We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

My Travelling Life

Celeb Anele Mdoda's pick of the globe's best party city will surprise you

From LA to New York to Madrid, the media personality recalls some of her greatest travels, but some of her favourites prove home is where the heart is

25 July 2021 - 00:01 By and sanet oberholzer
Anele Mdoda on safari.
Anele Mdoda on safari.
Image: @Zintathu/Instagram

Anele Mdoda is a household name. Many know her as a radio host and MC with a bold personality, but television is also her forte.

After a three-year hiatus from the small screen, Mdoda has reappeared on local screens as the host of the fifth season of the pan-African talk show The Buzz, which premiered in May on Honey TV, Africa's first lifestyle channel on DStv.

Joined on the panel by Zimbabwe's Davina Mavuwa, Kenya's Rachel Mwangemi, Nigeria's Pearl Umeh and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Zanna Katoka, The Buzz is a light-hearted talk show that highlights cross-border issues the panelists are grappling with.

We spoke to Mdoda to find out about some of the travels she's undertaken, both as a youngster and throughout her career as a successful media personality.

How often do you travel, typically? How did you feel about travel grinding to a halt last year?

Because of the radio show, I take leave when parents and kids are on school holidays but I do aim to be out of town for small weekends. The pandemic was a huge kick in the teeth to all, hence we need to be [booking] at these lodges and game reserves.

Was there any particular destination you dreamt about while in lockdown, or wished you could have spent lockdown in?

We wanted to do India and we were meant to do Seychelles with the kids, but we had to settle for a refund. The airlines are a nightmare when it comes to refunds so that made things even more sour.

Have you travelled during this time of Covid? Where to?

We went to Los Angeles for New Year's Eve. The funniest part was that our plane left as the president announced lockdown on December 28. We travelled and hung out in a home with mates. It was bliss.

What do you remember most about your childhood holidays?

The smell of the pools in Durban, Marine Parade, Garden Court, breakfast, chocolate croissants and prank-calling hotel guests.

Where was your first trip abroad?

My dad took us to New York and Disney World when I was 19 - it was the best. All we wanted was to go into the hood and my parents were having a hernia. We loved that trip.

What is the most remote or adventurous destination you've been to?

I would have to say Japan. We were there a month before the World Cup. Ja - food, the people, the history, the aesthetic.

Phinda Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.
Phinda Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: &Beyond

Where is your favourite local spot for a holiday escape?

21 Nettleton and Ellerman House, both in Cape Town, stole my heart. I thought I was not a "game-reserve girl" until I went to Phinda Game Reserve in KZN. It's about 12km from the ocean and you can feel the air is different. Even the animals are bigger. 

What is your favourite town or city in SA? Why?

I want to say Paternoster but I have yet to fully explore it. I like any Eastern Cape city - Mthatha, East London or Gqeberha. I am telling you okes, there is a culinary revolution happening in Gqeberha.

What's your favourite international city? Why? Describe a typical day there.

I loved Madrid and Nashville. In both cities I did things the locals do. Madrid people don't strike me like they like working hard. They want nice-life things. So loads of sangria and tapas. You will never be allowed to have a drink if you are not eating something and the food is amazing.

What is the one thing you always try to do when you go on holiday?

I like to try the eggs Benedict wherever I stay.

Anele Mdoda in Los Angeles.
Anele Mdoda in Los Angeles.
Image: @Zintathu/Instagram

What is the oddest thing you've experienced while travelling?

Some cab driver tried to steal us when we were in Montreux in Switzerland. To date, I don't know why he was ignoring us as we asked him to stop or at least tell us why we were at the border with France in sight!

Where is the best place in the world for a night out?

Mthatha, shame! Kumnandi eMthatha guys, corner lounge. Or Chicago or Coachella.

What's the strangest thing you've eaten on your travels?

Salt-flavoured ice cream in Japan.

• Catch 'The Buzz' on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm on Honey TV, DStv channel 173.