[Updated September 2020]
September is Heritage Month and we’ve rounded up wonderful ways to celebrate South Africa’s rich and diverse culture. Join us as we explore Xhosa mythology, outrageous art, Namaqualand daisies and where to find the tastiest kotas.
Get a culture fix at the Zeitz MOCAA
Fresh from its glamorous opening weekend, this contemporary art museum is just as interesting on the inside as its exterior suggests. Designed by the celebrated UK architect commissioned to build Google’s new offices, the architecture is mesmerising with dramatic spiral staircases and echoes of the Sagrada Familia. Nicholas Hlobo’s giant dragon sculpture iimpundulu zonke ziyandilenda is the pièce de résistance in this astonishing museum of over 80 gallery spaces which include works by Nandipha Mntambo, Kenyan artist Cyrus Karibu and William Kentridge, among many others. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is to Cape Town what the Centre Pompidou is to Paris.
Chief curator and director, Mark Coetzee, told the Guardian the museum is “geographically situated in Cape Town but has a dialogue with all 54 African states”.
Free entry for all kids under 18 years, plus free entry for African citizens every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.
Flower power – take a roadtrip to Darling
Every spring the west coast countryside erupts in a riot of Namaqualand daisies. Take a roadtrip a few hours up the coast to revel in the spring-time festivities.
Also read: The best spots to see the spring flowers
Make it your mission to find the best Kota in Joburg
Be sure to celebrate South African heritage by tracking down your favourite kota. To the uninitiated, the kota is a cousin of Durban’s favourite bunny chow. It consists of a hollowed-out half loaf of white bread (kota) filled with slap chips, cheese, egg, atchar, polony and sausage.
Start your Kota quest at a spaza shop near you, or at Kota Republic in Braamfontein.
Explore KZN’s natural beauty when you visit KwaNogqaza
KwaNogqaza or ‘place of the tall one’ is a 111-metre-high waterfall – one of Howick’s most iconic attractions. It’s completely free to visit!
Honour our heritage at the Mandela Capture Site
This memorial is an important reminder of the liberation struggle. Find it on the R103.
Stay updated on the site’s exhibitions and open times on their website.
Join a free tour of Kirstenbosch Gardens
These magnificent national gardens offer free guided tours of the garden every day from Monday to Saturday. Tours are 90 minutes long.
While you’re there:
- Check out the Boomslang Canopy tree walkway. This low-environmental-impact steel and timber walkway offers a sculptural path along the treetops with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
- If you’re lucky you’ll spot a shy Eagle Owl in the trees.
- Visit the impressive dinosaur garden with enormous metal dinosaur sculptures.
- On the left at the entrance to Gate 1 is a delightful conservatory with an enormous baobab as its centre-piece and fascinating desert plants and plant fossils.
Take a drive to the edge of Africa
The southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, marks the spot where the two mighty oceans meet. 150 Kilometres east of the Cape of Good Hope, it was here that early seafarers christened this tip Cabo das Agulhas, Cape of Needles. They were referring to the compass needle which shows no difference between true north and magnetic north in this magical spot.
We’d love to hear your favourite things to do to celebrate South Africa’s rich culture this Heritage Month in the comments below.
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