If you’re seeking an incredible experience in the Western Cape (once travel returns), look no further than Khotso Micha. Prior to launching his own travel company, Southern Xplorer, Khotso worked as a freelance tour guide for two years on top of his decade-long career in hospitality and tourism. With a diverse background, growing up between Grahamstown and Gugulethu, he considers himself a proud ambassador for South Africa and is passionate about showcasing the country’s most authentic, adventurous and off-the-grid experiences.
How did you fall in love with travelling?
I had the awesome opportunity to go to the U.S on a work and travel programme back in 2012. I was based in Florida and tackled many small adventures on my weekends off. At the end of my stay, a friend and I decided to backpack across the country for a month. It was an unforgettable trip, which unknowingly started my journey in the travel and industry.
What kind of traveller are you?
I am definitely a backpacker and an adrenaline junkie. Being a nature enthusiast at heart, I tend to include it in all my travels. Backpacking has certainly had a facelift over the years. Most are comfy and offer private and communal spaces. They lend themselves to a laidback crowd, often acting as a catalyst to travellers looking to gain inspiration along the journey. Most are eco-friendly and close to nature.
What’s your travel philosophy?
Try something new, push your limits, connect with people and have fun!
What are your top travel essentials?
A solar powerbank, a daypack, a hydro flask, a mosquito plug, a torch and a good book.
Where was your most memorable trip?
That would be a hike I did along the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. Three buddies and I decided to take on the five day adventure from Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay. We were definitely underprepared and completely underestimated the distance. We ran out of food on the last day, and camped along deserted beaches.
Thanks to the good people of Mdumbi, we managed to get some hot coffee and a meal for the final leg to Coffee Shack Backpackers. It was our first multi-day hike together and boy did it test our friendship! It was an incredible introduction to the landscape and the people of the Wild Coast. The region made such an impression on me that I ended up moving there for three years.
How has travelling changed your life?
Through travel I’ve been able to push myself beyond my comfort zone and indulge in new experiences. I met my wife while travelling and I have also made many genuine friendships. Travel has significantly contributed towards my love for language and culture.
When borders open again and the world starts to return to ‘a new normal’ what’s your first travel destination on your list?
I’ll be travelling along the Garden Route (a favourite of mine), concluding my journey along the Wild Coast, stopping at as many padstals as I can along the way.
Best travel advice you can share?
Always keep an open mind and try something new!