Traveler: Ané Strydom – Photographer & Stylist
What is your most unforgettable escape? A five day hike I did through the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.
What was the purpose of your travel? Hiking, and spending time with my father and brother.
With how many people did you travel? I went with my dad and my brother to meet up with a hiking group of 9 strangers my dad found in a newspaper ad.
Where did you stay? In an expensive sleeping bag, under the stars.
What did you most like about the trip? Experiencing such amazing natural beauty and breathing nothing but fresh air. I also quite enjoyed the physical challenges it offered. And of course the aesthetic of hiking boots.
Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? I really loved seeing a wild horse in the canyon. We only saw the one, but it was so beautiful. I love horses. Our guide wouldn’t let me go ahead to get closer to the horse to get a better picture (she always wanted to be in the front, but don’t get me started) and I got quite passionate (angry) and smashed my walking stick in half.
Your most surprising find during the trip? Some people are more prone to blisters. I did everything Google told me to do in order to avoid them, but got them so bad I could hardly walk for a day or two afterwards. My brother on the other hand, didn’t do anything to avoid them and got none.
Favorite restaurants or food you have tried during your trip? We prepared our food on the fire at night, and mostly just snacked during the day. I vaguely remember enjoying hot dog night.
Would you go back? Definitely. But without a guide. It’s not really necessary once you’ve been once. And maybe I could get a better picture of the damn horse.
Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? Only my photographs.
Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? Train a bit. Go for 2-3 short hikes a week a month before you go. Your hike will be more enjoyable if you’re in good shape. Also a good idea to walk your hiking boots in if you got new ones for the occasion. Take a good quality sleeping bag and warm gear. It can get really cold at night. Having a walking stick is also advisable as the descent on the first day is quite steep. It’s important to take everything you need, but not to take unnecessary things, as you have to carry everything yourself. This is sometimes hard to figure out if it’s your first time.
Next stop you would like to visit? Italy! Turkey! Mexico! Croatia, Peru, Morocco, Ethiopia. So many places in the United States. France too.
Better ask me where I don’t want to go.