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Experience the Rainbow Culture of South Africa,
It has to be lived,...has to be felt.

One cannot really speak of one single culture of South Africa. In fact, the word "Rainbow" epitomizes the striking diversity of South African Culture. The country is ethnically so diverse, that it is no wonder that South Africa is often referred to as the "Rainbow Nation" with its rainbow variety of cultures.

A rainbow that has to be lived, that has to be felt, so come and experience it, from modern art galleries to ancient rock art sites, from museums to cultural villages, from jazz clubs to open air festivals.

Find out more about this this incredible rainbow culture of South Africa, an enchanting combination of first and third world cultures, where east meets west and modern touches indigenous, resulting in an exotic mix of people, history and cultures that makes this country unique.

Our hospitality is legendary, you are welcomed with open arms and warm hearts and invited to participate in our local traditions and fascinating cultures first hand. Our friendly people will draw you in, into their hearts and homes and offer you one of the most inspiring and unforgettable travel experiences.

This African Trumpet player is a beautiful example of african handicraft,
an important element of expression in South African culture.

African trumpeter statue, example of african handicraft

Explore The different facets of South African culture listed below, that went into the blending process from which the new Rainbow Culture of South Africa has evolved.

Young South Africans form a most important "colour" in the rainbow culture of South Africa
(copyright © South African tourism)
Young South African girl
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The Rainbow Culture of South Africa in a nutshell,...

Take the ancient culture of the San and Khoi people and their ancestor’s heritage of rock and cave paintings, believed to date back thousands of years,...

Together with the cultures of the four main black ethnic groups, the Sotho people (North Sotho, South Sotho and Tswana), the Nguni people, (Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi and Ndebele), the Shangaan-Tsonga and the Venda people, each one having its own repertoire of myths, legends, traditions and history,...

And the cultures of the Afrikaner (Dutch origin) and English settlers, the Coloured people, the Indians and other migrants from Africa, Asia and Europe,...

Put them all together, united by a sincere desire to see to it that the horrors and injustices of apartheid never happen again,...

Add a measure of the African Ubuntu philosophy "Mothoke motho ka batho ba bang" meaning "A person is a person through other people" or "I am because we are". People are what they are through other people and therefore they need each other and have to work together.

And see, from this kaleidoscope of cultures, something new is being born. A dynamic blending of age-old customs and modern ways, a mix of cultures and a cross-pollination of ideas, words, customs and art forms as well as of culinary and religious practices.

Yes, you are standing at the cradle of South Africa’s very own Rainbow Culture. Do not miss it. Come and explore our cultural richness.

Young students of South Africa's rainbow culture youth generation
copyright © South African tourism
Young students of South Africa’s rainbow generation
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Experience the true spirit of Ubuntu,...

One of the ways to learn more about the ethnic cultures of South Africa in particular, is by staying in traditional lodgings in one of the many authentic African villages that are found countrywide. The most fascinating and enriching experience is to be found at Lesedi Cultural Village in Gauteng.

Revel in the warmth of the African people and the true spirit of Ubuntu. Visitors are able to explore the tribal cultures of the Zulu, Ndebele, Xhosa, Pedi and Basotho people by actually living among the families and participating in their daily lifestyle and customs.

There is nothing quite like the experience of sleeping on grass mats in a hut in the heart of a rural village. Wake up to a cockerel crowing, cook food over an open fire and walk down to the river to fetch fresh drinking water, what an amazing adventure! For the culturally curious this is a top destination.

Shakaland Zulu cultural village is an authentic re-creation of the "kraal" of Shaka,
king of the Zulus, depicting Zulu history and culture in South Africa

copyright © South African tourism
Shakaland Zulu cultural village is an authentic re-creation of the kraal of Shaka, king of the Zulus

A smorgasbord of cultural experiences awaits you in Durban - a multi-cultural paradise, where 3 cultures have co-existed for centuries. Don a sari and head down to the Indian Quarter and barter with the locals at their colourful stalls, before enjoying the most delicious curry, samoosa's and bunny chows outside of India, or join the beach locals for a scrumptious braai.

For a more African experience, Zululand is a must. Here you can visit a sangoma (traditional healer), taste traditional African food, sample homemade African beer, and learn the art of drum making, beadwork, pottery, weaving, basketry and spear making. Located in the Natal Midlands, Mpophomeni is the ideal way to experience indigenous Zulu hospitality.

Adrenaline in overdrive, young South Africans enjoying their sport, which is a
major fusion power in the rainbow culture of South Africa

copyright © South African tourism
Young South Africans enjoying their sport, a fusion power in the rainbow culture of South Africa

The people of Mpophomeni will welcome you warmly and regular tours will introduce you to the traditional culture, rich history, and the vibrant township life. Immerse yourself in their daily life by mingling with the locals, who will invite you to sip on some sorghum beer amongst the ancestors in their huts or to join them for a traditional meal.

In the dining rondawel guests are separated by gender, men sit on benches to the right and women are seated on grass mats to the left, as is Zulu custom. Traditional food is served on wooden trays and homemade beer is served in clay pots.

Zulu lady wearing a headdress, traditionally worn by married Zulu women,
in accordance with the Zulu culture in South Africa

copyright © South African tourism
Zulu lady wearing a traditional headdress

Tourists are encouraged to embrace the social customs of celebration by participating in the lively Zulu dancing. You can show your appreciation for the warm inviting hospitality by purchasing some of the hand-made curios, beadwork and local art.

For a feast of culture and community life, Soweto Township in Gauteng is the place to be. Besides the rich history to be explored here, you can head down to one of the many shebeens. Share a drink and some laughter and chat to the locals, while enjoying a game of pool and some hip African music.

Watch this short visual impression of South Africa's unique rainbow culture

What you have seen and read on this page is only the top of an iceberg of incredible cultural experiences and traditions to be discovered and enjoyed. There is no better way to explore our land than through the eyes of the people who live here.

By getting in touch with real South African's, you gain a unique insight and perspective into our way of life. So come embark on a cultural extravaganza, we guarantee you will make incredible memories and have amazing stories to tell!

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Girl enjoying one of the South Africa's beaches

Family enjoying a beach holiday in South Africa

Aerial view of Cape Town and Table Mountain in South Africa

Modern highway network in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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