Christmas, South Africa

12 Days of South African Christmas

You’ve all heard the traditional 12 Days of Christmas song. And you always think you’re not going to join in, but you do. So after some time living in South Africa, here’s a South African version for you to sing along to. Drum roll please….

Twelve Days of South African Christmas

On the twelfth Day of South African Christmas, my true love gave to me..

Twelve vuvuzelas trumpeting

Eleven languages chattering

Ten springboks springing

Nine rhinos charging

Eight boerewors braaing

Seven Saffers singing

Six bolts of lightning

Five cape wines

Four hadedas*

Three crowned cranes*

Two weaver birds*


An elephant on safari!

If you’re not too familiar yet with South Africa, here’s a rundown of the things listed in our African 12 Days of Christmas:

12 Vuvuzelas

In case you’re wondering what a vuvuzela is, it’s a loud (almost as loud and annoying as a hadeda) trumpet that is often sounded at football matches.

11 Languages

Did you know that South Africa has eleven official languages? They are Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tshonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

10 Springboks Springing

As well as being 2019’s Rugby world cup winners, the springbok is a dear like animal that jumps or springs along.

9 Rhinos and an Elephant on Safari

If you’re visiting Southern Africa, do try to book a safari. It’s a magical experience. As well as springboks, you can hope to see both rhinos and elephants. You can read more about safaris here, here and here.

8 Boerewors Braaing

A Boerewors is a gigantic sausage literal translation: boer/farmer sausage. These are popular at pretty much any type of gathering, rugby matches, barbecues (known as braais in South Africa) and parties.

Seven Saffers Singing

Saffer is slang for South African and if you’ve never heard a Saffer sing, check out the Ndlovu Youth Choir.  Just beautiful.

Six Bolts of Lightning

Johannesburg is highly susceptible to lightning strikes. We experience plenty of electrical storms as part and parcel of the four seasons in one day kind of weather that Johannesburg is famous for.

5 Cape Wines

South Africa is famous for its delicious wines, they are both bountiful and by international standards, inexpensive. Franschhoek is one of our favourite places to visit. And on a Christmas related note, we reckon that Father Christmas has an African hideaway at Beau Constantia vineyard, you can read more about that theory here.

4 Hadedas, 3 Crowned Cranes and 2 weaver birds

Hadedas, Weavers and Blue Cranes are all local birds, you can read more about them in the post High Maintenance Chick. Alternatively you can hear what a hadeda sounds like in A South African Hadeda Alarm Clock.


Hadeda ibis bird, Johannesburg South Africa
The Hadeda

And an Elephant on Safari

We loved seeing elephants on safari. They are majestic creatures. Find our more about some of our South African safari experiences here.

You can read our Expat Christmas Carol, We Four Expats here.

2 thoughts on “12 Days of South African Christmas”

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