Weekend Wildcard July 5th & 6th – Twin Cities Guy on a South African Adventure

The Republic of South Africa

Posted by John Martin, Summer Intern for The Minnesota Property Group 

South Africa


Imagine, a guy from Minnesota living in South Africa! Over the past four months, I had the experience of a lifetime.  I studied abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 

The general population in South Africa consists of 80% Black, 8% Coloured (mixed origins) and 12% white. During the Apartheid Era, which literally means “apartness”, the minority whites oppressed the black population, even though they were the majority. It was only 20 years ago that South Africa had its first democratic election and Nelson Mandela, became the first black president of South Africa.

South Africa is beauty, peace, a diverse culture

South Africa is one of the most beautifully scenic places on earth.  It attracts people from all around the world who come to live peacefully here and make it their home. There are 11 official languages representing the different world heritages. This unique multicultural character has shaped the country’s national identity.

South Africa adopted a new flag in 1994. Its design is made up of 6 colors. Black, green and yellow are found in the banner of the African National Congress, red, white and blue are on the old Transvaal Vierkleur, on the Dutch flag and the flag of the United Kingdom.  I think this new design quite beautiful.


Although climatic zones range from the extreme desert of the southern Namib in the northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the Mozambique border, generally South Africa has a temperate climate. Winters occur between June and August. During my stay, I found the weather was similar to South Beach, Florida because it was beautiful all the time but it would rain at least once a week.

An incredible 4-month adventure

Here is a great white shark that came to swim with us. Thankfully, we were inside a cage.

Here is a great white shark that came to swim with us. Thankfully, we were inside a cage.

Before I had to return to the States, I racked up several incredible experiences that I will never forget. I visited historic Cape Town South Africa and climbed Table Mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. I paid 1,500 rands which would exchange for 140 US Dollars to jump in a cage and swim with Great White Sharks! South Africa is the shark capital of the world and is the main filming location for the producers of Shark Week which is shown on the Discovery Channel in August. I climbed the Drakensburg Mountains which is a popular destination for climbers all around the world according to National Geographic.  It was a very intense and exciting four months!

On top of Hogsback, where J.R. Tolkien was inspired to write the Lord of the Rings stories.

On top of Hogsback, where J.R. Tolkien was inspired to write the Lord of the Rings stories.

South Africa is so diverse and offered a spectacular, eye-opening, and mind-blowing adventure that was almost surreal to me. I am so fortunate that I had this opportunity. It is a life experience for which I will be forever grateful.

Imagine, a guy from Minnesota on safari! Sometime in the near future, I will post my South African Safari adventure!  In the meantime, if you have any questions, or have personally experienced life in South Africa please share with us!


#1 By Lindy at 7/29/2014 8:46 AM

Great post John - thanks for sharing. Can't wait to read about the Safari experience!

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