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Life Changing Experiences

The Vast Expanse of Sand and Salt – Community Service Africa

The Vast Expanse of Sand and Salt - Community Service Africa 3

Check out these fantastic stories from Africa Community Service.

The Westcoast Blogger

Howdy AF1 parents!

We have just gotten back from our adventure in the salt pans, and much to our surprise, we have a solid internet connection at the Gweta Lodge! We are having a lazy afternoon and much deserved break following our travels yesterday from Livingstone to Gweta and an exciting morning in the desert.

Salt Pans

Salt Pans

We head to our launching spot for our journey into the Pans. Rachel, Andrew, Alex F. and Isaac were the first to ride on the Quad bikes as we headed out into the bush. The rest of us were riding in open Land Rovers but we stopped a few times change drivers. Mariah and Steven both loved their turns on the quad bikes and arrived at the campsite covered head to toe in dust. The sun was setting as the bush opened up and we dropped down onto the vast expanse of sand and salt. We were all speechless and amazed by the landscape in the salt pans.

Sunset

Sunset

The group divided up into four teams to prepare a traditional potjie, pronounced poiy-kee (veggie, chicken or beef stew prepared in small cast iron pots over an open fire) in a friendly cook off. Tess, Emily, Kelly, Doug and Alex F. surprised the judges (the guides) by throwing rice into their potjie and turning it into a delicious chicken risotto.

After dinner, we sat around a large fire before it got nice and dark and then it was time for a couple of rounds of Globe of Power, a special game of capture the flag with glowsticks and balloons. Nancy, Sydney and Natalie with stealthy and strategic planning were able to retrieve many of the coveted glowsticks.

Before bedtime the trip members were encouraged to walk as far as they wanted, keeping the fire in sight, allowing them to take in the vastness and peacefulness of the pans. The stars spread out and up from a 360 degree horizon and were simply mind blowing. Alexandra saw two shooting stars!

We all slept out on bedrolls under the stars, waking up early for a spectacular sunrise. Samantha, Nancy, Dana and Andrea went for a sunrise walk and could be seen on the horizon, silhouetted by the warm sun

This morning was high action and energy as we switched back and forth from going out on the quads into the pans to see ostrich running and flying enormous power kites around the campsite. Isaac, Jakson and Carter worked really hard and after learning how to manipulate the smaller training kites were skidding and jumping across the desert behind 10 foot kites similar to parachutes.

Flying

Flying

Our Wild at Heart guides Billy, Coenie and Gustav taught the trip members how to Lawn Bowl in the pans, and then we all had a good laugh taking turns blindfolding each other and walking out into the desert to see who could walk the straightest line. 

Tomorrow we return to the Woodlands Lodge for a quick stop-over before our return to South Africa.  Hope you enjoy the photos!

The Community Service Africa Gang

The Community Service Africa Gang