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.
Lunch wash served: Black truffle chicken with parmaham with some fancy named veggies.
Baked vanilla cheesecake with strawberries and honeycomb.
Since posting about my Mombasa trip I’ve been getting a bunch of questions from people so I figure I should use this post to address their queries.
Can you fly directly to Mombasa from SA? At the moment no airlines fly directly to Mombasa, I had to connect from Nairobi.
Where did you stay? We stayed at the Behari beach hotel which was quite pleasant and had friendly staff.
What can we do there? Ours was a short trip but here are some of the things you can do while you are there.
1. Also my favourite lay in the sun
2.Go on boat rides and swim in the ocean
3. Go shopping at the markets
4. For the adventurous types windsurfing and kite surfing
5. Go site seeing
6. Or enjoying some cocktails by the water
Would I recommend this trip to other people? YES over and over and over again, Mombasa is beautiful and the people are friendly.
We also checked out the local markets, or the Markiti as it is called. The first market day was really just us looking around and getting our bearings (yes we shopped obviously). The second market day was us trying to find the Masai market which was kinda sabotaged by the rain , the vendors couldn’t set up their stalls properly. Then we checked out the spice market which is more of a food market as it has more than just spices.
Pick a ride
Hitting the town
The markiti was definitely bustling
Market day 2 Masai market and the spice market
Our choice of transport came with an umbrella-ella-ella eh
The rain wouldn’t let the Masai market be great as you can see, but Jabu’s dress did add the pretty to the shots.
So we headed to the spice market
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
Chillin’ like a villian
Tide’s low lets go
Camel rides at the beach
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.
I honestly could get used to life at the beach.
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.
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.
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.
Fish swimming beneath the boat
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.
This past week I took a well deserved break to Mombasa Kenya and here’s how it went. I didn’t jump at the idea to go initially because you know adulting tends to be a nay-sayer of note; but Johannesburg’s cold winter convinced me to go where it was nice and warm. After I bought my plane ticket I thought that was all the preparation I needed to do because I mean you don’t need a visa to travel to other African countries right. Kids take note ignorance is not bliss, I was so lax with my research and I cut it pretty close with vaccinations and medications. Kenya is a yellow fever region therefore you need to get a vaccine and it is advised that this vaccination be done at least 10 days before you leave, but being the *daredevil that I am I got mine 6 days before my trip. *Sidebar I would like to let you know that Google is your friend. After being informed about the need for a vaccination on Saturday night I headed straight to Google to find travel clinics that were open on a Sunday. Lo and behold there was one 2 minutes away from where I live and it was open on Sundays so needless to say I went to bed with a smug “I got this” grin on my face. Woke up the next morning took a walk to the travel clinic and I was told they are out of the yellow fever vaccine and they’d probably get stock sometime during the week *Shock!Horror!Gasp!* I went back to Google and called the other listed clinics with no luck, so I stop calling because I was over hearing no, so I ended up driving to a clinic that Google said is open without even calling ahead. At this point I’m talking to God, the universe and my ancestors simultaneously on some “help a sister out”. I am happy to report that they heard me and I got vaccinated and got my malaria tablets, I was officially clear for take off.
Then things started looking up, the Gautrain station in Sandton let me park my car there for free and on the flight to Nairobi I had a whole row to myself I was literally on cloud nine. When we landed however there was a mess up with my booking and I missed my flight to Mombasa. The airline put me on the next flight( which was 2hours later) with no charge. I was lucky, hella cranky but lucky nonetheless. When I landed at the airport in Mombasa and the first thing I saw was a board with my name on it I knew God,the universe and my ancestors were all looking out for me. It was smooth sailing from then on.
First and foremost Happy New Year everybody. I was trying to work out where I wanted to go next; you know since I’ve already done my dream destination Paris (which I fully intend on visiting over and over and over) and I realized I really only have one requirement…. warm weather. See my ultimate dream is to never experience winter again, yep I’m talking 365 days of summer.
Therefore it only makes sense that my next few destinations be beachy and tropical, yes. So here is a wishlist of destinations:
Zanzibar: For obvious reasons, look at the beautiful water and gorgeous beaches.
Namibia: I just really want to see where the desert meets the ocean. How pretty is this?
Bahamas: The pink beach of Harbor Island in the Bahamas. There’s no need to explain this one its a pink beach come on man.
I think the pics in this case say it all.
Greece This place looks like paradise
So I’m gonna work hard and play powerball (you know to cover my bases) because paradise awaits.
I’ll be the first to say I never understood traveling alone, I don’t even like the idea of going to the movies by myself. So to say I found the thought of going to another country all by my lonesome daunting would be the understatement of the year. When I was toying with the idea of going to Paris I tried to recruit everyone I knew. It soon became evident that the universe had other plans for me.
I said in the beginning of the year that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and what better way for an introvert such as myself to be thrust out than traveling alone. In all of the excitement that I would be going to my dream destination I kinda forgot how scary this actually was. Landing in Paris on a cloudy and chilly morning was however a quick reminder. As I waited outside the airport for my late shuttle surrounded by chain smokers the voice inside my head was like “WTF Ofentse? What did you do? What were you thinking?” yo I was ready to get back on the plane and go home.
When my shuttle finally arrived I told that voice to shut up and suck it up because we’re here now. I tapped into my inner Shonda Rhimes on some “I can do this I’m badass“. Luckily I had a jolly and rather chatty shuttle driver and then we were joined by some nice and equally chatty old ladies suddenly things didn’t seem so bad. I was like “hey this isn’t so bad I can do this” the next part could’ve been my imagination but I swear the sky cleared and the sun came out and Paris was magic again.
I went exploring, chatting to strangers, asking people for directions and asking them to take my picture. It was quite liberating to do things without overthinking everything. I also realize that I sound like a cliche but it was liberating and a growing experience. I only realized it when I came home and started telling people stories about my trip. I never thought I would ever take a solo trip let alone enjoy one, but I did and I highly recommend it.
Afterwards I had N*E*R*D’s ” She’s badass” playing in my head as a soundtrack because I felt like I could do anything if I managed to navigate my way in a country where I only knew a handful of phrases in their language and still managed to have a good time. Also traveling alone means not having to compromise on anything really; you do what you feel like, when you feel like it. Selfish as that may sound it felt nice not to have to negotiate on what activities to do and when to do them. That alone should be reason enough to want to try it out, that and meeting new people and honing your selfie taking skills.