why i love south africa


south africa is the most amazing place i
have visited. i may love paris and the 
alps and san francisco and new york and
 so many beautiful places in this world, but
south africa beats them all because… 

 

a) of course i have a personal connection 
with my parents living here which made 
me love it from the start, but b) it is  
truly a natural wonder. if you think
about it, people mostly travel to see
cities and things that people have made
or ways that people live. south africa
stands out because although there
are the best people and man-made 
things here, the main attraction is just
to see africa how it is. you go on safari
and take in the natural beauty of the land, 
the soil, the air, the sky, the sunsets, the
animals.. all in their natural environment. 
it is pretty hard to beat that.

there’s no place quite like it. along with

all of the natural wonder, the people
and culture are the cherry on top. the
uniqueness + natural beauty + diversity
here make it quite the memorable place
to visit. it really changed me and i can’t
believe how much i loved it. there are
not many places i go that i want to 
return to because there are so many other
places in this world to see, but south
africa has my heart & i will be back.
south africa is an experience, not a trip.

one main reason i first fell in love with travel
is the feeling of being somewhere so different
from my own world and realizing everything
is normal to those who live there. i relish
the chance to learn what people do differently
in certain places — the words they use, the
side of the road they drive on, the foods
they eat, and the way they live their lives.
culture is the most fascinating thing to me
and in south africa the culture is alive and
it is rich. it’s safe to say i walked away just a
little bit in love with it and this final post from
 the trip details a few of the things i loved..
–––
why  i  ♥  s o u t h  a f r i c a

•• the slang ••
some of the funniest and most charming words
and phrases make up south african slang. between
11 national languages including the afrikaans & zulu,
there are some pretty unique things you hear people
saying. i was so entertained and i have to list a few! 

lekker! = great! 

ex: “this meal is lekker!”

is it? = really? / is that so?
ex: i live in california … “is it?!”
**haha this one is my favorite of all! it’s confusing at first, 
but you quickly grow to love this reaction.

eish! = no way!

this is one of the best…used to express disbelief!
ex: it’s a 17 hour flight … “eish! that’s long!”

pleasure = you’re welcome
i didn’t once hear “you’re welcome” while in SA.
they only say pleasure, pronounced “pleh-shah” :)

shame = sorry / too bad

ex: i missed my flight today! .. “oh shame, shame”

yebo = YES
an enthusiastic way to say yes. made me smile when i heard it!

 
well-and-you? = i’m great, how are you?
this one may seem funny to list, but TRULY every person responds
with this when you ask “how are you?” from kids to adults, you
will hear well-and-you, said together like it’s all one word :)

•• the food ••


this section might go on for a while, because i was
positively blown away by the quality of food in
south africa. truly it was some of the best and
freshest food i’ve had. here is a little overview:

from grocery stores to restaurants, food is done so right here.
i even loved their grocery stores woolworth’s and food lovers
market! they were a dream! like seen above, everything is
laid out perfectly and the produce is flawless…no bruised
apples or brown bananas in these stores! the food is shiny
& fresh and there are endless options. i was in heaven!

grocery stores have entire stations 
based around different foods ^^


^^ an entire olive oil station with the best flavors
i have ever sampled…like parmesan olive oil – yum!

isn’t this perfect produce such a beautiful sight? :)

love the crazy fruits like “cape gooseberries”  
and these pretty raspberry biscuit creations ^^

they also have unique foods like lychee that my dad
showed me how to peel. he’s taken quite a liking to it!

there are SO many great restaurants that i need to
discuss in my guide to joburg, but just the fact
that nando’s started here tells you all you need to
know. it was an old london favorite but i had no idea
it’s based here…there are locations everywhere in SA!

i swear, they even make their veggies pretty.
the lettuce is wrapped up like a bouquet! and,
those veggies are so perfectly cut. am i the only
person who gets excited by a perfect grocery store?

one of many amazing restaurants we went to in joburg:
café del sol – botanica. it is rated #1 in johannesburg,
and lynne and theo were so darling to take us there. it was
one of the best nights with the best food + company!


•• the meat ••
south africans really know how to enjoy their meat.
i enjoyed some of the best steaks i’ve ever had here, 
and it goes beyond that. from dried meat in all different
flavors – like biltong – to the mouthwatering and famed
chutney recipe that is served on nearly everything,
meat lovers will rejoice in south africa. there are endless
cuts, flavors, and options when it comes to meat!
 

•• the DRINKS! ••

i don’t know why, but south africa has the best drinks.
i am a pure water drinker…it is RARE that i order
anything but water with any meals. but here, it’s not
an option. you simply must try a sparkling grapetiser 
drink, cola tonic, mint lemonade, appletiser, or rooibos
tea. i found myself looking forward to my next meal 
because of the drink i knew i’d be getting! 

^^ my absolute FAVORITE natural rooibos tea,
made with steamed milk as a “red cappucino”

 

•• the european influence ••
although this is also associated with turmoil in the
country, the diversity and strong influence from other
other countries really makes SA an enjoyable place. 

from dutch pancake houses to british meat pies, there
are tastes and influences from europe … which is the best!


•• the natural beauty ••


like i mentioned above, this country doesn’t need any
tall buildings to make it attractive. it’s what we call
a natural beauty. everywhere you look, you see
stunning landscapes / sunsets / big skies / 
waterfalls / animals / etc. in one day you can
feel like you’re in europe, then africa, then hawaii.


•• the history ••

despite very rough parts of its past, this country has grit
and a strong sense of pride. some things are hard to 
learn about, but it’s such an interesting place with so
many opinions, perspectives, and experiences. people
may still disagree about many things to this day, but 
you can feel the sense of passion here and i loved that. 


•• the style ••


one of the words that comes to my mind about south africa
is classy. the people, the accents, and the style are so
amazing. you’ll pass a cafe, like above, and see the
most stylish display like these hanging books. from
furniture to clothes to food, SA has style.

further proof: this perfect pinterest home of my 
parent’s friends the klintworth’s. i was in awe when 
we came to dinner here!

•• the unique treats ••

i am all about treats, especially different ones from a
new country. south africa did not disappoint me here!
i lived off tennis biscuits, malva pudding, rusks,
sticky toffee pudding, and most especially rooibos tea.

also, so glad they have GREAT froyo here so 
my mom and i could still have our favorite outing. 
their kiwi froyo should win an award for flavor. :)


•• the thunderstorms ••


no explanation necessary. the rainstorms here won my
heart with the booming thunder, crazy lightning, and 
pouring POURING rain. they rolled in every afternoon!

•• the people ••


meeting my parents incredible friends in south africa
really sealed the deal on this place. i already feel
such love for these people and like they are my friends!

pedicures with lynne, full of the best conversation, 
followed by a fun lunch + treats at the cutest patisserie ^^

we also met for lunch & afternoon tea with some of
my mom’s cute new friends. i loved every one of these
ladies! charnell, jenny, and michelle were so fun to meet.


•• the shopping ••


you can find absolutely darling styles shopping here,
and you’re guaranteed that no one else will have them!

our favorite friend lynne has the best taste and knows
all the cutest spots…from shopping to eating, she is
the best person to know! i loved the time we spent
with her and all the darling places she showed us.

lynne and i were friends over email long before meeting, 
so it was such a pleasure to finally meet. she even had
these darling gifts to welcome me to the country. see
what i mean, the people here are top notch.

my mom showed me her favorite store here, called poetry.
it is basically like south africa’s version of anthropologie!
we did a little birthday shopping since we can’t be
together on birthdays this year + things are hard to ship!


along with all the chic shops, there are also african craft
markets with some of the best authentic items ^^


after soaking up all of the amazingness of this
country, my final night was spent at the classy
signature restaurant with live music and great food.


the day of my flight i ended with the best meal of all,
my mom’s lemon chicken :) and a soothing rooibos tea.

i packed up some of her cinnamon rolls to take home on 
the plane for chase, and left this little africa map for them 

we had a tender airport goodbye after the greatest visit. i 
really can’t wait to land back at that airport again with chase!

and after 30 hours of travel, i made it back to…
this city .. & this guy
i was so so sad to leave south africa, but luckily i 
had the best place and person to come back to.
he’s already a south african boy with his SA jersey,
bottles of chutney, and rooibos tea :)


i ♥ this country with all my heart.

|| south africa || tastes like: biltong, grapetiser, 
steak, & rooibos tea • smells like: rain • sounds like: my
 favorite accent of all • looks like: lushness and animals and
 diversity • feels like: europe meets africa || classiness mixed
 with wild adventure…and now, feels a little bit like home. ❤️ 

i’ll be back! xx


see all of my south africa posts here, including being reunited at the airport,
safari #1, kruger park + panorama route, exploring joburg from sandton
to soweto, visiting the mission my parents are over, my favorite day
playing with lion and tiger cubs, and our final safari at legend




'why i love south africa' has 9 comments

  1. February 3, 2015 @ 7:01 am Ulrike

    Hi Emi, I already told you on Instagram that because of you I now just have to travel to SA this year and with every post you make me want to go even more. I have friend there whom I met over the internet a few years ago but never in person yet. I am so excited to go meet her and check out some of the places you featured here. Everything just looks amazing. I don’t even know where to go first. Can’t wait for you Joburg guide. I am looking at flights for september now so that I can spend my birthday there because spending my birthday in a place as beautiful as SA sound pretty perfect to me. When will you and Chase be back?
    All the best to you guys all the way from Germany! xxx

    Reply

  2. February 3, 2015 @ 8:45 am Ana Isabel Munguia

    So beautiful! Your post captured my heart, i will include SA is on my bucket list asap!

    Reply

  3. February 3, 2015 @ 11:42 am Kiki

    Oh my goodness how badly I want to go!

    Reply

  4. February 3, 2015 @ 5:55 pm Michaela Jean

    What an amazing place, I can only hope one day I’ll be able to visit!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

    Reply

  5. February 3, 2015 @ 7:39 pm Hannah

    Wow how incredible!! I have loved following all of your SA posts. Just am amazing place from what you have described and I would love to visit there too someday. Do you know what SA is like in comparison with the northern part of the continent? I have a cousin who served his mission in Liberia and spent time in Ghana as well but it seems like those countries are another world compared to SA.

    Reply

  6. February 3, 2015 @ 7:52 pm Linda Dunn

    This is the greatest post ever. You captured the essence of this great place and all the things you loved. I love you and am so excited to get you and Chase back here soon.

    Reply

  7. February 4, 2015 @ 2:27 am Julianne Clegg

    That’s an incredible write up on South Africa…all of your posts from there. Thank you! I wanted all your details because my son is serving his mission there with your parents…so I’d love to be a fly on the wall. Thank you for taking the time to write it up and show it to us. I’ve wondered what it looks like, tastes like, smells like…and you answer all those questions.

    Reply

  8. February 4, 2015 @ 3:55 am Michelle Lim

    Sounds like an amazing trip! South Africa is now on my travel wishlist thanks to you!

    http://www.coquettishmish.com

    Reply

  9. February 9, 2015 @ 5:51 am ankit mynt

    I Recently Visit This blog here you share such a nice information.Thanks for sharing with us……..Indian Restaurant Orlando

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