A car, a camera and Cape Town

There are hundreds of kilometres of roads to explore in Cape Town and many different ways of doing it.

Having only half a day to play, we chose to stay close to the CBD and this is what we got up to.


Our ride for the day was a huge don’t mess with me Land Rover that was perfect for four chattering females. It had gadgets that beeped and  flashed cautions and instructions, leaving us free to concentrate on the talking and the scenery most of the time.

We all agreed that coffee was the best way to start the day, and having it at a scenic spot outside would allow us to put the car through its paces.

Victoria Road hugs the coastline past Camps Bay, and Detour Expresso Bar is a small trailer parked on the roadside producing seriously awesome brews . The space is shared with traders of local crafts, epic ocean and mountain views and plenty of fresh air.






Raring to go after a caffeine fix, we headed back towards the city and up into the BoKaap to walk around the historical, colourful streets.


This neighbourhood is one big photo opportunity. It is also where real people live so please be mindful before you start clicking away. It is always a good idea to ask permission before taking photographs of the local residents. Many are happy to pose, answer questions and tell stories but they are not obliged to do so.




The BoKaap has a fascinating history that is worth discovering, with or without a camera.


From the BoKaap we travelled back towards town and into Woodstock to take in some street art. So much talent to be seen here.


The best way to experience this is on a guided tour or in a group with an audio guide by Voice Map an app that can be downloaded onto your phone.


Our last stop was to The Old Biscuit Mill  in Woodstock where the creativity of Cape Town is still evident, this time as functional art in the buildings and spaces and as culinary art at our lunch venue, The Pot Luck Club.


This restaurant is situated above life on the street and is accessed via a glass lift. Arrive hungry because this is more than lunch, it is a feast.



Disclosure and thanks to Around About Cars for the vehicle, The Pot Luck Club for the taste bud treat Thanks must also go to Dawn Jorgensen, Fiona Rossiter and Kathryn Rossiter for being inspiring travel companions and The Travel Manuel family for making it all happen.

Indaba, creating opportunities and learning how to build a bomb.


One of the things I love about Indaba is the opportunities it creates. It is so much more than a show for the big corporates and tourism giants, there is space for the little guys to get noticed too.

Wetu Travel have a mini tech zone this year and it was here that I encountered Digital Shelf.

This two man company was only formed in February this year and yet here they are talking at Indaba. It might be on a small scale but they are making a big impression and doing business.

It was the title of their presentation that caught my attention.

“How to build a bomb. Making content pop.”

In a digital world full of noise this is exactly what we need to know. How to stand out and get noticed.

So, who and what are Digital Shelf.

Darren Combrink and Johann Smith are the owners and are polar opposites.

Combrink spent many years in corporate IT , before changing track, walking the 800km Camino in Spain then retraining as a tour guide and running his own company for a few years. In this time he became fascinated by social media marketing and became something of a Twitter guru.

Combrink is a gentleman, polite, softly spoken, and quick to smile. He tells me he is a very structured person.

Smith is a creative through and through. He spent a few years as a music journalist before moving to content creation in the travel industry. Smith is intense, passionate and becomes increasingly animated as he warms to his theme.

When I asked him what Digital Shelf do he replied “We can do anything. There are no constraints. We have the spirit of pioneers. We don’t see rules, we see opportunities”

I love the way Smith talks in Tweets and sound bites.

Combrink’s reply to the same question was as follows “Johann creates the content and I amplify it on various social media platforms according to a strategic plan. Or in Johann speak, he builds the bomb and I drop it”

Digital Shelf is a company that is producing content with passion that is balanced by science.

In their presentation Smith relates these mind boggling numbers.

From 1200BC until 2003 the human race generated 5 Exabyte’s of data.

We now produce that every 2 days.

So yes, to stand out in this digital explosion you do need to build a bomb. Equally important is knowing when and where to drop it.

Smith’s creative mind appears to know no limits. He describes Digital Shelf as alternative, rock stars, outside the box thinkers. A company happy to break down preconceived notions of how things should be done. As a small company they have to be flexible and resourceful and in this environment Smith thrives.

Combrink is a people person, he listens to his clients, understands the tourism industry and his experience as a tour operator gives him insight into both the consumer and the supplier.

Together they are a winning combination.

Judging by the number of people queuing up to talk to them after their presentation, what they are doing is resonating with the industry.

In a digital world that is easily bored and fast becoming a morass of recycled mediocre content, Digital Shelf is perfectly poised for success.

Their final presentation of the show will be held at 1pm on Monday at the Wetu Travel tech area. ICC F09.


Day made, thanks Indaba

South Africa Tourism urges us to make someone’s day, and I am thrilled to say that they are walking their talk.

Early this morning, while still half asleep, I left Cape Town for the annual pilgrimage to Durban for tourism Indaba.


Arriving in Durban  2 days before the official opening of Indaba 2016, my day was made not just once, or even twice, but three times and counting.

Day made number one was being greeted at King Shaka International Airport by Welcome to South Africa signs and Indaba 2016 banners all over the airport.


Add to that the smiling ladies waiting to take your bags and escourt you to registration right outside the terminal building.

Then they give you a small Indaba cooler box filled with swag that will delight any conference delegates soul, this is all done by smiling locals murmuring words of welcome.


The final thrill was being escourted to the complimentary Indaba shuttles waiting to take delegates and their bags to the hotels around the city. This is great as the average fare from the airport to the Durban CBD is around R300 or more.


For me Indaba always has a buzz, a something special that is conspicuously absent at that other travel show that has been held in Cape Town for the last three years. I enjoy WTM Africa, lots of business is done there and it is growing every year, but it lacks something.

There have been grumblings about Indaba for a few years now. People complain that it has become tired, or too predictable, too big, not big enough, too commercial, too expensive, too something.

Every year the naysayers predict the slow death of Indaba, the relocation of Indaba, the very end of Indaba, and every year Indaba happens, business is done and Indaba lives to promote tourism for another year.


This year rumours abound about Indaba and WTM Africa merging and relocating to either Johannesburg or Cape Town. We’ve heard that one before too, but the rumours are louder this year, let’s see if there is any substance to them this time.

I am hopefully optimistic that this year Indaba is going to be a wow. So far they are getting it right with the small details, the unique way that the whole city of Durban embraces Indaba.


I can’t wait for Saturday to enter the ICC, to wander around the road that is kidnapped every year to link the ICC and the Durban exhibition centre. To feel that buzz, that unique South African vibe that puts me on a three day high, that stimulates my brain and creative thinking, that makes me so proudly South African that I could almost burst, and that creates the opportunity and space for me to network, talk shop and touch base with colleagues, old and new friends and passionate tourism people.

Thank you South Africa Tourism, you made my day today, I know you can do it for another four days.