A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

visual arts
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

GUIDE TO CULTURAL TOURISM IN SOUTH AFRICA (article first published : 2002-05-14)

In an era when South Africa is set to experience a tourism boom, Guide to Cultural Tourism in South Africa offers a unique guide which will assist local and international tourists in getting to know the people of our excitingly diverse land and their culture.

As a freelance writer and researcher, Sue Derwent has travelled extensively into both remote rural and urban areas of the country. Her knowledge of the reality of travelling in South Africa is evident from her practical publication.

Encouraging travellers to “expect nothing”, she aims to make travelling an adventure. Expectations reduce the joy of discovery and this handy guide argues that learning about new cultures is what travelling is all about. It will go a long way towards changing preconceived ideas about the country, leading to a more authentic cultural experience.

Travellers will find the guide easy to read and no doubt will refer to it regularly when planning their itineraries. Divided into the nine provinces, each section deals with the area in a concise yet informative way. Township tours, music and dance, museums and galleries, cultural villages and archeology are covered, even places to meet the people. The traveller is constantly encouraged to use these sites as opportunities to talk to the people and discover how they live their everyday lives.

The guide is also valuable in that it warns of potential tourist traps. While recommending a visit to a cultural village, for instance, the author also acknowledges that many people are highly critical of them. She does argue, however, that at least they offer a historical background and an analysis of how practices are changing.

Dealing with craft markets, the guide warns tourists to be on the lookout for cheap imports parading as traditional crafts. By looking at what the women on the Durban beachfront are making, for instance, the tourist would get a good idea of what is “authentic’ and what not. Throughout the guide you will find the author encouraging the reader to make contact with the people and to interact, smell the smells, look at the colours, hear the sounds.

There is a handy directory at the end of each chapter with contact details for each of the attractions discussed. While, inevitably, some information will become out of date, this is reckoned to be part of the charm of the country, the fact that it is constantly changing.

Since cultural tourism is still in its infancy, this book provides invaluable advice and ideas to assist travellers. If used in conjunction with a decent map and other tourist literature, the Guide to Cultural Tourism in South Africa will be a great travelling companion.

I found the guide offered a very practical and honest look at South Africa’s ever-changing face of culture. Sue Derwent is honest and direct in her approach, straightforward where writers in the same genre may try to gloss over certain aspects that may be less than attractive. Published by Struik, the recommended retail price of R89.95 makes it an affordable choice - Hendrik Baird




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart