Growing up, my parents would often take us on a big tour of some or other part of South Africa or a neighbouring African country. We would travel by road and camp at various spots along the way. This has instilled in me a huge appreciation for Africa and all that this beautiful part of the world has to offer.
I grew up in a beautiful, historical Karoo town known as Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, which is surrounded by national parks like Addo and private reserves as well as working livestock farms. I have loved the outdoors since I can remember. I fondly remember often hopping into our ragged open-topped Jeep with friends to drive out to one of the reserves to the top of one of the mountains to watch the stars. I would go mountain biking with my dad and brother early in the morning and race next to a herd of playful oryx or red hartebeest. My family would take the boat out on the Nqeba Dam on Sundays after church for an afternoon on the water under the blazing Karoo sun.
I moved to the United Kingdom for a year after finishing school where I worked and travelled before returning to South Africa and settling in Stellenbosch to attend university. I spent five years there and absolutely fell in love with the surrounding Cape Winelands. I have since moved to Cape Town. This city is just a hub for adventure, culture and art. I spend most of my free time at the beach – either at Kogel Bay or the beautiful coastal town of Betty’s Bay.
Where have I travelled
In May 2016 I travelled to a number of South African destinations. This included Kruger National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve. These two incredible safari destinations never disappoint, with superb game viewing and beautiful lodges. It was particularly exhilarating to speed through the bush following a pack of wild dog. Spotting my first leopard up close was unforgettable of course. I recently – May 2017 – travelled to Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Chobe; Victoria Falls in full flood, and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
I have travelled South Africa extensively. From Namaqualand, to the Cederberg, to Cape Town, the Garden Route, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal South and North Coast as well as inland, to snorkelling in Kosi Bay and Cape Vidal, the Panorama Route, Kruger, Madikwe, Johannesburg, and so much more. I have rafted down the Orange River and camped on its riverbed, I have 4x4’d through the Sani Pass and Richtersveld. I have witnessed the Augrabies Falls in flood. I feel so blessed to be living in this beautiful country with so much to offer.
Apart from South Africa, I have travelled to Namibia, The Kgaligadi Transfrontier National Park in Botswana, and to Mozambique’s coast - a personal favourite. Mozambique is really something special. The culture is beautiful and colourful. A highlight of my travels there was sea kayaking off the coast of Xai Xai and spotting sea turtles for the first time.
I have also travelled to various countries in Europe, my favourites being Ireland, France and Turkey.
What I love about Africa
Africa has diversity, it is bold and it is strong. It is, in a sense, still ‘wild’. It is waking up to the call of the cicadas and turtle doves on summer mornings where it is already blazing hot outside. I love Africa first and foremost because it is my home, and because of it’s potential for adventure.
My best African Travel advice
Expect the unexpected: this is Africa and she lives by the beat of her own drum. Look out the window during long drives and appreciate the contrasts, the people and the scenery. Speak to a local travel agent with travel experience for the best advice. Ask questions and listen to the stories of the people you meet. Make time to relax to avoid over-exertion while travelling. Stay hydrated and use sunscreen!