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

 

 

 

Mombasa the Rundown

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.

 

 

5 Days Of Summer: Part 4

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

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset      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

 

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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I made it to Mombasa

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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.

 

 

 

Mozambique pt4

We spent our last night in Xai Xai which is a few hours away from Tofo (yes another long drive). The drive was both interesting and lovely though, we stopped to take roadside pics outside Inhambane.

Not sure what the occasion here was. (The streets of Inhambane)

20170325_125812Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset                                                           Roadside shots

When we got to Xai-Xai however the weather was not so great it rained 😦 . The weather did not stop the shoppers though we still hit the Xai-Xai market for fabric (this market was less intrusive than Tofo market) . We then checked into the Xai-Xai Eco Estate which is literally on the beach, and spent our last day indoors. These pics were taken the next morning before heading home.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset                                            Xai-Xai Eco EstateProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset                                  The view from the balcony

We stopped for Breakfast in Maputo where the girls did more shopping (yeah this lot can shop ya’ll).

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset                                                   Cafe Sol in Maputo

All in all the trip was so much fun thanks to Omphe,Bathabile,Zandi,Ntokozo,Siviwe,Kefilwe, Prudence,Phaka and Singatha. I highly recommend the Zulu Nomad crew guy but be prepared for the long drives, you have been warned.

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset                         No idea what Omphe and I were saying in this shot

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset                                      Singatha and the girls

Mozambique Trip pt3

Day 3 we woke up at the crack of dawn to take a dhow boat tour which included snorkeling and shell picking on Pansy island before heading to Survivor island for a traditional lunch and to meet the chief.

The reason we went that early was because it was low-tide so we can actually walk around the island and stuff because come high tide that sucker disappears under the water.

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset             Clear blue water on Pansy island, soooooooooo pretty.

 

 

Then it was lunch time on Survivor island.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset            The group leaving Survivor island

Mozambique Trip pt2

Our first adventure was a quadbike tour from Barra to Tofo which was so much fun. I’m not gonna lie it started off shaky but towards the end we felt like we were in DMX’s Ruff Ryders Anthem video on some STOP…DROP…Shut em down open up shop OOOOH… NOOO… That’s how Ruff Ryders Roll!!!!!!

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Took a quick water break at Dino’s Beach Bar before joining the rest of the gang for lunch at the beach, how dope is the view here while sipping on some water?

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Then it was time for lunch where the view was just as prettyProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Then off to the market in Tofo. Be warned the market is hella overwhelming, you walk in and you are immediately flocked by 7 vendors at a time. Also bring your haggling game because everything at the market is negotiable, everything.

Yeah I know it was a jam packed day 😉