Melanie Van Zyl
Melanie is self described as a writer, photographer, and adventurer. Oh and by profession a Gear Editor & Travel Writer for the much loved Getaway Magazine.
Basically living part of the lifestyle I admire. A South African woman, who not only takes driving her bakkie (truck) quite seriously, but who has no limits when it comes to discovering this wonderful continent. With beautiful examples below of Melanie’s passion for travel and photography, I decided to see what was news on Melanie’s side of the world.
Melanie, what can we find in your back pack on a average day?
Camera, notebook, power-bank, zambuk, water bottle, reading material (magazine or book).
You’ve traveled Africa like some people walk around their house. Do you feel committed to one place in particular at all?
I love the big open spaces and silence of Namibia. I’m definitely a desert person – those arid landscapes move me. The same for the pans and Kalahari in Botswana.
There is always a stigma about female travelers travelling solo. Is there anything you’d like to say to woman and men who travel solo to encourage them or help identify any myths about travelling alone?
Just do it. For my job I travel alone. I need to know how to change a tyre, I keep an old nokia in the cubby hole and always have a map. Be self-sufficient with a sprinkling of bravery. It’s an adventure and it’s fun.
Besides your Camera, do you Travel online and constantly tweet or update social media. Or do you prefer to touch base at the end of an adventurous day and live in the moment?
Depends on the Wi-Fi. If it’s available and I’ve got my phone on me, I happily update my social media posts but am just as happy to be off the grid.
What’s the funniest faux pass you have made while travelling? ie bringing heels to a hike or shorts on a winter trip?
I’m the Gear Editor for Getaway and so test all kinds of travel gadgets. I once had to set up a rofotop tent that could be used without the roof of car. You had to engage the mechanism, pull out the legs creating a stand and drive the car out. I managed to ignore instructions and disable the mechanism so it didn’t work. At sunset. Eventually after many phone calls I got it right but then the shop closed so I had no firewood to cook with. At least I’d brought wine.
How do you explain and visualize the beauty of SA as a whole and the fact that every province holds a certain beauty, to visiting guests or while abroad?
We are incredibly lucky to live in a country full of such diversity. We have something for everyone and it would take a lifetime to cover every corner of the country. From ocean – two very different kinds of coast – to desert. Forest, mountain, plains and bush. We really did strike gold.
And last but not least, where to next?
So far, just December plans to Scuba in Sodwana, breathe in mountain air in the Drakensberg and then up the Mozambique coats for New Year (I’m hoping to find turtles laying eggs on the beach and whale sharks floating along the coast).
If you’d like to keep on Melanie’s trips you can catch her on melanievanzyl.com
Or keep updated on her Twitter Page.
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And As Always…..