Zebra vs Lion Fight 

The fist animals we met in Kruger were two lions.



It was 5 am and they were having a nice breakfast. We couldn’t see what animal it was because they were hiding it behind a fallen tree, but they stayed there for many hours. We spent about 20 minutes watching them eating before continuing with the safari.

The sun was rising.
A few hundred meters away from the lions, a group of three zebras crossed the road in front of our car. The third one was wounded.


And then we realized it was the stallion that had been fighting with the lions. Their kill was another zebra and he tried to stop them.
Zebras are very social animals and they are quite strong as well. The stallion wasn’t badly wounded but there we could clearly see the scratches from the lion’s claws.

It was the first time we witnessed this aspect of the animal’s life. Most of the time you won’t see a predator hunting.


We asked the ranger if a vet is going to treat the zebra. Apparently they almost never do, the idea is to let the animals live as they would if no vets existed.

So that was the scary side of the safari – you suddenly realize that the animals are not just beautiful and magnificent and happily running around and just enjoying the day – from dusk to down, they fight for survival

IMAGINE DRAGONS – NAMIBIA 

Do you think climbing a sand dune is easy? Would you be fine with sleeping in a tent in the middle of the desert?

I found both of these quite challenging, but then what made me fall in love with the desert?

Yes, it is extremely hot during the day and freezing at night, and not many people would like to live there, but it’s a magical place and even if you don’t believe in magic – once you’re there, you will.
Most of the population is concentrated in the capital city Windhoek. I have to say it’s a very developed and organized city, it felt very safe to walk around and the people are awesome!
Only 20% of the Namibian territory is reachable by road – mostly gravel or sand roads. For the other part you will need to hop on a small plane or walk across the desert.
I like to think that the other 80% belong to the dragons. 
It’s the perfect place for a Dragon Kingdom. If you think it’s just my imagination – it’s not, in fact Namibia is the home of the Dragon’s Breath Cave in which you can find one of the largest underground lakes in the world. The fairy circles are also everywhere. Everything looks like from another world.



Most of the lodges are tented – they do look fancy and keep you safe from the animals and insects but it gets very windy and cold at night. The biggest plus for me was the beautiful bathroom in our lodge – it’s quite romantic 🙂

Climbing the sand dunes and walking to the Dead Valley is not too difficult if you are fit but it could be a challenge if you’re not, so make sure you go early in the morning when it’s not that hot.

The South African Cuisine 

A lot of people have been asking me about the South African cuisine. 

With so many different cultures in the country it’s very difficult to tell what is the authentic food and what is not, so I just decided to pick a few examples.

Enjoy!
1. Braai – the absolute South African number one!

It’s the South African barbecue. The meat is done medium-rare, maximum medium.

2. Pear & white chocolate cream 

3. Mixed Berry Pancakes 

4. Mushroom cream wrapped in cabbage 


5. Oysters – especially around Cape Town. 


6. Freshly squeezed juice.

Together with the 9 months of summer, the unlimited amounts of fresh fruit are one of the best reasons to live here 😀

BAJA CALIFORNIA – MEXICO

The horizon just was out of place.

Although it seemed perfectly calm in the distance, for the whole week I had the feeling that the water was a giant wave waiting to collapse over the land.

On the other side were the mountains – very green despite the desert climate.

It was the rainy season and yet until the end of our trip the weather stayed hot and dry. A hurricane was approaching as we were leaving Baja California, but thankfully we escaped the storm on time.



When the tropical storms or hurricanes arrive, the rainwater gathers in the otherwise dry and empty river beds that descend from the mountains. But most of the time you won’t even see a drop of water.

As everywhere in Mexico, the distances are long and the best plan is to rent a car from the airport. Mr. Jonas surprised me with a Fiat 500, a very romantic choice.
The first destination was Todos Santos (yes, All Saints)


The real Mexico is far from the typical Hollywood cliches.

However, Todos Santos does match them to some extent: the desert, lots of cacti, happy and noisy local guys, gringos…

 Most bars and restaurants close around 9 and the nights are usually very quiet.

It’s perfect for stargazing because the town is small and there’s no light pollution. The Tropic of Cancer is very close to Todos Santos. Google Sky Maps is an interesting app that shows you the constellations around.

The town was founded in the 18th century by missionaries. Most of the buildings are quite old, many of them have been converted into hotels, but still maintain the traditional style of the past – huge gardens with tropical flowers and palm trees, fountains, exotic birds …


Todos Santos is a few miles away from the beach, so we hopped in our cute Fiat.

There’s so few people living in Baja California and almost no tourists (especially if you compare it to the rest of the Mexican beach resorts), and on the other hand there are so many beaches around. 


You won’t see any ugly hotels or restaurants, and especially if you enjoy big waves or surfing – this is the perfect place for you 🙂

SO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA?


It’s been more that a year since I moved to live in South Africa. I remember the first time I saw the land from the plane – perfect squares of neat green fields and red soil. I’ll never forget this moment. 

All people need some time to adjust to a new country. For me this period lasted for about 5 minutes. I came to my home country for a week and even though I enjoy seeing my family and friends, the truth is, I can’t wait to go back to South Africa.
This doesn’t mean that I have no problems living there. 
Living in South Africa as a foreigner is almost mission impossible: you’re not able to get anything without a SA ID number, there’s no information on the Internet, in fact usually there’s no Internet, no public transport, you can’t even buy a SIM card…if you’re lucky you might have electricity. 

It’s a very developed country but also a very restrictive one. I know it sounds weird.


But at the same time – the people are great and the food is delicious, the arts scene is very good and so are the jazz clubs, it’s a very young nation, the weather is probably the best in the world, and of course – the national parks are amazing (and the whole country feels like one huge park). 
Life in South Africa may not be for everyone, but for me it’s still a dream come true. ❤️

THE PENGUIN KINGDOM – SIMON’S TOWN

A cute penguin couple arrived on this beach in 1982. They liked the scenic Simon’s Town and well, decided to start multiplying. Today there’s thousands of them and what’s more amazing, the beach is open to public, you can go and swim around them. 

Like most places around Cape Town, water is not very warm but the temperature gets quite nice during the high season if you stay in the shallow parts.


It took me a few days to realize I actually saw penguins right next to me and it wasn’t in a zoo. I always thought they lived on Antarctica and nowhere else. These guys are smaller than the Emperor penguins. They’re quite friendly and would pose for a picture with you.

There are many other activities around Simon’s Town like surfing or, you know, diving with sharks, but this is number one for me. After all, there aren’t that many places in the world where you can make friends with a whole penguin colony!


The 10 things you need for a great safari experience

A question I’m always asked is “What do I need to wear/bring on a safari?”So here is a short list of the most essential things for a game drive (according to me).


1. A wind proof jacket 

If you’ve never been on a safari before, you probably don’t assume you’d need one. Still, most game drives start around 4.30-5am and most likely you’re going in an open vehicle, which means the wind would be quite strong and cold. The temperature will start going up after sunrise, so layering is the best option.

2. Sunscreen 

Once the sun has risen, you would need to use sunblock. A typical safari would last for a few hours after sunrise, so make sure you don’t get sunburned.

3. A hat/ cap

I’m a fan of the Indiana Jones type of hats as they are also very good for the walking safaris, as they can protect you from the thorny bushes/trees. But even for a game drive you would need one, as you’re going to stop on the way for breakfast/lunch and also because there’s not always shade in the open vehicles on the game drives. A baseball cap is fine too.

4. Binoculars 

Many of the animals would be in the distance, especially the shy ones like leopard, cheetah and serval. It’s always useful to have binoculars with you and it would definitely help to find more animals.
A photography tip: if you’re taking pictures with your phone camera, put the binoculars in front of the lens and it would help you zoom in and take a close-up picture of an animal in the distance 🙂 

Here’s an example from Mr. Jonas

5. Water/ coffee/ tea
Preferably in a thermos.
6. Khaki is the best color for your safari outfit, but it’s not the only option.
Okay, here’s picture of me and our ranger-tracker-driver-genius Jonas. You could wear whatever you feel like, but I guess  it’s more fun to dress in safari style 🙂

This really depends on the area though. In countries where the tsetse fly is a problem, definitely stick to the classic khaki/ beige colors. 

Wearing white is not a good idea as it’s too bright and it might scare the animals away. The same rule applies for any flashy and bright colors.

My advice would be to stick to the earth colors.

7. A good camera
If you’re planning to buy a camera for your safari adventure, make sure you choose one with a great zoom.

8. Repellent 
As they say, the deadliest animal in Africa is the mosquito.Again, that really depends on the country – for example there’s almost no malaria in South Africa, except in Kruger Park.

9. A nice backpack
The best way to keep you wallet, binoculars, phones, cameras, sunscreen etc. in one place, otherwise you might forget something in the car.
10. A map or a book of the area.
They’re very useful. Many of them will tell you what is the likelihood of finding lions or elephants (or whatever other animal you want to see) in a certain area. You definitely need one of the if you’re planning a self-drive