Explore SA’s diverse cultures this Heritage Month
The unique cultures and history of SA tell the story of our country
South Africa’s cultural diversity touches almost every aspect of daily life. From sipping a cup of rooibos tea, a beverage drunk by South Africans of all races; to the ancient Khoisan culture; to negotiating a path from apartheid to democracy and creating one of the world’s most liberal and inclusive constitutions.
The cultural diversity in South Africa is worth learning about and in some cases experiencing for yourself. We are a fascinating mix of indigenous inhabitants. As our democracy evolves, we are becoming ever more diverse, yet integrated.
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This Heritage Month which is celebrated through the whole month of September, try some of the top 10 cultural and heritage activities in South Africa:
1. Robben Island
A trip to this significant World Heritage Site, Robben Island and the Robben Island Museum will shed some light on Nelson Mandela's years in prison.
2. The Venda heritage
The Dzata ruins are the remains of the first South African Venda settlement in the area. It is located in Venda, Limpopo.
3. The Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding
The largest Hare Krishna temple in the southern hemisphere located in Durban’s Chatworth suburb – glows like a beacon in the early morning sun, drawing those interested.
4. KwaZulu-Natal’s Freedom Route
The route offers a multi-perspective view of life under apartheid, thanks to its melting pot of cultures. Walk in their shoes, visit their homes and discover the celebrated struggle heroes of KwaZulu-Natal whose fight for freedom left a legacy for future generations of South Africans. The route spans the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
5. Leliekloof Valley of Art
In a steep winding gorge carved out by an ancient river in the Eastern Cape, the Leliekloof Valley of Art is a discovery of over 20 amazing San rock art sites.
6. The Bioscope
Innovative and independent, Johannesburg's The Bioscope not only screens some of our country’s best local films and documentaries; it also hosts concerts, workshops, festivals and innovative dining experiences that pair cinema and food.
7. Basotho Cultural Village
Discover authentic Basotho hospitality, art and tradition at this Free State cultural village, set amidst the splendour of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
8. The Soweto experience
Take a bicycle tour to visit South Africa’s most famous townships, where you explore sights such as the former home of Nelson Mandela, Hector Pietersen Memorial and Museum is dedicated to the freedom struggle during Apartheid, Regina Mundi Church - largest Catholic Church in Soweto and is most famous for doubling as a safe house for political activists during apartheid. If the idea of riding bikes does not excite you then there are always the options of walking tours or cars.
9. The Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio
The studio has grown from a simple collaboration between 2 artists into one of South Africa’s most celebrated ceramic art studios. It is known for its daring mix of unusual ceramic art techniques and its bold display of Zulu colour and folklore in its designs. The original studio is situated on a farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and the second one which opened in 2005 is in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
10. Art Africa
Art Africa which is located in Johannesburg's leafy Parkview suburb is of interest as it is filled with various items such as beadwork, sculptures and items made from recycled materials that could be used to decorate your home or serve as a present for a loved one.