Ashley Gerrand - Welcome to my profile!
I was born and grew up in Johannesburg but when I was 11 years old, I moved with my family to Cape Town. I have spent the majority of my life in Cape Town and couldn't have asked for a better place to call home. I am so passionate and proud to live in such an incredible city.
As a family we went on holidays together to Swaziland and Zanzibar when I was very young – which were amazing experiences - and we also used to spend a lot of time at Sun City. I absolutely love being outdoors and exploring nature – some of my best memories are of water-skiing with friends at a dam or hanging out at the sea. I also really enjoy hiking, with the Otter Trail on the Garden Route being one of my best hikes yet.
My passion for travel began shortly after high school when I started working at a villa rental company; from there it just grew day by day and continues to grow. I love dealing with people from all walks of life and from all over the world. I am passionate about Africa in particular and inviting people to come and experience everything that this amazing continent has to offer. Africa and South Africa, especially, are like no other place in the world - you have to see it to believe it. My love and passion for Africa is so great, I am always encouraging my friends and family to visit the destinations that we represent. I even planned my sister’s honeymoon to Kenya and Zanzibar and although she is someone who has travelled the world, she said that was the best trip she had ever been on!
Where I have travelled
I have travelled along the Garden Route and around Cape Town and the Winelands, and have enjoyed many great weekends away in places such as Hermanus and Knysna. I know Sun City well, and have spent time on safari in Madikwe Private Game Reserve as well as the private reserves next to and within the Kruger National Park. You can read my blog post here: 'Our Latest Travels: Kruger & Madikwe Safari'.
I have also visited Victoria Falls and Chobe, got engaged and honeymooned in Mauritius (have a look at my romantic photos here), and had an amazing 2-week adventure in Botswana's Okavango Delta.
In March 2015, I travelled extensively around Kenya and Tanzania, including Zanzibar. We spent three weeks visiting many of the highlights in those countries, meeting Kenyans and Tanzanians, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife. East Africa quickly became my favourite safari destination and because of that I encourage anyone that is considering a trip to Africa - be it a first-time visit or a follow-on trip – to consider East Africa as an option because it really is something special. My journey was captured in the first edition of Go2Africa's e-zine, a digital magazine filled with great articles, stories and photographs. Download it here and flip to page 34.
My favourite travel moment
Some of my earliest favourite travel moments include getting engaged at sunset on a beach in Mauritius and, following our wedding, honeymooning there again; scuba diving and snorkelling in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius is my favourite); bridge swinging and zip lining at Victoria Falls; and enjoying sunsets on the Zambezi River.
More recently I have to say hot-air ballooning over Tarangire, kissing the giraffes at The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi and meeting Samburu and Maasai people are among the top experiences I have ever had in my life! The list is endless as to how many amazing experiences I have had since 2012!
What I love about Africa
South Africa as a country and Africa as a continent are completely different from anywhere else in the world. Their beauty is just breath-taking and the experiences one can have in all different parts of Africa are like no other.
I love the diversity of this continent. The people are amazing, the cultures fascinating and the places mesmerising. Africa is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives because it truly is life-changing. I'm so proud to be African.
My best African travel advice
Come to Africa with an open mind, be ready to experience things that you will not experience anywhere else in the world and remember to cherish every moment spent here! If you are unsure, talk to an expert to reassure you and give you the confidence to come and enjoy every possible aspect of this amazing destination. It really is spectacular - don't let anything stop you from having the holiday of a lifetime!
Where I'd love to go next
I dream of going to the other Indian Ocean Islands like the Seychelles and Mozambique’s Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos. After that, I would really love to go gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda and visit East Africa again during the Wildebeest Migration.