The Cast of Culture in South Africa

Drive along one of South Africa's scenic strips and you will notice a landscape composed of a backdrop of wide open spaces, blue mountains and blood-red sunsets. These scenes abound, but given the nature of the culture in South Africa, your attention could swiftly switch to a small boy gallantly escorting herds of cattle, end to end, over a rainbow-like walkway crossing one of the largest and busiest highways in South Africa. Culture makes Africa special and aside from beautiful landscapes, this kind of exuberant and contrasting culture in South Africa is what you really should experience.

Imagine this scenario for a moment: You are hopelessly stranded deep inside the African interior, without a spare tyre and waiting for help. You prepare to flag down the first car that passes by. "When will that be?" you think to yourself. Time wears on. You picture yourself dragging your dehydrated self over the many kilometres of parched semi-arid terrain towards the nearest town, while hordes of hungry vultures looming overhead contemplate you for lunch.

Thankfully, a small, dust-battered truck pulls up and this nightmarish vision quickly dissolves. Tough looking men gaze out of the back of the truck, peering at you with hardened looks acquired through labouring this tough, untamed land. The uncertainty and tension is broken by their sympathetic smiles and they drive you, happily and with good cheer, to the nearest service station and back to your car where you are kindly helped to fit your newly repaired tyre.

Now that you're safely back on the road you begin to realize the meaning of genuine hospitality, known within the culture in South Africa as 'geselligheid'. Thankful that you have just had the actual experience (a certain something you felt) you now have a connection, whole-heartedly, with the people and culture in South Africa.

This is not a heat-induced delusion or an isolated event. It is the actual story of one of our clients, who broke down while driving across the arid West Coast diamond fields of Namibia. Travellers have confirmed many of these kind-hearted acts that have occurred during their experimental African odysseys.

Perhaps it has to do with the land itself or its unrestricted nature. The reason why people help each other, whether a stranger or a friend. This doesn't mean South Africa is a nation of altruistic saints. Leave your camera in your car on a downtown side-street and the chances of it being there after lunch are less than great.

What then is being said of this country? These vast unspoilt spaces and unbridled wildernesses. This wild place where the civilised nature and unique culture of its people are measured by the kind-hearted attitude experienced so frequently by many travellers.

What is the simple reason so many of our visitors from the Northern Hemisphere return here again and again? It can only be found in the actual experience of South Africa's culture and the friendship of its people.

The many answers to this question can be shown over and over in the friendly smiles you receive walking through a township market; in the respect and tolerance shown, visiting the sacred sites and cultural icons of the people; and in the greetings and genuine concern felt while within the hospitable arms of local establishments.

Perceptions about "Africa" have been changing slowly, but they are nonetheless changing. Foreign visitors used to believe that herds of elephants roamed the dusty streets of local areas and that to go hiking alone in the pristine African hills meant meeting lions, giant spiders and possibly being attacked by masked warriors with six foot spears.

The herds of elephants do exist, relegated to the African game farms existing in remote areas throughout the continent. The pristine hills stretch from one end of the Cape Peninsula to the other, like a giant smile peering down over the valleys below, but the wild beasts have long since been tamed and the hills are safely open to all who would venture into them.

If you are looking for the archetypal African adventure, laden with richly diverse wildernesses and infinite possibilities, come and experience the warmth and hospitality characteristic of this country. Trust South Africa to set the stage and the cast to be our culture.

Escape Tours are a group of experienced travellers who have been exploring Southern Africa since 1976. We would like to share with you our combined experience and extensive travel knowledge, acquired through our passion for exploring the unlimited potential that South Africa has to offer.

In The News:

A bite of the outdoors  The New Indian Express
Legion Outdoors a hit with veterans  Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Dan D. Outdoors  Geneseo Republic
Good to be outdoors again  The Star Online
Outdoor Learning at Its Finest  UMM News, Sports & Events

My Five-Ounce Sleeping Bag

Okay, it wasn't quite a sleeping bag. However, it was... Read More

Drive Me to WA Today!

Western Australia Driving Adventure Great Australian Road Trip Large... Read More

Unforgettable White Mountains Vacations ? The Most Scenic 100 Miles in New England

This amazing drive through the White Mountains of New Hampshire... Read More

True North & Magnetic Declination - A Trick to Make it Stick

Magnetic declination is an essential principle to understand when navigating... Read More

Hiking Shoes Versus Hiking Boots

Hiking shoes versus hiking boots? Hiking shoes win. Okay, next... Read More

Spanish Courses in Spain

Spain: sun, sea, sand and Spanish... discover us! Spain, a... Read More

PaintBall Gun Buying Tips

There are so many selections available when it comes to... Read More

Wildebeest Migration - How To Get The Best Seats In The House

To get the most out of a wildebeest migration safari... Read More

River Rafting in California

River rafting is a major attraction in California. The most... Read More

Wal-Mart Camping And Other Free Places

"Do you know about Wal-Mart camping?" We didn't know, but... Read More

Discount Lift Tickets - Learn what Colorado Ski Resorts Do Not Want You to Know!

How to get discount lift tickets for popular ski resorts... Read More

Topographic Maps 101

The intricate details on a topographic map can be befuddling,... Read More

Solo Backpacking Tips

Solo backpacking means peace and quiet. No one to talk... Read More

A Fishy Road Trip in Cairns

The Cairns Fishing Adventure A Great Australia Road TripYou love... Read More

Hiking Trails Mt. Washington Valley NH - Trekking trails USA

Mt. Washington Valley Trails & Mt Washington - NHThe highest... Read More

San Francisco Beaches

When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio... Read More

Three Classic Hikes Abroad

Paul Scott Mower once said, "There is nothing like walking... Read More

Yachats, OR: An Outdoor Lovers Paradise on the Oregon Coast

There is something about a town tucked between the mountains... Read More

Creative Camp Cooking - Part 2

In a previous article, I wrote primarily about box ovens.... Read More

Find Outdoor Camping Gear Online at Great Discount Prices

Before you take off on that great outdoor adventure, be... Read More

Shark Attacks! How Common are They? Where do They Occur?

Last week in Australia, one man's day at beach could... Read More

Taking an Alaskan Cruise ? What to Pack

Packing in general can be a hassle. But when going... Read More

A Review of Popular River Rafting Trips and Services

Organized river rafting trips are a good idea for novices... Read More

Ten Skills - A Backpacking List

Have you ever had a backpacking trip that was a... Read More

Student Travel ? Backpacking In Europe

For the fortunate few, life isn't complete without a backpacking... Read More