Finally, one of my most anticipated features (judging by the excited cheers from my fellow travellers after my numerous InstaStories) from a trip that I’ve been dreaming about ever since I was a little kid that was now recently realized thanks to the amazing team at Afrikasafari Travel Agency. It is certainly true that once in Africa something within you never remains the same and I mean that in the most positive way. From travelling there is just so much to learn and in a sense it makes you so much more humble than before. Growing up in a very privileged area in one of the world’s most well-developed countries I always thought that my fellow peers were so narrow-minded in the superior (obnoxious) fashion upon which they regarded foreign countries because of their lower living standards. With this in mind I think that one of the most important things you can come to realise is how there really are no, colloquially speaking, developing countries. South Africa, among numerous other nations, has advanced more in such a small period of time than I think any Western country has in the last century even if poverty is still wide-spread.
Travelling has made me reflect upon the resiliency of humans. A country so diverse that has undergone so many atrocities, yet with so much richness in culture and abundance of love. I will never forget the bizarre moment when our team took us to an elementary school outside of Johannesburg where the children welcomed us with so much curiosity. We played football together and the whole group had prepared a music performance for us in one of the classrooms where, on the wall, the letter “i” was painted with the word “injection” under it and a picture of a syringe.
More about the itinerary. Upon our arrival in Johannesburg a driver was waiting to take us, through the most beautiful and colourful landscape, to our accommodation at Prestana Kruger Lodge. Never in my life can I recall having been so tired but at the same time so unable to keep my eyes shut. The hotel was located by the Crocodile River with a view over Kruger National Park that I spent the afternoon staring at as I was too tired to take a dip in the pool and I was very unprepared for how loud noises elephants make so I sort of jumped in fright a couple of times.
We went on several bush walks and safari rides in Boulders Game Reserve and the Kruger Park, both accompanied by professional guides that taught us how to interpret the sounds of the different species, the habits of the animals and how to recognise them by their footprints. The previous reserve was a more intimate experience that allowed us to get closer to the smaller animals that are more difficult to spot from the car through Kruger. At night fall we all got served a drink to the sight of the setting sun before heading out on a night tour to see the animals that are active during night time. For those interested in astronomy the guide also gladly pointed out some star constellations such as the Southern Cross and Orion’s Belt. One of my funniest memories was by far when we had to stop our safari cars because an elephant was blocking the road, hahaha. Apart from leopards, zebras etc., Kruger National Park also has a wide range of plants such as liana and cactus which really made me want to attempt a Tarzan move. When going here yourself you should remember not to wear too colourful clothes as this might attract unwanted attention from the animals. Even if you sit in an open car they don’t see you as an individual human but regard the whole vehicle as a very big member from an unknown species.
Apart from all the beautiful animals our team from Afrikasafari also took us the Drakensberg, which is the Eastern part of the Great Escarpment where we stopped at all three view points, including Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and the Lisbon Falls. For all travellers with Afrikasafari, no matter which of the programmes you attend, you will have free days at your disposal when you can choose additional safari experiences, go zip-lining through Swaziland, visit the famous Botanical Gardens or, my favourite options, go and assist the staff at Mohloholo Rehabilitation Center for injured monkeys. All fees are included in the price you pay when you book, including all breakfasts and dinners with travel guarantee and around-the-clock hotline. The team was just amazing, extremely professional and friendly beyond words.
If you haven’t understood this already this is one of the coolest trips I’ve ever been on that I can truly, truly recommend. Thank you to Afrikasafari for making this dream of mine come true!