Africa Travel Week
Clinton Moodley

Travel with an open heart

Clinton Moodley is a senior travel journalist for IOL Travel, one of the country’s biggest travel news platforms. He is also the editor of their newly launched monthly IOL Travel magazine and runs his own YouTube channel, Clinton Dean Travels, which takes travellers on a journey to locations within South Africa and abroad.

How did you fall in love with travelling?

Going on getaways were big during the school holidays, whether it was a road trip to Gauteng or a staycation in Durban. Nothing compared to those 5 am wake up calls, getting completely lost on the road with only the locals as our sign or direction (we didn’t have GPS in the 1990s) and those long drives that showcased some of the most beautiful attractions.

It was only in 2009 when I took my first flight to the North West Province with my grandparents as a treat for completing school that I started to fall in love with travel. I was 18.

Sitting on that flight made me realise that I wanted to catch more flights and explore not only what South Africa had to offer, but also the world.

What kind of traveller are you?

I adapt to my surroundings and completely embrace any travel experience.You can say I am a culture vulture, history buff, adrenaline junkie, foodie and beach bum all wrapped into one. I am also a sucker for planning. I love spontaneous travel to an extent, but planning makes me sleep better at night, especially when I travel to an international destination.

What are your top travel essentials when it comes to packing?

I am an OCD packer. I plan outfits and shoes to cater for every day of the trip and depending on the activity. I usually do not leave home without my sleep mask, comfy sleepwear, gadgets and charging devices and a good book.

Tell us about one of your most memorable trips?

It was my last trip before the pandemic to Namibia. We drove to the Moon Landscape, which was about 30 kilometres from Swakopmund.

It was the most beautiful place I’ve seen. It is believed to be around 500 million years old. As if sundowners overlooking one of Namibia’s most picturesque spots weren’t enough, our hosts arranged a starlight dinner at Moon Valley in the Erongo Region, which was a short drive from the Moon Landscape. 

The Moon Valley completely transformed with hundreds of lanterns and colourful lights. Fire dancers stood at the top of the rocks performing death-defying stunts before our eyes. Inside our dinner set up, lined with a red carpet at the entrance, stood a fire pit, two charming dining areas with camp chairs and wine glasses and our very own private deejay for the night.

Chefs were at hand to serve an array of culinary delights, some indigenous to Namibia. The night ended with Mafikizolo’s “Ndihamba Nawe” blasting through the speakers. 

How has travelling changed your life?

Travel opens your eyes to the world out there. Meeting different people and learning about their culture, background and destination is the top reasons why I love to travel.

What’s the next travel destination on your list and why?

I want to explore Africa. The continent is home to some of the most incredible sites, friendliest people and the most delicious cuisines.

Best travel advice you can share?

Travel with an open heart and always be kind to the locals and the staff at tourist establishments.

Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you…

  • Like to see: The hidden gems that locals enjoy.
  • Like to taste: Tea unique to that destination.
  • Like to feel: Joy when I immerse myself in the locals’ way of life.
  • Like to hear: The voice of the pilot informing passengers that they have arrived at their destination.
  • Like to smell: Different cuisine only found in a new destination.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.