Guests’ Corner: Sheena Deepnarain, Pot of Gold

As part of the next instalment in my Guests’ Corner, a new travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to SA local travel blogger, actress and producer, Sheena Deepnarain.

Sheena Deepnarain is a South African actress, producer and travel and lifestyle blogger. Sheena leads a life of luxury, with confetti thrown over for good measure. She has been cast in some of South Africa’s most prestigious soapies, including Scandal!, Generations, Jacobs Cross & Zabalaza to name a few, as well as several commercials. 

Her blog, Pot of Gold, was launched in November 2016 when Sheena decided to uproot her life for a year to do some travelling. Pot of Gold soon became a creative outlet for her travels, and has since expanded into a lifestyle blog. Sheena invites those who make no apologies for living their best life to follow her adventures!

1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?

I needed a creative outlet when I decided to uproot my life for a year to travel, and naturally my blog, Pot of Gold, came about, travel being a popular topic, along with other lifestyle topics.

2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?

I love immersing myself into the culture of that country or city I’m visiting, so definitely a culture vulture and add to that exploring the shopping and fashion culture of every city!

3) What was your most memorable travel experience in SA?

Without a doubt, Kruger National Park was my most memorable South African travel experience.
I love animals, and Kruger is the ultimate location for all animal lovers.

4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening local travel experience and why?

My trip to India was the most humbling, as cliché as it may sound. However, amidst all the chaos that India is, there is an escapism and gratefulness you find.

5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?

My fiancé tried to expose me to something different from the usual vacation I’m used to, and booked me a cabin in the Vaal, South Africa… lest to say, I tried but couldn’t cope past three hours of being there. The whole camp-out, cabin vibe is definitely not for me.

6) Your top three travel destinations (or road trips) in SA are?

1) Johannesburg to Durban is my ultimate trip, while the roads are mostly barren, this four-hour or so journey is always fun because my family is in Durban – who wouldn’t anticipate that drive?

2) Johannesburg to North West Province is another road trip that would be of interest to animal lovers. There are stops where you can view rare rhino, play with white lion cubs and spend a day with tigers that build up the anticipation getting to your ultimate destination.

3) Cape Town Garden Route; I haven’t done this road trip yet, however, we do have plans to do it soon. Apparently it’s the most scenic route South Africa has to offer.

7) Any useful travel sites/blogs, either local or international, you can recommend for following?

Wander-lust.TV  and Travelstart 

8) If you could travel anywhere in South Africa – or the world in general – right now, where would it be?

I just got back to South Africa after a year and I would definitely travel to Cape Town to soak up the Africa I miss. There is bountiful African culture at all corners of Cape Town, and it encompasses what I love about South Africa – wine, Malay food, the beach… the list is endless.

9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city, Johannesburg?

Johannesburg is absolutely filled with suburbs that each have something different to offer.
Sandton and Melrose Arch are all about fine dining and high-end shopping, whilst Braamfontein and Melville offer street food with a bohemian vibe, there’s something for everyone.

Start early on a Saturday and move from suburb to suburb to indulge in all that food markets have to offer, from Neighbourgoods in Braamfontein or the Fourways Farmers Market, work up an appetite – or just work out what you’ve already eaten at 27 boxes in Melville… where each shop is made from shipping containers where authentic handcrafted South African goods are on sale.

Retreat to Sandton City and either opt to be pampered at the Sandton Sun Spa, or head over to Melrose Arch and choose to feast on a variety of restaurants, open to tantalise your taste buds.

10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?

South Africa has a wide variety of food due to our many different cultures. For an African experience head over to Moyo restaurant, but also don’t forget to try out your smaller cafes – where the quality of food is not compromised – for tastes that would never find anywhere else in the world. Don’t forget to find typical South African treats, like milk tart, biltong and Bunny chow.

Apart from food, Cape Town offers a scenic vacation and obviously, when in Africa, Kruger National Park is a must.

To read about all of  Sheena’s amazing travel stories and adventures, you can visit her blogOr follow her Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thank you very much, Sheena, for appearing in this guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!

Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan

Tamlyn Ryan is a writer and blogger, who runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust. Despite a national diploma in Journalism, her preferred niche remains travel writing. She is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and above all else, the great outdoors.

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