I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section earlier this year to give my readers and other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Roxanne Reid, a travel writer and blogger based in Cape Town, South Africa. She blogs at Roxannereid.co.za .
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales” , fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Read about Roxanne’s travels here,
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m an independent travel writer, book editor and author of two travel books, A Walk in the Park: Travels in & around South Africa’s national parks and Travels in the Kalahari. A third is in the works. Apart from writing and editing for hire, I contribute to a few online travel and wildlife blogs. I also have my own weekly African travel blog to inspire others to love Africa – or just their small patch of it. I enjoy experiencing and writing about African travel, safari, wildlife, adventure, people, culture & heritage, country towns, road-tripping and slow travel.
- What is your earliest travel memory?
From when I was a toddler I remember the annual trek to the KwaZulu-Natal coast to visit family. My brother was always crabby with hay-fever and I was grumpy about beach sand in my swimming cozzie so those weren’t the happiest of travel memories. When I was about eight we went to the Kruger National Park instead and I was hooked. I’d say about 60-70% of my trips today are still to game parks or nature reserves, which are my happy places.
- Where was your last holiday?
Botswana. We had an amazing five weeks in the Okavango, Makgadikgadi, Linyanti and Chobe. Safari and wildlife are my favourite things so you can imagine how excited I was, even if it was hard work because I was committed to getting photos and writing about it.
- What was the best thing you did there?
So many wonderful things but the best of all was spending two and a half hours at Chitabe in the Okavango watching two small leopard cubs (about two months old) playing on a fallen log. It was just the two of us on the safari vehicle with our guide and we were content to watch for as long as we could before it got dark. They were the youngest – and cutest – leopard cubs we’ve ever seen in hundreds of safaris.
- What was your best holiday ever? Why?
We’ve had some amazing trips to France and Italy (think food, wine, culture), and to the Norwegian fjords, but Africa has my heart. Our recent safari in Botswana and a two-month trip around Namibia in 2015 must rank as our two best – Botswana for wonderful animal and bird sightings and the amazing UNESCO Heritage Site that is the Okavango Delta, Namibia for its wide open spaces and haunting desert landscapes.
- What is your favourite travel destination?
Based on the number of trips we’ve done there, it’s probably Namibia. There’s such a diversity of things to do and see, from the desert landscapes of Sossusvlei in the south and Kunene in the northwest, to the waterways along the Kwando and Kavango rivers in the northeast in what used to be called the Caprivi (now Zambezi), which borders Angola, Botswana and Zambia.
- What must one do there?
How long do you have?! Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Kolmanskop ghost town and the wild desert horses on the way to Lüderitz, discovering creatures that survive in the Namib Desert around Swakopmund (which will give you beaches too, if that’s your flavour), Etosha National Park and the rivers in the Zambezi region are the musts. But they’re very far apart in a massive country. If you only have two or three weeks it would be best to focus on either the north or the south without using up too much time road-tripping from one to the other.
- Who is your favourite travel companion/s?
My husband. We like the same things and he’s a very useful packer/unpacker and carrier of equipment, as well as a much better photographer than me. He does 99% of the driving on our road trips and is generally a chirpy chap to have around for a few laughs when you need it most. Two travel teddies, Sprout and Buttons, also go with us everywhere and are useful mediators when we’re tired and grouchy.
- Your favourite place in South Africa?
Anyone who has read my book Travels in the Kalahari will know that I’ve had a love affair with the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for over 20 years. I love its red dunes, wild flowers and starry skies, its black-maned lions and meerkats digging for feasts of scorpions. I also have a very soft spot for the big sky Karoo, where you stumble across odd little towns and funky spaces dreamed up by people with wacky imaginations.
- Any embarrassing travel moments?
In A Walk in the Park: Travels in & around South Africa’s national parks I wrote about my brief encounter with a Nama shepherd on my first visit to the Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape. I’d have loved to chat to him as his goats wandered past, but at the time I was, um … otherwise occupied. Back in those days there were no ablutions at the campsites so it was go bush or go home. There was very little vegetative cover in the area, so I’d dug a deep hole next to a pathetically small dried-out twig and was baring my startling white bum to the world when he moseyed along. It was embarrassing to think he knew exactly what I was up to, and I just hope he didn’t mind too much. At least he had the courtesy not to wave.
- Worst travel experience?
There are really no bad travel experiences because if an experience turns out to be dreadful it often makes a better and funnier story, so that’s a win for a writer.
- Name one item you must have when travelling.
One? You mean apart from my laptop, camera, binoculars and field guides? That would have to be a small spiral-topped notepad with a tiny pencil shaved down to fit into the spiral. It fits into my pants pocket and goes with me everywhere on trips, so that I can jot down thoughts and ideas before they evaporate. It doesn’t need charging, it doesn’t go flat or have a meltdown as hi-tech aids can do so it’s a valuable backup. I use my scribbles to type up fuller notes on the laptop each night before bed.
- Your best travel advice?
Just do it. The more you put it off, the less time you’ll have. Even if it’s just somewhere 50km from home, make the effort to get out there. It will change your life. I love this quote from Maya Angelou: “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
- The one place you want to visit before you die?
I’d love to visit Antarctica, but the Drake Passage is a big obstacle because I get spectacularly seasick. So unless someone offers to sponsor a flight into Antarctica from Ushuaia, I think it may remain a pipedream.
- How can people connect with you?
Africa Addict on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AfricaAddict/
Pinterest : https://za.pinterest.com/roxannereidsa/
Thank you, Roxanne, for sharing your fascinating travels with us!
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales“, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.