YOU CAN’T DENY IT, Africa has this magnetic pull that draws travellers worldwide to its shores to experience her natural beauty, the diverse wildlife and the incredibly friendly locals who call the birthplace of mankind, home. But is it safe to travel there and what should you expect when you do?
We sat down with Trailblazers repeat traveller Bev, and spoke about her holiday to South Africa and her views on how she felt in regards to safety and what to expect when visiting.
Africa had been on my radar for some time but my husband had already travelled there many years ago and has a completely different idea of holidays and travelling than me so this was something I’d be doing without him. The idea of travelling with a small group was appealing even though I’d never considered this style of travel before, Africa was not a destination I would travel to alone. I wanted to be able to share and relive the experiences with others, and I’ve been thrilled to be able to do so many times since.
From the moment I met with the other people from the group, I knew I’d made the right decision. The ages ranged from 40-70 and everyone got on so well, and from the first celebratory wine before takeoff, I knew we were in for a treat and it was looking like I might make some new lifelong friends along the way!
Wow, Africa – what can I say. So many thoughts race to mind and all my expectations were so far exceeded! It was refreshing to come from a first world nation where we have so much, where we are so consumed with everyday routines and where most people are losing the ability to think past ourselves, to then land in Africa and see and feel the community and the coming together to mend old wounds. Africans are happy, smiling people with music and rhythm deep in their souls.
Africa has an undeniable romance but it’s also challenging. It’s compelling and draws you in, it’s people are inspirational, it can be confronting for some and even emotive but it is also life changing and beyond this, Africa will inspire you on all sorts of different levels.
It’s something you don’t expect when embarking on a holiday but a new, positive outlook on life takes over you and consumes your heart, body and soul in a way you didn’t know possible.
What I love about Africa is your eyes will be opened to new ways. Your body quiets and your mind settles. You relax, you see and you listen. There’s no need for words. It is in the behaviour of the animals that you will hear the unspoken word of forgiveness, family, self-sacrifice, grace and justice.
So back to the original question: is Africa safe? I can only answer based on my personal experience and at no time did I feel unsafe, threatened or uneasy and we moved through South Africa from Kruger National Park all the way south to Cape Town.
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal. – Paul Coelho.
I’m not naive, I’m sure there are areas to stay away from just like there are here in Australia, however, we were able to walk from restaurants to our accommodation in remote communities with ease and in the city we were always guided and had our well informed, professional guide from the moment we got off the plane to returning back for our departure. I couldn’t have asked for a more fabulous holiday with a great bunch of people.
Africa is enriching on so many levels and above all, the animals become the teachers and we become the student of life. Africa is a reconnection back to the land, to your ancestors, to yourself and to all the possibilities you have. It calls you in, it enriches your life and inspires you to greatness.
It’s a place you must go at least once in your life. You won’t regret it!
Bev is a 60ish-year-old traveller who has holidayed with Trailblazers Travel to Kruger National Park on our South African Safari as well as Cape Town. Bev returned recently from Borneo on the Orangutan and Turtle Adventure with previous friends met on the African Safari holiday.