These are the reasons why I absolutely love to travel…
As we all slowly emerge from our shells we are looking both inwards and towards the outside world and imagining the world of travel once again, what are the reasons we love to travel? Over 3 decades of travelling, meeting guests that have become friends, I’ve discovered that the reasons why we travel are vastly different, but, they’re also very personal.
What does travel mean to you?
Our social media obsessed world is always reminding us of this “one upmanship” we have with the people around us. Who is posting the most incredible photograph of their recent holiday, the video that went viral of their experience at the Great Migration or simply that perfect Instagram shot. We all have FOMO – the fear of missing out. We’re scared that if we don’t compete we’ll get left behind.
Travel gives us purpose, it gives our lives direction and meaning. I have heard countless times guests tell me that they looked forward to their bucket list safari to Africa for years. And, that the looking forward to it part was even better than the holiday itself – imagine that!
So, sit back and think about what travel means to you, why do you have this wanderlust? This desire to see new things and experience new places and people? Are you just bored with your life? Or do you crave the wide open plains of the Masai Mara or Serengeti? The woodlands of Selous Game Reserve and the papyrus lined channels of the Okavango Delta? The intricate dress of the Samburu? The local cuisine on the banks of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi as the sun sets in Kafue National Park.
This is what travel means to me
One of the reasons we love to travel is discovery. I can drive the same road several times each year as I drive from home to Maun in Botswana, or further up to Livingstone in Zambia and not one of those roads gets boring. They are different every single time I see them. The people are different, the experiences I have, the campsites I love using – yes, I still use campsites, I love my rooftop tent and the feeling of being completely self sufficient in my Landrover. I love the sense of freedom I feel on the open road, the sensation of excitement at each town I visit, the meals I enjoy there and the obligatory sunsets every evening.
I don’t think we were meant to stay in one place all our lives, we are not made that way. I have always been curious, it has been a driving force within me all my life and I love it. I see a path leading into the bush and I want to see where it leads, I have maps all over my walls at home and I see roads I want to travel and places I want to discover.
To leave the World a better place
When I did my military service I was fortunate to be involved with anti-poaching in the Kruger National Park. We did three week patrols along the “strip” – a cleared stretch of bush that was the international boundary between South Africa and Mozambique. Sometimes inserted by helicopter, other times it was a very long walk to our OP – observation point – where we would set up a concealed hide and simply wait and watch. Over a twelve month period we stopped, quite literally, thousands of poachers from entering the Kruger National Park to poach our animals.
While I may not have loved my military service, I am proud of the contribution I made to the environment and the preservation of our natural heritage.
When you travel, find out about the place or area you are going to, ask your travel agent, or the safari company, what are you doing to leave the world a better place? And get involved with whatever conservation projects they are involved with. Responsible tourism is about giving back and this has to be one of the reasons we love to travel. We all want to know that our holiday had an impact beyond the experience we enjoyed.
This is your chance to create and leave your own legacy. No matter how small or big, your contribution makes a difference.
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy champions Rhino conservation, you can go on safari at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp and spend time with these magical animals. Your stay there will directly benefit Rhino conservation.
To learn about Places and Cultures
Books and armchair travel can only take you so far, then you have to start moving and traveling to really experience places that interest you. Each place has it’s own unique landscapes, people, the smell in the air as you exit the airport or immerse yourself in the local markets. The friendly taxi driver who has three wives and 10 children, the pilot of the light aircraft that flies you to your safari camp. Each and every person, smell and sensation adds something tangible and educates us about where we are.
We begin to understand the diversity of the world that we live in and how wonderful those differences are. It’s not about if we agree that girls should get married at 13, or that a cow is slaughtered at a funeral, we are there to be educated and to discover. Travel is also about respect, the respect we gain from all the interactions we encounter in a new country.
Escape, Relax and Explore
Sometimes, in bed at night, we realize that our lives are quite mundane, perhaps even boring. Each day seems the same and they blur, and before we know it twelve months have passed and we wonder where the time went. All we have is time and none of us knows when our time is up. This is another of the reasons we love to travel, we want to experience as much as we can before our time is up.
Travel is a way to escape the mundane of our lives, a chance to leave behind the daily drudgery and embark on an exciting adventure into the unknown. We all need time to relax too, life can become incredibly stressful and we need to break away to recharge our bodies, gather perspective and see things objectively. Travel to Africa especially is a way for us to reconnect with the natural world. We need to get back to our roots and realise that life is not all about the nine to five, children, work or materialism.
If you are looking for the most idyllic place to relax, isolate yourself on an island completely cut off from the world. Let’s book you in at &Beyond Mnemba Island or Fanjove Private Island for a week.
Travel is a way for us to explore something new. When we travel we get the opportunity to discover and that feeds something very elemental within our souls. We are able to take the time to stop, reflect and relax, linger a little longer and immerse ourselves in the beauty of a place.
The slow safari in Africa is good.
It’s a big world out there, or is it? The world seems to get smaller each day as our ability to communicate and connect increases. And most of us are not all that enthusiastic about how it’s shrinking. We want to know that we are connected to something more than just a wired world and this is where we want to experience humility.
When we see the million strong herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Thompson’s Gazelle roaming the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara we experience the awe of our natural world. How do these animals know to move? Are they all following one another? Who knows which is the right direction? Is this instinct at work? Or is it God?
Guides open our eyes to a huge variety of animals and connect these in ways that defy our belief. How is it that the little Dung Beetle is so important to the health and continued survival of Elephants? Each creature forms a vital link in the ecosystems that help every other animal survive. We are humbled by these discoveries and gain perspective on our lives. What we do at home begins to shrink into complete insignificance.
Travel for your own transformation
Don’t travel for one reason only, travel for the adventure, the trepidation of the unknown. Travel to Africa for the authentic experiences she has to offer, the raw and basic lives the people and animals lead. Experience the roadside butcher shop with flies buzzing around, meat steaming in the morning sun and realize how vast that difference is from your butcher at home. It makes you think, changes the way you see and feel about things.
Watch as a Wildebeest gives birth and seconds later a Hyena is scuttling off with her foal clamped between it’s teeth. I cried at the injustice of this. I only learned later that without that sacrifice the rest of the herds are all in danger. Allow the experiences to change the way you see the world but also let it create thought for self reflection and analysis.
Let your safari to Africa slow you down. Don’t be rushing from one camp to another, chasing the dragon of the best video or image that may go viral. Slow down. Spend more time at each camp, really immerse yourself into the environment and let it transform you.
Tantalise your tastebuds
If the reason you love to travel is to discover the cuisine of a country then Africa will certainly deliver. Visit a Masai manyatta (village) and see how they prepare and eat their food. You will wonder why they are not all seriously ill. Flies buzz and land on raw meat, the Masai love nothing more than fresh cow blood curdled with milk! I cannot say I would recommend trying this though.
Spend an evening at the open air market in Zanzibar, the food is very diverse, new and absolutely delicious.
If you’re considering Zanzibar for your next holiday to Tanzania then book at Matemwe Lodge or Kilindi Zanzibar. Both these lodges are perfect combinations for a bush and beach safari in Africa and will not disappoint you.
Nobody ever suggested you start a diet just before your holiday so leave it at home. Pack your sense of adventure into your mouth and try all the local delicacies that you can. Most of what grows in Africa is edible and a lot are really good for you. The mimosas at breakfast are quite normal I promise.
Travel for love and your bucket list dream safari
We all love to travel and African Safari Experts was established to share the reasons why we love to travel. We are inspired by our clients, we thrive on perfection and always deliver more to our clients than they expect.
When you think of your bucket list, of places you would like to see in Africa, know that we have been there too. We are the African safari experts. We spend vast amounts of time talking to our clients and ensuring that we match exactly what you want with what we design for you. And then we go beyond that. We have an ethos of exceeding our clients expectations.
Travel is the cure for most ailments, be it your wanderlust or simply to slow down and relax. If escape is what you are looking for we will find the most remote corner completely disconnected and ensure you are pampered from head to foot.
Travel for the love of wildlife, for the love of conserving our planet. Be the custodian long after you have left knowing that you have directly benefited the wildlife and communities that live in harmony with their natural world.
Travel is crucial to your sanity and sense of well being. It’s time to start planning your long awaited, post lockdown safari to Africa.
Get in touch with us at African Safari Experts and we will design your dream holiday to Africa.
CEO – African Safari Experts