Way back, when we used to live in Pretoria, my parents would ever so often pack us all up into the combi and head to the Kruger National – or Marloth Park for the weekend.

I loved it. And a big part of my heart still resides there, in the bushveld.

Living in Cape Town now, weekend trips are obviously no longer an option, so when I get the opportunity to set out in that direction, I jumped at it!

At the end of July, I was lucky enough to be part of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency’s brand new #myMpumalanga campaign (working behind the scenes mostly), which included a quick sho’t left to Jaci’s Sabi House in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and made me super happy.

However, the trip also gave me an opportunity to explore a whole lot more of the ‘place where the sun rises’. Mpumalanga is really an amazing province, offering a range of diverse experiences – from fly-fishing and horse-riding in the chilly highveld town of Dullstroom to glamping along the Sabie River with Africamps at Mackers.

Instead of writing about each of the experiences, I thought I’d just share a couple of pics of the most memorable.

Continue Reading "Snaps: #myMpumalanga road trip"

Earlier this year, Traveller24 asked whether I would be available to represent them on a whirlwind mission to Maputo.

The trip was hosted by Google Africa and brought journalists, bloggers and influencers from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria together to explore the Mozambican capital and share their experiences.

We were only there for about 48 hours, so really had to squeeze in A LOT. In some ways, however, this just added to the thrill of the adventure and really whet my appetite for a more extensive visit.

I loved the eclectic mix of Portuguese heritage and true African city bustle, the robust tropical vegetation and the way it seems to take over buildings that have been left unattended just a little too long.

Of course, it’s really difficult to get the feel of a place in just two days, but amid the sensory overload, I did manage to pick five favourite things:

Continue Reading "My Maputo top 5"

In my last post, I mentioned that Guillaume, Jasper and I had taken a quick two-day break in the Cederberg from Wednesday to Friday last week.

After googling ‘pet-friendly accommodation in the Cederberg’ (to coincide with flower season), we stumbled upon Enjo Nature Farm in the Biedouw Valley and were instantly charmed by the pictures of quaint white-washed cottages, quiver trees and star-studded night skies. We booked the most adorable Cabin and started counting down the days.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Mid-week break at Enjo Nature Farm"

This past week, Guillaume and I decided to take a little mid-week break and headed to the Cederberg for some flower-spotting and a quick two-day digital detox.

We stayed at Enjo Nature Farm in the Biedouw Valley and spent a full day hiking, rowing, swimming, reading, eating and laughing (mostly at Jasper).

I’d like to tell you more about this magical little place in a next post and show you some of my photos, but first, I thought I’d share some observations from the road. Observations that somehow stirred new hope and eased the tension that has been building in my belly from an overdose of news and opinions, fear-mongering and negative talk on social media.

Continue Reading "Report from the road: there is more good than bad, don’t forget"

With the weather wavering between Indian Summers and snow down here in Cape Town, I’ve been craving music to suit this dreamy liminality.

So, in between getting work done yesterday, I created a new playlist (one of my favourite things in the world) which captures a bit of the mood.

It’s a little cloud of dream pop melody with a romantic R&B twist here and there, a Nigerian chart-topper somewhere in the middle, a dash of folk, a pinch of pop-punk and an energetic burst of drum & bass right at the end.

I think it’s a pretty pleasing mix for a laid-back evening at home or to kick off a spontaneous early-morning road trip. Give it a listen on Spotify (embedded below) OR Google Music.

Continue Reading "Playlist: Somewhere between Winter and Spring"

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of joining a very special welcoming party on the docks of Table Bay Harbour, just around the corner from the V&A Waterfront.

The SA Agulhas II supply and research ship was returning from an expedition to Antarctica and on board was my cousin, Danielle, along with her boyfriend, Andre. The two had spent more than a year at the SANAE IV research base, working as engineers.

It was truly special being able to join the Taljaard and Odendaal families for this momentous occasion.

I’m still trying to pin Danielle down for a proper interview about her experience, but in the meantime, here are a few moments from the arrival day captured on 35mm film.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Return of the SA Agulhas II on 35mm film"

For a long time, the fashion industry slipped under the radar for its impact on the environment. I guess everyone was so busy focusing on the way it tends to warp women’s relationship with their bodies and a myriad of other social issues.

But then, in 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1138 people. Not just any people. People who worked long hours and got paid less than minimum wage to create garments for fast fashion chains, such as H&M. For the first time since Nike’s sweatshops caused an outcry in the 1990s, the world received a sobering reminder that the clothes we buy with the change in our pockets and toss away without a second thought are actually made by real people – mostly women with households and children and husbands and errands to run – in far-off places, working in shocking conditions.

Then, of course, there is the unpleasant little fact that the fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant on the planet. In the US alone, 13 million tons of textiles make it into landfills every year, accounting for 9 percent of total non-recycled waste. Apart from this, the water needed to keep cotton crops healthy and thriving is exorbitant, while the toxic chemicals in dyes seep into our rivers and oceans.

While this all paints a pretty dismal picture for anyone with a passion for dressing sharply, the good news is there are actually a lot of ways to keep your fashion-related carbon footprint in check.

Here are some ideas:

Continue Reading "How to build a more sustainable wardrobe"

I’ve been quite keen to cut down on single-use plastic for a while now.

You know, things like those flimsy little produce bags they put vegetables in at the supermarket and cooldrink straws, for instance. During my time at Cape Town Partnership, I even interviewed a couple of Zero Waste legends (unfortunately, the article is no longer online) who have actually managed to whittle down their annual non-recyclable trash to fit into tiny Consol jars and the like.

When I recently joined Yacht Boaz on one of their Sunday Sails, I was inspired anew. During these excursions into Table Bay, they aim to raise awareness about the devastating effect plastic pollution has on our oceans and also do important research about the status of Cape Town’s waters. With so many stories about turtles ending up with plastic forks or straws in their nostrils and whales with dozens of kilograms’ trash in their bellies washing up on shore, it’s clear that no matter how adept we are at recycling, the plastic problem is way out of control.

Plus, have you heard that quite a number of the Western Cape’s landfill sites could reach capacity by the end of the year?

It kind of leaves one feeling all sorts of hopeless. Like nothing you do will ever make a difference. After all, everything is wrapped in so many layers of plastic these days, it’s really hard to escape.

Well, you can take that defeatist attitude OR you can take tiny, tiny steps to help make a tiny, tiny difference. And if thousands of other people do the same, that tiny, tiny difference can actually be quite substantial.

So, if – like me – you’ve been wanting to crack down on single-use plastic in your home more seriously, here are a few simple everyday items you can start with:

Continue Reading "5 simple items to help you cut down on plastic"

I recently hit the 35mm jackpot when I stumbled upon an incredible deal on Bidorbuy: 12 expired Kodak Gold 100 ISO films for something ridiculous like R200.

Obviously, I put my bid and – to my absolute surprise – won the auction without even the slightest hint of an opponent.

Since setting out on my experimentations with film photography mid-last year, I’ve been dreaming about shooting on expired film, simply because it increases the chances of thrilling and unexpected effects in the final product.

Well, I finished my first roll of the Bidorbuy batch (which expired in 2007) last week and picked up my developed images at Orms today.

While it wasn’t nearly as way out as I expected it would be, the photos have a nice grainy quality with a noticeable fade.

Here are a few of my favourite shots, snapped in Sea Point, Betty’s Bay, Clarence Drive and Elgin:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Experimenting with expired film"