If you’re a millennial, get ready for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. From much-loved brands that no longer exist to our favorite, and often cringe-worthy, television shows, here are 12 truths about growing up in South Africa.
Conversation starters all originated from Chappie wrappers
Chappies bubblegum will always bring up fond memories for any South African. Remember how you tried to spot your favorite flavor’s color, whether banana or grape, through the wrapper before buying? Everyone had a favorite and the best part was reading the facts on the back of the wrapper—pretty much every fun fact you knew was thanks to Chappies.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Fresca was the drink of choice and is missed to this day
No millennial will ever understand why the green goodness of Fresca was taken off the market. The slogan definitely got it right as “nothing tastes like Fresca.”
Soda floats were the ultimate treat
Whether you preferred a Coke or creme soda float, this was the ultimate treat. Simply add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to your favorite soda and voila, happiness in a glass. Although normally enjoyed as a dessert, a soda float was even better if you could have it with dinner.
Binge watching YoTv and Ktv was standard
You knew at exactly which time each show started and also watched the reruns on weekends. Television was different back then, no recording and Netflix in case you missed an episode, so each day you’d plant yourself in front of the television and soak in all the shows you so dearly loved.
The toll-gate goodie bags on road trips were fascinating
South African families drive far when going away on holidays, especially those from Gauteng. When stopping at toll-booths those plastic bags filled with maps, a newspaper, and more often than not, candy, was what got you through hours of sitting in a car. And, even better, when Easter or Christmas came around, they included themed candy.
Everyone had a favorite Gladiator
Even though the adventure game show only ran from 1999 to 2001, the program had a cult following and to this day the opening line “ARE YOU READY!” is remembered. Everyone had a favorite, from Granite to Fire, and, if you spotted a contestant in the grocery store (which happened quite often) you just had to follow them around.
The kid in the Sasol “Glug Glug” ad pulled on everyone’s heartstrings
The ad, featuring a young boy whose toy car speeds off after being filled up with Sasol’s Super 100, became somewhat iconic in South African advertisement history and watching it so many years after it first aired brings back tons of memories. It comes as no surprise that the ad, created in 1991, was voted the country’s most loved ad in a study by agency Millward Brown.
Noot vir Noot was the worst and most entertaining show at the same time
Whether you loved or hated it, it’s impossible to forget Johan Stemmet’s colorful undercoats. Running from 1991 to 2016, Noot vir Noot was South Africa’s longest-running game show and had a large following of mainly Afrikaan viewers.
Riaan Cruywagen’s hair never changed
Newsreader Riaan Cruywagen graced South African television screens since 1975 and until his final SABC 2 broadcast in 2012, he somehow managed to keep his hairstyle unchanged. South Africans returned to their living rooms each evening to watch the news with this familiar face.
The Carte Blanche jingle indicated the end of your weekend
There’s no doubt why Carte Blanche has the high ratings it does—it’s cutting-edge journalism at its best. As a child though, the notorious jingle meant only one thing: Sunday evening had arrived, and with it, the end of a much-too-short weekend.
Road tripping is part of almost every holiday
South African summers are meant for spending days on the beach and swimming in the ocean, regardless of how cold the water is. Those who aren’t lucky enough to live by the seaside flock to coastal holiday destinations each year. This means loading the car and heading off on a long road trip. Whether traveling to KwaZulu-Natal, the Western, or Eastern Cape, families often spend an evening in a remote town halfway to the end destination, which added to the excitement.
Mxit was the only way to communicate
Mxit was a free messaging platform similar to WhatsApp, and if you had a mobile phone between 2007 and 2015, chances are you had the app downloaded and ready to go. With over seven million active subscribers, there really was no other way to communicate.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.