Wanderlust Traveler | Craig Lotter from An Exploring South African Blog
Advert adventurer, Craig Lotter with his two energetic girls and wife, can be found in their car exploring another piece of South Africa whether it be a town, a farm stall or interesting family activities that one never knew existed.
In my latest project, Wanderlust Traveler, I’ll be featuring travel bloggers and enthusiasts who constantly remind me how beautiful South Africa really is. They’ll be sharing some of their best-kept travel secrets, their experiences, photo essays and tips on local travel and, hopefully, get you a little bit more excited to travel in South Africa.
1. Tells us more about An Exploring South African Blog and, why you created it?
I’ve been blogging since 2007 and the site’s content (and name!) seems to constantly change as I grow older and my interests come and go – i.e. I keep getting older. Since my two girls came into my life, I’ve found myself taking more and more pleasure in visiting all sorts of new places with them, so much so that my blog is nowadays very much a ‘things to do with kids’ site covering mostly the Helderberg, Cape Winelands and of course Cape Town itself. I kind of like it.
2. What does travel mean to you and, where does your love for travel come from?
I work mostly from home, so from Monday to Friday, my environment is my own house, meaning that come weekend there is very much a desire to get in the car, go for a long drive and explore somewhere new. In other words, I see travel as a great way of escaping the mundane realities of a chained to the keyboard at home Monday to Friday life!
3. What is your planning tips and budget tricks when traveling?
I don’t really plan things, nor do I budget. That said, Google Maps (and Instagram!) is invaluable for finding places worth visiting on any particular day!
4. Your most memorable trip and, why?
I spent two weeks in Japan in 2014 which was fantastic. My brother and I went over to attend the wedding of one of our mutual friends, and we spent the time exploring the big cities of Yokohama and Tokyo, experiencing the rich historical culture of Kyoto, and then taking in the more rural and laid back atmosphere of Ina. An absolutely brilliant experience. (I also spent roughly two weeks in the USA, San Diego to be specific, ostensibly for business but in the end very much a tourist trip. Also loads of fun!
5) Any general trends affecting travel/travel industry these days?
It saddens me that so many of the attractions in my mother city of Cape Town seem so hellbent on pricing themselves for the tourist market only. For example, the five minute trip to the top of Table Mountain aboard the Cableway should not cost R293 per person. A simple entrance to the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve should not cost R147 per person. Tickets to the Two Oceans Aquarium should not cost R175 per person. It might be fine for the single traveler or a couple, but these high prices do close off a lot of the great experiences to families. This is not what the industry needs, as it should be striving to turn ALL of us locals into tourism and brand ambassadors for South Africa.
6. Your favourite foods to eat while on the road?
Biltong or droewors of course! (And a good craft beer when I’m not in the actual car).
7. Worst travel experience so far and, why?
Worst was probably when I shredded a tire on a rough dirt road in the middle of the Cederberg mountains on my way to the Driehoek camping grounds. It was a blistering hot day, the tire was a write-off, and my spare was flat. Stuck in the middle of literally nowhere, I can’t tell you how happy I was when a guy in a Landcruiser appeared out of nowhere, actually stopped, and was able to help me by pumping up my spare using his compressor. ALWAYS check your spare before leaving on any trip!
8. Any advice to people who would like to start traveling?
Just do it. It doesn’t have to cost the Earth and South Africa has a plethora of interesting places worth visiting. Google Maps and Instagram are your friends – so many hints and guides to places that you might find interesting.
9. Who are your favourite bloggers/travel sites you follow? It can be both local or international?
For some or other reason, I find myself constantly heading over to 6000.co.za for a chuckle. Other than that, I enjoy following all the local travel bloggers on Instagram. It is a great way to get a feel for what is out there, and potentially, what is out there near you!
10. Where can we find you? Social Links, Blog, etc
Until the next Wanderlust Traveler Interview.