If you’re a South African, I’m sure you’re familiar with the Local is Lekker phrase. It celebrates and promotes everything South African. This phrase was the inspiration for a new series on my blog – Local Travel is Lekker. I’m an avid supporter of local South African travel and feel extremely blessed to live in this beautiful country. Therefore I’ve decided to feature like-minded bloggers and travellers who share my Local Travel is Lekker sentiment and hopefully this series will inspire our South African citizens to get out there and explore this exquisite country.
This week’s featured bloggers are the three ladies from Suitcases and Lattes – Jee, Rif and Imaan.
1) What do you love most about South Africa?
Jee: WOW, this is a tough one….. What don’t I love! I love everything about South Africa (except the crime sadly) and I really can’t pin it down to one specific thing. The mountains, the sea, the people, the food…… it’s all great!
Rif: Although we have our fair share of problems in South Africa, there’s no place like home. Of course, there’s the obvious – sun, sea & mountains. But the things I really love about South Africa aren’t necessarily tangible. I love the mix of cultures; our history of triumph against adversity and that despite our painful past, a lot of people are quite tolerant of different religions, cultures etc. One thing that I never take for granted is the availability of Halaal food across South Africa.
Imaan: South Africa has it all! There are very few places in the world where you can find the perfect combination of natural beauty, wildlife, food and culture juxtaposed with development. It is absolutely unique and every little area carries its own charm.
2) What is your first local travel memory?
Jee: It would have to be my first trip to Knysna. I never knew that there were so many mountain biking trails there! I really enjoyed getting lost on a few of them :)
Rif: Epic family road trips lasting weeks, with many stops along the way between Cape Town and Johannesburg. I remember being taken aback by the beauty of the barren landscapes and trying to sketch them. With camera phones these days, they’re a lot easier to capture! (Do I sound like I’m 90 years old?)
Imaan: My first travel memory is the long trip from Cape Town to Sun City when I was just older than a toddler. We were three kids in the back seat of a car belting it out to 90’s classics. Once in Sun City, we were absolutely awestruck by the Valley of The Waves (even though we were from a coastal city) and the shaking Bridge of Time.
3) What’s your favourite place to visit in your hometown?
Jee: I have so many! but if I had to think of one place then it would have to be hiking up Lions Head.The climb is not bad at all and the views are just breathtaking.
Rif: I’m a pretty simple person – all I need is ice cream and a view (so, Muizenberg Beach, Signal Hill, etc). I also love that the Waterfront is one of the few places that’s still buzzing late at night and feels really safe (and also has good ice cream options).
Imaan: Chapman’s Peak drive is my favourite! Nothing beats the views.
4) What’s on your South African travel bucket list?
Jee: Too many! Just to name a few places I still want to go to… ( not in any specific order)
- Jumping off Bloukrans Bridge
- Camping in the Kruger National Park (you have to love the African Wildlife)
- Exploring more of the Garden Route and staying in luxurious places like Tsala Treetop Lodge (absolutely gorgeous!).
Rif: There are so many places I want to explore locally! I had to stop myself from writing them all down. Here’s a select few:
- The Drakensberg area
- Cradle of Human Kind in Maropeng
- The upgraded Sun City
- !khwa ttu in the West Coast
- Overnight stay in a houseboat or chalet at the West Coast National Park
Imaan: Rif and Jee covered most of my list but the Kruger National Park and the beauty of Mpumalanga are high on my bucket list. I really want to see the Blyde River Canyon one day soon.
5) What are your top tips for planning a local getaway?
Jee: My planning always begins with expectations: what do you want to get out of your trip? Once you have that decided, draw up your budget (here is the accountant in me) allocating your spend in line with your expectations. Do your homework! The internet is your friend and so is our awesome blog which gives great tips on many holiday destinations!
Rif: Most things are online these days so you can easily use Booking.com or get discounted accommodation rates through websites like Daddy’s Deals. However, a lot of people own holiday homes and don’t make it public – so sometimes, it’s good to find places through word of mouth and blogs. I’m lazy so I prefer the online route.
Imaan: Airbnb and the likes have opened up a whole new world to travelers. Places that were exclusively for the wealthy have become accessible to the rest of us. Tripadvisor reviews and forums are my usual starting point followed by blogs. I love first-hand experiences and reviews.
6) Where can we follow your blog?
Facebook: suitcases and lattes
How Do I Jump on the Local Travel is Lekker taxi?
That concludes this week’s Local Travel is Lekker blogger feature. Be sure to stop by every week to be inspired by another local traveller and awaken your own wanderlust for local South African travel. Join the conversation on social media with the Local Travel is Lekker hashtag. And if you’re interested in participating, get in touch with me!
All images: Rif, Jee and Imaan