#MeetSouthAfrica with Jonty Rhodes

TL;DR

Catch me on Discovery Channel soon in a travel show about South Africa! With three other friends and Jonty Rhodes, we promise to show you the best of South Africa and leave you gasping for more! ;-)

All the dope

You know how you have a big dream, and then it comes true?

Yeah, sometimes as easy and in-the-blink-of-an-eye as that.

It doesn’t happen often (if ever), but when it does, you feel overwhelmed enough to thank your lucky stars and revel in the joy.

I wrote earlier about the amazing surprise September 2014 held in store for me.

Along with three other people who got mad-level lucky like me, I flew off to #MeetSouthAfrica in December 2014 get me some much-needed African sun in the middle of a cold Delhi winter. And then, all thanks to the South African Tourism Board India, followed an epic journey that has given me some of my most memorable moments of my life.

Along with an intensely talented camera crew to capture our travels, we went cage-diving with the Great White Sharks, sandboarding down Cape Town dunes, and quad biking along forest trails. We tasted wine in beautiful vineyards and beer in historic breweries. We were awed by nature’s majesty in Kruger, and danced with the Shangana tribe in Mpumalanga. And, to make things even more exciting, we jumped off cliffs wherever we saw one (well, almost).

For collage

An ode to wine, then beer, then wine again, then… ;-)

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Clockwise from top left: Lady selling home-made chocolate at an artisans’ market in Jo’burg; Beaded dolls I got for friends as souvenirs; A feisty lion cub; Stunning Cape Town from a helicopter

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Kruger National Park: Over 20,000 sqkm of absolutely majestic nature

SA pics for upload (Big 5)

Four of the Big Five that we managed to spot at Kruger: the elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo. Mr. Lion, I’ll come back for you another day.

Aaaand we got to travel with the fabulous Jonty Rhodes, undisputed god of fielding in cricket and – as we discovered – a fantastic travel companion and charmer par extraordinaire. With the celebrity culture I see here in India, I expect all headline-makers to lug around some airs, some high-handedness. But Jonty is so approachable and down to earth, it knocked my socks off: right from bantering with some construction guys who hollered “heyyyy Jonty, is that you, man?” at him, to chit-chatting with us about everything under the sun after dinners, aided with generous amounts of wine.

More than anything else, his love for his country, and his pure, unadulterated passion for travel shone through in every conversation I had with him. He’s truly the best brand ambassador South African tourism could have! I was amazed at how he knew so much about everything related to South Africa, and how patiently he answered all sorts of curious questions we had about his land and his people. He seeks out adventure in every form, and as he says himself, he’s probably travelled to more remote parts of India than a lot of Indians, given his itch for going off the beaten track and exploring places for himself. :-)

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Clockwise from left: With Chief Israel Ngobeni at the Shangana Village; Selfie time at Bourke’s Luck Potholes; Getting photobombed by Jonty en route to Boulders Beach (to see Cape Point and African penguins!)

Some memories are meant to last forever, and this South African sojourn was definitely one of them. More than once, as I went to bed in African land, I laughed to myself about how unreal it all felt and how it came to be, just like that.

And now, for the last leg of this amazing dream come true, we’re all going to appear in a travel show on Discovery Channel!

Yup, we’ll take the viewers along on the magical journey we were lucky to be a part of, for a glimpse of the amazingly beautiful country we all fell in love with.

Broadcast details

Discovery Channel India
Episode 1 on April 26 (Sunday) at 8 PM and Episode 2 on May 3 (Sunday) at 8 PM

Ya’ll have got to tune in to watch us! :)

And if you need any convincing, here’s the promo!

44 thoughts on “#MeetSouthAfrica with Jonty Rhodes

  1. Hey Ami…the episode on Discovery is mind blowing girl! Jonty Rhodes is always a favorite but the penguins are cute company. :) It’ nice to see how they are serious about nature conservation. Right now I am writing this comment during the break. Hope what’s coming next would be equally exciting. Thanks for the post. :)

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  2. From your post Amy, it really looks like a trip of lifetime experience. I wish to see more pictures of your South African trip. You shared one back in Jan and couple of them now. I missed the show on 26th but definitely watch on coming Sunday. Good to know about the other side of Jonty, his travel enthusiasm. Just like Cricket, he is certainly the true ambassador of South African tourism.

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  3. Ami, your South Africa teaser takes me back to my visit to the country in 2008. While I didn’t make it to Cape Town or Kruger NP, I created some memorable moments in Johannesburg and Pilanesberg, and I’m pleased that I’m still in touch with some of the locals I met there. What were some of your favorite wines?

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    • Hi, Tricia :) I’ve seen pics of the Pilanesberg NP and it looks heavenly. Another day for me, maybe! As for wines, I’m still a novice, I must admit, but I enjoyed pinotage and vineyard Zinfandels. :) Do you have a favourite South African wine?
      It’s great that you’re still in touch with some of the friends you made there – one of the most lasting memories of any travel, surely. Thanks for dropping by!

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      • Ami, in Jo’burg, I didn’t try any South African wine. I’d love to get to wine country out near Cape Town someday, as I’ve greatly enjoyed meeting winemakers in Europe and the United States.

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  4. Nice, Jhonty is a happening man as he is the ambassador of Indian Surfing Federation as well, I can see he is a cool chap. It was nice seeing that lion cup and all you guys smiling in the photo, looks like a very special trip for you forks, nice you came on discovery as well.

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  5. A wonderful wonderful post and a once in a lifetime opportunity Amy !! Missed that episode as well as your post ..!I am still unable to receive notifications of your new posts :( )
    Glad to catch up today dear.. good Luck and wishes for more such :)

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