Lauren Johansson - Welcome to my profile!
Having grown up in Africa I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Granted there's a vast world out there to explore and that I have done but Africa is 'home'. And despite having been involved in the hospitality, travel and tourism throughout my entire career, it's always a thrill to hear that one of my travellers has had a truly memorable African experience!
I called East Africa home for many years and got to explore the region in depth while the people and wildlife stole my heart – this is definitely my other ‘home’ outside Cape Town. I love nothing more than sharing my experiences of those off-the-beaten-path places here that are relatively unknown and definitely untouched. My time at Go2Africa has allowed me to enjoy and explore some magical spots in Africa and being able to tick off bucket-list destinations is always a pleasure, my work is super rewarding and always a great adventure.
My travels over the years have found me doing everything from working at remote lodges to flying for a major airline; planning weddings and events to ‘working’ really hard on relaxing for a year in the Seychelles.
I now live in Gordon's Bay just outside Cape Town – the perfect location to enjoy all that the Western Cape has to offer. I feel so privileged that I live in one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. Weekends are about getting out and about to explore the mountains, beaches and countryside nearby. Living here is an absolute joy: there is so much to see and do and all within a stone’s throw of home - from farmer’s markets to wine tasting, adventure activities, finding that perfect beach to spend the day on or casting a line to see what fish are biting! As a senior Africa Safari Expert at Go2Africa (since 2007 and counting), I work from home. Other than the sometimes working strange hours, I love it (so does my dog Bandit who gets to the beach often on walks!).
Where have I travelled
I am a travel enthusiast and try to get in as much time out in the bush as possible. Places I’ve explored recently include all of Mozambique, Mauritius, Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and Lion Sands near the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Because I lived in Nairobi for a long time, I got to see East Africa in its entirety. I’ve also explored much of Southern Africa including Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and, of course, South Africa AKA ‘home’!
I’ve also been lucky enough to tick off plenty of Indian Ocean Islands, too, from Mauritius to Madagascar, Zanzibar to the Comores, and Mozambique from the Quirimbas to the Kosi Bay border. Spending a year on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles was bliss while staying on the Comores was a big adventure, unchartered territory and completely off the beaten track.
Furthermore, I lived in France for some time and got to explore much of Europe.
My favourite travel moment
How does one choose a favourite moment? Possibly my favourite day was at Mnemba Island when dolphins came to swim with us (please note that Go2Africa supports ethical animal encounters only), snorkelling on the house reef, the sunset from the dhow and then the most delicious dinner on the beach under the African sky. A close second is my first-ever encounter with wild dog; that was a magical moment for me as they are so rare.
What I love about Africa
The spirit of Africa. The smell in the air before thunderstorms. The sound of joyous singing. Campfires at night. Skies that seem vaster than vast! The sound of a lion's roar. The sense of being alone in the wilderness. Waves crashing on remote African shores. The fact that Africa still surprises me and leaves me breathless with its beauty.
My best African travel advice
Always keep your sense of humour. In East Africa they have a saying, 'pole pole' (roughly translated as ‘slowly, slowly’) so take on the African attitude, take it easy, relax and, most importantly, enjoy every minute of your safari - it's all part of the adventure. My favourite saying when on vacation is, ‘You are never lost unless you don’t like where you are!’ so explore onwards and enjoy!
Where I'd love to go next
So many choices it’s too difficult to decide but high on the list are any destination in Africa that includes sunshine, sea and adventure.
Read real traveller reviews about my service as an Africa Safari Expert, or be inspired by my recommended trips, lodges and hotels around Africa.
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