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Itchy feet? Your guide to local travel

Itchy feet? Your guide to local travel
After all the anticipation and anxiety, searching the plains, Botswana is mostly a flat country. It''s worthwhile stopping at the pans and through your binoculars watch life slowly show itself. Makgadigadi Pans National Park, Botswana. 19 December 2021. Photograph: John Hogg

It’s hard to believe that around this time last year South Africa was facing heavy travel restrictions after the discovery of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

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The pandemic has left many of us with itchy feet, eager to grab our passports and head abroad. But two years of travel restrictions have also given rise to an appreciation for all the incredible destinations that Africa has right on our doorstep: from the colourful Namaqualand flowers that litter the West Coast National Park, to the vineyards and luxury wineries that dot the Cape Winelands and big-game viewing in neighbouring African countries.

This year, we at Maverick Life tried to do our bit to help you scratch your itchy feet (yuck) by giving you the practical tips to start putting together a travel itinerary. These included our reader-vetted suggestions for the top holiday picks in the country and a brief and comprehensive breakdown of the best airlines to help you get there. We also explored trends in travel such as working and living on the road as a digital nomad.

If you’ve missed any of the travel tips, tricks and guides that we’ve published, you’re in luck: we’ve pulled out some of our best work and put together a list of evergreen stories that’ll aid you in your future travel endeavours.

Bon voyage and enjoy these reads.

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Travel-wise

holiday destinations

Vultures sit in trees silhouetted against the setting sun near Satara Camp in the Kruger National Park. The Kruger Park was a specific top destination within Mpumalanga, which came sixth overall. (Photo: Gallo Images / Mike Copeland)

Backyard wonders – our readers’ top holiday picks at home in South Africa
DM168 readers share their favourite South African holiday destinations. By Karabo Mafolo and Sahra Heuwel

Nieu-Bethesda.

Nieu-Bethesda chooses dust over tar, when it comes to their village streets. Image: Supplied / Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit

Townsizing to the Karoo
Why moving permanently to South Africa’s dry heartland could be just the adventure you’ve been dreaming of. By Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit

Khama Rhino Sanctuary. The pans there were bathed in a warm late afternoon glow and made it feel that we were part of a Disney landscape. Compared to where we had been it was like an upmarket complex for wild animals. Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Botswana.
27 December 2021. Photograph: John Hogg

Road trip to Botswana: Cowbells, expanse and splendour
The build-up to our first trip to Botswana in December 2021 was a draining mix of anticipation and anxiety: Covid-19 and the fluctuating travel ramifications that are but side-shows of the pandemic; there were three of us – my wife Nicolene, Adele du Toit (friend and wife of the late Duif du Toit) and I. The trip was in memory of Duif, as he and Adele travelled through Botswana in 2009. By John Hogg

Sonja and Reinholdt Van Niekerk and their children. Image: Louis Botha Photography

Van Life – the beauty of living and travelling South Africa in a mobile home
As “Van Life” has become more popular around the world over the past few years, some South Africans have swapped living in their brick-and-mortar homes for life on the road. By Malibongwe Tyilo

The magical natural phenomenon where fields of flowers appears out of dry conditions of the West Coast National Park on August 26, 2020 in Postberg, South Africa.

The magical natural phenomenon where fields of flowers appears out of dry conditions of the West Coast National Park on August 26, 2020 in Postberg, South Africa. Image: Gallo Images / Jacques Stander

Flower season – exploring the blooms of the West Coast and Namaqualand
South Africa’s flower season is upon us. Here is a handy guide to visiting the blooms this spring. By Sarah Hoek

Karoo Roads III Photo Essay

Copper the Fluffer Stallion – Gelykfontein Thoroughbred Stud Farm, Venterstad, Eastern Cape. Image: Chris Marais

Karoo Roads III – From the studios of snowy Nieu-Bethesda to the stony heights of the Richtersveld
Here is another heritage collection of journeys into the past and present of South Africa’s Karoo region. By Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit

Lauren Melnick, a South African freelance writer, blogger, copywriter and digital nomad, is part of the new world of work. (Image: Lauren Melnick)

Working on the road: How digital nomads have the best of both worlds
Always wanted to travel but never thought it would be possible because of your work? In 2022, with the world and many habits disrupted, taking your professional activity on the road might be easier than you think. By Sarah Hoek. DM/ML

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