Members of the United States Tour Operators Association know the best way to experience a destination is through the local people. While in South Africa with Swain Destinations, Kelley Ferro, travel expert, video journalist and contributor to Tripfilms.com, had the opportunity to visit, meet and interact with locals and gain real insight in the South African life today.

More on how to tour South Africa like a local:

Get Off the Tour Bus

by Nina Dietzel, AFAR Ambassador

AFAR’s co-founder Joe Diaz likes to boil ‘traveling like a local’ down to “Get off the tour bus and sit at someone’s kitchen table”. On our first day in South Africa with Collette, that’s just what we did. We got off the bus and visited Alina Mlotshwa’s home in Soweto to have lunch. Read the full post here.

Being Hugged by South Africa: Behind the Scenes of our Swain Destinations Tour

by Kelley Ferro

Our 20-seat plane skipped and bounced down the dirt runway and I had to blink a few times to realize that I was looking out the window at the African bush. Just 20 hours ago, I was waving goodbye to glittering Manhattan and now I was on a charter flight over the rolling plains of the Sabi Sands. Our pilot joked that he usually saw lions on this airstrip as he touched down. This was Africa and here it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are coming from, you all just dive right in. Read the full post here.

A Local Perspective in South Africa

by Nina Dietzel, AFAR Ambassador

To me, South Africa is one of the most fascinating countries to visit. It is furiously multi-cultural; a young democracy struggling to grow up fast to meet the country’s many challenges.

When I was invited to join Collette’s tour back in April, I was overjoyed, and at the same time I was a little hesitant to accept my assignment. The charge was to ‘travel like a local’ and I wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish that in a group, dashing from highlight to highlight across South Africa. Read the full post here.