As a travel enthusiast, I recently received an invitation from the South African Tourism, via my Instagram account, @bwtourist, to embark on a thrilling adventure to ethekwini aka Durbs or Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. I had the privilege of joining a group of fellow bloggers and influencers, hailing from countries that include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Kenya. The journey started off from Gaborone to OR Tambo International Airport.

I had a second flight to catch, which would take me to my next destination at King Shaka International Airport. Always eager and ready to explore where ever I am, while waiting for my connecting flight, I decided to kill some time by touring the Airport Craft Brewers.

This unique restaurant, not only serves delicious food, but brew its own Craft beer on site. Besides my other passion of travelling and photography, I also love craft beer. I did not miss an opportunity to indulge in a quick tasting experience of all the available craft beers, before continuing with my journey.

Upon arrival, I proceeded to check in at Elangeni, Southern Sun, which is located at the South Beach front with captivating views, where I took some time to freshen up. Later in the day, I was transported to one of the most extraordinary private clubs in the world. It is important to note that this club is not your typical night club or golf club. It is called the Pencil Club, and is located at the highest point of eThekwini. The Pencil Club is a vibrant and diverse gathering establishment for individuals from various walks of life who share a passion for commerce, culture, socializing, and sustainability.

The emphasis on simple, sexy, and seasonal principles in the food and beverage philosophy is intriguing. It suggests that The Pencil values quality and freshness in their culinary offerings, providing their members with an exceptional hospitality experience. This focus on seasonal ingredients allows for vibrant flavours and colours, enhancing the dining experience. Adding to the whole experience of this unique offering, art lovers can also look forward to The Pencil's art collection which is truly something else.

Being home to one of the largest and most valuable art collections in the country, the collection showcases the club’s dedication to promoting art and supporting artists. The availability of each piece for purchase through The Pencil Art Foundation indicates a commitment to increasing the value, visibility, and appreciation of art. Overall, The Pencil appears to be a unique community that combines commerce, culture, and sustainability, offering its members a rich and diverse environment to pursue their daily endeavors.

One can only get access to this fine private place only if they are a member. In the case of myself and fellow bloggers, we were very lucky to score an invitation to this member only hideout. The next day was filled with endless and fruitful interactions with diverse people from the tourism community who had come to attend Africa’s biggest travel expo, it was time for more fun. If there is one thing that South African Tourism does very well, is knowing how to host, and they did not drop the standard.

I was picked up by a convoy of about 20 Jeeps and was transported to Maxi's Lifestyle Umlazi to experience midweek nightlife. Ooh boy, Durban does not sleep and mind you it was only a Wednesday. The convoy passed through the busy streets of Durban heading to the “kasi” of Umlazi. Maxi's Lifestyle Village stands as one of Umlazi, Durban's premier restaurants, embracing the vibrant and traditional "kasi" culture. As a unique establishment, they offer a haven for both tourists and locals, allowing them to immerse themselves in the rich township culture within a trendy and secure environment.

Their doors are open to people of diverse backgrounds, ages, cultures, and races, all seeking to savour the exceptional service while indulging in delectable food and refreshing beverages. Whether one desires a satisfying meal or simply wishes to unwind, Maxi's Lifestyle Village caters to all with genuine warmth and hospitality. Notably, their renowned Sunday Sessions feature top DJs who entertain music enthusiasts and dancers, while those seeking a more serene ambiance can find solace in their VIP Lounge.