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Inspiring African Travel Podcast

James, Julia and Stuart from Inspiring African Travel

About Inspiring African Travel

Hello everyone and welcome to Inspiring African Travel with James, Julia and Stuart.

There are so many entertaining, inspiring, passionate and powerful individuals out there working in and around tourism in Africa that we just don’t hear about. This podcast is about bringing their uplifting stories to you. Stories of female empowerment and local tourism ownership. Stories of conservation heroes fighting to protect our wildlife. Stories of travel adventures and their experiences in travelling through Africa. And so much more…

We will bring you interviews with people who will inspire you about travel through Africa, and the incredible things we can achieve through Responsible tourism!

Thank you for listening and we hope you enjoy the journey with Inspiring African Travel!

Meet the Creators of Inspiring African Travel

Our journey to creating inspiring African Travel and What's Next

Series Five

African Travel Tips

Welcome to the fifth podcast series with Inspiring African Travel. 

Series 5, Episode 6  | 50 min

Discovering the Victoria Falls

The largest waterfalls on the planet. Located seemingly in the centre of Southern Africa, the falls stretches between two countries. It spans 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) between Zimbabwe and Zambia and is simply one of the most stunning things to see in Africa. 

This is a place we have all visited many times and it never disappoints. In this episode we’re going to explore some of the insider tips to help you get the most from your visit while exploring some of the things we love about this destination. 

Jess White who works with Wild Horizons in Zimbabwe is a Vic Falls local joined us for this episode and helps give us loads of insider tips and ideas. 

The falls drop just over 100 meters from top to bottom. Not the highest… but but when you consider that the mighty Zambezi river is one of Africa’s biggest rivers then you can just imagine what a spectacle this nearly 1.7km of waterfalls really is.

The spray that shoots up into the air from the thundering falls rises up about 800m of 2,600 feet into the air and so on a clear day you can see the falls mist from about 50km away! 

The locals called it MOSI OA TUNYA  – the Smoke that Thunders. 

Want to know what to do, where to eat, what else to see while you’re there and how we can help inspire you to get the most from your visit? If so listen in and as always here are the links to most of the places we mentioned. 

Wild Horizons are an incredible local resource and can help you plan everything from rafting the Zambezi to dining on the Zambezi. Accommodation and transfers you name it. We love these guys.

Dusty Road for an incredible local styled culinary experience in the Falls.  For more information on Bike Tours in the falls.

We spoke about the power of the Negative Ions in Victoria Falls. You can read more about that here in this blog from Wild Horizons.

The Lookout Cafe for a must do stop while in the falls. 

Series 5, Episode 5  | 60 min

After you listen to this episode you will surely be pumped up to go and explore our beloved KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It’s absolutely jam packed with tips of places to go, what to do there and how to make the most of your time in KZN so scroll down the notes for as many of the links we could gather from the tips we brought you.

Our guest for this episode is KZN expert travel writer & photographer Melanie Van Zyl. She live in sunny Pietermaritzburg at the start of the KZN midlands and has become an absolute fantastic of the region! 
Like all places there are just so many more things we didn’t have time to talk about so we focus on 5 topics and regions to get you more than going.

  1. We start off with Durban the city – the hub of KZN and while we’re not big into cities on this podcast, Mel tries to persuade us otherwise!
  2. The Drankensberg Mountain range. Superb hiking and Definitely South Africa’s most significant mountain range. 
  3. Kosi Bay and the surrounding beaches & bays for remote, tropical wilderness experiences and incredible snorkelling and diving
  4. The KZN Midlands – a region that starts an hour inland from Durban all the way to the Drakensberg. Its one of the most perfect road trip areas full of quaint places to stay and explore. Its foodie heaven and also full if nature trails and outdoor things to do.
  5. The game-reserves & wildlife areas of KZN. Possibly overlooked because of the famous Kruger in South Africa.. we’ll take you through the best places in KZN that offer truly unique ecosystems and African wildlife experiences.

Thanks again to Melanie for agreeing to help us out it was lots of fun and you can find all her details in our notes on the site as well.

To know more about Melanie Van Zyl our guest on this podcast and expert on all things Kwa-Zulu Natal follow her website link or find her on Instagram, and Twitter.

The city life of Durban
Check out Summer Hill for Mel’s recommendation for a really fun Durban styled sustainable meal using local produce from local farmers (around 20-minutes from Durban).

The amazing South African Indian curry restaurant we recommend near Florida road in Durban is Malis – Fantastic homemade curry! Don’t let the looks deceive you. This place does an outstanding nosh!

The Kosi Bay Area of KZN
The incredible Isimangaliso Wetland Park. An extremely unique game reserve and ecosystem in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Kosi Forest Lodge for the amazing Raphia Palm walks where you can find the rare Palm-nut vulture and enjoy massive wide-open deserted wild beaches.

Coral Divers – Mel’s recommendation for an amazing place to stay for diving, fishing and exploring. Chilled, relaxed vibe and inside the park.

The Drakensberg Mountains 
One of Mel’s favourite places for hiking, views and remoteness is the Mnweni Wilderness Area. You can find out more about this region and hikes here:

Womxn for Wild offer these guides hikes of the Drakensberg.

Mel’s recommendation for escorted guided hikes in the Drakensberg – Path Finder SA.

To get to the highest pub in Africa and enjoy the Sani Pass (although in Lesotho and not in KZN) you’ll get epic views of KZN – Sani Mountain Lodge (don’t forget your passport) and beware the road is very tricky if there is snow and you always need a 4WD.

The KZN Midlands 
A quaint area of KZN full of old “English” style pubs, crafts, arts, culture and incredible little wilderness areas. For information about the area visit the Midlands Meander

The incredible museum commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela located near Howick is a must do in the Midlands – The Capture Site

The Karkloof Conservation Area is a wonderful wilderness area doing great things with trails, biking, bird rehabilitation (for Cranes) and much more.

The quirky Old Mushroom Farm offers accommodation in the Karkloof Conservation Area. 

The Nottingham Road Brewing Company based in Rawdon’s is a popular brewery been around for many, many years.

Finally – if you want to go to one of the most unusual vineyards then this is the place to check out Abingdon Wine Estate.  

Mel’s tips – Always choose a place to stay in the Midlands with a fire place!

Game Reserves & Wildlife Areas in KZN 
Close to Durban in a new reworded Manyoni Game Reserve

Babanango Game Reserve – Our episode in series 2 covered this amazing new project creating a new massive game-reserve wildlife area.

Keep an eye out on The Homestead Lodge in Nambiti Private Game Reserve

These are epic wilderness areas in KZN getting you off the grid away from other people getting in touch with nature in this remarkable game reserve. Short 2-day hikes to longer 5-day adventures.

Series 5, Episode 4  | 36 min

You often hear of gems in the travel world but Chumbe Island really and truly is. This podcast will follow our trips to this remarkable place. An affordable yet still exclusive tiny island off the coast of Zanzibar.

Staying here is exactly like you imagined a tropical island when you were a child. Rustic bungalows nestled in the lush forests. Turquoise ocean, whites sandy bays and the world’s largest and most elusive crab! Over the last 30-years Chumbe has turned this island into an award winning marine conservancy and community tourism project.

Enjoy this episode as we inspire you to visit one of our favourite places in Africa! Chumbe Island!

Series 5, Episode 3  | 48 min

Tips for Trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro and discovering other epic hikes in East Africa

James recalls his experience trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro and chats to Ake Lindstrom from Summits Africa

If you enjoy the active outdoors in Africa then this episode is for you. James recalls his experience trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro. We invite Ake Lindstrom from Summits Africa to share his wealth of guiding & mountaineering knowledge to help inspire you and provide tips to get the most out of your Kili trek.

Ake (pronounced Orca) has summited Kili over 80 times and so he’s fairly qualified to give us his tips. However, we wanted to use the lure of summiting Africa’s highest point (and the world’s highest freestanding mountain) to share with you some other incredible hikes and treks in East Africa. Try Mt. Kenya or imagine a 7-day trek through the Great Rift Valley between ancient craters, active volcanoes and vast open areas dotted with remote Maasai communities.

We believe hikes are the best way of ‘taking in’ a country. You get to spend more time soaking up the scenery and learning about the ecosystem when you’re not rushing from place to place. It’s also an incredible way of meeting local people – the best way to appreciate any region.

To learn more about this episode:

Follow Ake on Instagram on:

Summit Africa treks and information:

We also talk about the incredible Lake Natron Camp and Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano features on the Great Rift Valley treks.

Series 5, Episode 2  | 46 min

Salt Pans Sleep Out in Botswana – The closest you’ll get to a night out on the Moon

James and Stuart talk about their experiences on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans Sleep Out.

There is a place in Botswana called Makgadikgadi. Home to the largest collection of salt pans on the planet. A vast open, desolate place in what is already a vast, open desolate region – the Kalahari Desert. 

In this episode we’re going to transport you to one of our favourite lodges, Leroo La Tau, and talk you through an experience of spending a night out sleeping in the middle of one of these ginormous salt pans. A place where you will witness a blanket of stars unlike anything you could imagine. Where you can take in the seemingly never-ending horizons of the salty white surface that could only be matched by being on the moon. 

Links include: 

One of our favourite places in Botswana referred to as the base from which to experience the salt pans sleep out: 

The book referred to with expert knowledge on the formation of the salt pans: 


Series 5, Episode 1  | 48 min

Primate Trekking in Africa: Adventures with Chimps & Gorillas in Uganda & Rwanda

James shares his adventures and travel tips on Primate Trekking in Africa

Everyone tends to talk about “Gorilla Trekking” as one of those bucket list things to do in Africa. In this episode we share our tips from Uganda and Rwanda where we went on Chimpanzee, Golden Monkey and Gorilla treks. While gorilla trekking is a profound experience we’re here today to share insight as to why there is so much more than just the gorilla trekking. We interview a specialist ranger from Uganda and we hope to bring you lots of useful information and the usual quality banter from the Inspiring African Travel crew!

Information on this episode:

Bernard at the team from curate trips across Africa and specilialise in Uganda & Rwanda. They planned James & Julia’s trip and did a wonderful job.

Africano Kob who featured in the interview is a former ranger from Kibali and now guiding for

If you want to see the videos featured in the episode check out the Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla Clip and the Chimp Trekking Clip with James and Julia

For any further questions or information you’d like from the team please do get in touch on or reach out to us on social media.

Series Four

2022 the year of Travelling to Africa

Welcome to the fourth podcast series with Inspiring African Travel. 

Series 4, Episode 5  | 48 min

Kate from Explore Inc visits Tanzania

James chats to Kate from Explore Inc on her trip to East Africa.

We’ve reached the final episode of the series which features Katie McDonough our friend from Explore Inc in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Katie is an African Expert and sends hundreds of high-end travellers across to Africa every year. As we’re celebrating 2022 the Year of Travelling to Africa it was great to chat to Katie fresh off the plane from her trip to Tanzania. Her first trip back since the pandemic.

Enjoy our chat about her experiences on the ground and as usual some good tips in there for everyone!

If you have any questions about the places we spoke about in the podcast please feel welcome to get in touch on email via

You can read more about US based Explore Inc on their website at



Andrew and Metal at the Africa's Eden trade show

Series 4, Episode 4  | 40 min

Are the UK Travellers ready for Africa?

James chats to Chris from Africa Collection in a UK Pub

Andrew and Metal at the Africa's Eden trade show

Are the UK travellers ready to come to Africa? 

It was time to move the interview studio to a pub in the UK and James found a willing interviewee in the form of Chris Fortescue from Africa Collection. Chris and his business partner James, have been operating Africa Collection for over 20-years and shared his thoughts on the travel sector and the challenges and opportunities for the coming years. 

As always a quick catch up with Stuart and James and another week goes by with the skies and the arrivals into Africa climbing by the day! 

Please also check out the Africa Collection Facebook Page for regular Africa travel updates from the UK.

After recording the interview the PCR requirements we spoke about were all lifted

Series 4, Episode 3  | 63 min

The Australians Are Coming!

We compare notes with our friends on the other side of the Indian Ocean

In this episode we decided to compare notes with our friends on the other side of the Indian Ocean. Speaking to two real life Australians we find out how their COVID pandemic journey in the travel industry has affected them as individuals and not just the outbound market to Africa.. but their own domestic and international industry.

Rhett Lego from TCMG in Germany has been marketing Australia as well as other regions since the naughties and comes with some fascinating insight into the tourism sector within Australia.

We also chat to Ryan Kendall from Untamed Safaris in Australia and his outlook for arrivals from the Australian market into Southern and East Africa. Ryan Kendall can be contacted on and on Instagram.

We discussed The incredible El Questro in Western Australia Kimberly Region.

And back due to a request from a few of our listeners, Stuart and James have a their bi-weekly catch up before the episode.

More Notes from this podcast:

The rest Is History Podcast: Lessons from history on the Ukraine crisis – Our favourite podcast of the month.

Andrew and Metal at the Africa's Eden trade show

Series 4, Episode 2  | 40 min

Africa’s Eden special episode – Travel shows are back!

Andrew meets up with industry peers at Africa's Eden.

Andrew and Metal at the Africa's Eden trade show

For our second episode of celebrating – 2022 The Year of Travelling to Africa – we’ve gathered snippets to bring you from all over Botswana and Zimbabwe. Africa’s Eden launched the first in-destination travel show post-pandemic which took place this month in Victoria Falls.

So we used the opportunity of having everybody together… in person… and caught up with lodge managers, guides and tour operators from around the region as well as the event’s organisers. In this episode share the buzz and excitement as travellers arrival numbers are on the up and the tourism industry is back in full flow!

Congratulations to Africa’s Eden for pulling off what promises to be a highlight on every calendar within the African Travel sector.

We’d like to thank Kumbi Chiweshe, Andrew Flatt, Jillian Blackbeard, Walter Smith, Alexandra Mucheik, Ernest Chaba and Florence Kagiso for taking the time to contribute to this episode and we hope you enjoy feeling the energy of our wonderful African Tourism industry back in full force as much as we do!

In terms of links please add the following.  

For more information about Africa’s Eden please check out

We also feature The Victoria Falls DMC who can be found on

To have a look at the beautiful new Pioneers Lodge in Victoria Falls which played host to the event


Series 4, Episode 1  | 32 min

Welcome to Series Four

James and Stuart catch up after the festive season to introduce you to Series four

Welcome to series 4 of Inspiring African Travel. 

We have decided dedicate this series to celebrating 2022 as the year of travelling to Africa. Yip we’ve called it! 

Travel to Southern and East Africa is WELL underway and bookings for the upcoming season are exploding by the day.! 

For this series, every few  weeks we’ll catch up and talk about whats happening in the travel sector. 

Whats new from the people operating on the ground in destinations across the continent and also from travel companies around the world that sell our destinations. 

The lifeblood of our industry! 

We want to share real time feedback about bookings into the continent of Africa to give you ideas and of course inspiration.  

Our man on the ground at the moment in Zimbabwe, Andrew Flatt, will be talking to travel industry people in Victoria Falls who are attending Africa’s Eden travel trade show – the first of a new kind of travel show in Africa. He’ll be sending us short interviews from travel sellers and safari operators and those at the coalface from all corners of the region. 

If you’re wondering… if this podcast is aimed at you? YES! This series should be enjoyed by anyone affected by travel in Africa. 

We hope those of you working abroad in travel companies will have the opportunity to gain ideas about overcoming obstacles and share inspiration for building momentum in 2022. 

Of course if you’re a keen traveller who listen to the show and love Africa. Here’s your chance to hear what we get up to and why this year will be the year to travel to Africa! 

Now that’s the short introduction but we hope you enjoy our series overview episode as we catch up and give you insight into the coming months. 

Why the unusual paining you ask? We try to educate Stuart into the way of art so have a listen to find out what his take on this painting way. 

And no, nothing to do with Inspiring African Travel but it made us chuckle! 

2022 the year of Travelling to Africa
2022 the year of Travelling to Africa

Season Three

Guide Stories

Our intention for this series is to introduce you to local guides in the tourism industry who have fascinating stories to share.

Season Two

Local Heroes in Tourism

In our second series we speak to local heroes in in the Africa travel industry. Follow the six part series with all the episodes, videos and photos on the link below. 

Season One

Women In Travel 

In our first series we speak to inspiring women in the Africa travel industry. Follow the seven part series with all the episodes, videos and photos on the link below. 

Want to Be a Guest?

If you know any women out there who would like to share their story please do get in touch by submitting your details in the contact section below. 

Come Onto the Show

Meet The Team

James Wilson

James Wilson

Julia Spry

Julia Spry

Stuart Parker

Stuart Parker

We are extremely passionate about tourism in Africa – A place we are lucky to call our home. As travel industry professionals, our jobs (and personal journeys) take us to some incredible places across the African Continent. But it is the people we meet along the way that leaves a lasting impression. These are the people who’ve inspired us to start this platform.

Get In Touch

If you have any feedback on our podcast, or would like to be featured in one of our episodes fill out the contact form and we will be in touch. 

Inspiring African Travel

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