The day I arrived in Hoedspruit, I thought: Oh my days, I’m surrounded by crazy people… Awesome! At least I’m not the only one! When I got off the plane I was accepted in the family. And so my South African adventure began.

In three months time I learned a lot about riding because of the great lessons with Traci. I attempted my first couple of jumps in these lessons but also my dressage improved a lot because I got the chance to train a horse and to compete in a couple of shows with him. I love my dear Sam. He was awesome and I learned so much training him.

Also the skills on a horse like picking up a stick from the ground, leaning on the side of the horse to avoid prickly branches were very practical. The game drives in the beautiful Jejane Private Game Reserve with Glen were always memorable. His knowledge of the bush is amazing. There was a lot to learn on every game drive and a lot of beautiful game to see. But the main thing of the riding and game drives was the fun we had.

There is never a dull moment when you spend time with the Thomson’s. If it’s partying in Safari Club, hiking in the mountains, paying it forward with the orphans of the Yellow Elephant School, themed party’s at bush camp or just a nice braai round the fire.

I absolutely loved every second of it. I even had the pleasure of my mom and grandma to come and visit me for the last two weeks I was in Africa!

I didn’t know what to expect when I got on the plane to go to South Africa. I completely opened my mind for this adventure. I’m so glad I did. I had an amazing time, made friends for life and had the chance to experience the gorgeous South African bush. I also did my internship during these three months about the lions on Jejane. I got all the help I needed to get the information that was necessary for my research.

In the end I had to pack my bags to go home, and I almost couldn’t close my suitcase because off all the good memories I wanted to take with me. Thank you Traci, Glen, Shannon and everyone who is part of the African Dream Family for my amazing time in South Africa … I loved every second of it. And one more thing: I’ll be back!


Written by Lynn (Netherlands)