An African Adventure

Monday, December 18, 2017
Assignments or Adventure? You can do both!

Careening along a road that was barely wide enough for our roofless safari truck, we raced back towards camp. The reason? Well, we were the only metal object in a twenty-mile radius in the middle of an electrical storm. We were sitting ducks. By the time we made it back to camp we were drenched, freezing cold, more than a little shaken but completely and utterly exhilarated. After all, this is Africa. 

When people asked me what I was doing over mid-semester break, I’m pretty sure the last thing they expected me to say was that I was going to Africa for three weeks. At a time when most people were knuckling down for the busiest part of the semester, I was travelling across the African continent.

Africa has, for as long as I can remember, been on my bucket list (thanks Lion King). It truly is a magical place. One evening, parked on top of a small rise in the Serengeti with the sun slowly dipping towards the horizon, I remember stopping and simply appreciating the silence. Little did I know the stillness was a complete and utter façade. Within minutes, it became clear that we were not alone. What we had actually discovered was a real-life ‘Pride Rock’; two adult lionesses and six cubs ranging from a couple of months to a couple of years in age surrounded us. Naturally, we spent the next hour watching them. It was like a live production of a National Geographic documentary. real-life 'Pride Rock'

Three weeks, five countries, eleven flights and countless safaris later, it’s back to reality. From the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town to the breath-taking Victoria Falls and the plains of the Serengeti, it was an experience like no other. I walked with lions, white-water rafted along the Zambezi river, experienced the start of the Great Wildebeest Migration and spent countless hours exploring national parks searching for the illusive “Big Five”. We sat in our car amidst stampeding elephants one day and visited a local Maasai village the next. Maasai Village

There were long days of over twelve hours of driving dusty, corrugated roads, sunrise wake-up calls, hiking in temperatures above 40 degrees and permanently squared eyes from searching for wildlife all day. It was an adventure. I loved it. To use the cliché: it was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

My advice? Take every opportunity that presents itself. Travel to experience because experience is the greatest education of all. Challenge yourself and broaden your perspective. It will change your life.

-Belinda Kent, Avondale student

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