About the awards

About The Awards

Bloggers are the influencers of today's holiday makers providing first hand insight into services, places and experiences that inspire them where to go and what to see and do. This prestigious awards program seeks to acknowledge and celebrate the top South African Travel and Travel related Lifestyle Blogs as well as facilitate Blogger - Brand relationships in the industry.

The awards will commence with stirring excitement online through the Travel Blog Awards website and social media which will capture attention, providing brand exposure, and build on the excitement throughout the lead up to the glittering event itself.

The event will begin with a workshop where bloggers will learn how to turn their blogs into full-time paying careers and align with companies and brands without compromising editorial integrity. Sponsor will also have the opportunity to showcase their brands and discuss partnership opportunities with bloggers.

Following canapés, finalists in the SA Travel Blog Awards will be announced. The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation NPC 2004/026715/08, who will receive proceeds from the event, will deliver a heart-warming demonstration of their Youth Education Program aimed at encouraging the conservation of South Africa's unique natural heritage on which much of South Africa's tourism depends.

Then the thrilling announcement of the winners will take place and guests, Bloggers and Sponsors are invited to an exclusive cocktail party afterwards for a valuable and enjoyable network opportunity.

The award categories

All entries (once they have been reviewed to ensure they qualify according to the terms and conditions click here) will be entered into all categories (unless they have an automatic qualifier such as Newcomer of the year entrants may not have blogs older than 18 months). Judges who have relevant industry experience related to the various categories will give each blog a score out of ten per category

  • Best Photographic Blog
  • Best Design
  • Best Content

  • Best Social Media
  • Best Overall Travel Blog
  • Best Lifestyle Blog

  • Newcomer of The Year
  • Most Seasoned Traveler

There will be 10 finalists for each category and one winner per category who will be announced at the event. The winner of each category will also be announced in the final press release.

Frequently Asked Questions

Complaints, concerns or questions should be addressed to janine@connectfundgrow.com or mellanietravelblogawardsteam@gmail.com

What are the SA Travel Blog Awards?

The prestigious South African Travel Blog Awards 2016 seeks to acknowledge the top Travel and Travel Related Lifestyle Blogs and celebrate the inspiration they provide to today’s holiday makers in helping them to decide what travel services and experiences they should choose.

It will be a glittering event which will enable Travel and Lifestyle Bloggers to network within the blogging community and to meet with suppliers who they can build relationships with over time to not only provide places and activities to review but become part of an increasing network for new products and services and thus become the go-to blogs for new trends and information.

The event will unfold with great energy and enthusiasm starting with a workshop about how Bloggers can turn their blogs into a full time career and sponsor presentations highlighting their ideal packages to further relationships with Bloggers. This will be followed by canapés in the build up to the announcement of the winners. Guests, Bloggers and Sponsors are then invited to an exclusive cocktail party afterwards for some enjoyable networking time

Furthermore, these awards serve as a fundraising platform for conserving South Africa’s unique natural heritage through a world renowned organisation, the The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation NPC 2004/026715/08 with proceeds going to their multi-media youth education program

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In the interest of making the judging process both fair and effective for both Bloggers and Judges, all entries will be entered into all categories and will be reviewed by the internal team to ensure they are Travel related before an email confirming the entry is sent to the Blogger.

Some categories may also have an automatic qualifier like Newcomer of year blogs may not be older than 18 months so blogs that don’t qualify for this category will be removed from this category.

Most categories such as Best Content do not have a qualifier so all blogs will be relevant and may participate in this category. The list will be sent to a panel of judges who have experience relevant to the categories as mentioned in their Bio’s on the website.

They will give each blog a score out of ten to arrive at the top 10 finalists for each category who will be announced at the event. The winner of each category will also be announced at the event and in the final press release.

By entering the awards, Bloggers accept to be added to our database which will be used for keeping Bloggers updated regarding the awards. This information may, with the Blogger’s consent, be provided to the sponsors for the purpose of extended networking opportunities between the parties. This information includes Blog domain, email address, twitter handle and contact name as provided on the entry page.

Proceeds after event expenses will be donated to the charity. All money raised by Bloggers or ticket sales to the workshop will go directly to the charity.

The event will be advertised by email communication through the presentations, social media such as facebook and twitter and by the parties involved in the event to their relevant contacts

Fill in your details at the following link. Enter here

Please contact ebethtravelblogawardsteam@gmail.com or find our contact details at our contact us page

    Best Design

  • Best Photographic Blog
  • Best Content
  • Best Social Media
  • Best Overall Travel Blog
  • Best Lifestyle Blog
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Most Seasoned Traveler
  • (Award for the blogger who raises the highest Rand value of donations to the Earth Organisation on the website www.travelblogawards.co.za)

Winners can receive travel prizes to the value of R5000 or more. There will also be spot prizes given away throughout the evening.

About the event

The prestigious South African Travel Blog Awards 2016 event will be a glittering affair to be held on the 18th of June 2016 in Cape Town. A formal and glamorous dress code will be required as a fitting celebration of the best of Travel and Travel related Lifestyle Blogging.

The Awards event will include a morning workshop, a lunch of canapés and a cocktail party for those valuable networking opportunities in the afternoon

Photographers and media will be there to capture footage of the event and report on the event afterwards.

Guests need to buy tickets for a nominal fee in aid of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation youth education program. All attending will have the opportunity to receive vouchers and spot prizes (depending on availability) as well as learn more about conserving the natural heritage through multi-media education, the opportunities within Travel Blogging and key Travel related Brands.

Meet the judges

Desireé Haakonsen

Desireé HaakonsenTravel Expert - Edutours Africa and ACTS Africa brands

Desireé Haakonsen is the Southern Africa Travel Expert for the Edutours Africa and ACTS Africa brands. Specialising in educational, service learning, and missions group travel; she has her finger on the pulse of life-changing travel experiences.

Before moving to the world of educational travel, Desireé was a senior travel blogger, social media marketer, and content editor for TravelGround.com. It was during this time that her passion for South Africa started pouring out into the Twittersphere and she was invited to co-host a number of travel chats. Her travel writing can also be found on the likes of South African Tourism, Traveldudes, and A Luxury Travel Blog.

Natalia Rosa

Natalia RosaDirector – Division of Big Ambitions

A specialist Cape Town-based travel sales and marketing consultancy created with the purpose of assisting travel and tourism companies in South Africa to become travel marketing experts, Natalia Rosa is a passionate follower of online marketing, social media, retail travel, inbound tourism and publishing.

Natalia has editing, writing and management experience in the content generation, online marketing, social media and publishing fields, has completed an online marketing diploma with University of Stellenbosch, Honours in Journalism and Media Studies and Masters in Publishing with specialisation in online publishing field cum laude.

Deon Kitching

Deon Kitching

Deon is based in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. Since childhood he has always loved to travel, take pictures and make videos. That is one of the reasons why he says he started the international tour company "Mission Vision Tours - South Africa" which brings students and adults from different parts of the world, especially the USA, on a 10 to 12 day cultural immersion program in South Africa. Recently Deon started an online travel channel called Discover SA Travel Channel (www.discoversasa.tv), with a strong focus on #RuralTourism. Deon is married with three amazing young adults kids; two daughters and a son. Deon is an electronic junky and loves the Kingdom of God, photography and a good BBQ steak.

Deon Kitching

Veli Ngubane

Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna [1]) entered the world of advertising with a passion after completing his BSocSci (law, politics and economics) at the University of Cape Town and a post-graduate marketing diploma at Red & Yellow, where he also currently serves as advisory board chairman. He is the chief creative officer and founding partner of one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country, AVATAR [2]. A full-service marketing agency with digital at the core. The agency has its Headquarters in Johannesburg and an office in Cape Town, its clients include Brand South Africa, SAB, FOX Africa, National Geographic, SAA and Chevron. Veli hails from Kosi Bay in the rural KwaMhlaba Uyalingana area of KZN. He has a passion about entrepreneurship,art, sport, travel and youth development.

The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation


“Our natural sciences project brings an interactive audio-visual teaching methodology to South Africa’s youth. The stimulating project seeks to inform the youth on vital earth matters which are influencing the collective environmental consciousness. The project encourages the understanding of human impacts and the levels of interdependency from all beings within ecosystems. The Earth, Water Planet’s project empowers young students with the knowledge of how significant their choices are in their ability to build a brighter, sustainable future of the preservation of natural resources and all life on the planet.”


The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to reversing the dwindling spiral of plant and animal kingdoms and the environment through education and action (www.earthorganization.org/our-organization) It is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, issue-oriented organisation which seeks to reverse the dwindling spiral of life on our planet through education and action.

Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation’s members come from all walks of life; from all cultures, races and religious backgrounds, united in a common cause.

The Organisation currently has 16 chapters, located throughout the world, namely the African, North American and European Continents, with new chapters being established all the time. Each chapter identifies local needs and is involved in local projects such as addressing pollution and water issues, reforestation, introducing effective technologies and resolving environmental situations. Additionally, it engages in environmental and conservation education.

The Organisation was founded in 2003 by internationally acclaimed, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Anthony), who was a writer, conservationist. He was well known for his remarkable 5½-month rescue initiative of the animals and staff in the Baghdad Zoo, early in the Iraqi War He was known as the “Elephant Whisperer” due to his unique ability to communicate with Elephants. As a result of his experiences in Baghdad, as well as a searching look at the down-trending statistics of the natural world on the planet, Lawrence decided to found a unique, independent, science-based environmental organisation dedicated to bringing effective, long-term solutions to the global problems we all face.

EARTH, The Water Planet

The key focus of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation Project entitled as “EARTH, The Water Planet”, is to envision a long-term answer to local environmental problems by addressing the environmental threats we impose on the Earth and it natural resources as well as how these impacts disrupt, and create imbalances which endanger the health of our vital ecosystems.

The Project use multimedia as a resource to teach the youth environmental education. It aims to achieve this by means of a specifically designed interactive audio-visual educational protocol for this Natural Science Project, which informs and builds the capacity for the South African youth’s understanding, awareness and responsibility toward the natural environment. The long-term benefits of the project will be to inform the decisions regarding themselves and the use of Earth’s resources

Why the ‘EARTH, THE WATER PLANET “ Project?’

The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization Project research management has identified that through South Africa’s history of inequality, socio-economic development is still undergoing significant changes. One key area is the current difficulties in the educational system. As a result of these difficulties, we face common problems experienced by countries with brittle educational systems. International research studies have indicated that 85% of juveniles who end up in the court system become criminals, at least 60% percent are illiterate. (NDTAC., 2010).

Poor conditions for human survival, criminality, and lack of skills are rising parallels in the shaping of behavioural conditions. Countries where the chances for juvenile education are slim are prone to higher criminal indexes which add to the disregard of human responsibility towards the environment, as part of the educational view point on how humanity impacts on Earth. A holistic approach on the issue is advised to be apportioned into South Africa’s socio -political planning in order to address this very real challenge to our developing future leaders.

The EARTH, THE WATER PLANET Project aims to broaden insight about life, by offering students an overview on the principles of Earth’s functioning based in the information abstracted from scientific research in the fields of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Biology and Nature Conservation. The Project concept is to give students the possibility of a deeper insight into Earth matters and to further motivate a subtle level of knowledge, which can contribute to the building of human awareness through future generations. This change is possible, and shall take place through a gradual process of a long-term exposure to appropriate teachings.

The Curriculum Module

The teachings from the Curriculum Module are delivered in an interactive, attractive, colourful and straightforward media technique. The teaching technique protocol uses an easy-going animated media supported by the audio-visual method. This Teaching technique promotes the capacity for concentration which results in improved learning. As a matter of fact the audio-visual methods may also benefit students with learning difficulties.

This Project is free of gender, race, political and religious beliefs. Its core principle is to help the planet by creating a greater depth on environmental awareness and encouraging students to obtain a closer understanding of Earth’s phenomena and its history, and matters regarding the flora and fauna within the diversity of ecosystems.

Aims and long term effects of the project

Produce a multidisciplinary environmental educational curriculum which is composed by Science Modules in order to gather the major components to educate students in the disadvantaged school sector. Provide a DVD report with regard to the activities and project application “in situ ” for distribution amongst the stakeholders. Specific modelling of the project which is adapted for the training of members from the LAEO and associated Organizations. Plan and implement the expansion environmental education on a National scale.

Co-operating Sources and/or Institutions

The University of London, Department of War Studies at the King's College collaborates with the Anthony Lawrence Earth Organization in Johannesburg, developing environmental awareness in South Africa. There is common understanding between this institution and the Johannesburg LAEO Chapter about the urgency to inform the South African public of environmental issues, in addition to the fostering of attitudes regarding how conflicts and war produce negative impacts directly influencing our planet.

  • Professor Michael Rainsborough
  • Strategic Theory Deputy Head of Department (Education)University of London
  • BSc Econ (Hons) (Wales), MA, PhD (London) FRSA, FHEA, FRHistS, FRGS
  • Department of War Studies King's College, United Kingdom
  • www.london.ac.uk

The Awards MC

Stevie French

Stevie French

Stevie FrenchTV presenter, actress and radio personality

Stevie is an experienced TV presenter, actress and radio personality. After working as a primetime news anchor for Fox News in America, she returned to South Africa and landed recurring roles in Isidingo and SABC1s hit political thriller Ihawu. Currently Stevie can be heard on radio stations like Cliff Central and Hot91.9 and seen in magazines, online with her successful brand partners and on her website StevieFrench.co.za which profiles fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends.

The first South African Travel Blog Awards, hosted by Sun International as Title Sponsor, at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on 18 June 2016 was a great success and we value the feedback to improve it next year. We express our gratitude to all our Sponsors and all Bloggers that attended. Please see the links below for the pictures of the event and the Video …………… looking forward to next years event!


Winners and Shortlist