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Moments made unforgettable

Nothing feeds one’s soul like exploring beautiful scenery – it is nature’s gift. At Neo Star Travel & Tours, their mission is to transform ordinary journeys into extraordinary experiences and aim to curate and deliver personalised travel solutions that encompass opulence, convenience, and unforgettable moments.

However, creating unforgettable moments needs planning. So what are the best travel times, and are there specific seasons for specific activities or experiences?

We took a minute to speak to the man who has the plug when it comes to all things travel. Mr. Tshukudu “Rhino” Moepadira, the founder of Neo Star Travel & Tours shared his traveling tips and nuggets but more importantly, he pointed out that when to travel depends on a traveller’s specific needs.

He explains that because South Africa is generally warm, June/July is ideal for adventure seekers who want to go hiking, while the Spring/Summer season works for those who want to bask in the sun and enjoy some slush splash of the beaches. Ideally, the traveler who wants to go low veld in the bushlands and enjoy the wildlife can do that anytime in the year, and partygoers who want to  enjoy themselves should do so during the festive season.

According to Moepadira, South Africa caters to diverse taste and preferences. “We have such dynamic services that we take care of solo travelers, women-only travelers, backpackers, campers, corporates, cultural explorers, wildlife enthusiasts, and adventure seekers,” he adds.

He advises travellers to book with an accredited tour operator, and accredited accommodation establishments, to get a safe and great experience. “There are a lot of entities that are chance takers, and a traveller would need to do some due diligence before booking with any service provider. These non-compliant chance takers are giving a bad name to the tourism sector and our reputation,” he emphasis.

Moepadira points out that SA’s diverse culture and history influence tourism offerings. SA’s diverse cultures, multilingual mediums, various ethnicities, and rich heritage influence the tourism industry greatly, it’s the calling card to the global community to come and experience the wonderful unique, and diverse cultures. “This also helps domestic travelers to know more about their own country, and learn how other people in different spaces do things and appreciate life.”

As much as we know what we have on offer, some unknown offerings include the 2 oceans (Atlantic & Indian oceans),  amazing natural landscapes, wildlife, township, and rural lifestyles. Our metros for corporate travelers and beautiful holiday spaces for holidaymakers- are unmatched. Moepadira saysdespite our daily challenges as a country, South Africa is beautiful and thus seriously needs to be cherished.

So how do we get the best experience? Being blessed with the best wildlife, birdLife, and primate sanctuaries housing indigenous species just to name a few, means travelers are spoilt for choice.

Travelers should consider visiting:

  • Somopho Hills in Empangeni North Coast KZN
  • Durban West region
  • Durban 1000 Hills Region
  • Durban Inanda heritage route
  • Golden gate caves – carved over millions of years ago naturally by water
  • Clarens – the crown jewel of SA
  • Witsieshoek Sentinel Peak & Devils tooth mountains
  • Sudwala caves Mpumalanga
  • Valley of Desolation
  • Kagga Kamma game Park

For culinary delights, the metros have nice and plush restaurants with various cuisines for different pallets. “We have the township and rural lifestyles for some nice braai meat / African cuisine, accompanied with a car wash spot, as you indulge in the delicious food whilst waiting for your car to be washed. We have various locations of eateries that cater to your choice of vegans, vegetarians, etc.”

So immerse yourselves in the local communities and support sustainable tourism initiatives. The South African Township and Village Tourism Association is doing amazing work to push the narrative and growth of Township and Rural tourism. This is a great entry point for those who want to immerse themselves and support sustainable local tourism initiatives.

One thing is certain in Mzansi, you can never go wrong with food and drinks but before you pack your bags don’t forget to take precautions. Traveling is fun but safety plays a huge role in the tourism industry.

Yes, SA has true challenges of crime and over the years these have been addressed and somewhat attended to. However, there’s more that can be done, if we are going to call ourselves a true holiday destination. “Criminals target the travelers for their valuables etc, and thus we need more visible policing on the streets, every day and night.  Our police must be held accountable and they must be measured on true work done to protect their citizens and the global community coming into our country. We need to reassure the travelers that they are safe and thus have tour guides etc to be with them, but that’s not enough, the police department needs to drastically and aggressively step in to remove the hoodlums off the streets, and we will get more travelers into SA and thus grow our economy,” he explains.

So where does one start? If you are planning a trip the top must-visit destinations for tourists in South Africa are:

  • Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge Qwa Qwa
  • Durban Giba Gorge, Krantzkloof, inner & outer west regions
  • Hidden Forest Sanctuary North Coast KZN
  • Panorama Route Mpumalanga
  • Western Cape- The cozy Plettenberg Bay

As beautiful as our country is, travellers should take precautions such as leaving their valuables, such as jewellery, hi-tech cameras, cash, etc at their hotel or accommodation establishment. “Carry light, have your bank card to enable you to make those souvenir shop payments, restaurant eating out, bar drinks and activities. Travel light whilst on the streets of Mzansi,” he concludes.

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