I’ve visited the Drakensberg twice now and I will gladly do so again – you can read about my last trip to this quaint spot here. It’s easily only two hours away from me now and it is a charming getaway from bustling city life. Visiting the Drakensberg during cooler months is extraordinary. While the African sun shines down on you, the crisp fresh air reminds you it is indeed winter. And though it may seem like a relaxing weekend out of the city, it offers adventure. Hiking over the hills and into the valleys nestled between the mountain range is exhilarating. You seem to forget the time in this place and that is what makes it unique.
I was nine when my parents whisked my brother and me off to India. Sometimes I try to remember the sights and smells of it. It’s a faint memory that seems to be drifting further away. We visited Mumbai, Bangalore and Prashanti Nilayam. I remember very little. I remember watching men pull down what seemed like a million sarees off shelves to sell to my mother. I remember watching cows gracefully move through chaotic streets, untouched. I remember marvelling at the simplicity of a tuk-tuk. And I remember my mother clipping jasmine flowers to my very short hair. Since then, I’ve wanted to return just one more time. Going back to the motherland is an exhilarating experience. There is beauty in its bustling cities, the tradition steeped in every corner and a humbleness to its people.
I’ve probably visited the park more than the average South African. Possible. My parents are wildlife enthusiasts and it was our getaway every once in a while. Growing up, I never really understood the fascination off driving around for hours just for a glimpse of an animal. How ungrateful of me. Hoardes of tourists from abroad visits our country every year for those glimpses. Now that I’m older and some what wiser, I appreciate what Africa has given us. We are truly blessed to live in a country rich in wildlife. And although I had visited a park on our honeymoon, it wasn’t the same. Kruger National Park is really something else.
Magical Mauritius, lazing around in the Indian Ocean lies paradise. I hope to make it one of my first African countries to visit simply because I love the ocean, sandy beaches and tropical days. Ignorantly known as just an island by many (and me for a very long time), Mauritius has many attractions to offer than just clear waves. There’s sugarcane plantations, rum tours, Hindu temples and natural wonders on the island. And though it is a destination very much on the beaten track, I’ve wanted to visit for the longest time. I know it sounds like a well-traveled destination to many wealthier South Africans. But I cannot wait to find the magic in it.
Travel has also been one of my goals since I was fifteen. I remember hearing about how other people were going to Thailand, Saudi Arabia etc. for their December holidays. It really made my holidays seem like a shabby getaway. And actually, that was not true in the slightest. Some of my best memories have been on holiday. I may not have visited many exotic destinations, but I had laughed around bonfires and enjoyed the blazing African sun as I watched gentle giants roam plains. Travel is about experiencing the unknown. I don’t just want to be a tourist, I want to be a traveller.
2017 is the year I explore more.