24 April 2014 by Kate Els

Meet the bloggers who will #MeetSouthAfrica – Part 1

With the announcement of our annual #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers’ trip this week, we’d like you all to become a little bit more familiar with the bloggers we have selected for this amazing trip around beautiful South Africa.

Caspar Diederik making a friend in the Italian Alps

The 2014 #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers’ trip will see 14 bloggers cross South Africa on three different routes over a period of 10 days, taking in all of the country’s best sites, testing some of our finest restaurants, and staying in some pretty spectacular accommodation along the way.

They will all arrive on 2 May and travel their paths towards the tourism INDABA, happening in Durban from 10 to 12 May 2014.

Here is a selection of five of the 14 international and local bloggers who will have the amazing experience of showing off South Africa through their own eyes. Some have visited South Africa before, while others have never set foot on our soil. We’re looking forward to welcoming them all soon.

Check out Part 2 in our series of bloggers here, and Part 3 of the series here.

Melvin Boecher – traveldudes.org

Melvin Boecher

A member of the original group of bloggers that headed to South Africa in 2013 for the launch of #MeetSouthAfrica, Melvin is well known for his passion for travel and the development of blogging as a profession. His blog, Traveldudes, is known for its massive repository of content available to travellers. Personally, Melvin loves adventure travel and is always on the lookout for the next great thing he wants to show his audience.

According to Melvin, Traveldudes is one of the best social platforms for travellers looking for social content about the destination they want to travel to. He can also be found on Twitter (@Traveldudes), where his influence extends even further, with his Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT). The #TTOT hashtag reaches around two million users and creates around 25-million impressions every Tuesday.

Melvin is also a partner of the iambassador.net network, an organisation that runs successful social media marketing campaigns involving the world’s best travel bloggers.

Follow Melvin on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

Matthew Karsten – expertvagabond.com

Matthew Karsten

Matthew is the Expert Vagabond. After deciding to alter his life completely and hunt new experiences, he opted to travel for a year, and has been travelling ever since. He is addicted to adventure travel and photography, and is on a constant mission to inspire travellers on their next journey, with entertaining stories, beautiful images and useful travel tips from around the world.

After travelling for more than three years, Matt knows how to find fascinating spots to share with his 80 000+ monthly readers. He feels equally at home trekking through remote jungles, diving underwater worlds, climbing mountains, searching for elusive wildlife, living with locals, or getting lost in a big city. He believes all new experiences are opportunities to learn something valuable.

Follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

Mauricio Oliveira – trilhaseaventuras.com.br

Mauricio Oliveira

Based in Brazil, Mauricio is a well-known and well-loved blogger who speaks to readers looking to find out more about luxury travel and ecotourism. He has travelled to many destinations, including Canada, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Barbados and Argentina, helping travellers discover the myriad attractions available to them.

Mauricio seeks out cultural, adventure and luxury experiences that he deems necessary for his audience and covers all the details through his extensive social media network. He is also a photographer and videographer, making sure to capture the essence of all of his experiences in the best way possible to share with his readers.

Follow Mauricio on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

Caspar Diederik – storytravelers.com

Casper making a wine film

Telling stories through visual means, Caspar captures his travel experiences and creates captivating videos and photos to share with his online audience. It’s through his emotive visuals that he manages to portray the destinations he visits in a refreshing and exciting light.

Caspar was born in The Netherlands and obtained a master’s degree in social communication at the University of Amsterdam. He gained experienced in marketing and social media strategies, after which he co-founded StoryTravelers, a tribe of visual storytellers with a shared passion for travel.

Caspar has chosen to create his work from his passion and talents, sharing genuine travel experiences, beautiful places and the people of our world in a striking manner.

Now living in the south of Italy, Caspar has spent many years living and travelling in various cities throughout the world. He has been involved in more than a few innovative storytelling and blogger campaigns for tourism boards, travel agencies and travel destinations all over the globe.

Follow Caspar on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

JD Andrews – earthXplorer.com

JD Andrews

Connecting through social media to share his evocative videos and photographs, JD is passionate about using his work to create inspiration.

‘Every picture tells a story, but not every story has a picture; that's why I'm here,' he says.

After working as a video producer for more than 20 years, JD has explored many of the world’s mysterious places and traversed 90 countries across seven continents.

He has captured travel experiences for a variety of channels and has done work for various companies, cruise lines, airlines, destination marketing organisations and tourist boards. JD has also been honoured with numerous international and local awards for his work, including four Emmy Awards.

JD says of himself: 'A self-proclaimed "geek" and "early adopter", I got into social media back in 2007, a few years later becoming one of the most influential travel people on Twitter and winning a Travel Shorty Award [the Oscars of Twitter] in 2011.'

JD’s blog has been featured on a number of international media, including National Geographic Traveler, BBC Travel, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, AOL Travel, Instagram, Mashable, Boingo, POPSugar, Adventure Collection and Gadling.

Follow JD on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

The three groups of bloggers will focus on three distinct themes in their itineraries – luxury, adventure, and culture and heritage – all the while paying homage to the celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa.

We will be looking at the rest of the bloggers in this series over the next couple of days, and will reveal their itineraries just ahead of their arrival on 2 May. Be sure to follow this campaign on the various social media platforms and on this blog over the course of their stay in South Africa by searching for the #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag.

To follow the campaign as it unfolds, in addition to following the hashtag, you can join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

South African Tourism first instituted its #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers’ campaign in 2013, with the aim of opening up a new form of communication with potential travellers looking for their next holiday destination. The campaign saw over 219-million impressions of the hashtag across various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For more information on the trip, click here.

Category: Adventure, Attractions, Culture & History

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