South Africa, one of the most developed economies of Africa, is also a popular traveler’s destination and favourite amongst volunteer travelers. Like any other country in the world, South Africa has its own share of cultural sensitivities which are important to keep in mind before beginning your trip to South Africa. Here are a few points to keep in mind while volunteering in South Africa.
1. When greeting someone while meeting them for the first time, do raise your right hand as a symbol of ‘No Weapons’ and a friendly approach.
2. Also, make sure the handshake is firm and not lose. Feeble handshake is taken as ill-mannered in South Africa.
3. Although, it is not a compulsion for you to ask someone before clicking their picture, but to avoid getting into awkward situations and infringing in someone’s privacy, it’s better to take permission.
4. Do get dressed conservatively when moving out; either for work or to the market.
5. While eating in a restaurant, a tip of 10-20% is good to pay to the waiter.
6. While exchanging gifts, use either both hands or your right hand. Open the gift immediately after you get it.
7. Do try the local street food and, if get a chance, homemade authentic dish when in South Africa.
1. Do not call Afrikaans “Dutchmen” or “Kitchen Dutch”. They don’t consider themselves Dutch and will not appreciate any such gesture.
2. Try not to stand too close to someone or touch their arm.
3. When on a Safari, do not imitate animal sounds, throw objects, or corner a wild animal.
4. Do not sunbathe nude unless you are at a designated nude beach.
5. Do not take pictures of military/police or government buildings.
6. Try not to leave food on your plate. Rather take only that much, which you can finish.
7. This one goes without saying that usage of words ‘negro’ or ‘black’ must be avoided.
So, we can safely say that whilst keeping the above pointers in mind, it is fairly easy to enjoy and make the most of your volunteering project in South Africa. After all, it is of the most frequented country by travel enthusiasts from all over the globe. Drop us a comment below to know more about the different kind of volunteering projects available in South Africa.
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