Travel Spotlight: Nyaki Tshabangu

I love social media because you come across really cool people, case in point the person featured in this edition of Travel spotlight Nyaki Tshabangu who appeared on my instagram explore page. I’m a natural hair enthusiast and she’s in the natural hair business. I’ll let her speak for herself .

Tell us who you are and what you do?

I am a founder at Natural Hair Co. A business in the business of making Natural hair Normal by creating spaces for entrepreneurs in the hair space the opportunity to market and retail their brands.

We love your travel content, tell us the places you’ve been around the world

I’ve been all over, I recently completed a trip that meant I’d been to all the continents (except Antarctica) .

What was your favourite destination?

I don’t really have a favorite destination, each destination holds a really special place in my heart because of who I went with, or the occasion of my travel.

Do you use travel agents or are you a DIY traveller using apps?

I’m a diY through and through. I use momondo to book flights, and depending on what apps they use in the country for commuting. I use Pinterest to find as much information as a i can before booking.

When did the travel bug bite?

When I spent 3 weeks in Brazil over Christmas and nye with friends.

Do you have any hints and tips for solo travellers or first time travellers?

Do as much research as you can, and that safety is only a concern in South Africa. If you can survive being alone here, the rest of the world is easy to navigate.

What do you never travel without?

I want to say my husband, but it’s my phone.

Money is no object, where in the world would you go?

Oh wow. I’d go to Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Where can people find you on social media?

Nyakinaturally on Instagram

Throwback

Honestly speaking 2020 did not go according to plan at all, I started the year making travel plans and even plotting/planning all the great content I planned to post on here. Cut to a few months into friggin 2020 and the world is struck by a pandemic which brings the world to a standstill leaving little old me to have to cancel my travel plans and I’m left spending the following few weeks chasing refunds for plane tickets, concert tickets and accommodation. I’ve since  found solace in pictures from past travels they remind me of happier times. Here is a throwback post of my feature in glamafrica.com a couple of years ago.

 

Sidebar: I really can’t wait till outside opens up again.

Introducing : Zulu Nomad

I would like to introduce you to Phaka Hlazo founder of Zulu Nomad which is a travel service I used in 2017 to go explore Mozambique. Without further ado here is more in her own words.

Please introduce yourself to our readers

My name is Phakamile uMaDludla Hlazo, I am the founder of Zulu Nomad, a wife and mom, and a consultant in the tourism industry.

What is Zulu Nomad and how did it come about?

Zulu Nomad started off as my own Instagram page, I was a few months into my life in Shanghai and was having such a great time I figured I would stay there for 3 years, then move to South America somewhere and thereafter move to West Africa. Altogether I’d be away from home for 9 years, I was going to be “the zulu nomad”, I then started the Instagram page to document my travels. As life would have it, I never made it to South America, after 3 years in China I wanted to come home and reconnect. I had still kept the Instagram page and for my 30th birthday I took a month-long Euro-trip (I did Athens, Santorini, Warsaw, Madrid, Barcelona, and Ibiza, mostly on my own and meeting up with friends here and there) that gained a lot of attention from people wanting to know how I had planned the trip, how I afforded to travel so much etc. I had an amazing time on that trip, but I also realised how many people had never considered that they could have the types of experiences I was sharing, right at home, or in our neighbouring countries. In 2009, 4 of us decided to drive from Johannesburg to Malawi, via Zimbabwe and Mozambique, that experience absolutely changed my life and I wanted other young South Africans to know that they don’t have to go to Europe to “travel”.

Today, Zulu Nomad is a digital tourism services startup whose solutions are underpinned by over 3 years of operational experience as an overland and domestic tour operator. Covid-19 impacted our business as we were due to launch our experiences marketplace, connecting travellers to providers of authentic, immersive experiences in South Africa at the Berlin Travel Festival in March. We recovered quickly and turned our focus to how we could best support the most vulnerable entrepreneurs in tourism (tour guides, fellow tour operators, and hosts in various communities) to best use this time during lockdown to get the 2.0 versions of their businesses ready for when leisure travel is allowed again. We have developed the Digitial Skills and 4IR Masterclass, practical business training,developed  specifically for this target group, and available conveniently online.

How long has Zulu Nomad been around?

 

 

Zulu Nomad was registered in January 2016 and we hosted our first group experience to Xai-Xai in Mozambique in March that year.

Do you have a target market? If so who is your target market?

 

We develop digital solutions for challenges faced by stakeholders throughout the tourism value chain – Destination Management Companies (DMCs), tour operators, tour guides, retail and cultural experiences providers as well as travelers themselves.

Below responses are in relation to the Zulu Nomad Marketplace :

Can people outside of South Africa use your services?

Yes, domestic, regional as well as international travelers will be able to book experiences on the platform.

Where are your trip destinations?

In line with our expectations of Covid-19 on the tourism industry, we will focus on domestic experiences on the platform with additional destinations outside of South Africa to be introduced in due course.

What packages do you offer?

Travelers will be able to book wellness, adventure, food and cultural experiences on the Zulu Nomad marketplace.

 

 

How do people get hold of you?

They can email us on hello@zulunomad.com or follow us on Instagram and facebook @zulu_nomad

 

 

 

Travel Spotlight: Rethabile Ramaphakela

Since COVID19 has put a halt on my travel plans for a bit I thought I should put a spotlight on some of my favourite travel content creators, starting with Rethabile Ramaphakela.

Tell us who you are and what you do?

I’m Rethabile Ramaphakela. Best known as @Retini on the social medias. I’m a producer, writer and director who was a former kids presenter and one of the Ventertainment voice artists

We love your travel content, tell us the places you’ve been around the world

Travelling is like my side hustle. I try to do at least two trips a year with the major trip being in April – my birthday month. I also have started visiting places that are a bit ‘off the traveling grid’. I tend to hate doing first world countries because they seem to lack something when it comes to interacting with locals, for me, travelling is also about the locals. I’m interested in how other people live so meeting people plays a huge role in making a place memorable. I have been to the “usual” places like France, USA (New York, Miami and LA), UK, Hungary (not so usual), Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

But I have absolutely loved being in Tanzania, Mauritius, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Maldives, Indonesia, Iceland, Morocco, Namibia, Croatia and Sri Lanka

What was your favourite destination?

This is so hard to answer, because every place holds a very special place in my heart but if I absolutely had to choose, I would say Bali. I have been there twice. Once in a big group and then on my own and even after these travels, I would still go there again. There is still so much I haven’t seen. It has a bit of everything and is really the epitome of holiday destination. (I know everyone goes there now but it’s really that good.

 

Do you use travel agents or are you a DIY traveller using apps?

I love putting an itinerary together, it’s literally one of my absolute favourite things to do.

What are your go-to travel apps?

Mostly Skyscanner (for flights) and Airbnb and Booking.com. I don’t like to stay in hotels when traveling. I like the idea of coming back to your own home where you can cook and drink.

When did the travel bug bite?

The first time I went overseas was in 2007 and it was for work. The producer on the trip actually said, “after this, all you will want to do was travel.” During that trip I went to New York City and I absolutely fell in love. The bug got me so bad, I went to live in New York for about 3 months in 2010.

Do you have any hints and tips for solo travellers or first time travellers?

Solo travelling can seem daunting but you just have to do it. I did my first solo travel because a lot of my friends couldn’t make the trip for various reasons. I had two options, either wait or go anyway. I decided to go because ultimately you can’t wait for people when you want to do what you want.

But obviously make sure you make sure you have things planned that force you to interact with people. So when solo travelling I always book a hotel instead of an Airbnb, because the hotel staff became your allies and are very helpful (and they are great for taking pictures). The best is that Airbnb now has experiences that you can do, this is a great way to interact with people whilst experiencing the new place. I highly recommend Airbnb Experiences.

Trust yourself. The world is not as scary as we think it is. I had many preconceived ideas about Morocco before I went and my solo trip there is probably one of my most memorable trips.

What do you never travel without?

I’m not precious about anything but one thing I always ask myself is, “do I have my wallet and do I have my passport?” The rest will sort itself out.

Money is no object, where in the world would you go?

Bora Bora. I love me a good ol’ island destination. I want to visit all of the beaches

To see more of Rethabile’s travel follow her on all her social media as @Retini and her hashtag #RetiniTravels

Recap of this past decade

As we approach a new decade I felt I should do a bit of a recap of my past 10years.  So much growth happened and I also got bit by the travel bug. I started this decade as an agency producer then became an animation producer and I’m ending it as an artist manager and founder of Ofentse Management (shameless plug) but yes I have grown in leaps and bounds. I did a bit of  self-searching (not sure if that’s a real phrase) over the years and I have to say travel was actually a huge part of me finding myself. I’m happiest traveling to be honest and I hope the next decade is filled with even more travel (preferably in business class universe *nudge, nudge , wink ,wink).

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my travels through the years:

2010 London- UK

 

2011 New York – USA

 

2012: Dubai- Dubai

 

2013 New York, Miami, LA- USA

 

 

 

 

2014- 2015 Were clearly a dark time in my life as there was no travel during those two years LOL. Seriously though those were my transition years when I left the 9to5 grind and that’s when the soul searching began. These proved to be very crucial years for me and I’m grateful for the experience and I haven’t looked back since.

2016: Vienna, Graz- Austria

 

 

2017 Inhambane- Mozambique :

2017 Paris – France

 

2018 Mombasa – Kenya

 

And this year I returned to my favourite place in the world to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday: 2019 PARIS once again

To more journeys

I haven’t posted much this year because well I haven’t really gone anywhere so there was nothing to post really; what with this being a travel blog and all. Until this past trip to Paris there was nothing but tumble-weed going all up and through here.

But also I realized that just because I haven’t gone anywhere physically it doesn’t mean I haven’t been on a journey. This year has been quite a year on my journey of self discovery. I moved into my own place (sidenote living alone is the bombdotcom), I cut my hair and workwise I’m really coming into my own as an artist manager. So I have decided the same way I share my trips all over I’m going to share this journey too.

I hope you enjoy the ride or at least try your hardest not to roll your eyes at all of this like I know 2years ago me is doing right now.

Here’s me so far this year:

And this is how you all see me -> International woman of mystery or Fancy with the pink hair whichever you prefer, anyway welcome to the trip everyone.

 

 

 

Getaway Without Getting Away

You know how sometimes you just wish you could get away from the city  for a little bit but there’s no time? Well this past weekend I found a bit of a sanctuary in Johannesburg, Northcliff to be exact. I know I was as surprised as you are.

My friends I give you Morrells Boutique Estate, a guest house/ event venue which has the cutest bistro to top of the old school french vibe they have going on. For a couple of days or hours you’ll feel like you’ve left the city for a little bit.

 

The Bistro

Lunch wash served: Black truffle chicken with parmaham with some fancy named veggies.

Baked vanilla cheesecake with strawberries and honeycomb.

 

5 Days Of Summer: Part 3

Lets take it back to the beach

What is a holiday at the coast without spending time at the beach. Let me just say Bahari beach is a beautiful and eventful beach. You have everything from vendors selling fabric, paintings and wood carvings, then you have people offering camel rides. Everyone is trying to make a buck I was offered a massage and one dude tried to charge us for a tour of the beach he was like ” There are people selling paintings there, the water is over there…” people are such chancers.

      The tide is high in the morning so you see no sand for while so the morning started up here and we worked our way down the stairs to explore some more.

Checking on the tide

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Chillin’ like a villian

Tide’s low lets go

Camel rides at the beach

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Local bar

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It started to rain on our walk back to the hotel

It started to rain as we walked back to our hotel, and it stopped when we reached the pool so we chilled some more.SAM_1977

I honestly could get used to life at the beach.

5 Days of Summer: Mombasa Part 2

Day 2 was a more traditional tourist day and we checked out Fort Jesus, walked through Old Town and saw the Mombasa Tusks.

Fort Jesus is one of Mombasa’s tourist attractions. It was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to protect their sailing route back to Portugal. The Portuguese regarded themselves as representatives of christianity hence the name Fort Jesus. There is a constant stream of people coming in to see Fort Jesus both international tourists and locals (the cover charge is cheaper for Kenyans).

Walking through Old Town the buildings are beautiful but hella neglected, the different textures make for great backdrops though for our selfies and cheesy tourist shots, so we obliged.

Because it was a Sunday the street was not busy I managed to get the shot of the Mombasa Tusks uninterrupted.

5 Days of Summer: Mombasa Part 1

Travelling drama aside I had finally made it to Mombasa and I was ready to soak up the sun. The rain and the sunshine kept alternating throughout the course of the days but the warmth stayed constant so no jackets and no long sleeves. Just what the doctor ordered.

SAM_1747      The view from our room ❤

Our day started with us exploring our surroundings which on day 1 was the beach where we booked our ride on a glass boat and the shopping centre to get money to pay for boat ride and the likes (I didn’t exchange currency beforehand. You know me “rebel”).

And then the touristy fun began, be warned I get trigger happy with a camera so a photo overload is upon you.

Tuk-Tuk rides

They are called glass boats because they have glass bottoms so you can see the fish once you sail deep enough (If you saw my insta-stories you heard how excited I was to see these buggers)

      In the spirit of trying new things I got in the water with the fish swimming around my legs.

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