South Africa is a nation of considerable size, both by population and area. It has 11 official languages, the third most in the world behind Bolivia and India. The three most common ones are, in descending order, Zulu, Xhosa, and the Dutch-like Afrikaans. South Africa has quite a multiethnic society. The terrain includes mountains, high plateaus, and coastal lowlands. Overall the climate is temperate. Native animal species include the black rhinoceros, De winton’s golden mole, and the aardwolf. Mainstays of the economy include agriculture, industry, and services including tourism. Platinum is big business here, as South Africa produces 80% of the world’s total output. There are world-class national parks and game reserves here, such as the great Kruger (which has the Big Five plus many other kinds of wildlife) and obscure gems like Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in semi-desert, biodiverse Northen territory. Tour towns of the Boland for the best in South African wineries and cooking.
Wheat, corn, pumpkin, and rice are common starchy staples. Sorghum was a major ingredient of the pre-colonial diet. Typical vegetables include spinach and tomatoes. Beef, goat, chicken, and, surprisingly, ostrich are popular. The strangely-named bunny chow doesn’t contain rabbit, but is a type of curry served in a hollowed-out breadloaf. Try gesmoorde vis, salt cod with potatoes and tomatoes, and sometimes topped with apricot jam. You can find some organic or vegan Indian, American, Italian, and raw cuisine, or natural foods stores. Amarula is a delicious fruit liqueur, and umqombothi is a type of beer made of fermented maize and sorghum. Beer has long had ceremonial value to South Africans, including offerings to new family members at weddings. Make your own tradition by trying new varieties.