Sawubona! (“Hello” in Zulu!) Our travels are off to a wonderful start in Africa!
We began with a celebration for Jennifer on the plane, complete with the captain wishing her a great 18th birthday! As we touched down in Johannesburg, we were simply in awe of the beauty and positivity that radiates everywhere in this country.
Timbavati Lodge welcomed us with home-cooked South African meals, such as babotie (ground beef lasagna), pup (a traditional corn dish), and marva pudding (a type of pancake with custard). We have been lucky enough to try many flavors of juice as well, including passionfruit and guava-which Jacob is a HUGE fan of! The huts we are staying in are designed with vibrant colors to make our experience that much more authentic. On Friday night, we had the pleasure of watching some Shangaan dancers show us their African moves- and they even brought some of us up to dance with them!
Our service started at Mapalane Primary School where we learned about the sustainable eco villages that are being built, and we were privileged enough to help build some. The afternoons are filled with games, sports, and overwhelming laughter! We are so touched by the connections we have made over the past few days with community children of all ages, and we’re excited to continue fostering more relations!
This weekend, we went to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center to learn about several wildlife species and how the center helps injured animals return safely into the wild. We saw cheetahs, who are being raised and trained by the center, and we even got to see the guides feed leopards which was quite a sight!
On Sunday, we headed to our camouflaged caravans and began our adventure into Kruger National Park. At first, it was quite difficult to spot some animals, but by the end of our day we were pros at pointing left and right to show the others our amazing sights. We saw giraffes, lions, hippos, elephants, zebras, baboons, and much more! We watched beautiful herds cross the road and truly experienced a day in the life of the animals.
What a day, and this is just the beginning! Until next time..
The Westcoast Blogger
Dreaming about seeing amazing animals in South Africa? Check out our 13-day and 25-day community service opportunities!