Exploring different cultures

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iol travel feb 25 cw Faniswa SUPPLIED SEASONED TRAVELLER: Faniswa in Nambia

Cape Town - Actress Faniswa Yisa has performed in a variety of theatre productions and films.

She directed Cantico for Jazzart Dance Theatre and the Magnet Theatre production, Voices Made Night, which starts at the Baxter on Thursday.

How widely have you travelled?

I have been lucky to have travelled to about 20 different countries and most of them for work. So someone else paid for it and I was at least able to sneak in some play time. After all, who goes to another country to sleep? There is no point really, is there?

Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

Namibia tops it for me. After touring the African continent we had a work-free week. It was magical. We stayed in the middle of nowhere with just mountains and desert that seemed to go on forever. The sunsets were amazing. We walked barefoot on the sand dunes in Sossusvlei. In Swakopmund we stayed in houses on stilts overlooking the sea.

Your worst experience on a holiday?

I am usually determined to have a great time.

Your funniest experience?

I have had two such experiences. The first one was when I was in India and my friend Sara Matchett decided to take me on a ride on a hired scooter. She lost control and we went flying through the air. It was funny but we were so shocked that it took us a while to register before we got up. We laughed uncontrollably.

The second was in Cameroon where our pilot could not find the airport and we landed in a different city. We had to take a bus, which was packed, to our original destination. There I was, sitting on the engine with my butt frying from its heat. To add insult to injury, it started to rain. There were no windows so there we were sitting in the bus with our umbrellas open.

What do you avoid during a holiday?

Anyone who asks me to sing the click song and that happens often.

Best meal abroad?

Definitely the seafood from the fish market in Mozambique – you can literally smell the sea on the fish, it’s so fresh. Another would be the platters of every kind of red meat imaginable in Argentina and the countless flavours of ice cream in Brazil. I know, who would have thought?

Your favourite place to have sundowners?

The gateway to the Amazon in Brazil… where the locals hang out. They are usually very proud of their local drinks and will insist you try them. It makes the whole experience so much more down-to-earth and personal.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Don’t ever assume that what you have seen on television is gospel, experience it for yourself and explore other lesser-known parts. South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Ideal travelling companion?

Anyone who is curious and non-judgemental.

Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

A bit of both. I am not afraid to watch a show in a language which I don’t understand.

And then for an all-day high, I love to bungee jump.

Greatest travel luxury?

I have to say hotels. Nothing beats coming back to a clean room every day and having whatever you want just a phone call away.

Holiday reading?

I like to read a bit of history about the country that I visit and it also makes for a great ice-breaker with the locals.

Favourite drive?

Anywhere, where someone else is doing the driving. Also, 24-hour public transport – I love the London subways, it could be considered a drive, right?

Dream trip?

To drive from Cape to Cairo.

As a seasoned traveller and flyer can you share some tips?

Take a big suitcase. You never know what sales to expect. And when the rand is struggling, self-catering is a great cost-saver. - Weekend Argus

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