• 15 May 2020

Lou is a 33-year old from the UK. She’s fanatic about travel and adores photography, running, cycling and trekking. Together with her partner, Tim, and her family she’s been around the world. In fact, this globe-trotter has explored a total of 35 countries! She told us more about her experience onboard the first ever South Africa tour with Expat Explore.

The travel bug bit me when I was very young. My father was in the Foreign Office, so we got to travel and see the world from a very young age. I have lived in the Solomon Islands, Zambia and Saudi Arabia. All very different countries but I fell in love with them all. My parents also had weird and wonderful posts in places like Libya, Russia and Laos. I was really fortunate to explore these places. I’m lucky to have family and a partner who are passionate about exploring!

I’m the type of traveller that does not plan a lot. Call it naive, but I just head on in without thinking about it for too long. In that sense, South Africa is the perfect travel destination, you can just head out and explore! There’s always something to see or taste or do!

Some of the highlights on tour was waking up for the safari runs at Kruger at the crack of dawn (or even earlier) and then, out of nowhere, seeing all these amazing animals. We got to see rhinos, giraffes, elephants, zebras and even a huge pride of lions. There were about 14/15 lions in total, ranging in age. There was a clear pack leader and he was terrifying. As we got closer and closer, you could instantly tell he was not pleased. It was rather tense! The early starts are 100% worth it.

Everyone was very different on the tour. Our group included a huge range of ages and nationalities. I was very surprised how easily friendships were made. We really felt like a family by the end, and the tour was only just under two weeks. To learn about other people’s lives was amazing. Everyone is dotted all over the world, so we’re staying in touch by means of social media. One of the friends we made is coming over from Australia next month, and we are planning to meet up in London. I can’t wait to catch up face to face!

Oh, and travelling on a coach? It’s one of those things that I thought I’d never do but now I love it. It’s definitely the way to go with a destination like South Africa where public transport isn’t that easily accessible. The coach even made it through Kruger National Park, which I wasn’t expecting. You get a whole new perspective from a coach. Meeting people from all walks of life is by far the best part.

Here are a few of our favourite moments on tour!
Cape Town 
Castle of Good Hope | We loved exploring the sights of Cape Town, with its colourful combination of historic and modern buildings.
Conquering Table mountain was a memory that will stay with me forever!
Tsitsikamma National Park 
The area encompasses rivers, gorges, mountains and lush forests and plantations – the perfect place to get adventurous! Tsitsikamma was definitely our highlight of the Garden Route. There is no better way to experience the forest than from the top of the trees. Our accommodation was also so beautiful and perfect way to experience the area.
The ostriches love visitors in Oudtshoorn. And it was a totally different experience altogether: Hot, arid mountains and ranches with Ostriches and the fascinating Cango Caves!
Kruger National Park 
Seeing the Big 5 in their natural environment | From South to North, and such a contrast. The Kruger national park is one of the world’s natural wonders. It was truly an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to see such amazing animals in the wild. Rhino, lions, giraffe and even a very rare wild dog. However, my highlight was seeing the warthog – my Grandma’s favourite animal.
Early morning coffee and rusks on safari
Biltong is a form of dried, cured meat. Various types of meat are used to produce it, ranging from beef and game meats. I am not a big meat eater, but I LOVE Biltong!
The Panorama Route 
The Panorama Route is a famous scenic area in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province. Today took me totally by surprise, I was not expecting so much beauty.

My advice to others is to travel as much and as far and as wide as you can. It opened my eyes and mind and broadened my horizons beyond belief. Memories are invaluable.

Get the best South African experience with us on tour the 6-day Kruger Safari & Panorama Route tour or explore Cape Town and the Garden Route for 9 days! More info, here.

Questions & Comments

  1. Annemarie Meintjes says:

    Dit is absoluut ongelooflik. Die belangrikste vraag deesdae is, hoe werk julle Covid-19 in deur julle toere – veral oor grense heen?

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