Top 10 Travel Bloggers in South Africa
April 2, 2013, Posted by Elizabeth Joss
I’ve been on a hunt for the top 10 travel bloggers in South Africa. There are plenty of so-called travel bloggers out there but I have attempted to find those who really engage their audience with words and images, those who have a good following and who blog frequently and passionately. I’ve also included bloggers serious about spreading the word of their posts by means of social media and who are equally as keen about connecting with likeminded travellers through those channels.
Nonetheless, these are bloggers whose works I have come to love. Their writing styles range from evocative and inspiring to simplistic and explanatory, so no matter what writing style you prefer, you’re sure to find a travel blogger that enthuses you in this list below.
Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order I present to you the Top 10 Travel Bloggers in South Africa:
1. Andrew Brauteseth of Guy With Camera
Andrew is a travel photographer with a definite passion for blogging and seeing the world through new and varied perspectives. His evocative blog, Guy With Camera, aims to capture a moment and experience in time. He blogs about a variety of subjects and his posts on travel are particularly inspiring.
Here’s an extract taken from Andrew’s blog post titled Durban:
“While growing up in Natal, Durban always had the feeling of a dated city. Like [a] retro theme park or a sticky swimming pool flooded with flashbacks in beach mosaic and the smell of sun cream SPFs. A summer nostalgia for South Africans who used to swarm in from middle country. The vaal flocks of GP number plates…But slowly the city seems to be shedding it’s past prime plastic and reinventing itself. It still keeps that warm retro charm but after walking the new promenade, exploring brave new coffee shops in industrial Umbilo and seeing rooftop gardens on downtown city blocks, you get the feeling the city is becoming alive again.”
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Guy With Camera on Twitter
Guy with Camera on YouTube
2. Meruschka Govender of Mzansi Girl
Meruschka describes herself as an African travel activist and ambassador of Mzansi culture. Her Twitter following and famous profile picture with the South African flag is testament to her passion and love for our country and its people.
Meruschka’s blog can be described as minimalistic and focuses on the importance of her experiences. Her travel-oriented posts include musings about road trips in the Cape, descriptions of festivals and events within South Africa and information in support of the country’s national heritage.
She is currently taking part in the Big Blog Exchange Competition. You have up until the 15th of April 2013 to vote for her blog here. So get voting!
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3. Karen Lim of Story of Bing
Story of Bing is a blog by Karen Lim, a Singaporean living in South Africa. Karen’s blog offers a completely new perspective in terms of blogging. Her images are very beautiful and powerful and her posts, honest and open. It is this sincere honesty that makes her blog so popular amongst locals and foreigners alike. Karen doesn’t try to sugarcoat her experience, instead, she tells it like it is.
Read this extract from her post Ten Pin Bowling in Montecasino, Johannesburg:
“It was date night. The hubby and I decided that it was time to ditch our friends and spend some couple time together. I took him to a Dine In The Sky experience, and guess where he took me? BOWLING.
Yeap. He took me to the Ten Pin Bowling centre in the Montecasino. I was NOT excited. I hate bowling. I’m a notorious longkang queen (that means Queen of the Ball-In-The-Drain), and I was not looking forward to falling over my feet and dropping the ball on my toes too. He practically had to drag me into the place. And once I was in there, my eyes popped wide open. This bowling centre was a bloody discotheque! I couldn’t stop laughing. Everything was neon-coloured and disco lights were flashing everywhere and along the walls. There was funky music blasting from the sound system. Even the bowling balls were bright coloured. It was SUPER COOL.”
In fact her blog won Best Lifestyle Blog in 2011 as part of the Singapore Blog Awards. If you’re keen to read about the expat experience, about travel, food and cooking, arts and culture and more, then you’ll love Karen’s blog.
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4. Joy-Anne Goodenough of Portfolio Collection
Joy-Anne is a resourceful travel writer for the Portfolio Collection Travel Blog. She blogs about a variety of SA-related topics from travel, to Table Mountain, the winelands and events within SA.
The Portfolio Collection Travel Blog is a great resource especially if you want to keep up to date with the travel industry and discover events and happenings within the country. Joy-Anne’s posts are short and sweet and are written to be informative first and foremost.
The Portfolio Collection Travel Blog was a runner up for Best Travel Blog in the 2011 South African Blog Awards. The blog has also won numerous other awards since 2009.
Read this informative extract from one of Joy-Anne’s latest blog posts – The Ongoing Benefits of Earth Hour 2013:
“WWF’s Earth Hour has concluded another record sweep around our planet from Samoa on one side of the International Date Line to the Cook Islands on the other, with hundreds of millions again uniting to send a clear message - we are determined to create a sustainable future for our planet.
Many South Africans joined in the event, which was observed in more than 7000 cities, towns and municipalities in more than 150 countries and territories, with many of the world’s best known human and natural landmarks – including Table Mountain, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World - going dark as the backdrop to a multitude of “beyond the hour” activities and initiatives generating outcomes for the movement and the planet on which we live.”
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Visit Joy-Anne’s personal blog
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5. Anton Crone of Bright Continent
Anton’s blog is an inspiring work of art that aims to celebrate the people of Africa and uphold the continent’s bright future. Anton captures incredible, real and raw images of people on his travels. He blogs about numerous countries within Africa and if you’re curious about his South African posts in particular, you can check them out here.
Anton’s interesting and quirky take on posts and subject matter is what makes his blog so popular. In fact, Anton’s blog was the winner of the 2012 Getaway Blog Awards.
Enjoy this humorous extract from his post, Yogi, The Real Barber of Cape Town, And Why You’ll Always Return:
“These days, much of Cape Town’s hair is extracted from its male hosts with a tearing sensation, but you can still find a painless practitioner of the art on the corner of Dorp and Buitengracht.
Yogi and his crew don’t delve below the belt, or even the neck. There was a time when wax was only used to shine cars and floors, and Yogi keeps his floor mirror clean. Mr Miyagi could have been his mentor.”
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6. Heather Mason of 2Summers
Heather Mason is an American writer, blogger and photographer living in Johannesburg. She blogs about a variety of topics through expat eyes and she posts about South Africa, Johannesburg, travel, culture and more.
In fact, her incredible photographs are very powerful and moving and they depict real life on the African continent, praising nature and the beauty thereof.
Read this extract from her post, I Saw a Leopard in Pilanesberg:
“The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is an unusual place. It borders Sun City — a glitzy, Vegas-like resort in South Africa’s Northwest Province. Pilanesberg is small by African game park standards, and Pilanesberg’s animals were originally introduced from other parts of Southern Africa when the reserve was created in 1977…
For all of these reasons, in the eyes of many South Africans, Pilanesberg is not a “real” game park. And even though I enjoyed a great trip to Pilanesberg when my mother visited two years ago, I had also recently convinced myself that Pilanesberg is somehow not legit. I went back to Pilanesberg with my dad last week, and my attitude changed.”
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7. Dawn Jorgensen of The Incidental Tourist
This humble nature-lover set out to change the world, one blog post at a time. Her posts on Tumblr ground themselves in everything to do with Mother Nature, animal activism and the beauty of her environment.
Dawn’s fascinating images and evocative writing illustrates a new and profound experience of South Africa. She is a dedicated blogger who frequently writes and there is always something interesting to read at The Incidental Tourist.
One of my favourite posts is the Cederberg Rock Art, the Stadsaal Elephants and Old School Graffiti. Enjoy an extract from this post:
“The dramatic landscape and abundance of open caves and rock formations, multitude of colours and shapes from the ever-present wind, fynbos and blue sky, make it easy to get lost here. Even easier to want to. Among the yellows, reds and burnt orange. As though a giant has scattering his rocks at play, arranging and piling up others. Words cannot describe the feeling, except to say that it needs to felt.”
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8. Caroline Hurry of Travel Write
This award-winning travel journalist surely deserves mention on our list of Top 10 Travel Bloggers in South Africa. Caroline Hurry’s website, Travel Write, is a creative space for passionate travel enthusiasts who contribute to the wealth of quirky, descriptive and absorbing prose on the site. Travel Write has in fact gained popularity as one of the top online travel magazines in South Africa.
Enjoy this extract taken from one of Caroline’s own blog posts about Mauritius – Paradise Regained:
“I donned a sarong and wandered lonely as a cloud to annex my recliner under its little thatched gazebo on the beach. Lovely view: palm trees, blue sky, some local talent and the symphony of birdsong broken only by fishermen steering their boats across lapis lazuli waters.
Two hours later I ambled into the soothing shade of Chopsticks, another of the resort’s five restaurants, for some succulent red snapper on a bed of fried rice washed down with a dry white. Afterwards, I tottered back to my recliner for another assignation in the arms of Morpheus before dinner at Sapori, the resort’s Italian restaurant.”
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9. Sarah Duff of Sarahduff.com
Sarah Duff has most definitely built a name for herself in the travel writing field. She is a freelance travel writer, photographer and digital strategist based in Cape Town and was the former food and web editor of Getaway Magazine for five years.
Currently, Sarah’s personal blog has only a few travel posts but we are keen to see how it develops and we are excited to read more about her travel experiences, both locally and abroad.
Enjoy this extract from her blog post – Papkuilsfontein: The Perfect Guest Farm:
“As we arrived, roosterkoek were being braaied over the fire in the dining room of the main house and we were given a basket full of the piping hot bread, together with bowls of farm butter and homemade apricot jam. It reminded me of the Karoo farm childhood I never had. In the evening, instead of self catering, we opted for a cooked dinner…We were served a delicious vegetarian feast of mushroom pot pie, green beans cooked in the farm’s olive oil, honey-glazed carrots, perfect roast potatoes and cucumber salad, topped off with pavlova filled with decadent cream and fresh peaches. Breakfast, served back the main house, also passes the gourmet test: fruit salad and yoghurt, the best porridge oats ever (with butter and brown sugar) and a three-cheese-asparagus souffle.”
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10. Lauren Manuel of The Travel Manuel
Lauren Manuel is a travel writer, photographer, radio presenter and dancer. She has journeyed to six continents and her genuine passion for travel has not stopped there! She dares to venture to all corners of the globe but makes travel within her home country of South Africa just as important.
The ‘about’ section on her website most definitely inspires: “So journey with me as I traipse through Cape Town and around the world to free the nomad in me in search of the unknown, the exhilarating and adventurous.”
Lauren’s writing has been published in Getaway Magazine, Tango Diva, Go Nomad, Travelmag, In the Know Traveller, Our Man on the Ground and more.
Enjoy this extract from her blog post titled Flavours of Cape Town:
“The people, languages and cultures found just within the city of Cape Town form a colourful, eclectic fusion. Xhosa, Indian, Cape Malay and Afrikaans cultures can be witnessed in the city centre markets, at farm stalls on the roadside and in the kitchens of locals. Within a day you can hear multiple languages and taste different cuisine made by people who call South Africa home. If you don’t have a mom like mine who can whip up all these local dishes in your kitchen, then here are some places to visit to taste different slices of Cape Town.”
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Have we left out any popular South African travel bloggers? Tell us who you think should make the cut. Ensure you provide us with the URLs to their travel blogs in the comment section below.
Thanks for taking the time to read our post. Please spread the word about the Top 10 Travel Bloggers from South Africa!