Book Now

How to Celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa

23 Jan 2020 | By Author Thornybush | Experiences

Heritage Day (24 September) is one of South Africa’s most celebrated official public holidays. Although it’s a day that acknowledges every culture of the Rainbow Nation, the focus is mainly on those elements that have become uniquely South African.

These aspects are so ingrained in the South African way of life that you’ll encounter them wherever you travel in the country, but especially on a South African safari with Thornybush Collection. These are the things that bring the citizens of Mzansi together on Heritage Day.

Braai-ing with Buddies

The South African version of a barbeque has become so ingrained in South African culture that Heritage Day is colloquially known as “Braai Day”. What makes a braai different from a barbeque though? Nothing you can put your finger on.

Flames are central to the braai experience. Meat and grilled snacks are cooked on the fire and usually accompanied by a range of freshly prepared salads.

Everybody knows that the best braais take place in the bush and you can experience the full impact of this Proudly South African tradition during one of our boma braai evenings.


Biltong has become synonymous with South Africa and is an integral part of a South African safari. These dried flakes and strips of meat are prepared with a delicious array of spices and can be made from any kind of meat. You can even get vegan biltong made from mushrooms!

It’s best enjoyed as it comes, although you may also come across biltong in a range of dishes from salads to soups.


Conservation is close to the hearts of most South Africans, and the Big Five have celebrity status in this neck of the woods. Lions, elephants, buffalos, rhino and leopards are the backbone of the South African tourism industry. While we all love the little creatures too, there’s no denying that it’s these A-listers that everyone wants to see.

That’s why our dedicated and experienced game rangers at Thornybush go out of their way to introduce guests to these animals every chance they get.

Experience Heritage Day in South Africa

A South African safari is a wonderful way to experience these elements of South African culture at their best any time of the year. ​Get in touch​ if you’d like to celebrate them with us.