This is the story of Manon from the Netherlands:
I just turned 18 here in Africa!! Celebrating your 18th birthday in National Kruger Park is amazing. I’m here for three months, doing the Kruger to Cape tour, which included our first week Kruger National park, the following two weeks volunteering in Swaziland, the fourth week resting in Mozambique. After Mozambique we enjoyed another 2 weeks of volunteering. We’re then heading off to Cape Town, (a road-trip over 10 days!!). The last four weeks of this expedition, I’ll be spending in Cape Town. When I read this tour I was like yeah I’m definitely going to do this! And here I am, just got back from sunny Mozambique.
Before I left the Netherlands I had some kind of expectations of Africa. When I got here in Swaziland I was kind of disappointed because it was totally different than I expected. The area where we’re staying at is way less poor than I imagined it to be. Which is in fact a good thing but it was kind of strange to see. But when you go traveling to a whole new destination you need to go in it fully open minded. My trip to Kruger was just beyond amazing. We got to see the big five and even the super seven! The two weeks of volunteering were also great. The kids here are amazing to work with. Sometimes it can be very hard because they speak SiSwati and I speak English but we get there at the end. Our group was so much fun: four girls around the age of 20 and a man of fifty. He was like our father to keep most of the guys away haha!! We got along really well. We were all really excited to go to Mozambique even though it would be the last week together because they would all go home after it. We also did two days of building at a project. It was good to see how they build here. A lot different the way we do it at home. It was also really tiring but also satisfying. After the days of building we went swimming with some kids of the Neighborhood Care Point I was working with. At first they were really nervous but after one hour they would just jump around the whole pool. Amazing what kind of difference you can make only in one hour.
When we crossed the border to Mozambique my expectations I had before became reality. Mozambique is way poorer than Swaziland in my opinion and it can be seen. Which it didn’t make any less beautiful because the landscapes were breath taking. How closer we got to Tofo how more palm trees we saw. Mozambique was just wonderful. Our lodge was next to the beach. The temperature of the water was amazing. The atmosphere was totally awesome. Everyone was really relaxed and so nice to each other. We swam with dolphins while we’re on the ocean safari and it was amazing as it sounds. We also went kayaking and visiting an island. We played beach volley at sunsets. The highlight for me was the last night. We would party at the market and leave at 3am back to Swaziland. It was the monthly full moon party. All the people would go out at the market and just dance like nobody was watching. Good to see everybody so happy. After Mozambique I had to say goodbye to the others. Which was kind of hard but you keep on meeting new people so it’s okay.
Now I’m in the middle of my last weeks of volunteering in Swaziland and I’m really excited to go to Cape town. I’m probably going to bungee jump on my way to Cape Town. And I’ll get to see cheetahs and elephants which I’m really excited for! So far so good.