The Way I Tour South Africa

My latest column is now online at Expat Focus. This month I write about literature as it relates to the way I travel.

Please click here to read this month’s column, then come back here for a few snapshots of places I’ve been, inspired by books I’ve read. (If you enjoy this month’s column, please do share it.)

Honoring writers and history at Vilikazi Street in Soweto

literary travel South Africa
Vilakazi Street makes me think of not just Mandela and Tutu, but writers like Tlali and Mhlongo, and of course, Vilakazi.


Retreating in the hills above Ixopo, of Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country.

literary travel South Africa
I must admit, I found this iconic book patronizing and moralistic, but oh those hills and the people who live there just melt my heart.


Imagining a rugged dog named Jock of the Bushveld, and a harsh kudu kick to the head.

literary travel South Africa
Buy the newer, enlightened edition and fall in love with this loyal dog as he treks through the now Panorama Route and Kruger area.

Returning to words in Long Walk to Freedom while at Mandela’s capture site.

literary travel South Africa


Sure, I look at birds and wildflowers, lions and trees. But thanks to the diverse and ample literary history of South Africa, I never travel without your stories.

Have you ever traveled somewhere that you can practically taste the life of a story you’ve read? I’d love to hear about it, and maybe get some new ideas for my next literary travel!

Love, MarLa

best South African literature

Oops! Did you read this whole page and forget to read my monthly column that inspired it? Click here for the column. If you enjoy it, please share it! 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Way I Tour South Africa

  1. Marla, Have you read The World that was Ours by Hilda Bernstein? It covers the lead up to the Liliesleaf Raid and subsequent Rivonia Trial. In fact, have you been to Liliesleaf in Johannesburg? It’s possibly the best museum in SA. I highly recommend the book and the museum is excellent, better than the Apartheid Museum I think.

    1. Thank you for reading and replying. No, I haven’t read it or been to Liliesleaf. I’ve been waiting to visit Rivonia until I finish No Bread For Mandela, by Kathrada, which I’m reading now.
      I will do read her book and then make the visit. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

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