South Africa is a vast and diverse country, one that balances bustling urban areas with stunning views and wildlife. This combination makes South Africa a popular destination for tourists, with cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg as appealing to tourists as the country’s famous safari parks. While all aspiring globetrotters should try and visit some part of this amazing country, South Africa may be out of some people’s price range and ideal travelling distance.
This is where technology comes to the rescue. If you’re keen to experience some of South Africa’s most famous sights and sounds without having to leave your sofa, then technology provides the solution. It can also help you determine just where you want to visit if you are planning a trip to Africa’s ninth-largest country.
Google Street View
It’s probably clarifying that we’re absolutely not suggesting that using Google Maps is a fair substitute for actually witnessing the beauty of South Africa with your own eyes. However, the Street View function on Google Maps can help you experience parts of South Africa (as well as the rest of the world) without any effort on your part. It’s also a handy tool to use in preparation if you do head out to South Africa, as you can drop yourself into an area and begin to get a sense of where you’re going.
For example, you may wish to use Google’s Street View to gain an appreciation of the scale of a city like Cape Town, while you can also take in a digital preview of the picturesque views available from the Cape of Good Hope. If you’re bored of the same old views in your neighborhood, there are worse things to do than virtually stroll around South Africa courtesy of Google Street View. You can easily access Google Maps via your smartphone, with Samsung and Huawei mobile screen developments making the service immersive even on a smaller portable device.
You could create your own tour of South Africa’s finest landmarks, a tour which doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to normal traveling routes. Planet Ware have identified 12 tourist attractions that demand consideration when planning the itinerary for a South African trip, but thanks to Google Maps you can (sort of) see them all in one day. While the thrill of physical exploration is, of course, unparalleled, the incredible resource of Google Maps provides a cost-effective and time-saving alternative.
The Entertainment Industry
Plenty of creatives in the entertainment industry have drawn on South Africa for inspiration, and we can connect with their work via technology. Netflix finally launched their first South African series in February 2020, with Queen Sono‘s first season telling the story of Pearl Thusi’s South African spy. If you want an insight into the continent of Africa while being treated to an espionage story, then Queen Sono is the place to start. If you prefer sports over spies, then the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa video game uses all of the real venues from the tournament. EA Sports‘ graphics take you on a tour of the biggest cities in the country, plus there’s a bit of soccer action as well.
The collection of online slots at Betway Casino includes African Quest, which is suited to those fascinated by South African wildlife. This 5-reel slot features classic African animals as its symbols, with lions and rhinos both things that you might expect to see on a trip to the Thanda Safari reserve in Kwazulu Natal. Finally, if you want to hear about the experiences of someone else’s immersion into South African culture, then Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland should be a must-listen on Spotify. Simon recorded the album with musicians in Johannesburg in his attempts to pay homage to classic South African sounds.
Spotify is available on a huge range of devices, so you can take the sounds of South Africa wherever you go. On a similar theme, you can also explore South Africa through podcasts, which can teach you about South African culture without the need for any travel. Culture Trip has compiled a list of the five best podcasts to help curious listeners better understand South Africa, with the ability to hear these stories only made possible through the boom of podcast technology.
Thanks to streaming services, computerized entertainment, and audio storytellers, technology enables us to get as close as possible to South Africa without actually being there. Google Maps performs the same sort of role, with its comprehensive collection of images giving the means to explore to those without the means to travel.