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Before you visit South Africa

Before you visit South Africa, do a bit of local reading or even, watch a few South African movies. Good books or good movies give a great feel for the country and help visitors understand something about the people, the culture, the passion and even, the complications. We have some amazing authors and movie makers in this country and it’s kind of nice to honour them and it's also nice for you to learn from them.

Here are some of our top recommendations:-

What should you read?

You don’t need to read encyclopaedias and if you just want to do a bit of internet surfing before you come, that is also cool. But for a few really good and engaging books on South Africa, try:-

  • Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson Mandela.

  • Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

  • Ways of Dying, Zakes Mda

  • Scatterlings of Africa, Johnny Clegg

  • History of South Africa, Thula Simpson.

  • The Promise, Damon Galgut (so brilliant, my goodness)

  • Recipes for Love and Murder, Sally Andrews (will make you hungry)

What should you watch?

Definitely watch the movie Invictus, about the Rugby World Cup. Even if you are not into sport, you will be mind-blown by the grit, passion and determination of South Africans. My Octopus Teacher, filmed off the shores of Cape Town and an Oscar winner, will bring a tear to your eye and make sure you don’t order octopus when you are here, sorry about that. Skin, about racial identity and politics, is sad and beautiful and will give you good insight. And District Nine if you like apocalyptic and wow it is good, but okay, maybe skip this one till you get home! You can download or find these on Netflix or whichever streaming service you have.

What about apps?

Add a few apps to your phone before you arrive in South Africa. Of course you will want Uber for transport, or BOLT for a cheaper alternative. And then…

  • Birdpro, for birding in South Africa.

  • Alltrails, so when you hike you don’t get lost.

  • KrugerExplore, great app if you are game viewing in Kruger National Park.

  • Uber Eats, so you never get hungry. (You won’t, we have so many fab restaurants)

  • EskomSePush, if you want to know when the lights are going to go out.

On that note, if you book with Thandeka Africa we will give you guides who know their birds, who will never get lost on a trail and who show you the Big Five. We will recommend excellent restaurants so you don’t need a food delivery app, and we will only book hotels and guesthouses where the lights always stay on.

Send us a mail,, or call me, +27 079 192 4557. Let’s arrange a beautiful South African holiday for you.

x Sandra

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