Virtual visits: How to travel without leaving the house

20 March 2020 - 11:10
By Nomvelo Masango and Elizabeth Sleith

The Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly changed travelling as we know it - for now. But so has technology.

While you may not be able to physically go to some of your favourite spots, a few swipes on your screen will allow you to travel from the comfort of your couch to many world-famous destinations.

Escape to the Cayman Islands

Ascape VR allows you to take a dip in the virtual ocean and get up close and personal with sea creatures. You can travel to the Cayman Islands and enjoy the stunning beach views, or simply enjoy life under the sea. The added advantage? No swimsuit or bikini body needed!

If going under the sea is not your thing, you can choose from many other destinations on the site including Botswana, Cuba and Miami. 

Go museum-hopping

Don't let self-isolation prevent you from exploring some of the best museums and learning about all they have to offer.

A staggering 2,500 world-class museums and galleries are now offering virtual tours and online collections. Google Arts & Culture's collection includes many of the world's greatest museums, including the Tate Modern and the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum in New York.  

Head to the zoo

With schools closed, taking your child to the zoo would have been the perfect idea these holidays. Unfortunately, the various measures implemented due to coronavirus make it challenging.

However, you can still take your young one on a virtual tour of the San Diego Zoo. Its website offers amazing tour videos and activities, as well as games for young ones to enjoy.

Go to the opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York has shut its doors, but is streaming some of its most famed shows including Verdi's La Traviata and Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment.

These operas are conducted by some of the world's best conductors and are available from the comfort of your couch. For full information, as well as when the different shows will be streamed, visit

Explore Venice by boat

If going to Italy has always been on your bucket list, look no further. Explor VR allows you to explore Venice on a virtual gondola. You can float along the Grand Canal and even pass under the city's oldest bridge, the Rialto. If Venice does not particularly tickle your fancy, you can try other destinations such as Brazil, Peru or Croatia. 


On She Goes

A podcast to help women of colour feel more comfortable travelling. The hosts talk about everything from travelling with your dad to the challenges of exploring the great outdoors with natural hair. 

The Travel (Guy)des

Hosted by Just GQ and International P, this podcast aims to make travel accessible to everyday people and features interviews with travellers, who share stories about their recent trips while offering tips and hacks. 

Soul Society 101

Travel, food and culture seen from the lens of young black professionals and creatives. Each episode features a special guest to share inspirational stories, dive into black pop culture, drop travel gems and engage in a fair smattering of smack talk.


Erick Prince is on a mission to become the first African American to visit every country in the world - slowly. With 93 countries over the past few years, you can watch his entertaining vlogs on Youtube through his Minority Nomad account or check out his blog.

American Dr Nadeen White calls herself a "blogger by day, physician by night". Her blog, The Sophisticated Life, is all about inspiring others to travel by sharing personal travel experiences and detailed travel guides. Her insights are particularly interesting right now. 

Natalie Roos is a blogger and photographer, born and raised in SA and living in Nairobi, Kenya. Her Tails of a Mermaid blog has everything from self-drive holidays in Mozambique to day trips in Nairobi to a first-timer's guide to Lisbon. Filled with exotic shots of lush greenery and turquoise waters, her content is a hive of travel inspiration and feel-good vibes.