The Tswana tastemaker clues us in on local travel
If you’re looking for inspiration to finally book that trip, look no further than Uyapo Ketogetswe. From styling and shooting lookbooks and digital editorials to developing social strategies for fashion brands, Uyapo does a little of everything in Gaborone, Botswana. His work doesn’t require much travel so if he wants to go somewhere he has to save and plan like we all do. It’s worth it though, to see what he’s seen this past year in Botswana alone, with Morocco and Hong Kong possibly on the cards before the year is out. Read on for Uyapo’s travel and packing suggestions, and get inspired to find a great escape that may be closer than you think.
Where have you travelled?
Last year I challenged myself to see Botswana and explore places I’ve never been. I travelled the country throughout winter 2016 and haven’t stopped since! I’ve also done the occasional Cape Town and Johannesburg trips, but I’ve really loved seeing my own country. There’s something about exploring one's country that helps you find yourself.
Favourite place so far?
The Okavango Delta, Botswana. I’ve been there 3 times now in the space of 5 weeks and I fall in love with the wilderness each time. From the wildlife to the water to the luxury accommodation, it’s almost like finding a piece of paradise in my own backyard.
Place you still need to visit?
A Euro trip is definitely on the table.
What you love or hate most about travel?
I’m not checking for the stress that comes with planning a trip, packing, and of course, the countless hours spent travelling – but the destination makes up for it all.
Any essential travel tips?
Do your research on the destinations you’re interested in. It’s not just the place but the journey of how to get there and around, any documentation and shots needed, etc. I usually check out Instagram, travel blogs and of course, word of mouth; these tend to be the most authentic channels to get real insight.
Think of all possible emergencies and solutions. Things go wrong all the time, so having a Plan B gives you a bit of relief. But at the same time, be prepared to be spontaneous. Be social and meet new people, talk to locals, and act like you’re completely in your territory.
The lighter you can pack, the better. When you’re travelling you’re constantly on the go so you don’t want to be weighed down by heavy or multiple luggage that your hurling through airports, streets, trains, etc.
Dress comfortably. A pair of sneakers, joggers or linen pants, a loose top and lightweight jacket for that chilly flight.
Charge all of your electronics and make sure you have the necessary travel documents!
How do you pack?
I’m a typical last-minute packer, guilty as charged. I’ve been picking up a few tricks and tips to master the art of packing but I can’t seem to shake off overpacking.
Pouches and smaller bags are the perfect way to organise and store like items together. I use different pouches for skincare/grooming products, gadgets and cables, shoes, travel documents, shades and accessories, and anything else that’s small and tends to disappear.
When it comes to clothing, I apply the fold and/or roll techniques. I fold all of my tees, shirts and jackets, and roll my pants. This is the best way to save space. If I have a bulky jacket, I’ll wear it to save up more luggage space. I also plan outfits (something few will admit but many do). I’ve never been away from home for more than 10 days at a go so it’s easier to coordinate outfits and pieces that are as versatile as they are functional. As I’m extremely picky about my travel wardrobe, I check the weather, vibe, and backdrops to the perfect OOTD snap.
What are your travel essentials?
My electronics – including photography equipment, MacBook, iPhone and accessories, power banks, and headsets. I also grab wet wipes, hand sanitiser, headache tablets, gluten-free crisps, coconut water... and lately I’ve been packing avos!
Where to next?
Morocco before the end of the year!