Ya Rona – meaning “ours” – is the touring company created by two stokvel groups, Zintsomi Social Club and the Women in Liquor Trade Club, specifically for their local and international travel dreams. Spotong sat down with Fanny Mokoena, who coordinates all of their travel adventures, to give us more insight into how this remarkable group of women turned their travel aspirations into a reality with stokvel savings.
How do you choose your holiday destination and how often does the group travel?
We have meetings often and discuss it as a group. We all give our ideas and then we decide on our destination. Because both groups consist of 26 members in total, we have different groups touring throughout the year and we base all tours on affordability and availability. In this way, everyone has a chance to travel, whether local or international, at least once or twice a year.
One of our favourite trips was our Mediterranean cruise in 2015. We flew to Barcelona and from there we cruised to five different countries.
Do you make use of a travel agency to book your trips?
We shop around for the best deals and don’t specifically use one travel agency although we have used Flight Centre more than once. Affordability is important to us as a group so when we spot the perfect deal to suit our needs, we pay our deposit and pay the rest of the trip off monthly which makes it much easier on everyone’s pockets.
The group recently returned from a week in Mauritius. Tell us more about this trip and what was the highlight?
We spent seven nights at the beautiful Laguna Beach Hotel. We went on sightseeing tours, shopped at the local markets and enjoyed our time on the beaches. A highlight of our trip was seeing the Seven Coloured Earths, which is a huge tourist attraction, as well as our boat trip across the sea to another island where we had the opportunity to experience the crystal-clear water while swimming.
Which other destinations have you visited as a group?
One of our favourite trips was our Mediterranean cruise in 2015. We flew to Barcelona and from there we cruised to five different countries. We have also visited China, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Thailand, Victoria Falls, Israel and Egypt.
Where will the next trip be?
In March, we are flying to Durban and going on a four-night cruise to Mozambiquan islands. When we return, we will start making arrangements for our next adventure because the one thing our group has in common is that we absolutely love to travel and experience new things.