Since I was a very young girl, I’ve been dreaming about South Africa. My childhood room was covered in posters of Africa, and the television was always on Animal Planet, my alarm set to make sure I wouldn’t miss out on any African shows. So now, a couple years later, I decided to take a chance and go to South Africa on my own to make my dreams come true.

Monday 22th of July I took off from Amsterdam. It was a very long flight and I don’t remember much from it, but what I do remember is my flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. We were flying over the savanna and I saw an elephants herd. I got so excited, I started poking the guy next to me to share my excitement. I got out of the plane, and I was so happy. I felt an amazing happy feeling taking over me. I changed. I felt like a newborn person. And now, 2 months later, I still don’t feel like the old me. I feel so different, so much better and I finally know what I want in life. I am so much wiser than I was before, because of all the conversations with people that live here, and simply just because of my experience here.

I’ve done a lot of excursions and trips here in South Africa and I loved every single one. I’ve been to the 4th waterfall, the mountains, swimming at the picnic spot, Moholoholo, Walk with the Wild, Kruger overnight, I’ve watched a show-jumping show at Pietersburg, another one in Johannesburg, helped Barefoot Safari with promoting, I’ve been to the rhino infusion in Balule, been a apart of an impala capture, did a fashion walk, had a lot of great parties with great people from all over the world, went to Mozambique with the most amazing people and of course did a lot of great trails in the bush, riding lessons on great horses and learnt a lot about horses and South Africa.

In the end, I am so glad I went by myself because I made so many new friends here. Now, they are not only my friends, they are a part of my life and part of the biggest change I made in my life. They saw me changing and they’ve accepted me from the beginning.

I want to thank everyone for being a part of my dream, and special thanks to the Thomson’s, for taking me into their lives, the students for making my stay here so awesome, the locals for making me experience the South African culture, my friends for all the great laughs we had and Africa for taking my heart!


Written by Hannah Kleyn (Holland)