How to enjoy South Africa from your sofa

Zebras at Sabi Sabi

While we may not be able to visit South Africa in the immediate future, there’s nothing stopping us from inviting South Africa to visit us! There are dozens of new and interactive ways to enjoy all the riches that incredible South Africa has to offer from your sofa.

It’s no secret my kids fell head over heels in love with South Africa on their recent  conservation based adventures. You can enjoy a little peak of that here!


But right now anyone can enjoy a little taste of South Africa’s many temptations, without a plane ticket. From museum visits and cooking lessons with top chefs to spotting the ‘Big 5’ in real-time on a virtual South African safari, these virtual experiences are sure to help scratch your itchy feet until you #meetsouthafricaLATER.

Making history

Freedom cannot be manacled - Robben Island, Cape Town

Delve deep into South African history at the world-famous Robben Island Museum (RIM) – the former prison where Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years of incarceration, and later went on to make his first speech as South Africa’s president. It is a must-see for anyone visiting South Africa and now, for the first time ever, guests can take a virtual stroll through the World Heritage Site, learning all about the history of the island and its famous prisoners.

In and Art

Zeitz Mocaa Cape Town with kids

Cape Town’s centre for art and cultural expression, The Norval Foundation, has launched #60SecondArt for kids video clips via their Instagram account, focusing on one artwork or artist per day from the Homestead Collection or what’s currently on display.

South Africa’s first contemporary art museum – the incredible Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town is one of our favourite galleries in the world. And you can see it from the comfort of your quarantine couch through a series of 3D virtual tours as well as a collection of audio tours across the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions.

Big and buzzy Johannesburg has plenty of art to experiences online too, with the city’s ABSA Art Gallery also shining the spotlight on the works of young African artists as well as pioneering art masters through special 3D tours.

Tickle your taste buds

Warren Mendes cooks up South African cuisine © South African Tourism

For a true taste of South Africa at home, renowned South African-born chef and food editor, Warren Mendes, has partnered with South African Tourism to create a series of virtual cooking classes showcasing popular South African dishes including Bunny Chow and Malva Pudding. Running across South African Tourism’s Facebook and Instagram channels from May 25, the six-part video-recipe series is specially curated to take home cooks on a culinary journey as Warren explains how to whip up some of the country’s best-loved dishes to give audiences a taste of South Africa. Followers will be encouraged to share their own re-creations for a chance to win an isolation care pack filled with South African wines, treats and ingredients.  Warren’s first recipe, for Bobotie, the national dish, can also be viewed here on South African Tourism’s YouTube channel.

And, of course, you can check out our tried and tested recipes for South African favourites including Bunny Chow, Samoosa, Hertzoggies and Melktert, right here on BoyEatsWorld. They’re sure to whet your appetite for future South African forays.

The great outdoors, indoors


South Africa from your sofa -Signal Hill Cape Town

For those keen on exploring South Africa’s stunning coastlines and mountains, especially those around the West Cape, there are plenty of high-quality live streams to give you a scenic fix. The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town has a static webcam that showcases the hotel’s exquisite views over the Atlantic Ocean coastline and Lion’s Head. And Wavescape has ocean-side webcams scattered across the Cape Peninsula including at Muizenberg, Noordhoek and Kalk Bay, a place we love as much for its snorting sealions as its golden beach.

If you’d rather a live peek at jaw dropping Table Mountain, there’s also a webcam that streams live across the Rietvlei Nature Reserve all the way to the magic mountain itself.

Sofa safari

Elephant at Sabi Sabi

To provide further inspiration for future travels and provide kids with some education from home on the majesty of nature and wildlife, you can don your khakis at home to catch a glimpse of some of South Africa’s incredible wildlife, including the Big 5 –– lion, leopard, rhino,  elephant and Cape Buffalo –– in real time on an interactive game drive.

Couch cruisers can join the rangers at Sir Richard Branson’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve for a daily life virtual safari with the chance to spot the big five in real-time. If the timing isn’t right, you can catch watch the whole safari experience later on their YouTube channel.

Ngala Private Game Reserve and Djuma Private game reserves offer a daily sunrise safari from 2.00pm AEST, while luxury safari hotel group, andBeyond have teamed up with wildlife broadcasting experts WildEarth to live stream personalised game drives twice a day, with direct interaction with their safari guides, just as if they were in the safari vehicle with them.

But the kids favourite sofa safari experience is revisiting their adored Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve via their new series of educational videos called EleFun Escapes in the Wild. These fantastic safari sessions follow the wild daily happenings on the reserve whilst sharing fun and engaging facts about the fauna and flora of the African bush. Their aim of creating a new generation of conservationists appears to be a big success if my two wannabe rangers are anything to go by.

    Moving pictures

SAFF Sydney International Film Festival

The Sydney South African Film Festival (SSAFF) is going online in 2020, screening nationwide from 16 to 26 May, with four feature films, four documentaries and one short film. Question and answer sessions, and interviews with the directors, are planned to run in conjunction with the films. The single premiere screenings are just $8.00 each or you can see all 10 films for $60.00. Tickets can be booked online.

Raise a glass

rampton Wine Studio, with a wine tasting.

While the kids soak up South Africa’s art, eats and animals, mum and dad can get their wine on! Waterkloof wines, perched on the slopes of the Schapenberg in the Helderbergare are live streaming sessions on Facebook and Instagram covering winemaking, farming and tasting. While Aussies may not be able to access their wines in readiness, there’s still plenty to be learned from their experts.

Holden Manz Wine Estate  in stunning Franschhoek wine country is all centuries-old vineyards and picture book Cape Dutch architecture. But with lockdown locking us out of experiencing the-22 hectare wine estate for ourselves, the Holden Manz team are also inviting wine lovers to get comfy and enjoy a drop over virtual tastings and Q&As on wine and what it takes to run a winery live on FB.


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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