Guluvaz Travel

Welcome to another edition of black girls’ travel brought to you by the lockdown. Meet Thenjiwe Mabope another insta find.

Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Thenji. I have a travel insta page turned YouTube called Guluvaz Travel and I’m a 30 year old marketing exec from Johannesburg

Is your blog name inspired by Gulliver’s travels with a kasi twist?
The name as you can tell is a play on Gulliver’s Travels which I was enthralled with as a child. Anything that had the promise of adventure and new and faraway lands was always my jam. 
Tell us where you’ve been around the world?
I have been fortunate enough to have gone to 24 countries so far.
What was your favourite destination?
So far with my favourites being probably Italy, Ghana, Mozambique and Holland. It’s always difficult to choose just one destination as a favourite because every place is so different and has a context on how I was feeling or what I connected to at the time. I love Mozambique because of the food and peacefulness, I love Italy because I’m an epicurean and loved the cheese and wine in Tuscany; I love Ghana because the men there are so fine and ambitious; I love Holland because it’s vibrant cool kid epicentre. Every new place I go to has the potential to be the new favourite!
When did the travel bug bite?
 
I fell in love with travel before I ever saw the inside of the airport or even knew how it would be possible to get to faraway places. I used to watch Top Billing as a little girl and imagined myself as Ursula walking the streets of Paris. I used to jump over tables and pretend I was Sydney Fox on adventures in Relic Hunter. Relic Hunter was a show about an explorer who solved mysteries around the world. Or imagine myself as Lemuel Gulliver himself. I travelled through these characters using it to escape deep into my imagination where I’d create weird and wonderful worlds where anything was possible. Then that manifested into becoming this woman who is curious about the world around her and spends all her money travel. It’s become my passion, some women like bags and clothes or painting or beauty, mine is getting on a plane to find new and interesting experiences.
Which do you prefer travel agents or to do it yourself?
 
Booking your own travel can be daunting especially if you have never done it before so I always suggest first timers lean on travel agencies. I always suggest using travel agencies that allow you to pay through lay-bys and give discounts for people under 30 like STATravel, Flight Centre etc. to get value for money deals then once you feel comfortable with travelling you can start looking into booking your own travel. The trick also when making your own bookings is to ask tons questions, ask people how have gone to the destination before you, cross reference on travel sites and compare prices and read reviews. It’s lots of effort but it’s worth it because you get to know exactly what you’re paying for and what to expect when you get there. 
What are your favourite travel apps?
My go-to travel apps are Skyscanner so I can find the cheapest flights. Google Maps because it gives you local mode of transport and walking directions whichever country I’m in. Agoda so I can compare accommodation types and prices on one platform. And also  good old Excel because this is what I use to plan my trips so I know what I can afford and what I can’t before hand. 
We love your travel on a budget tips, what inspired this?
I have a few of tips on how to travel on a budget decided to share on YouTube. Go to my page to get tips for either first time travel or hacks and you might learn something new that will get you a step closer to that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Often because of a lack of exposure people believe travel is unattainable because we’re constantly bombarded by the nouveau riche social media glitzy influencers who only seem to show business class boarding passes and champagne glasses, that’s not all that travel is about. I have travelled more than most with the means that I have because I go out of my way to find the most affordable way of getting to where I want to be and I want others to know that they can too. Travel is for everyone and if I can share tips on how to do it within your budget then I’ve done a something good for the day. 
What do you never travel without?
I never travel without my earphones and face masks. I am a solo traveller meaning there can be a lot of time to kill on the plane or waiting on layovers so my earphones ensure I always have music to keep my company. The face masks a life line because flying is brutally dehydrating for my skin so I make sure that I put on hydrating masks to replenish the hours of air-con so I at least still look cute when I land. 
Money is no object, where in the world would you go?
 
Money is no object you would find me in the Caribbean Island hopping making my way from Trinidad through Dominica all the way to Jamaica through all the islands in that channel by boat.
Where can people find you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram: @Guluvaz_travels, Youtube: Guluvaz Travels. Email: Guluvaztravels@gmail.com

Life in Marvelous times

Sometimes in those quiet moments I sit and think to myself what have I done with my life? When do I start living? And in those quiet moments is when all those cliches you’ve heard start making sense. You know those corny “life is what happens when you’re making plans”. Then you have the likes of Facebook with their reminders of what you were up to a couple of years ago, and it reminded me that life aint so bad at all.

I mean I’m not saying I have the coolest life, not by any stretch of the imagination but I’ve done some cool stuff here and there you know.

Canopy tours in Magaliesberg

Quad-biking in Mozambique

SAM_0296SAM_0311SAM_0326  Desert Safari in Dubai riding camels and 4×4’s over sanddunes

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 5.50.47 PM

Getting a star on the Hollywood walk of fame (sort of)

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 8.27.14 PM                                    Climbing all these damn steps to get to the top of the Schlossberg and the Clock Tower in Graz Austria.

DSCN4114Walking through the Kruger National park (Yeah I walked cause I’m badass)

 

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.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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!!!!!!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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?

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

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 😉

Mozambique Trip pt1

Hey good people here is the rundown on the trip I took to Moz with Zulu Nomad. Going on this trip was nerve-wrecking for 2 reasons : 1) I was going on a 5 day trip with people I don’t know total strangers guys, and 2) I struggle with driving long distance.

So there we were at the meet up point at 3am introducing ourselves from our respective ubers, a couple of hours later we were bonding over the fact that we hate long drives(sorry for leading the nag team Phaka) and we also bonded over the fact that we could buy 1gig of data for R20(Score!!!!). 16 Hours later we checked in to the Palm View Lodge in Barra/Tofo and the adventure began.

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset