TRAVEL DIARY // SOUTH AFRICA // JUNE 2016

IMG_20171120_212630IMG_20171120_212357IMG_20171120_212446IMG_20171120_212534IMG_20171120_212512IMG_20171120_212600

I wanted to begin my Travel Diary series with the first country of my biggest adventure to date. I had decided a year prior that I wanted to travel the world by myself, experiencing five different countries and their cultures. The first country which came to my mind was South Africa. I had created a bucket list of about 50 things I want to do or achieve during my life. Included, were the words “go on a safari” and “work with orphans in Africa”. I managed to tick of both in the first week.

I booked my trip through Gap 360 and was in South Africa for two weeks. I landed in Kruger Mpumalanga Airport on the evening of the 20th June and got driven to the game reserve which was about an hour and a half from the airport. As we were driving up to the lodge, we were stopped suddenly to let an elephant cross our path – my first sighting of an African animal in the wild. At the reserve, I greeted the rest of the group, the people who I would call my friends in only 14 days. The following day, we went on our first safari through the African plains, managing to see zebras, giraffes, crocodiles, monkeys, impalas and a large family of elephants who crossed the road only a metre or two behind our truck.

A couple of days later we visited a local orphanage and school where children from small toddlers to late teens with either little or no families are taught and looked after. There was one small open plan building with pictures on the walls and only a few toys for the children to play with. There was one block of toilets, a climbing frame, an open kitchen where the meals are cooked in a large iron pot, and a room with a few computers inside. There was a beautiful piece of text on on of the walls in the computer room which made me cry…these children don’t see themselves as “poorer” or “more unfortunate” compared to others, they see what they have and appreciate everything.

IMG_20171120_223838IMG_20171120_224001IMG_20171120_224048IMG_20171120_224025IMG_20171120_223907IMG_20171120_223932

In the following days we went 4×4 driving through the plains (where I actually took the time to use the indicators despite there being no other vehicles for miles), visited the stunning Sudwala Caves and the beautiful Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary which looks after and cares for homeless and sick chimpanzees. On the final day, we visited the amazing Kruger National Park. We were up at 4:30am and we were able to spend the whole day at the park, animal-spotting and taking even more photos. We managed to find leopards, female lions, wildebeests, hippos and rhinos. It was such a phenomenal experience, and I will definitely be bringing my family with me next time!

ARIA

Places visited/mentioned:

Places mentioned which accept donations:

 

1 Comment

  1. Melanie Hughes

    What a wonderful experience and I do hope that it will not be your only visit. Beautiful photos too.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s