SOUTH AFRICA: INTO THE WILD
This June, VoyEdge RX took its first trip to the continent of Africa, in the form of two twelve day excursions to the southern tip of the world. South Africa sits where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet, and it's the entry-level exploration spot for those looking to dip their toes into what the continent has to offer. As a guide, this was my first time to the continent, and boy what an experience it was. Something very unique to South Africa is the wide variety of options it holds within, from beaches to the metropolis and the wild, it has it all. Of all the things that grabbed me though, the wild stole my heart.
There are very few experiences in my life where I have felt truly in the wild; the closest perhaps being in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Those places, although amazing, paled in comparison to the African bush. A 6-hour drive brought us to a place where we were surrounded on all sides by nothing but brush, trees, and the sounds of the wild. We walked single file through areas reserved for mammals that could dispose of us in seconds. We slept within game reserves, lions roaring and hyenas cackling to each other in the night. We drove through the savanna to sight every kind of friendly and unfriendly beast you could imagine. At every moment, without exception, I was aware that I was in a truly wild place.
There was a certain camaraderie that came about from people all staying in the bush together, shared amongst friends and strangers alike. The people were so friendly, and meal times brought about joy within a group of 20+ individuals, for truly no apparent reason. Upon further reflection, it really could be as simple as we are in the wild, but we have each other, and with that comes safety and fast friendship. It didn't hurt that the traditional South African food was hearty and so very tasty.
If you ever have an opportunity to go into the wild, to truly immerse yourself in an uncivilized world run by mother nature more so than law and order, take the opportunity and run with it. That feeling is so hard to recreate, and can only be found in special places around the world. The things you learn about yourself, your friends, and the cycle (or perhaps the circle) of life will change your perspective on everything. It is something I will never forget, and feeling I very much look forward to experiencing again.
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