It’s time, take advantage of SA tourism’s ‘Black Friday’

There was a time when international travelers supported tourism in South Africa for decades, but that is slowly changing, one of the few good things brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Tourism has launched Tourism Month on September 4, and it is a call to citizens to see their country as they have never seen it before. Speaking at San Heritage in !Khwa Ttu in the Western Cape, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu praised locals for saving the tourism market.

Battling the natural elements of wind and cold during his speech, Sisulu presented the attendees with impressive figures illustrating the rebound in tourism.

During the first half of the year, South Africa recorded year-to-date international arrivals of 2.3 million. An increase of 147% compared to the same period last year.

African land markets remain the main driver of arrivals to South Africa, having contributed nearly 1.7 million tourist arrivals between January and June 2022.

The launch of Western Cape Tourism Month is part of a campaign to ‘find peace’ in the province. This is in conjunction with Travel Week, the “Black Friday” of tourism which takes place from September 5-11. It’s a range of locations across the country that participate, as they offer affordable rates on accommodations, recreational activities and more.

As some merchants and business owners will offer up to 50% discount on their services.

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The goal is to engage provincial ministries and key stakeholders, hoping to reap the rewards of high visitor numbers. Sisulu says they need to increase local tourism, maintain and increase employment opportunities, and hire more citizens.

!Khwa Ttu

After touring !Khwa Ttu, learning about the San people, the original people of southern Africa, visitors will gain knowledge about their origins, their dialect and how they survived many challenges to maintain their culture.

Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu at the !Khwa Ttu heritage site in the Western Cape. Image: Provided

The heritage site of San is a must see when visiting the province. Since its opening in 2006, it has welcomed more than 20,000 visitors, the importance of the San people cannot be ignored.

Club Mykonos, Langebaan

Having been toured around the province by SA Tourism, the great aspects of what to do and where to go, Club Mykonos is not just for young people and those looking for a party, it is also surprisingly very family friendly . The well-equipped apartments are spacious, modern and accessible, including self-catering apartments.

There is a swimming pool, endless views of Langebaan beach, a restaurant and a casino nearby.

Mykonos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Club Mykonos is inspired by it inside and out. From the thick pebbled ground outside, blue, white colors and brightly colored buildings are everywhere.

Gold Restaurant, Cape Town

Locals tend to shy away from “touristy” experiences because we feel like we know our culture and history well, which is not necessarily the case. So Gold Restaurant, an African themed restaurant in Cape Town, would not have been a chosen stop for many.

That was the perception I had. However, I was pleasantly surprised, it is a very interactive and lively place, as we had the chance to play the djembe to the tune of our host’s expertise.

Food is coming in droves, like any African household you will be well fed. It consists of 14 African dishes, a gastronomic festival because the menu takes you from Tanzania to Zambia, from Kenya to South Africa and Mozambique.

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From Springbok curry to Kenyan Irio, which are patties made with spinach, cornmeal, peas and maize, a common dish in the country, your senses will be transported across the continent.

The Gold restaurant is not gourmet but made with love and that is the goal. It’s a chance to sit back and enjoy African sounds, performances and meet people from all over the world.

Darling Olives and Wine

A trip to the Western Cape wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the province’s famous wine. About an hour’s drive from central Cape Town is Darling Olives, a farm that harvests its own range of olives and wines.

Darling Olive Tasting in the Western Cape. Image: Provided

The tasting was different as we tried all of their products, from green olives to white, red, dried olives and olive paste.

The tasting was instructive as the obvious favorites were the olive and chilli chutney and the olive paste.

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