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Travel With Your Dog


Gone are the days of leaving your pooch behind during your adventures! There is so much out there to explore, and who better to accompany you than a man's best friend?

So, we've done our research and spoken to an expert on this topic to compile a list of dog-friendly spots in South Africa.

Marizanne Kemp Ferreira is a well-known animal rescuer in Gqeberha, and the bond that she has with her dog, Yanka-Kwanita, is absolutely special. These two go everywhere together, and so we knew we had to get in touch to learn more about their journey, as well as the places that they have visited together so that you too can begin adventuring with your dog.

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She tells us about how her doggie excursions all began, “My Yanka-Kwanita made her first public appearance at the age of approximately 8 weeks when she was discovered in my handbag at Woolworths, Miramar.”

The staff were very kind and allowed me to do my shopping. How could they not … that sweet, cute face with the huge soulful eyes staring up at them was too much for them to resist. I soon realized that Yanka and I were joined at the hip and for me to do all the things I like doing and now want to do with her, I had to make sure that neither one of us will embarrass the other.

She went to training. Lots of training! Training everywhere, training with anybody, and anything. Since then, the two of us have become a familiar sight at various coffee shops, institutions, homes, guest houses, malls and even church!

Yanka’s Paw Approved Restaurants

  1. Bocadillo’s 6th Avenue Walmer – Yanka loves the couch!
  2. Hello it’s me, Main Road Walmer
  3. The Fireside, Circular Drive
  4. Cubata, Lorraine
  5. Raak, Mount Pleasant
  6. Sacramento, Marine Drive Schoenmakerskop
  7. Grass Roof, Sardinia Bay
  8. Something Good, Summerstrand
  9. Savages, St Georges
  10. Simonsig Wine Farm, Western Cape
  11. Purple Windmill, Western Cape
  12. The Hart, Melkbosstrand
  13. Fairview Vineyard, Western Cape
  14. Kitchen Window, Jeffreys Bay
  15. Old Nic, Plettenberg Bay
  16. Capellini, Sunridge Park

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Dog-Friendly Accommodation

  • Springlands Farm and Self-Catering Cottages, Patensie: There were some great forest walks and Yanka even enjoyed some swimming time in the river.
  • Waterside Lodge, Wilderness: She loved swimming in the pool!
  • Aanhuizen, Swellendam: Although there were sub-zero temperatures outside, this did not hold Yanka back from swimming in the pool!
  • Lake Pleasant, Sedgefield
  • Winterson Somerkoelte, Swellendam
  • Fernhill, Knysna
  • Cape St Francis Resort, St Francis Bay

Other Places That We’ve Spent Time At

  • Beautify Beauty salon – She always sleeps between my legs during my treatments. Anzel once even painted her nails!
  • The Colour Shack Hair Salon – After playing with the resident Boxer dog and having a swim, she falls asleep on the couch.
  • Katz Camera World – They love her!!!
  • Sunridge Park Shopping Mall
  • Gogos jewellery
  • The Footballer – I buy shoes, and she sleeps on her blankie, waiting patiently for me.
  • Sportsmans Warehouse – The manager, Karen, always has treats ready for her.
  • Lochners Butchery
  • Home Cooked Meals, Walmer – The owner always gives Yanka treats.
  • Albertinia Pet Park
  • Bierman, Janeke Optometrist, Swellendam
  • Builders Warehouse, Buffelsfontein
  • Newton Park Methodist Church
  • Eastern Cape Motors, William Moffett – Jaun is the salesman, and his biltong is never safe with her around.
  • BMW Continental
  • Kelston Jeep, Port Elizabeth
  • JW Auto, Port Elizabeth
  • Midas, George
  • Benjamin Liss Optometrist
  • Walker Drive Shopping Centre – The centre manageress, Ronel, spoils Yanka rotten!
  • Stella Londt Retirement Village
  • Fairbrook Retirement Village – Tannie Chrissie Kriel allows Yanka to sleep on her bed.
  • Home Sweet Home, Retirement Home – Yanka’s favourite, Mandy Gurr-Snyman RIP
  • Many schools: Algoa Park, Brylin, Summerwood, Grey College, Collegiate, Rowallan Park, School for Blind, SOS Children's Village, etc
  • The Access Park centre in Kenilworth, Western Cape. She cost me a Fossil watch. The ladies at the shop were so kind and so sweet to her, that I felt obliged to shop, and of course, I walked out with a stunning watch.
  • Dr Pelser and Dr Jordaan, Orthopaedic rooms, George
  • Pitout Wool shop, Jeffreys Bay
  • The Wool & More, Knysna
  • Children’s Court – Kids who were found guilty of animal cruelty had to spend a couple of sessions with her, learning how to work with dogs, respect them, and basic pet education (twice)

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“So, there you have it, our ever-growing list of places that Yanka and I have travelled together. It may not be the world in the true sense, but we are each other’s worlds. And, someday, if they would allow her to sit next to me on a plane, I would be back in a flash to Turkey and Greece, with her. I have a wedding in London in May 2023. I have declined the invitation, as I will not leave her behind.”, says Marizanne.

The bond between a pet and their owner is indescribable, and so as we move into a world where it is more acceptable to travel with your dog, we at Merrell would like to challenge you to not only travel, but to seek adventure outdoors in nature.

But, if you want to ensure that you can keep up with your energetic furry friend, then get yourself a pair of Merrell’s, and take the first step towards fun, outdoor experiences!

Belinda, over 1 year ago

She enjoyed the pool and lying under the towel playing with her ball, it was lovley to accommodate you and yanka.

Willene Venter, over 1 year ago

Thank you Marizanne. I have always wanted a comprehensive list of where Selena and I can go and this defnitely helps us get out. I would add to the list, Lady Slipper Farmers Market

Tiffany Dicken, over 1 year ago

Marizanne is a walking inspiration of how beautifully she has raised this dog in a million. Yanka is absolutely marvelous and a shining example of how a well-raised dog can put most naughty kids to shame. This pair is going places!

Marizanne, over 1 year ago

What an absolute privilege and honor to be part of this campaign! Thank YOU ❤️
Both Yanka and I had a ball at the photo shoot and I looove my shoes x

Irene Lintvelt, over 1 year ago

Yanka is a very precious girl. She has visited my salon many times of the years.She enjoys a swim in my pool and is an absolute pleasure to have her visit.We should all be able to take our animals wherever we go ,as they are part of our family ❤

Tracy Knoesen, over 1 year ago

We do a lot of camping and so sad to see that there are still so many campgrounds that are are NOT pet friendly, even for a little boston terrier.

Ronel Britz , over 1 year ago

What a beautiful story, and YES, Yanka is ALWAYS welcome at my #homeawayfromhome @WalkerDriveShoppingCentre

Catherine , over 1 year ago

What a wonderfully educational article ❤ 👏

Pauline Tunstead, over 1 year ago

Lovely article highlighting the need for society to adapt to “pet moms and dads” whose animals are literally their children ❤️

Cindy Hoekstra, over 1 year ago

Yanka and Marizanne spread so much love and awareness! What a great article - hope it encourages many dog owners to take their special furries to more venues and more businesses to realize that this is something people want and need!

Busiswa Nogoboka, over 1 year ago

Wow what a powerful bond they have with cute baby Yanka, when I first saw her, I also felt in love with her, there is no other better thing than to train our dogs, I have been with Yanka-Kwanita several time, she is so special and adorable, she is a well trained behaved dog. My children adore her very much, they even go to the beach with her for swimming as she loves playing in the water. The bond that my family has with Yanka-Kwanita is special because she is a well manned loving dog. We love you Yanka-Kwanita

Andrew Serfontein, over 1 year ago

Such an awesome article! A couple of years ago, I was involved with an event that gave me an opportunity to spend some time with Yanka and her mom Marizanne. We visited a few public places together including a gym, car dealership, shopping mall and hair salon. In a time where so much negative attention has been cast on pitbulls, Yanka has become an ambassador! Marizanne’s deep understanding of the breed has helped her find suitable homes for so many rescued pitbulls including my own pitbull Nina.

Wolfie, over 1 year ago

I know Yanka since she was a puppy and every time I come from Germany to visit them I am happy to see this harmony between them. For me this is the best example of what is possible if you train your dog and take care of it.

Tanya , over 1 year ago

What a beautiful article, well done to everyone mentioned ☺️ I could write a blog too on all the amazing things Marizanne does with so much love! I'm so happy to be part of the family 😅 Yanka always greets me with such love and care, she makes the worries of the world melt in a moment when you are in her presence. The bond and love is felt, it's really special. As Marizanne does, she rocks them Merrells too!