In one of my first international travels, I visited South Africa with my family. And let me tell you, it absolutely blew me away. It was an amazing experience that completely changed my ripe teenage brain into an adventure-seeking, travel-loving, knowledge-hungry machine. And I’ve never been the same since.
I had an amazing experience in South Africa, and I would recommend everyone visit at least once! Here’s why:
- The landscape will humble you. As you look out uponmiles and miles of African plains, where nature has been existing and thriving for far longer than we even knew about this place, you will be filled with a sense of wonder. The land is rough and unforgiving, it concedes to no one, and yet it is the source of life for so many diverse species of plant and animal. The land here, in its natural glory, is more beautiful than any man-made creation could ever be.
- You’ll see animals you thought only existed in zoos and National Geographic. From kudus to impalas to waterbucks, and rhinos and elands too. The creatures roaming this land are diverse and interesting. You’ll see some favorites, like giraffes and zebras, but you’ll also see many unfamiliar species, like red hartebeest and steinboks. And if you’re lucky, you may spot a Pumba…I mean, warthog!
- You will learn to appreciate another way of life. Life on the African plains is rooted in the land, relying on nature for sustenance and a livelihood. This life is unfazed by fashion trends or consumerism. It is uninterested in petty problems, as the life forces of Africa must be tackled every day. Experiencing this place will show you how different life can be.
- Your world will grow a hundred times larger. You just cannot understand the enormity of this planet until you’ve stood before something so naturally large that it dwarfs you and the world you’ve known up to that point. Or until you’ve seen strong, wild animals in their natural habitat. Or until you feel the rhythm of daily life in a place entirely unlike your home. Go and allow your mind and perspective to be expanded.
- Africa will become a real place to you. Africa is not just a bunch of hungry children on a charity poster. It is more than the stereotype of tribal people who need our help. Africa is a beautiful masterpiece, teeming with life and vivacity. Africa is enormous and diverse, and you won’t understand until you see it for yourself.