Friday, 4 July 2008

5 things you might know or might not know about.....

I have so many ideas about posts in my head that I have decided to do a series of "5 things" posts - a lot of these items each actually warrants a whole post. I also realise that some of you might find the fact that I am living in South Africa interesting, therefore the first "5 Things Friday" is about:

South Africa

1. Most South Africans are at least bilingual - a big chunk of the population speak at least 3 of our 11 national languages. I am bilingual (English is not my mother tongue), H also speaks some Xhosa.

2. We live in a country of incredible contrasting beauty. We have mountains to rival the alps (The Drakensberg), cities so beautifully located that they are know as the most scenic in the world (Cape town), stunning desert landscapes (Kalahari), beautiful sub tropical scenery ( the lowveld) and more.

3. No, we don't actually have lions roaming the city streets, but we have nature pretty close to us. Where I am sitting right now in my office, I can see duiker and blesbok in a tiny reserve inside the city ( but I am probably one of only 50 people that have this honour). We do have a small reserve about 30 minutes drive from home where we can see zebra, antelopes, hippo and even rhino. We live a comfortable 1 and a half hours drive from the Pilansberg national park (big 5 country) and 4 and a half hours drive from the famous Kruger National Park.

4. New cars cost a fortune in South Africa - in fact, in comparison to other countries cars are very expensive. About 3 years ago a fancy car could cost half of what your house cost. House prices has since increased.

5. We are also shocked about fuel prices - we are paying more than the Americans, but less than the Britons.


  1. yay! loved this one too. i so want to visit!!!! maybe when the kids are in college ;-)

    hope your weekend is going smoothly.


  2. In the few weeks I was there, I got to see some of the beauty of your country (exploring Lowveld in Mpumalanga, animal-watching in Kruger and Hluhluwe, relaxing on the Dolphin Coast and Durban in KZN, hiking and horse riding in the Drakensberg, the solitude of the Karoo, hiking part of the Otter Trail near Knysna, and of course all there is to see around Cape Town) -- it is definitely an amazing and diverse place. I loved it!

    I like reading this kind of post from the point of view of a local!

  3. I totally get the 'lions roaming the streets' comment, you have no idea (actually you probably do) how often I am asked to take photographs of kangaroos and koalas as if they are just roaming around. Sure, there may be an odd sighting once a year but we see them at the zoo or animal parks like the rest of the tourists LOL.

    So what languages will your kids be learning?

  4. The Litle Miss is already bilingual - her mother tongue (Afrikaans - nearest related to Flemish from Belgium) and English - she is in an English school. She had just started on Tshwana and can count in Zulu.

  5. Oh yes, and we all learn a third language at school - I am just so rusty in my Tshwana that I don't really count it .

  6. Oh this post makes me so jealous! I have always wanted to go to South Africa! One day and I promise to come visit! Also love that you all are studying languages. I did as part of my major in college but kept having to switch which ones and never became fluent in any of them. I would LOVE to get my Italian back though and also Spanish since half the population here now speaks Spanish. I guess that will have to come when my life knows free time again!

  7. Thanks for that bit of info...i know nothing about any other country. I'm not a traveled person. I've been to one other coutry "Mexico", which i don't really consider even going to another country.


So what's on your mind?