South Africa and the people in it
Everybody bad mouths everybody else at some point. We all get the short end of the stick sometimes.
Being originally Irish, i do get sick and tired of the 'Paddy' jokes from time to time, as well as the assumption that every Irishman drinks excessively.
This is not true
As a naturalized South African, i am proud of my adopted country and it's immeasurably manic rugby coaches. Yes, the taxis are a blight on the existence of the average motorist, but have you ever been to New York, or London?
A visit to South Africa, organized by a travel agent or other such group will not garner the best results. Any attempt to 'meet the people' should be done by yourself and not by a tour organizer.
South Africans, by and large, do not like tourists. However, should you find your way into a South African pub or bar, you will be treated amicably so long as you do not ask any questions about how often elephants are seen on the streets. I have only ever seen 3 elephants, and i had to go to Botswana to see them.
No visit to South Africa is complete without the mandatory Shebeen trip. Illegal bars are fun, but choose carefully, you and your wallet/wellbeing can and will be separated from your person should you venture into some of the seedier locations.
Ignore what people from Cape Town and Jo'Burg say about Durban, they are just plain dumb. Yes, Durban is slow and quiet(during the day), but the city comes alive at night, teeming with the kind of 'savage natives' that you mingle with at home.
There is a common quip regarding Durban, 'On the seventh day God rested, and said He unto Durban "Dont you guys do anything till i get back!"
It is mostly true. DO NOT hire a tour guide. Just go to the beach and strike up a conversation with someone who looks like they are from there. NB: they are easy to spot, slightly sunburned, sea-salt tangled hair and dagga(weed) induced grins. They will give you all the help and companionship you need.
Durbanites are the most garrulous people on Gods earth.
Have fun, but dont drink the water....we pee in it.