2016 means I've beginning my fourth year as a travel journalist at Getaway Magazine. Sjoe, it's gone by in a flash!
Over the last year I visited some really incredible places in Southern Africa, here's a collection of my favourite photographs and travel experiences from 2015.
Just before the year ended I popped past Maputo on my way north to Inhambane in Mozambique. I'd heard mostly awful things about this old city and that it's not a worthy destination. However, I found it reminded me a little of Johannesburg with old inner-city buildings, a fancy hotel district, townships and wealthier suburbia. The only difference is it's got a sea and come sunrise you can find dreamy boat-filled scenes like this one.
I love the magical effect of a slow shutter speed. This was taken in the lush green forests of Hogsback which are dotted with a zig zag of trails over rivers and under waterfalls. You can find the guide I researched to this hilltop village in the February issue.
West Coast Cuisine
As a Joburger, the wild West Coast is a loooooooong drive away. On a road trip through the Karoo, my mum and I decided to go a little out the way to smell some sea breeze in Strandfontein (and taste a little wine along the way).
Signal Hill Sunset
This year I climbed Lion's Head for the first time and man, I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. I think I took about 300 photographs just climbing down from the top. Afterwards, a friend showed me a little secret spot where we had a rewarding sundowner. I love the outdoorsy nature of this beautiful city.
I love the fact that in one afternoon you can get from Sandton to the bushveld after work in time to see the sunset. I snapped this little guy on a weekend escape into nature at the Pilanesberg National Park.
Undoubtedly, the best way to understand the magnitude of the Okavango Delta is to fly over it. On a trip to see the best of Botswana in 10 days I saw just a smidgen of this enormous wetland in an hour-long flight over this vast wilderness. We saw ellies, giraffes, lechwe, crocs and plenty of other game. My favourite thing to do was try spot the trails left in the waterways by hippo.
I've been to Botswana a couple of times over the years, but I've never seen the salt pans filled with water until this same trip. At sunset we drove into the Nata Bird Sanctuary and sipped our beers to the sight of pelicans and flamingos gliding over Botswana's temporary sea.
The Tankwa Trek
One of the biggest accomplishments of my life, let alone 2015, was completing the Tankwa Camino - a ten-day, 250-kilometre walk through the hot karoo. It was gruelling and amazing and I hated how much I loved it. I met amazing people and it's an experience I'll draw on for the rest of my life.
Just as spring started to show I spent a weekend in the most amazing treehouse with five wonderful people. A little clamber through the rocks away from the tree is this awesome little fire pit. We started beef potjie and climbed the ladder up the rock to watch the sun set over the bushveld. For now, I'm keeping the location a secret.
Little Miss Explore
One Sunday, we had this beach to ourselves in the Cape. Two little girls led the way and we ambled down a bushy hill onto a beautiful stretch of beach. which had a few dunes that were perfect for cartwheels and running down at pace. My favourite thing about this picture is the sense of anticipation.
I've lived in Johannesburg my whole life and visited Melville Koppies at sunrise for the first time this year. Adventure is easy, all it takes is an alarm clock, a flask of coffee and some gees.
This majestic beauty slinked down to the Chobe riverfront while I was on a Pangolin photographic boat safari. The Pangolin team hadn’t had any leopard sightings for several months and just as the sun hit the horizon he cruised to the water for a drink and settled like a king underneath this log.
The Great Noise
The great noise, or Aukoerebis as the Khoi used to call this powerful tumble of Orange River water carves its way through the rocks and is lit up every night. The sunset here was driving my nuts as I tried to snap a gazillion pictures in the fading light and the hues changed every single second going from good to great to blatantly divine.
Last but not least, this picture marks a defining moment in my career as it made the cover of the October issue of Getaway Magazine. The elephants of the Zambezi Region in Namibia rule as there are name game fences to stop them migrating across the mighty rivers that make this little slice of land a marshy, water-filled heaven. You can find more photographs from this wild elephant assignment here.