Top 25 reasons to #ShotLeft in South Africa

Shot Left ?

In tourism terms, taking a #shotleft is to take a break, a day out, a weekend away or a mini break in South Africa.  

Shot left is derived from South  African township & taxi terminology. When you want to get off you tell the driver to sho’t left.

Loosely translated it means stop just here.


 Why should you take a #ShotLeft?

 A F F O R D A B L E   |    E A S Y   |   A W E S O M E   |    P A T R I O T I C   |   F U N


Are you going to just sit back and do nothing?  Let visitors have all the fun while you slave away and feel stressed?

If they can plan awesomeness from another country, you can plan a #shotleft .

It is so easy.

S E R I A A S !


What do you enjoy, cos we have:

  1.  Oceans
  2.  Mountains
  3.  Beaches
  4. Cities
  5.  Dorps
  6. Bush
  7.  Big 5
  8.  World Heritage sites
  9.  Forests
  10.  Lakes
  11.  Awesome people
  12.  Culture
  13.  Urban vibes
  14.  Rich history
  15.  Adventure
  16.  Extreme adventure
  17. Chill
  18. Chill into a coma
  19. Golf
  20. Watersports
  21. Art and theatre
  22. Markets
  23. Spa’s and wellness
  24. Safari
  25. More awesome people

We don’t care if you:

Walk, fly, run, drive, cycle or sail, just take a #shotleft

Catch a train, a taxi, a cruise ship or a bus, just take a #shotleft

Go by car, motorbike, horse or donkey cart, just take a #shotleft

You can go for a day, a weekend, 3 days or 10, just take a #shotleft

Go down the road, to the next town, to the middle of nowhere, to another province, just take a #shotleft

Use the National roads or the dirt tracks, just take a #shotleft

Take your granny, your kids, your chommies, your luvvie, or go all alone, just take a #shotleft

Yes, you can afford it.

Just decide.

Then it’s as easy as a little less Nando’s or Woolies easy meals, not so much Klippies and Coke, and boom, you will have some spare Mandelas for a #shotleft.

Then all your chommies will get jealous and they will want to come with you, or have their own, better #shotleft, and soon the whole country is taking #shotlefts all over the place.

Then the economy will boom, and your wife’s brother and Tannie Lettie will finally get jobs, and  then even they can afford a #shotleft.

You will not get irritated by these tourists who know more about Mzansi that you do, and you can tell them about the places they should have gone to. In a smiling and friendly manner of course.

Your kids will love you for it, and you will save money on all the gadgets you don’t need to buy them.

Go to the website at the top of the page, or just stick a pin anywhere on the map of South Africa and you will find something WOW for your first #shotleft .

Then tell me where you are going.


you have to do it,

for your country.

Gorilla Trek: or Wildest Africa, 9 concerns of a drama queen.

Jambo, hello, greetings everyone.

We might not see gorillas. We should, but it is not guaranteed.

There is also the possibility that something “wildest Africa like” could happen to me before day 7 which is when we are due to hike to the gorillas.

All the focus is on the gorillas, but cute as they are ( and huge with large muscles and teeth! just saying) they only feature on 2 days out of the 14 that we will be travelling through Kenya and Uganda.


“Wildest Afrika like” things that could happen.  Remember, my inner drama queen!

1. I could get lost in Nairobi and miss the Nomad truck I am supposed to be on for 14 days. Game over! My sense of direction is shocking. This is highly embarrassing when you are a maker of maps. #Genetically flawed.

2. I could become lunch to a wild animal in the Masaai Mara Reserve. The Great Migration of just under 2 million wildebeest, gazelles and zebras occurs between July and October. Stragglers could be stampeding past in February don’t you think. The old, the lame and the ones with a poor sense of direction perhaps?

3. Following them hungrily, smacking their lips are lions and hyena. Hippopotami, black rhino and cheetahs also hang out here, always on the lookout for a stray snack. I could be that snack!

4.  Then we go Game viewing on a bicycle, come on, how safe can that be. I doubt I could out pedal a cheetah.

5.I could fall in to a “long drop” and die from the sheer horror of it. My bladder, a bit like my mind, is weak. I am told the loos in Africa are not always sweet smelling, modern or delightful.

6. I could get Malaria. I will be taking anti malaria tablets and smothering myself in Tabbard, but you never know. A new strain of ragged toothed mosquitoes, a dud batch of Doxycycline?

7. The car flipping elephants from the Kruger National Park could have ninja cousins in Uganda who toss Nomad trucks around on slow days. That would not be fun. (then again I doubt that Nomad guides would be silly if an elephant was around. Respect the animals folks, we are in their ‘hood.)


8. The Somali pirates could have decided that the high seas are too dangerous, and start hanging out in East African lakes. “Harr me hearties, I see a flock of tourists! Blow up the pirate rubber duck and load your water pistols. Look mean”

9. Water. I could forget to buy enough bottled water and either risk dehydration and lizard breath, or take a chance and clean my teeth with tap water and run the risk of acute gyppo guts. Actually this could be a good thing. I’m thinking extreme weight loss via involuntary regurgitation.  Africa as a diet? Could be the next big thing?


As usual, my imagination has run roughshod over my common sense. None of the above will happen if I am just sensible.. and there lies the risk!

Tutaonana, see you.

Gorilla photo & truck pic thanks to Nomad Tours.

Similar posts.

Apart from Gorillas

Gorilla trip planning

One Tweet

Gorilla Trek. 10 things I’m looking forward to that don’t include gorillas.

The Nomad Gorilla Trek I am bravely undertaking on the 5th February this year is not only about the gorillas.

I got a little side tracked focusing on the reality that I will be within a few meters of real live, strong, hairy, large toothed gorillas in 23 days time. Reading through my itinerary again I was reminded of all the other aspects of this East African adventure I am looking forward to.

Apart from the 5 National Parks, 4 impressive lakes and 4 African cities we will be visiting, I cant wait to:

Stand on the Equator and just know that I am at 0 degrees North or South. As a cartographer, this will be a total thrill. I hope to see the Coriolis effect, or a toilet where the water just goes straight down, swirling neither left or right. I really hope it’s not a trick!

Gaze at the stars. I am sure the night sky is going to be spectacular, as we will be in some remote areas where there will be no light pollution. Hmm, should I pack a collapsible telescope, and Northern and Southern hemisphere star books?

Have lunch on the side of the road, in the middle of Africa. Imagine saying that line when telling a story! (cos Africa is a country of course, y’all know that)

 Try to speak Swahili, and be  surrounded by people talking in a foreign language. Hopefully I won’t get it all wrong and end up married to someone, adopting an elephant or buying a sugar estate by mistake.

Wet my feet at the source of the Nile, and not find a baby in the bull rushes. My child rearing days are over thanks.

Have a bush pooh . This could  be an adventure. If a wild animal appears at least I will be in the correct position to crap myself without messing up my clothes. Thinking positively, as one does just prior to being eating by a lion.

See the Great Rift Valley, and not fall in, just take loads of photographs.

Sit around the fire pit and interrogate my new friends. I find people fascinating, a nice way of saying I’m nosy, but everyone has interesting stories.You just need to ask enough questions and out they come. (she said in a caring manner)

Kwaheri for now.

Nomad Tours Gorilla Trek: The minutiae of minute details

I was grudgingly in town for not one, but two meetings today, sigh!

It’s early January for goodness sake, I’m a Capetonian, gimme a break.

A perfect excuse to sidestep into the Burg Street Nomads office to meet Jess Barker,mastermind the Nomad Gorilla Girls .

If I am honest, also to feed my control freaky need for minute details of everything that would, could or might happen on tour.


This is not a picture of Jess

I burst into the offices in a sweaty,wrinkled, talking too much mess………

………..and left and hour later, calm, cool, reassured, but sadly, still old.

New information, no matter how inane, soothes me. As an avid and fast reader, I can process a lot, I mean, a LOT, of information.

Last night I read at least 1000 pages of Nomad Gorilla Trek blogs which led to brand new questions and fresh concerns.

Anyway, enough waffling, here we go, in bullet  points, the random new info I find so fascinating.


  • the 5cm thick mattresses are thick enough
  • it can be humid when we hike to the gorillas
  • we are travelling in a “new style” Nomads truck
  • the traffic is insane in the cities, pack your patience
  • we should NOT get out the truck to explore when stuck in traffic
  • the toilets can be truly horrific, so take loo paper & a small spade
  • some locals do not like tourists and can make mean & cruel gestures
  • do not photograph or point your camera at mean and cruel gesticulating locals
  • there are racks in the trucks for storing things
  • racks are over and above the unknown sized lockers
  • expect the unexpected! Control freaks love this phrase!
  • about 16 000 people per year travel with Nomads, and roughly 15 998 people love it

. Knowledge is power right?

My latest to do list.

  • Smoke less
  • Buy a pooh spade
  • Retrain bowels, is this possible?
  • Get rubber gloves for handling pooh spade? do you think?
  • Remove thicker than 5cm inflatable mattress from packing room
  • Practice hiking in humid weather. (the thought is good, not sure I will actually do it)
  • Find sleeping bag (was not going to take it, hot flushes, lack of space,) then found out about overhead racks!

Enough nonsense.

Seriously, I am actually very easy going, I just churn a lot of crap around in my head in a managed, control freak way.




I found a great one for a mere ZAR200 at Bargain Books

Wildlife of East Africa | A Photographic Guide by Dave Richards.  First Edition 2013. Published by Struik Nature

It has information on climate, geographical regions, mammals, birds, snakes, plants and trees.

So you can also know what could, eat, sting, bite, poison, stampede or impale you. 

Good night, sweet dreams.


One Tweet can change your life. NOMAD GORILLA TREK

24 days to go!

Kenya and Uganda with Nomad Tours ,6 travel bloggers, my best friend and 2 guys from Ultimate Braai Master.

I have to thank Twitter because that is how it started.

Late night chatting on Twitter to friends I have never met, about a sweet tweet from Nomad Tours.

The tag #GorillaGirls was coined

Dawn Jorgensen sent off an e mail

Jess from Nomads got excited

and the idea grew arms, legs & wings.


For me it is going to be the trip of a lifetime, and Blog school in a truck.

I still can’t type with my thumbs, or even see my screen until I have found my reading glasses.

I don’t really understand half of the functions on my Samsung Galaxy S3 MINI, and will probably be lugging a laptop through East Africa.

Add to that all the adapters, chargers,leads, instruction manuals for cameras and my GoPro, and I can’t seem to find space for clothes and other essential items.

HEADLINE: Naked granny frightens gorilla……. you will know my packing did not go well!

My intention is ( hopefully while fully clothed ) to observe, question and learn from my more experienced travel companions, who are Kelly Berold, Linda and Mike Markovina from Moving Sushi, Dawn Jorgensen, Sarah Duff  and Joseph Lawrence.

Simon and Christoph from Smoke, Sweat and Tears might teach me the art of lighting fires that don’t go out, and braaing food that is on the right side of raw or charred.

The Nomad guides will feed, drive and educate us as we Tweet, blog, photograph and share it all with you.

Follow our stories starting on February 5th, or boldly book your own Gorilla Trek with Nomad Tours.

Bonus for South Africans, you get a whopping 20% discount just for being lucky enough to be a Mzansi native. 

I    C A N ‘T    W A I T 

More Gorilla Trek posts here. Finding my Ancestors & Paperwork and the boring bits

Link love.

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