it can get very busy but it remains one of the biggest reasons I love South Africa.
The Timbivati Game Reserve will always have a very big piece of my heart. It is unspoilt and breathtakingly beautiful. If you haven’t explored that part of South Africa yet, make it a priority.
Elephants are my favourite animal and one of the best places to see them is in the Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth. Our visit to this game reserve was so memorable.
The beaches, always the beaches
I grew up in KwaZulu/Natal which means most of our school holidays where spent at the beaches along the North and South coast of KwaZulu/Natal. There are some of the most amazing beaches along that coastline, they are warm, as safe as a beach can be for swimming and there are still some secluded and quiet spots if you look a little.
We can not forget the beaches of the of the Western Cape. These beaches win awards and if you have been there you will know why. Unfortunately we have only ever been in the height of holiday season which means the beaches are pretty crowded but even then you can’t miss the beauty of the beaches of Franschoek and Simons Town.
While these are two most popular ares for beaches I do think Port Elizabeth and East London are our country’s best kept secret. I visited this area a few years back for the first time and was blown away by it’s beauty. The beaches there may even be better than Cape Towns (yes I really said it).
There is so much to see and do
South Africa has a pretty intense history that has been memorialised in various monuments and museums.
The Apartheid Museum explains in heartbreaking honesty what happened during that era.
There are tours through some of our bigger townships like Soweto, showing visitors where Mandela lived and more.
Bloemfontein has an observatory that is incredibly interesting, I was surprised to see the amazing telescopes they have there.
If you enjoy roadtrips then South Africa is the country to explore. We have some of very interesting little towns dotted all over the country that are best experienced with a road trip.
I have spent a lot of time on our roads driving all over and there is always something new to discover. I am hoping to make a roadtrip down to my parents in June for my brothers wedding.
There are so many more reasons to love South Africa and even more things to see!