My first holiday
My first holiday that I can remember was a convoy of family and friends making the drive up to the Kruger National Park, when I was about six years old. Staying in Kruger rest camps like Olifants, Skukuza and Lower Sabie brought us close enough to the wild animals to be able to hear them roaring and calling at night, but still safe in the enclosed area to roam around as a gang of kids, exploring on our own.
My first visa stamp
My first passport, let alone visa stamp, was when I was selected to play for South Africa in the 1992 Cricket World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
My first hotel stay
My first hotel experience was when I was selected for the Natal Men’s B hockey team, in my final year at school, close to exams, and my parents only allowed me to participate in the tournament if I stayed with one of the members of the management, who could supervise my studies. So while the other players were out having dinner and a good time, I was stuck in the Welkom Holiday Inn, doing my schoolwork.
My favourite destination
International – I am now hooked on snowboarding, and so my preferred destinations are biased towards countries with snow. I have had snowboarding holidays in Switzerland recently, staying with renowned explorer, Mike Horn. He took me out back-country to find areas of powder snow that have not been ridden on by other skiers or boarders. I have also had two amazing trips to Gulmarg, Kashmir, and the highlights there were staying in the Hotel Highlands Park, and heli-boarding with Gulmarg Heliski.
National – living in South Africa we are blessed with amazing wildlife, and I like to indulge every year by staying at one of the many private lodges in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, bordering the magnificent Kruger Park. My lodges of choice are Londolozi, Mala Mala, Sabi Sabi and Hamilton’s Private Lodges.
My favourite restaurant/cuisine
My favourite cuisine, in summer, is Sushi, and my favourite restaurants in Cape Town for Sushi, are Willoughby & Co at the V&A Waterfront, and Wakame. In winter I enjoy a good steak, and my favourite steakhouse, is Theo’s Grill, also in Mouille Point.
My most horrible travel experience/mix up
I love to travel, and every misadventure is an opportunity to enrich your journey, so no horrible experiences so far.
My travel must haves
Freedom to go with the flow – too many deadlines can lead to frustration.
My bucket list
Not that I have been there and done most of that, but there are too many to mention, so I don’t plan too far ahead. Just take every opportunity to explore the world around me, to the fullest, whether it be local or abroad.
My favourite airport
Cape Town – it means that I am home.
My travel query to travel agents
Don’t plan an itinerary down to the T– give the traveller information on what is available in the area, and then give them some time to make their own plans to experience their holiday destination.