My 2023 Travel and Blogging Year In Review

My 2023 Travel and Blogging Year In Review

2023 was a very busy year for me in terms of family commitments so I didn’t get to travel as much as I would have liked. However, this year marks 10 years since I started my blog in 2013, so I had to commemorate it in some way. In addition, this post has become an annual tradition for me, and I love doing it as a personal record of my travels for the year, so I’m writing about it anyway.

We started January still on a high from our December trip to the stunning Seychelles.  Towards the end of the month, my extended family had a huge reunion after several years, at the Vaal River.

In February, I collaborated with the Taj Hotel in Cape Town to give away a two-night stay for two to one lucky follower.

We had a relaxing staycation at the conveniently located, swanky Sandton Sun hotel.

In March, we had a short stay at the Southern Sun OR Tambo, due to an early morning airport appointment.

We were invited to Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton where we had previously stayed, for a delicious dinner.

During April and May, we visited one of South Africa’s newest lodges, the family-friendly Letamo at Qwabi Private Game Reserve, where we enjoyed some great uncrowded sightings.

Letamo Lodge at Qwabi Private Game Reserve

Letamo Lodge at Qwabi Private Game Reserve

En route back to Johannesburg, we stopped at Ludwig’s Rose Farm on the outskirts of Pretoria where we went on a tractor ride to admire their beautiful roses.

Later in May, I attended a Gauteng Tourism Workshop at Constitution Hill.

In June, I was gifted a Fitbit Inspire 3 and inaugurated it by going on a hike to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

In July, it was back to the Limpopo province where we had a wonderful wildlife-rich family stay at Tintswalo Family Camp in Welgevonden Game Reserve, one of the best Big 5 Game Reserves near Johannesburg.  We also stayed at Garangani 360, a stunning private bush villa which we had all to ourselves.

I was invited to The Houghton Hotel, where I had previously stayed, for a Conference, Wellness and Leisure Expo.

In August, I was invited to the grand opening of the very Instagrammable EL&N Café at the Mall of Africa, their first store in Africa.

Best Things to do in Budapest

Danube River in Budapest

An opportunity arose to visit Europe, which I couldn’t pass up. Of course, it involved applying for the dreaded Schengen visa again. So, over August and September, we travelled to Budapest, Hungary via Qatar Airways. From there, we visited Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia. It was my first time in Hungary and Slovakia (Country no 48 and 49) and my second visit to Austria. They were all beautiful countries and I planned a jam-packed itinerary during which we saw and did as much as possible in a short space of time.

In October, we had a relaxing stay at the historic Courtyard Hotel Arcadia in Pretoria. It was a great time to visit Pretoria, with the jacarandas being in full bloom in the Jacaranda City.

November is synonymous with my kids’ exams which means no travelling for me as a responsible parent 😊. I was awarded the runner-up award for the best travel blog post by the SA Mom Blogs awards team, for my post on Tintswalo Family Camp. I was also interviewed on their website earlier in the year.

The Best Big 5 Game Reserves near Johannesburg

Sunset in Welgevonden Game Reserve

In December, we had a short stay in Hartbeespoort in the North West province, during which we visited some of its many attractions.

During the year, I received several other travel invitations which I had to decline due to inopportune timing. I upgraded my SEO skills, wrote for some private clients and joined Threads and Tiktok. My travel account exceeded 25 000 on Instagram and my food account is almost at 110 000 followers, opening the door to new opportunities, despite the demotivating algorithms.

And that was my 2023 travel and blogging year in review.

Wishing you a wonderful 2024, filled with many happy moments and lots of travel.

See my 2022 year in review.

See my 2021 year in review.

See my 2020 year in review.

See my 2019 year in review.

Follow me for more travel inspiration on:




2023 Travel and Blogging Year In Review


2 comments on “My 2023 Travel and Blogging Year In Review”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Get your free South Africa bucket list guide

    Things you must do in South Africa

    Subscribe to blog form
  • Get the best accommodation deals

  • Subscribe

    Join 100,000+ Followers

    Subscribe to blog form
  • Unforgettable experiences

  • Copyright © 2024 by Sara Essop. 
    The content on this website may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Sara Essop.
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram