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The first thing Shannon told me when I set foot at African Dream was “you’re going to have an amazing time here” – well, she wasn’t lying.
I came to Hoedspruit to do my internship and research project about the impact of horse tourism on its community (so basically, how horse tourism affects people’s lives), and I was blessed to have Traci there to help me through all the steps of my research. Not only did I have an amazing time interviewing people and getting to know about their culture, but I also had the wonderful chance of being able to ride awesome horses (and especially Adios, my little favorite!) and join game drives on Jejane where I saw the big 5 in my first week, and crazy sightings such as nyala, pangolins, roaring lions and ground hornbills.
Although my project took quite some time, I still was able to learn so much about horsemanship and riding, and about trees and animal behaviour. My knowledge about the bush is a 100 times better than my knowledge of French forests! Next to that, I had the incredible chance to meet awesome people, whom I will definitely visit back in Europe (and South Africa when I come back!). I made friendships I would never have had if I hadn’t been to African Dream, and oh boy would I have regretted if I hadn’t met these people!
Finally, I saw the most amazing landscapes ever, with the Manoutsa hike challenging my physical abilities (mostly mental actually, since my body was quite able to do it; my mind, however, wasn’t all that sure!), Mariepskop towering over the lowveld, the picnic spot and it’s chill rocks where it was nice to tan and read a book, Moholoholo and the cheetah we could stroke… So many beautiful memories that I will always carry with me; so many experiences that have changed me… For all this, thank you African Dream!
Written by Zinnea Guittin (France)