Animal safaris! White sand beaches! The majesty of Table Mountain! Plus, urban penguins, world-class wine, and food with irresistible names like melktert, bunny chow, and chakalaka. There is so much about South Africa to engage your curiosity.
Any conversation about South Africa is incomplete without addressing the scourge of Apartheid. For most of the 20th century, black people were denied the most basic human rights and lived a segregated existence. But in 1989, Apartheid was banished, and the country is moving toward the goal of being a Rainbow Nation.
Let’s talk numbers! There are 11 official languages, and South Africa is one of the best places on the planet to see the Big Five of safaris: lions, leopards, black rhinos, elephants, and Cape buffalo. The local cuisine combines four delicious influences that combine indigenous recipes with Dutch, French, and Indian flavors. And there are more than 40 wineries along the hop-on-hop-off wine tram in the Franschhoek Wine Valley.
In this episode, we fall in love with elephants (a.k.a., the world’s best gentle giants), dig into the country’s tumultuous history, and daydream about visiting Cape Town beaches. Then we recommend five books that transported us there on the page, including a moving family saga, a gripping urban murder mystery, a YA novel with teeth, a must-read memoir, and a story of feuding neighbors in modern Cape Town. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of 2021 Photography/Shutterstock.
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