Welcome to South Africa!
South Africa is a very diverse country with people of African, European, and Indian backgrounds reflected in their culture. There are a variety of customs, and many indigenous peoples in Africa still maintained the original style, so it’s important for travellers to respect and adapt to the local custom, and be aware of the following travel tips in Africa, follow its Dos and Donts:
‘Negro’ or ‘Black’ is banned in Africa, as it’s reflecting black slaves and their descendants trafficked to the United States.
South Africa Donts
- Do not ever use ‘negro’ or ‘black’ which is banned in Africa, as it’s thought reflecting black slaves and their descendants who were trafficked to the United States.
- Do not call African indigenous ‘African’, as in Africa, the so-called African refers only to a specific group of people, the Republic of South Africa Netherlands Hispanic whites.
- Do not call Afrikaners “Dutchmen” and Do not call Afrikaans “Kitchen Dutch.” Afrikaners Do not consider themselves Dutch.
- Do not take photos of government/military buildings or police stations, nor pick dirty, poor cluster areas to film, which hurts local people’s self-esteem and is considered as bad behaviour.
- Do not leave food on your plate when you have finished eating. But in western Nigeria, do not eat all up, as it’s for The Holy Spirit.
- Do not touch someone’s arm or stand too close to someone.
- Do not sunbathe nude unless you are at a designated nude beach. Wear a bikini if you’re a woman, or a pair of swim trunks if you are a man.
- For female tourists, Do not walk in the street alone, and better wear white and the cloak, as in Algeria, women alone in public are prohibited, except visiting the store for shopping, and wear white and the cloak are chastity, will be unimpeded without danger.
- Follow strict hunting taboos when Safari in East Africa, such as DO NOT imitate animal sounds, throw objects, or corner a wild animal. Do not feed animals. Do not talk or twitter to scare away animals; Do not come out of the car for safety concern; NO cigarette or fire at all times in case causing forest fire, etc.
South Africa Dos
- Do raise right hand, palm toward each other when greeting, as it symbolises “No weapons” in ancient times, and is widely used as symbol of friendship nowadays.
- Do give a strong handshake as in Africa, feeble handshake was described as “ill-manners” and no sincerity, and strong handshake is a gesture of goodwill.
- Do ask for permission before taking photograph, as Africans generally believe that the camera can absorb and exhaust the ‘essence’ of people, houses and livestock.
- Do wear what you normally would wear when in urban parts, but dress nicely. In South African urban cultures, people usually wear typical Western attire.
- Do put your napkin on your lap upon being seated, cross your knife and fork on your plate to indicate that you are still eating, and place your knife and fork together to indicate that you have finished eating.
- Do tip 10-20% at a restaurant, and in a private vehicle, tip $20 per guest each day.
- Do use either both hands or your right hand to give or receive a present, and open your gift immediately. Give gifts such as cigars, whiskey, wine, a souvenir from your hometown, or flowers. There are no taboos in terms of giving flowers, although carnations are sometimes associated with funerals.
This information is not completely true.
You may use the term “black” to refer to black people, in fact it is the official government term. Just don’t address someone as “Hey, black man”.
While it is certainly polite to as before you take a photo, you don’t need permission. You may take photos of government buildings.
You can leave food on your plate, or not. As long as you enjoy it! Western Nigerian traditions have nothing to do with South Africa.
Women in public are not prohibited!!!! This has never been true! They also don’t have to wear white. South Africa is a modern nation, and women may do as they please.
I just hope this helps, you will find that South Africans are very friendly and that a smile should be helpful. I hope you enjoy your visit to my beautiful homeland!