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Instagram Heroes: Explore Vicariously Through the Eyes of 5 Top Travel Bloggers

One of the industries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic has necessarily been that of travel, with restrictions implemented to varying degrees around the world to curb the spread of the virus. For those who have been able to go away this December, it’s a welcome freedom after an extended period of limited movement. For those still living with travel restrictions in place, then perhaps this list won’t serve as immediate inspiration for your own getaway, but we do hope you’ll find some solace in exploring vicariously through the eyes of a few of our favourite travel bloggers. With that disclaimer out of the way, here are our Instagram Heroes of the week. Enjoy, and be sure to tag along for the many journeys these curious, roaming creatives have yet to embark on.

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Farirai Sanyika

Having grown up between Durban and Johannesburg before studying in Cape Town, Farirai Sanyika was once a city girl through and through. But everything changed when work prompted her move to the small industrial town of Secunda in Mpumalanga. This is where she stood in awe at the Blyde River Canyon for the first time, realising in that moment how much there was to explore in South Africa and beyond. Since then, travelling Africa in particular and equipping others to do the same has been her joy. Sanyika is the founder of Gophari, both a platform for sharing her own travel tales and tips as well as a business coordinating premium travel for groups of women. Since launching in 2018, all of their trips have sold out. “I keep it real about the barriers that stop Africans from traveling. My goal is to empower more Africans to travel their country and the world,” she says. Follow @gophari on IG.

Natalie Roos

You may recognise Natalie Roos from her 10-year stint as a presenter on the popular kids’ network, K-T.V. The name she now goes by on Instagram, Tails of a Mermaid, originated in blog form in 2010 as a place to share stories with her family and friends. Over time the content organically took on a more travel-oriented focus, with beautiful photography and candid accounts of the destinations she visited in SA and abroad. Awash in a golden glow, her Insta continues this legacy, while her blog remains active with a growing global readership. Roos was born and raised in Johannesburg and now lives between Cape Town and Nairobi, where she works as an Influencer Relations Director… when she’s not off exploring, that is. Follow @tailsofamermaid on IG. 

Dineo Zonke Maduna

Feeling the call to explore, Dineo Zonke Maduna set herself the goal of travelling to 30 countries before her 30th birthday – and she quit her job in order to reach it. Reach it she did in March of 2019 and has now racked up visits to 32 countries and counting. This globetrotter grew up in Nelspruit, the capital of the scenic province of Mpumalanga, in a family that valued travel. She cites the trips they’d take together as some of her favourite childhood memories, and clearly the bug’s been with her ever since. Her Instagram is filled with awe-inspiring views, many from adventures hiking and rock climbing, while her blog goes into more detail about her experiences both locally and abroad. Maduna shares helpful travel tips too, gleaned from her many adventures. Follow @dineo_zonke on IG. 

Dawn Jorgensen 

Dawn Jorgensen is a writer, earth advocate, beauty seeker, and conscious traveller. She founded her award-winning blog, The Incidental Tourist in 2010 with the purpose of sharing her deep love of travel with others. It is there, as well as via her Instagram of the same name, that she shares stories, photographs, reviews and details of the conservation campaigns she supports. In her own words, “From gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia, turtle rescue in Kenya, crampon hiking in Patagonia and setting up a temporary home in Lisbon, my focus remains on sustainable tourism, as well as highlighting ways that we can enjoy this beautiful world without detriment.” Follow @dawnjorgensen on IG. 

Fisayo Olayinka-Bello

This award-winning travel blogger based in Lagos, Nigeria “thrives at the intersection of tourism, technology and advocacy.” Fisayo Olayinka-Bello spends her days advocating for tourism development, hosting a podcast and teaching travel blogging courses. A love for discovering new places is what put her on her path, while a desire to change the “African narrative” so often portrayed by mainstream media is what keeps her working tirelessly. In a recent interview she says, “I knew an African in Africa needed to tell the right stories about this destination.” Her YouTube is packed with fun videos documenting the destinations she visits while her Instagram is where you can find her every day for more personal stories about her struggles, wins and of course her regular travels. We’ll be keeping tabs on this dreamer and go-getter as her journey continues to unfold. Follow @thefiyaso on IG. 

Are you an Instagram Hero?

If you’re a creator or business owner in Sub-Saharan Africa using IG to grow your practice or build your brand, you qualify to enter our monthly Instagram Heroes awards series. The Creator category includes art, design and craft, as well as creatives and makers across all fields. The Business category is for local entrepreneurs, agencies, start-ups and well-established enterprises. Submit your work using the form below before Friday, 22 January 2021.



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