Africa, Travel

Hiking up Lion’s Head, Cape Town

Ladies and gentlemen, finally my first hike of the year has taken place and I feel GOOD! It feels good to have had the opportunity to start again- Here’s to many more *cheers.

Where to go:

Every mountain has its people and Lion’s Head seems to be the place where everyone goes to start off their hikes whenever in Cape Town for a long stay or just a tourist, passing through. It is the easiest and give you the view of Camps Bay, Clifton, Seapoint and Robben Island and you don’t have to pay a single cent to climb it. This hike takes about 1h45 minutes on an easy pace.

(Other people who want a bit of a challenge always go for Table Mountain, Kasteelspoort trail or out of Cape Town where you find the ponds you can swim in after a long hike and these take place during summer or just before summer ends into winter). Such hikes can take up the whole day which can turn into picnics and are best in groups for safety and fun.

Did you know?

Lion’s Head peaks at 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. In the 17th century the peak was known as Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head) by the Dutch.

-Wikipedia

What you will need:

My hike days usually start at 6am to give me time to be fully awake and get ready. I usually start with a nice cup of coffee and packing everything I will need which is something like this:

  • Jersey: the top is usually windy and a bit chilly
  • head-band/scarf: I sweat a lot so I need something to help me holding the sweat back.
  • My cellphone: For an Uber ride from my place to the mountain and back.
  • Wallet: I take my wallet everywhere
  • I always buy fresh food on the day of the hike so I make a pit stop at a grocery store to get the necessities like water, grapes, sandwiches because you really must have some food at the top, it is relaxing.
  • Sunglasses: I have a pair sponsored by ThisGuy Eyewear which are AMAZING and only go for R550 because they are on sale. If you want to buy, you can get an additional discount by applying this code: SHADY_KARABOM and get 15% off.
  • Friends: hikes are better done in a group of two or more, that way you get to have conversations and gossip about everyone lol.

 

What to expect:

Hiking for me is like church so I treat it with so much respect. It feels good meeting people along the way who also enjoy it and share stories about all their travel escapades and who they have met and all. The only problem I have is the humans who run up and down the mountain as if they are running from something because one mistake, one can fall and take you down with them.

There are also people who bring their kids on their backs which is really cute, you have to start them young! and if you are scared of dogs, just know that sometimes there can be dogs up and down there so be mindful and don’t be scared, usually the owners are nice and the dogs are friendly.

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Lastly, here is a video of my recent hike. Enjoy it and share your hiking stories or hiking dreams and you never know…

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Travel

5 Ways to cope with travel anxiety

Planes booked. Hotels booked. Sightseeing list prepared. Cash passport read! Everything is ready and you just cannot shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen? I get that feeling too almost every time I have long trips. Sometimes you even find yourself creating Final Destinations scenes on the many things that could go wrong and eventually leading to your death. I do that too!

During most of my travels I was fortunate enough to have my partner help with a lot of my travel anxiety such as checking delays, tracking where I am to make sure I don’t miss my connecting flights, local transport and all. I do however think that if you will be traveling alone, it can be so stressful to even get on that ride to the airport especially when you think you are carrying something that might be confiscated at customs like wine bottles (which it usually is not a problem).

If you are planning a trip soon anywhere within the country- a girls’ getaway to a resort or a “baecation” or maybe you are brave enough for a solocation, here are a few things I have tried to keep me feeling calm and like I have everything under control:

  • Find your calm technique: I knew watching a lot of movies was gonna help me somehow one day. I learned my breathing technique from Ninja Assassin (which reminds me, I need to watch it again tonight), on breathing from the low point of your stomach. That way, you get to take deep breaths and it works for me whenever I am feeling like everything is getting too wild for me to control.
  • Know your pulse: Just like fitness, when I need to practice the first technique and I know I am way deep in within anxiety, I check my pulse and start doing my breathing exercise. Sometimes travel anxiety is not cause by a fear of flying, it is caused by being too excited because you are so overwhelmed that finally you are going somewhere and you don’t know what to expect but it is a good thing because you have been dying to leave.
  • Never panic: Panicking will NEVER solve any issue, it just escalates the situation from bad to worse. There have been a few time I nearly missed my flights and throughout, I tried with so much difficulty to stay calm and when I made it, I realised that if I panicked, everything would have just been a sh*t storm. Just don’t over think things.
  • Healthy eating: Always make sure that you are hydrated and not eating junk food that might even cause bloating. Temporarily stay away from the sweet stuff because they can be very bad for you.
  • Keep to your fitness routine: If you are a yogi, dedicate some of your time during your vacation doing anything and everything that has to do with fitness at least for 30 minutes a day- even if it is just walking. I made the mistake of not committing to any sort of fitness movements and it was a bad idea- not only did I become lazy, I lost track of time doing nothing and felt tired 80% of the time.

I hope that these 5 easy tips help with your anxiety or any type of stress you might be going through over your next trip. Everyone has their own techniques from categorizing the items they need or luxury to help with packing, meditation and other methods. We all function differently and what works for one person might not work for the other.

Please share your techniques and hopefully I might learn a thing or two.

Travel

!kwa ttu: A day in San culture.

The San, the first people in South Africa

The earliest hunter-gatherers in southern Africa were the San people. The San were also known as ‘Bushmen’, a term used by the European Colonists that is now considered derogatory. The San populated South Africa long before the arrival of the Bantu-speaking nations, and thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

Source: South African History Online

It is always exciting to use a travel opportunity to learn about cultures and tribes in your country and this past weekend that is what I did. My friend and travel buddy Bee from Bee Du Jour invited me on a day tour at the !kwa ttu education center in the west coast. !kwa ttu famously written as Khwa ttu, is an organisation that offers education and training for San people to deal with tourism and hot to showcase San culture to the world.

At first I was a little reluctant to go because I thought the heat was going to make it very difficult to do anything and plus I have nothing that interests me there, little did I know that it was going to be so worth it! Bee picked me up at my place and we drove about an hour out of Cape Town to what seemed like “the middle of nowhere”. When we arrived, there’s a certain cool breeze that is blown from the beach onto the hot plain land and there it was, !kwa ttu.

What you will need:

  • You are only required to pay a fee of R50 and little bit extra which can be found on their site for all the extra special tours.
  • A hat if it is hot like the day we went, the sun was at 30d/c, plus some sunscreen. They offer you water.
  • A camera because you will learn a lot and you definitely want to capture the moment to probably show your kids one day about the cultures of South Africa.
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing. In this case, shorts and a t-shit plus sunglasses will do. Luckily, ThisGuysZA gifted me with a pair.
  • An open mind and excitement to learn.

What I learned:

  • There is a difference between the San and the Khoi. The San are hunter-gatherers while the Khoi are more like farmers.
  • When a girl comes out of age (start her period), she is taken to a hut to stay with the elder women and for seven days, they will be teaching her how to be a woman. She then returns to her people and she will find a hut already made for her by her father.
  • Courting is something interesting: a boy will have a “love bow” which when he finds a girl he likes, he will follow her and her friends to a river or field and he will hide and try to shoot the bow on the bum of a girl he likes. She will then pick up the bow and ask him if it is his. He will then try to apologise and if she gives back the bow, she is not interested, but if she keeps it close to her heart then it is all systems go and their parents will start planning for their wedding.
  • A San village has huts facing the middle where there must be a bonfire all day everyday all year round. The reason for this is to keep them warm during the winter and to ward wild animals off especially lions because they hate the smell of fire. The huts are placed that way so they can be able to spot danger from all corners, it is a community effort.

We ended the day with a drive to Yzerfontein beach. Please watch video below and enjoy:

Europe, Travel

Paris, France

A day in Paris, France:

If someone told the twenty-years old me that I would someday find myself in Paris, I would have laughed them to shame. This year however, I did find myself in France and my oh my, it is absolutely everything they say it is and more. Well kind of!

My partner and I are in a long-distance relationship and with that comes traveling to each other’s countries. This year instead of me going to see him, we planned to a cross country road trip to Paris. In my head, I always imaged Paris as this expensive and inaccessible city where you must spend thousands of Rands to make the trip work. Here is how you can spend a day in Paris and spend less and still get to visit ALL the sites:

Paris is designed in a way that all the tourist and historical sites are in a semi-circular way when using the metro. We stayed in a hotel 35 minutes outside of the city center called Hotel Tilde , a cozy hotel that is close to the best bakery ever! (side note: my life will never be same after those croissants. It’s unfortunate I don’t remember the name). The best thing about this hotel and Paris is that there are Metro stations EVERYWHERE!

Where to go:

paris tour map

As seen in the map above, we visited five sites which we visited smaller and “in-between detour” sites while heading to the rest. This can be done from 9 am to ensure you have all the time to enjoy each place you visit. We visited:

  • Sacre-Coeur: The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.
  • Arc de Triomphe: Is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l’Étoile — the étoile or “star” of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues
  • Eiffel Tower: Is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower
  • Notre Dame de Paris: Meaning ‘Our lady of Paris’ is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture
  • Louvre which is the largest art museum in the world!
  • Champs-Elysees which is the longest avenue in France filled with restaurants and luxury shops.

There is so much to visit which we could not because of the service protests are currently happening.

Getting there:

As mentioned, there are Metros everywhere and it is so easy navigating the city with google maps. Google maps gives you detailed routes to all the places including which metros to take- either buses or “trains”. In Europe, the train we use on a daily is what they use for long distance travel and they call their daily trains “metros” and “trams”.

The best thing to do is buy a minimum of 20 metro tickets for € 14,90. You are given 1h40 minutes to use one ticket however you want between stations for all metros within the city- great right! I mean who has money for parking because it costs €15 a day out of the city, imagine how much it is within the city.

Things to look out for and more:

Paris is not really a clean city so don’t be shocked when you get there and get shook by the sites. It is not entirely dirty, but it is not as clean compared to the Netherlands or other European countries and the issue might be the huge number of tourists coming in and out of the city, so I am hoping there will be some sort waste management system going on around the country.

The city is insanely beautiful! The only mistake I made was wearing heels throughout the entire trip and I had a bad case of sore feet.

Eating out can be nice but Europeans love discounts so always ask around for restaurants that have specials and nice food. I always eat anything and everything on holiday because I do not have time to watch my weight or eat clean.

P.S: You can add more stops to your map as you go along. Also, something you do NOT want to miss, Paris by night is a sight for the gods especially the Eiffel Tower.

Here are some of Auguste Rodin’s work from Musee Rodin which is a must visit! 

Enjoy Paris if your next stop is there! I do however wished we went into the Louvre and Versailles.

https://travelwithkarabo.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/paris-france/?partner_id=EQBRAEU&utm_medium=online_publisher&placement=content-end&cmp=Paris%20France

Africa, Travel

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Imagine going on an amazing holiday only to find out that the airline providing the a connecting flight sold you dreams and then find yourself stuck in the middle of home and nowhere. On Monday I left Europe with the hopes that I will be home in time for a one man brunch and my bed. Instead I found myself with others stuck in Zambia courtesy of Kenya Airways (the story will be told another time).

Sometimes getting lost can lead to unexpected adventures. 

I met a group of people who were coming back from different corners of the world and we decided to use the opportunity to visit Victoria Falls.

Flowing from the Zambezi River over a cliff and into the Boiling Pot before flowing through a series of gorges is Victoria Falls, located in the western area of Zimbabwe. This is where you will find the Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool, is on the edge of a sheer drop. Spanning the river is 1905 Victoria Falls Bridge. The surrounding Zambezi National Park is home to white rhinos and elephants.

Myself and other companions entered Victoria Falls from the Livingstone side in Zambia where you can see a quarter of the waterfall and even though it is not everything, it is worth visiting!

What you will need:

  • We had to find transport which picked us up from the hotel and drop off back and also entrance fee fee into the park which totaled to 280 Zambian Kwacha.
  • Due to the intensity of the waterfall, the water hits the ground and there’s mist and little showers by the waterfalls, you will need a raincoat.
  • Because the ground is wet, make sure you were good shoes because it gets slippery.
  • For those scared of heights, you will need to cross a bridge that is high up to get to a different side to see more of the falls.
  • Take your time and just breathe in the freshness of the waters and surrounding.
  • There are monkeys everywhere, get your camera out.
  • Make sure you have cash, it is easier than finding a card machine.

What you need to know:

  • Zambia is hot! People who are like me, buckle up because you are going to be sweating your tits off.
  • Visit the falls super early when there are less people around then you get to really enjoy it. They open at 6am and close at 6pm.
  • Wear comfortable clothes. Zambia is great because even the gravel roads have names, something you don’t see in South Africa.
  • There are lots of lodges, it should be easy to find accommodation close to the airport.
  • Livingstone is 5km away from the Zimbabwe boarder and 200km from the Namibia boarder.
  • It is not expensive but the Kwacha is stronger than both the Rand and Dollar.
  • Zambians are beautiful people- I mean of course, you are in Africa anyway!
  • You will most likely fly with Kenya Airways, prepare yourself.
  • I had beer from there and it was really good for someone who does not enjoy beer, I think you will love this one.
  • 52% of Zambians speak Bemba and some words are similar to those in other South African languages (e.g: There is a street called ‘Mosi-oa-tunya’ translated to “the smoke that thunders” which happens to be another name for Victoria Falls.

I would like to thank the people I was with who put the idea to visit the falls in action. I never thought I would one day visit Zambia- even though it was not planned, I loved it.

Beauty and Travel

Eye Candy Brows

When traveling, you always try to spend less time on grooming because you want to focus more on site seeing and enjoying time with friends and family . Lucky for me, being a Eyecandy Brows Ambassador means I get all kind of treatments to prepare me for my travels so I get to enjoy myself and not worry about how I look.

Eyecandy Brows is the biggest specialist of Eyebrow Threading in South Africa. They can be found in the following Cape Town and Johannesburg centres:  Lifestyle Centre on Kloof (CT), Tygervalley Center (CT), Carlton Hair Cavendish Square (CT), and Sandton City Mall (JHB).

Eyebrow threading and tinting:

This treatment offered by Eyecandy Brows is affordable and quick. Both the treatments cost R190 and take about 45 minutes max to get done. I had a bit of an uncomfortable feeling with the threading because its remove the brows from the root which is great because eventually, your brows stop growing (the unwanted ones that is).

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Lash lift:

The lash lift is a new thing to me because I naturally have long lashes and I think faux ones are heavy. I do however love how Agnes (Eyecandy Brows Specialist) applied mine because she applied them between the real ones to create an illusion to make them look real. Each one is applied to fit the natural size of your lashes and they come in different shapes and sizes. It took about 2 hours to get mine done and they stay on for two weeks and that is long enough to go with. The price of the lash lift is R550 and is totally worth it!

Eyecandy brows offers a range of services and treatments, but remember to always make an appointment. Even though they do take walk-ins, its best to know you will get your treatment done without having to wait in line.

Eyebrow Do’s and Don’ts from Eyecandy Brows:

  • Don’t use a razors to shape your brows because they cause skin irritation and then ingrown hairs which are very painful.
  • You will not get all the unwanted hairs out.
  • Always go for threading or plucking as it removes hairs from the root.
  • Plucking is more painful than threading.
  • You definitely will have some skin irritation after threading but that is just from removing the hairs.
  • Always follow-up with your treatments.
  • Be open with your consultant about how you want your brows done or ask them for advice on what they use so you avoid any allergens like myself, I can’t use coconut oil as an “after threading” oil.

Have you done your brows before? threaded? and how did it feel? Would you do it again or do you want to try it? Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section.

If you have visited any Eyecandy Brows bar, how did they treat you and what did you get done?

visit them online or contact them:

Email: info@eyecandybrows.co.za

Tell: +27 72 452 0264

IG: eyecandy_brows_sa

Facebook: Love Eyecandy

 

Travel

The cash passport.

You have booked your flight. Got your visa. Bags packed. Now what?

At this stage you are probably thinking of calling your bank to notify them of “irregularities” that will be taking place in your account because you will be swiping your life away and living your best life. Well, not exactly! In most cases, banks block your card if they see unusual activity on your account even if you notify them prior to your travel. Great banks will even inform you of what to do in order to avoid that but hey.

A cash passport is a method of banking almost anywhere around the world without using your official bank card but rather transferring your monies from your bank account to a temporary card which can be used anywhere in the world. You have access to a maximum of 4 currencies on your card which are transferable as you travel and as you shop- NICE RIGHT!

I am with FNB and they somehow offer the quickest process for the cash passport, however, I could not apply for mine in time. Did you know FNB charges you R70 a transaction outside the country? That is a lot of money! That is a cheap burger and drink.

travelex-group-lineimages

You are required to have a minimum of $100 which is about R1,500 to start using your card. You can also reload it anytime you want, online. This card is valid for 5 years and the currencies can be changed every time you travel so which means you don’t have to apply for another in order to have a different currency loaded.

Service providers to apply for your cash passport:

  • FNB
  • Standard Bank
  • Western Union
  • Educonnect
  • Travelex
  • ABSA

Ever used a cash passport card before? How did it go? How were the charges?

You may ask how this is different to any credit card like American Express-

Please comment with your thoughts in the comment section.