Bonita Cronje - Welcome to my profile!
I was born in Johannesburg, raised in Polokwane and George and am now privileged to be living in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I lived in London for two years and used this as a base to explore Europe and Asia.
I also lived in New Zealand for a short stint before returning to South Africa, which holds a special place in my heart and will always be home. I love travelling and this is one of the main reasons I studied Travel and Tourism. When travelling, I really enjoy meeting different people and learning more about their cultures.
I love spending quality time with my family and friends, curling up with a good book or spending time in the great outdoors looking for new adventures.
Where I have travelled
As I have lived in nine different places in South Africa and travel every year with my family locally, I know South Africa like the back of my hand. Branching out to Africa, I have also travelled to Mozambique, Zambia (which really holds something special for me), Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. I have travelled to Mauritius with my family and in East Africa I have visited Uganda, Rwanda (very briefly), Kenya and Tanzania.
During my travels, I have managed to tick off quite a few bucket-list items including:
• diving the coral reefs in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique
• chimp trekking in both Kibale Forest in Uganda and Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania
• gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda
• hot-air ballooning over the Masai Mara in Kenya
• canoeing with the opportunity to get up close to elephants, crocodiles and hippos in Mana Pools (Zimbabwe) and the Lower Zambezi (Zambia)
• paragliding off Signal Hill in Cape Town
• being surrounded by untouched open spaces and uninterrupted stars at Sossusvlei in Namibia
• standing in the northern and southern hemisphere at the same time at the equator in Uganda.
Internationally, I have visited 20 countries including: the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Andora, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.
My favourite travel moment
There are so many it is very hard to choose, especially when you love everything about Africa. From my trip to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya it will have to be spending an hour with the gorillas and watching a silverback cuddle and carry a 2-week-old baby (which the guides advised was not very common), and hot-air ballooning over the Masai Mara – we saw so much and although the landing was a bit bumpy (we were warned), I felt like a kid on a funfair ride, giggling all the way down.
What I love about Africa
Africa offers something for everybody from the bush to the beach, mountains to canyons, modern cities to pristine rural experiences. It is rich in flora and fauna and diverse in cultures. It teaches you to respect, tolerate and appreciate wildlife and different cultures. And there really is nothing like an African sunset.
My best African travel advice
Africa is full of surprises! When in Africa, you need to relax, expect the unexpected and just enjoy your surroundings - take a moment to really appreciate everything that it has to offer you and will find that you will lose your heart to this amazing continent.
My Recent travels
In November 2016 I was privileged to go on a 3-week trip to explore Uganda (with a quick stop-off in Rwanda) and Kenya. Some of my highlights - apart from the beautiful scenery and amazing people - were chimp trekking in Kibale Forest National Park; gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a hot-air balloon safari over the Masai Mara and seeing leopard almost daily in the Mara.
We travelled in the green season, which was a revelation: The bush was lush and green with incredible clouds in the background. The contrasts were beautiful and it made for very dramatic photos. There were also baby animals everywhere, and who doesn’t love a baby animal? Although we did experience some rain, it never deterred us (in fact, on one game drive instead of the traditional ‘sundowners’, we wrapped ourselves up in our ponchos and had ‘raindowners’! We sat in our game-drive vehicle enjoying snacks and a gin and tonic while watching a pride of lions on the one side of the vehicle and a herd of buffalo on the other.)