How it works


How Do the SA Travel Blog Awards Work?

Bloggers should enter their blogs under the 'Why Enter Section'. Once the blog has been reviewed to ensure it needs the entry criteria per the terms and conditions, a confirmation email will be sent.

Category Criteria

Blogs will receive a score out of ten according the criteria below:

Best Design: Layout, use of elements, colours and aesthetics
Best Photographic: Quantity, Quality and Creativity of Photographic Images
Best Content: Use of Language, Grammar and depth of information
Best Social Media: Metrics like total shares, comments and social media engagement
Best Lifestyle Blog: Most Variety of topics such as food, wine, weekend activities and day to day tips and advice which also has a high rating for content
Newcomer of the Year: The best overall blog “younger” than 18 months with high ratings on content, design and Social Media
Most Seasoned Traveler: Number of destinations reviewed and variety of destinations reviewed as well as having good design, good content and good social media
Best Overall: The blog with the highest overall rating between design, content, photography and social media

The Awards MC

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 which profiles fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends.

Judging Process

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. Social media measurement tools may also be used to assist in the judging process.


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 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 (, 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.

Veli Ngubane

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.