Throw back to South Africa

It’s been our second trip to South Africa. We travelled around the country, did 3 thousand kilometers in 3 weeks and got back 3 months ago.

And I honestly don’t know what took me so long to share some photos from that journey. My guess is that first I was digesting all the emotions that arose during the time spent in this amazing country. Then, reality kicked in, and I got busy with work-related projects, which always keeps me away from the blog.

But SA is always on my mind. I recently started noting down some ideas for our trip next year. In case you wonder, it is going to be South Africa again, for the 3rd time. There is so much to revisit and so much more to discover…

But before we go again, and come back with hundreds of new photos, here is a handful of snapshots from our most recent Southafrican trip. Enjoy.

IMG_6920_Knysna IMG_6959_ocean IMG_6976_winnice IMG_7082_Babylonstoren IMG_7087_Babylonstoren IMG_7095_Babylonstoren IMG_7138_Babylonstoren IMG_7453_Table Mountain IMG_7520_Beau Constantia IMG_7524_Beau Constantia IMG_7707_Cape Town
PS. I also have an extra treat for my Polish readers – a little feature I wrote for the Polish edition of Harper’s Bazaar. It’s been published in the June issue (currently on sale – until June 20th).

Harpers Bazaar_SA_magdaabouttown

 

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The Spirit of Travel by Louis Vuitton

The new Louis Vuitton campaign, The Spirit of Travel, is being unveiled across various media as you are reading this post. I had the chance to see the film (watch the trailer here), which will soon be unveiled – back in January, at a meeting in Paris. The very memory of it is giving me goose bumps… It is mesmerizing. It is unbelievably beautiful. It sets you on a journey straight away. First in your head, then you start looking for a destination, but above all – you just want to set foot on the unknown, where you haven’t yet been… I happened to have been to South Africa, where the campaign was shot, and although the beautiful shots were taken around Cape Town, whereas I visited the northern parts near Johannesburg, the country – wherever you go – is truly a unique and amazing location to tell a story about travelling. You can read about my love for Africa in the post from last year.

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Back to the campaign though. The allure of the unknown and the thrill of exploration – are captured in a series of stunning images, shot by Peter Lindbergh, styled by Carine Roitfeld, and starring models Karen Elson and Edie Campbell. The photographer gives us an insight into the captivating spirit of the campaign – We travelled to South Africa with almost complete creative license and a wonderful cast. Karen Elson and Edie Campbell are two young women travelling in a very personal, but not necessarily narrative way. Working without any layouts or prefixed ideas allowed us to create spontaneous and real situations. The result is charming and natural.

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Apart from the models, and the iconic Louis Vuitton bags, you will also see beautiful animals in the pictures – wild giraffes, as well as cheetahs and a pair of lion cubs – these majestic cats were obviously taken care of by professionals. So fear not, nobody from the crew got eaten for breakfast, although Edie Campbell revealed in an exclusive for British Grazia that – The cheetahs were a bit scary. Even though they had been photographed and filmed a lot, they were still quite wild – they behaved as long as you had a chunk of steak for them. – read more here.

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The journey is the destination… Getting there is not as important as the experience of going… – the new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign conjures the original spirit of travel. I’m definitely sold and … searching my diary for a good time to go on a journey. To travel is to live…

All photography by Peter Lindbergh, copyright Louis Vuitton.

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Tyle naraz świata / So much world all at once

Tyle naraz świata ze wszystkich stron świata:
moreny, mureny i morza, i zorze,
i ogień, i ogon, i orzeł, i orzech –
jak ja to ustawię, gdzie ja to położę?
Te chaszcze i paszcze, i leszcze, i deszcze,
bodziszki, modliszki – gdzie ja to pomieszczę?
Motyle, goryle, beryle i trele –
dziękuję, to chyba o wiele za wiele,
Do dzbanka jakiego tam łopian i łopot,
i łubin, i popłoch, i przepych, i kłopot?
Gdzie zabrać kolibra, gdzie ukryć to srebro,
co zrobić na serio z tym żubrem i zebrą?
Już taki dwutlenek rzecz ważna i droga,
a tu ośmiornica i jeszcze stonoga!
Domyślam się ceny, choć cena z gwiazd zdarta –
dziekuję, doprawdy nie czuję się warta.
Nie szkoda to dla mnie zachodu i słońca?
Jak ma się w to bawić osoba żyjąca?
Na chwilę tu jestem i tylko na chwilę:
co dalsze, przeoczę, a resztę pomylę.
Nie zdążę wszystkiego odróżnić od próżni.
Pogubię te bratki w pośpiechu podróżnym.
Jużc hoćby najmniejszy – szalony wydatek:
fatyga łodygi i listek, i płatek
raz jeden w przestrzeni, od nigdy, na oślep,
wzgardliwie dokładny i kruchy wyniośle.
Urodziny, Wisława Szymborska

Photo courtesy of Michał Rusinek.
Translation from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.
Turning 40 is very special, in so many ways… I’ve been celebrating for 2 months now and enjoying every minute of it!

My first birthday cake – made by my mother-in-law in London, shared with my nephew Jayden 
(the tiny tiny wonderful creature in the background)

Breakfast on the day of my birthday – shared with my husband on the terrace of the Wild Ivory Eco Lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve, Limpopo province, South Africa

Waterkloof Circle of Life (how apt!) – a beautiful wine shared with friends on the evening of my birthday at George’s on 4th restaurant in Parkhurst disctrict of Johannesburg, South Africa

Celebrating with my girlfriends at cafe pozytywka in Warsaw, Poland

And it’s only just begun. Thank you all for making this year so special to me. You know who you are:)

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Lodged in my heart

Words cannot describe what you see, learn and feel when you go on a safari in Africa. It is an experience that makes you humble and puts right you where you belong – in perspective. As human beings we tend to forget that we are not the only species living on planet Earth. Just because we have the means to alter nature, it does not mean that nature is at our mercy. It isn’t. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful, it’s untamed. And in a place like Africa you realize its grandness and its beauty at the fullest. Have a look at the pictures and you will understand what I’m talking about. Enjoy.

 Two giraffes munching on a tree. It strikes you when you realize that those giants live entirely off leaves. Veggie burger, Miss G?

There is nothing cuter than a baby animal – this little zebra is still quite furry all over. 
You just want to stroke her back…

Female cheetah with a cub. Looking very composed but in fact she’s very wary and would probably go wild if approached by a human.

 Elephants in the wild are truly gigantic. 
They walk through anything that stands in their way – bush or tree alike.

The sunsets in Africa are spectacular.
I’m having a late afternoon chat with our ranger Jenni, while sipping rooibos tea.
Very safari-posh-style.

We stayed at Wild Ivory Eco Lodge in Limpopo province in South Africa. It is a fully sustainable lodge, running solely on solar power (you can charge your phone but hairdryer is a no go), catering for up to 4 couples in simple but beautiful tents. It is unfenced, so animals can (and they will) pay you a visit when you stay there. On our first day an elephant came to say hello and while doing that, drank water out of the pool. Oh, well, just a tiny tiny sip… We were so lucky to be the only couple staying at the time and got a super VIP treatment – game drives adjusted to our timings (though you really don’t want to stay in bed when there is all the nature waiting out there for you), private (and yummy!) dinners by starlight, peace and quiet. Our hosts Jenni and Jaco were wonderful – so knowledgeable and friendly, so dedicated to their job. If you like no-fuss, simple, eco-friendly, close to nature places (with no casino, spa or disco dancing) the Wild Ivory Lodge is the place to go. I can’t recommend it enough…

The wonderful Wild Ivory Eco Lodge team
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