Justin Chapman - Welcome to my profile!
My Recent Travels
Most recently I went on an epic trip through South Africa that saw me visiting the city of Johannesburg, the Waterberg Plateau in the province of Limpopo, the Pilanesberg National Park, Sun City and Madikwe Game Reserve in the North-West province.
Closer to home, I have also spent time exploring the mountains of the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area in the South-Western Cape. A memory I will never forget is scrambling my way through dense vegetation and stumbling into the heart of one of the Cape’s few remaining indigenous forests. Truly an enchanted place that I hope to return to soon.
Born and raised in Cape Town, I have lived in the city and surrounds for most of my life. As a result, I am passionately proud of the fact that it is mentioned on virtually every list of places to go from across the world!
I am big on hiking and trail-running and try to make sure to get into the mountains at least once a week, to maintain work-life balance. This is another reason I love Cape Town: not 10 minutes from the City Bowl you can be starting a journey to one of the three summits – Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.
I value my ability to put myself in others’ shoes and to convey my own experiences in a relatable way. My love of Africa encompasses all aspects of it, as I have a deep interest in not only the incredible experiences it has to offer but its many and diverse cultures and in particular the life philosophies that underpin them. Africa is not a country, and ‘Ubuntu’ – which means, ‘A person is a person through other people’ - is more than just a concept… It’s a way of life, and one that I try to embrace.
Where have I travelled
I will always be grateful to my parents for our family road trips growing up, as it meant that I got to span Mzansi (South Africa) far and wide. I have been up and down the length of the South African coastline several times over, from the quiet and far-flung stretches of the West Coast, through the picturesque towns of the Garden Route – where stretches of the coastal road more than rival the Pacific Coast Highway in the US – into the Transkei and Wild Coast with its off-beat way of life that makes one appreciate the simpler things in life.
I’ve also been privileged in having opportunity to spend time in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique in Southern Africa. A memory that brings up a pang of nostalgia is one of sitting on the boat outside my uncle’s lodge on Lake Kariba as a kid, ‘fishing’ all day for tigerfish – I don’t think there was even bait on the hook! It is one of my earliest memories of communing with nature, and one that I have often reflected on when the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day starts to occupy too much of my mental bandwidth.
Beyond Africa, I sailed to South America in a 40-foot mono-hull yacht – when young and crazy – and backpacked around Brazil and Argentina. I nearly settled down with a girl from Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, but the travel bug kept rustling and I made my way north to the US, and spent several months road-tripping New England. Spending a week in a log cabin in the forests of Vermont was a highlight.
What I love about Africa
To be in Africa is to be in the ancient. There is something uncomplicated and raw that you can experience whenever you wish, if only you take a moment to. It is a place of humility, of great divides but of even greater bridges spanning them. There is a majesty to Africa that is inexplicable and has to be felt to be understood.
Some African Travel advice
Africa is a place of feeling. While it is important to capture memories as reminders, do not allow technology to stand between you and the precious moments you have in it. Being present offers rewards unimagined.