Picture: Tulbagh Valley image by Thor Normann.
Picture: Tulbagh Valley image by Thor Normann.

'This Is South Africa' keeps the spirit of travel alive with alluring new website

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Apr 9, 2020

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The local travel industry has taken strain in the last few weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic and South Africa’s lockdown regulations. 

While no one is allowed to travel during the 21-day lockdown period, the folks at @southafrica Instagram account have launched a photo tourism website to inspire wanderlust for those travellers who are getting cabin fever. 

Picture: Supplied.

The new website, This Is South Africa, will become a powerful local travel planning resource to inspire travellers post-lockdown trips. 

Page manager for the @SouthAfrica account on Instagram, Craig Rodney, said the website combined the practicality of Google Maps and the visual aspect of Instagram. 

He said each photo will include location details, a list of activities, and other relevant information to assist with future travel plans. 

@SouthAfrica has over 299 000 followers and has become a source of travel inspo for many people. 

However, Rodney said travellers on Instagram weren’t able to filter locations to plan their travel itineraries based on the images that inspired them. 

He told IOL Travel: “People have been using the photos on our account as travel inspiration since the account started, but were unable to search through the photos and plan their travels. Our followers always ask for more information on the pictures and locations we share. We also noticed that many followers tag their friends in pictures of places they want to visit. The website will enable them to plan their trips together.” 

Rodney said the website will encourage people to explore South Africa post lockdown. 

“The lockdown is making people truly appreciate freedom of movement, and with the current exchange rate, I believe local travel will be the biggest driver towards the recovery of the tourism sector. 

“I hope South Africans explore every corner of the country when it's safe to travel again. South Africa boasts stunning locations across the country,” he said. 

The best part of the new website is that anyone can be a contributor. Creating an account requires minimal effort. All you have to do is visit the website, create a profile and start building your dream trip to South Africa. 

Picture: Supplied.

People can upload their images of South Africa for consideration. He said once a new location is added onto the site, it gets geotagged and linked to the contributor’s Instagram account. 

It will be categorised according to its accessibility, the activities on offer and the tips and tricks provided by the contributor.

Exciting additions will be added to the site in the upcoming months. 

“The more locations and info we add, the more we’ll be able to help our tourism industry recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19. When we all get through this difficult time, we want to have played our part, and hopefully, inspire hundreds of other South Africans to help contribute to this project.”

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