Meet the bloggers who will #MeetSouthAfrica – Part 3
The #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers' trip 2014 will see 14 bloggers cross South Africa on three different routes over a period of 10 days, spotting all of the country’s best sites, testing some of our finest restaurants and staying in some pretty spectacular accommodation along the way. They all arrive on 2 May and travel their paths towards the tourism INDABA happening in Durban from 10 to 12 May 2014.
Part 3 of this series profiles another selection of the of 14 international and local bloggers who will have the amazing experience of showing off South Africa through their own eyes. The bloggers below are the fantastic team of local bloggers selected to accompany the international bloggers on their journey to #MeetSouthAfrica.
Dawn Jorgensen – theincidentaltourist.com
With more than decade’s experience in designing dream holidays for others as well as for herself, Dawn shares her experiences through her blog, The Incidental Tourist, while being based between Cape Town and the Cape Winelands in South Africa.
'I make sure I always have an adventure in the future to look forward to. I cherish both local and international travel, yet as a proud African have an undeniable love affair with our seductive continent and am ever drawn to discover her,' she says.
Dawn has a strong interest in conservation, nature and wildlife, and campaigns for causes close to her heart in the hopes of making even a small difference.
Follow Dawn on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Ishay Govender-Ypma – thefoodandthefabulous.com
A Cape Town-based food and travel writer, Ishay is deeply interested in forging cultural connections. A storyteller, recipe developer and social connector, she freelances for a variety of publications, from Marie Claire and Getaway to the Mail & Guardian and in-flight magazines, both local and international.
Ishay has also worked with non-profit organisations such as help2read and the World Food Programme 'to find ways to give a voice to social issues that people using popular media – such as bloggers – can engage with to use their platforms for change'.
She has also worked with tourism boards in countries such as Mauritius and Dubai to promote the destinations from a cultural angle, as curious travellers should see them. 'People make a place, and those are the stories that are the most fulfilling to tell,' she says.
Follow Ishay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Heather Mason – 2summers.net
Heather is a writer, photographer and blogger based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved from Washington, DC to Joburg in August 2010, abandoning her old life as an American suburbanite office-dweller for a new life as a migrant bohemian freelancer. Heather started a blog on a whim, naming it 2Summers because she experienced two summers in a row during the year that she switched hemispheres.
Nearly four years later, 2Summers is going strong and Heather has made Joburg her permanent home. She lives in a small house on the edge of the Melville Koppies with her cat, Smokey. Smokey, otherwise known as the Melville Cat, is a frequent 2Summers guest blogger.
Heather blogs mostly about quirky places in Joburg and revels in showing people a vibrant, friendly side of this city that is often overlooked. Heather also blogs about her travels around South Africa and (occasionally) the rest of the world. She is working on a book about the Joburg northern suburbs, called SandtonPlaces, scheduled for publication in May 2014.
In her spare time Heather enjoys boxing, Instagramming and eating copious quantities of samoosas. Follow Heather on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Katarina Mancama – simplysouthafrica.wordpress.com
A Swedish girl with a Zulu surname, Katarina moved to South Africa and fell in love with the country in 2005 after having studied and worked in Australia, the United Kingdom, Panama and Switzerland.
'I love everything about this weird and wonderful country that I now call home; her people, weather, cities, nature, food and wine and, obviously, the travel opportunities! I alternate between my homes in Pretoria and Cape Town, but am often on the road researching new stories, or working as a tour guide.'
Katarina started her blog, Simply South Africa, in 2013 as a platform for travellers who want to explore hidden gems, experience up-close and personal encounters with people and places, and embrace South Africa by making sustainable choices. She also has a master’s degree in responsible tourism and has dedicated her career to ensuring that tourism benefits the people, places and communities that make the magic happen.
Follow Katarina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Meruschka Govender – mzansigirl.com
Fondly known as Mzansigirl, Meruschka is an African travel activist, experience seeker and tourism thinker. She is passionate about South Africa and obsessed with sharing everything awesome about the country and continent she calls home.
Meruschka chose to start her blog after creating an engaged following on Twitter talking about Africa and sharing positive stories from the continent. She is pursuing freelance travel writing and blogging, as well as digital media consulting and training for small businesses. Meruschka recently founded the #Afritravel hashtag on Twitter to help curate great African travel-related content.
'I’m an Afrophile at heart – I love African travel, music and festivals. I love the energy of African cities, her amazing people, the sounds of the bush, the fabulous sunsets, diverse cultures and beauty everywhere,' she says.
Follow Meruschka on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
The three separate 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.
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.