'Mzansi Girl' Merushka Govender. Picture: Instagram

Travel blogger Merushka Govender and founder of the popular Mzansi Girl blog passed away yesterday - 16 January 2019.

Her family announced her passing on her Instagram account:

The Gauteng Tourism Authority expressed its “profound and deepest condolences” at the news. No cause of death was disclosed.

Govender saw it as her personal mission to inspire South Africans to travel more in their own country and the rest of the world to come and see how amazing South Africa is.

She described herself as "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".

Govender, 39, a former director of international relations for North and West Africa with the Department of Tourism, has also worked on tourism campaigns with a host of South African and overseas tourism boards, hotels and travel industry suppliers. She consulted for SA Tourism in their #MeetSouthAfrica campaign.

Her followers and friends have been posting their condolences:

Govender created her blog in 2012. Prior to 2012 she made use of her Twitter account to detail her adventures, coining the name ‘Mzansi Girl’ around the time of the Fifa World Cup in 2010.

Govender was passionate about responsible tourism, social media tourism and marketing tourism, which she believed have major impacts on the country’s tourism industry.