Dawn Jorgensen. Pafuri Walking Trail

Dawn Jorgensen with one foot in SA, one foot in Zimbabwe: Pafuri Walking Trails. Image courtesy Dawn Jorgensen

1.Dawn Jorgensen:

Dedicated earth advocate and travel blogger extraordinaire, one is not quite sure when lovely Dawn gets any shut-eye. On her popular blog, The Incidental Tourist, she not only writes about fascinating places and people around the world, but also takes beautiful pics and creates her own video content. Her passion is wildlife, the environment and anything to do with conservation, but she delivers her message in an authentic and non-preachy way. She has a keen sense of fun, an appreciation for the extraordinary things in life and will eek out the bright side of any travel situation (and write about it). She recently started the One&Only Cape Town Insta-Walk offering with Seth Shezi, offering a different look at the Mother City on foot.

Kate Els

2.Kate Els

A talented travel writer and global explorer with a keen eye for a good picture, Kate runs a blog called IndiKate as well as contributing to numerous online sites and publications (including Sawubona). Els is something of a “slashy” when it comes to her content skills: blogger/article writer/photographer/social media strategist/foodie and all-round superstar in the digital travel space. She understands the local travel and tourism industry, is not scared to be honest, and offers a fresh (and often amusing) perspective on the ups and downs of travelling in and around South Africa (and the world). She is a “self-appointed director of happiness” and her blog is definitely something to smile about.

Jabulile Ngwenya, Sawubona's Deputy Editor in full flight.

3. Jabulile Ngwenya

Catch her if you can! Sawubona’s very own Jabulile Ngwenya loves nothing better than heading off on travel adventures, and she is passionate about Africa. She tells African travel stories with an African voice, and her love for the spirituality of the continent is evident in her words and many travel stories. As Deputy Editor of Sawubona for Ndalo Media, she splits her time between creating a world-class airline magazine (along with her expert team) to experiencing incredible places, and writing about them. Although, she readily admits she’s happier bungee jumping off a bridge at Vic Falls than at her desk in Johannesburg. Last month was Uganda, next month is Berlin… Read Jabulile’s articles in Sawubona magazine (download here for free).

bridge in the flood-1

4.Bridget Hilton-Barber

In a world a little overwhelmed by ‘churnalism’ in travel writing, Bridget Hilton-Barber stands head and shoulders above the rest. She can write and write and write, and if you haven’t got copies of her books then get to Exclusive Books, Amazon or your nearest bookshop immediately (The Travel Guide to Maputo & Southern Mozambique, Penguin; Garden of My Ancestors, Penguin; Postcards from the Ledge and many others). Like Dawn and Kate, ‘BHB’ also takes great photographs and tends to take an offbeat angle on most stories. Added to the fact that she adores South Africa and the lowveld and is simply fearless in the face of life itself makes her a definite on any Must Read/Must Follow list. You can now follow her on The Ministry of Fabulousness blog.

Ishay profile pic

5. Ishay Govender-Ympa

The downside of reading anything by Ishay is that you get hungry immediately. Her blog The Food and the Fabulous will have you salivating in seconds as she travels the world via her tastebuds. Whether it’s exploring the origins of Swahili food culture, purveying the culinary backroads of Mexico or weighing up the best place for a bunny chow in Durbs – she is definitely one to read for some travel/foodie inspiration. Her blog is packed with gorgeous images, helpful links and insights (she also shares her travel tips). A regular writer for Sawubona magazine and various other travel publications, she is a lovely scribe with an original voice… and a diet-wrecker of note.

Heather Mason

6.Heather Mason

If you’re a fan of Johannesburg, then you’ll know Heather’s work via her blog “2 Summers – An American in Quirky Johannesburg”. She knows the city better than most of us who have lived here all our lives. Heather arrived from the States in 2010, fell in love with Johannesburg and continues to write about it – always from a quirky interesting angle. Her incredible photographs are also a major pull for her blog and she has taken some wonderful images of the city (her pics of Joburg’s skyline are some of the best out there – and you can also buy them as postcards from a few selected outlets). She continues to write about the City of Gold, South Africa and her travels in a funny, honest way and recently started her own blog classes (which no doubt, will be as popular as her enchanting blog).

Julienne Du Toit

7.Julienne du Toit

‘Jules’ is the other half of the Karoo Space website she shares with her husband, writer and photographer Chris Marais. Chris and Jules are self-appointed Karoo ambassadors, often leaving their front stoep in Cradock to explore the backroads of our country, documenting amazing spaces, places and people as they go. Jules is an award-winning conservation and environmental writer, and a beautiful wordsmith who, since living in the Karoo, has developed some rather obscure (but valuable skills). She can: “create a meal out of unlikely ingredients (preferably in one pot); devise a way of getting a bat, bird or spider out of a house; remember the names of donkeys we met years ago; fall asleep anywhere; feel blissfully happy if a glass of wine and stoep coincide at sunset”.

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Disclaimer: The writer knows/likes/is friends with most of the women on this list, so any praise or commentary may be completely biased. (The numeric order of writers is purely random).


  • 8th August 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I salute you all! Well done, especially to the gals I know.

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