A Brief History Lesson About South Africa

History shows that the southern part of Africa was originally inhabited by the San and Khoekhoe people, commonly called the Khoisan. Several hundred years before the arrival of the first Europeans, Bantu speaking people from the north moved southwards and settled mostly in the north-east and eastern areas of South Africa.


In 1652 the Dutch colonised the Southern most tip of Africa, Cape Town, as a halfway house to support their trading in the east. 

Around 1654 the first slaves were brought to South Africa by the Dutch. Over the years more and more slaves were introduced. The slaves originated from west Africa, Bengal, East India, Madagascar, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Between 1688 and 1689 settlers arrived from France and Belgium (The Huguenots).

Britain seized control of the Cape and the rest of South Africa for the final time in 1806. In 1820 British settlers arrived in South Africa.

The first Indians arrived in South Africa around 1654. Between 1654 and 1659 small numbers of Indians had arrived in South Africa from time to time. In 1860 larger numbers of Indians arrived in Natal as indentured labour.

Over the years due to many different reasons, people from countries such as Britain, Ireland, Mozambique, Angola, South West Africa/Namibia, China, Zambia, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Congo, Nigeria and many more moved and settled in South Africa.

All of these people introduced parts of their culture, making South Africa is truly a rainbow nation. The food that can be found in modern South Africa is influenced by all the different cultures that were introduced through the generations.

As South Africans, there are some foods that we can simply not live without. Classic examples are Boerewors and Biltong.

Biltong -stems from Dutch.  Bil means “buttock/rump” and tong “tongue or strip”. Biltong is air dried, cured meat that is similar to jerky but the taste and method that is used to make biltong is different to that of making jerky.


Boerewors – stems from Dutch and directly translated means “farmers sausage”. Many different varieties of boerewors can be found in South Africa and the flavours vary depending on the region where it originated.

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