South African Tourism has always done a fairly decent job of promoting the country as a great destination for international travellers. Granted it not exactly a very difficult job considering the raw asset they’re forced to work with, but that being said – getting to South Africa is a long haul and then there is the nagging perception that the country’s safety record isn’t the finest.

More than just animals

But instead of going the stereotypical route of packaging desirable landscapes and outdoor adventure as the primary value proposition of the country – it’s refreshing that South African Tourism appears to be saying that, as a country ‘what we really offer is a uniquely cultural experience’. The countryside is beautiful – for sure, but our real assets are our people.

This beautifully shot new short film , entitled Meet South Africa. Meet Bheki the Mbhaco Maker. is a demonstration of that.

On a side note

Just on that point – a while back we were travelling back from Australia and landed at OR Tambo at about 4am on a Sunday morning. Filing through the long corridors towards immigration, the plane’s many passengers [many of whom were foreign nationals] were finally greeted by our very first South African official, who was wearing a very ill-fitting comical t-shirt with the words “BUCK FUDDY’ proudly emblazoned on it.

No uniforms, no name tags, no real care given – just ‘BUCK FUDDY’. It was alarming and endearing all at the same time and a classic demonstration as to how unique-a-country South Africa is.