A huge trend in travel today is the authentic travel experience, but how many South Africans have experienced this in their own country?
Ask 10 different South Africans what would make a travel experience feel genuine and authentic to them, and you may well get ten different answers. For some, it will be culinary exploration through cultures as yet undiscovered, perhaps via neighbourhood crawl, while for others it may be a connection with nature in a landscape they’ve never ventured into before: think shark diving, zip lining or white-water rafting. For others, a travel back in time to discover heritage and history, from a visit to the Cape Town Castle to the Cradle of Humankind.
Of course, an “authentic” experience can be a highly subjective one, open to many different interpretations and therefore – particularly for a newbie to the authentic travel scene – a difficult choice to make in terms of deciding on destination and determining the things you hope to encounter.
“The most important concept that many South Africans need to get their heads around, particularly the more experienced traveller is to understand that local travel can be as exciting and exhilarating as travelling to an exotic destination abroad," said Siphesihle Penny Ndlela of local group touring company Soul Traveller
A seasoned globe-trotter herself, Ndlela has turned her own love for authentic travel into a business aimed at creating experiences for South Africans in their own “backyard”.