With South Africa often referred to as the Rainbow Nation, it is only natural that it has a complex history and myriad of cultures that makes it such a unique country. History and cultural tours are therefore perfect to gain a better insight into the different facets that make up the culture of South Africa. Every province has various cultural highlights for visitors to choose from, whether you are visit the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site or enjoying a traditional feast and dancing in the heart of Zululand. Here are some of the highlights to consider during your stay...
The Apartheid Museum
Officially opened in 2001, the Apartheid Museum has been acknowledge as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with the apartheid story which was integral to 20th century South Africa. There are a total of 22 individual exhibitions that take visitors on a journey through South Africa's struggle history. It is also a beacon of hope that shows how the country has evolved from its past towards a brighter future for all.
Soweto City Tour
A community of extremes that is the home of the largest black residential area in South Africa. You will see both abject poverty on the one hand to upper class suburbgs of the wealthy. See the houses of Nobel peace winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as other popular points such as The Hector Pieterson Musuem, the Mandela House Museum, Freedom Square and Freedom Charter Memorial to the vibey Vilakazi Street. Soweto Tours are best done with a knowledgeable guide but the choice is yours of doing this by car or on a bicycle!
Robben Island Tour
Probably the most well known island off South Africa's shores. Robben Island has been the site of a prison, hospital, mental institution, leper settlers and a military base. The country's well loved former statesmen, Mr Nelson Mandela, spent 18 years of his 27 years incarceration imprisoned on the island which is a mere 9km's off shore from Cape Town. The island is reached by ferries that depart at various scheduled times throughout the day. Due to the popularity of the island it is well advised to book in advance. Note that visits to Robben Island are weather dependent.
The Cradle of Humankind
One of South Africa's World Heritage Sites, The Cradle of Humankind is widely recognized as the place from which humankind originated. The 47 000 hectare site is home to the oldest and most continuous paleaontological dig in the world with a total of 13 excavated sites already identified. It is the site of discovery of the famous pre-human skull, fondly referred to as "Mrs Pels" and an almost complete hominid skeleton known as "Little Foot" - 2.3 and 4.17 million years old respectively. A world class exhibition and various facilities has made the site a very popular tourism destination.
Zulu Village Visits
The Zulu's are one of South Africa's largest ethnic groups and mainly live in Kwa-Zulu Natal although they can also be found throughout Southern Africa. A visit to a traditional Zulu homestead gives visitors the opportunity to have a glimpse into the rich Zulu history - from eating a traditional Zulu meal, visiting a sangoma (traditional healer), taking part in traditional Zulu sport like fighting with padded fighting sticks or testing your aim with throwing sticks. End off the day with traditional dancing around the fire under the African sky.