Africa: the simple thought of this unique utterance keeps resonating in my mind, and has been doing so for the past 25 years of my life! From the moment I stepped on the African continent I knew it! I knew that it was the beginning of an everlasting “love story”…and a love story it has proven to be!
For some Africa is a continent depicted through wars, poverty, misery and disease. For others nevertheless, it is a place where dreams come true, where exploration is the only word that makes sense, and where nature is at its best.
For me, Africa is all this, and so much more! It encompasses its people, the endless plains of the Serengeti, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, remarkable wildlife and unique biomes that blend together in a melting pot of aromas, colors and senses.
From where I come from things are very different. As I‘m writing these words (in my home country Belgium), it is freezing cold like I have very rarely endured. A couple of days ago, we got temperatures below -15 degrees Celsius.
Today, the snow is melting (finally…), but the conditions are so unlike where I intrinsically belong.
What about the sunshine? The vast horizons? The freedom?
Back in the days my father was working for a freight forwarding company, so we got to travel extensively around the continent. From my early childhood in the DRC, to Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and ultimately South Africa, I’ve had the chance to experience exhilarating things in life! Without a doubt, this is where my passion for travel and African wildlife initiated!
African wildlife is a huge passion of mine! It is so immense that I wouldn’t possibly be able to describe it even if I wanted to. I don’t know if Africans realize how lucky they are to possess such amazing gifts of nature!
Being from overseas, the wildlife is very different over there. It is beautiful in its own way, and I do love it, but it does not come even close to what the African bushveld represents. While one may encounter a few deer and a wandering fox now and then, what Africa has to offer is truly flabbergasting. The continent has got it all: lions, leopards, crocs, elephants, hyenas…the list goes on and on!
There’s just something about the bush, something unexplainable. I adore the atmosphere, and the weird sounds you hear at night while under your duvet. It is both a common ground for battle (for survival…), and at the same time such a peaceful place where one completely disconnects from the outside world.
There’s nothing better than an African safari surrounded by wild animals! You simply have to live it to understand it!
Africa has so much to offer, yet some people don’t seem to realize that. It is often portrayed as a negative “cliché” and I believe we should break that image. Yes, crime and poverty do exist, but African people are probably some of the richest people I have ever come across in life. It is hard to find people with so little materially and yet have so much to offer at the same time!
We, as Africans (in my case as an “Africa freak”), have the unique chance to live surrounded by this beautiful nature on a daily basis. We should therefore respect it, and conserve the environment for future generations. Let’s protect Africa, and make sure our children, and our children’s children see it as it is being depicted today; a continent full of smiles, incredible people, breathtaking landscapes and unique wildlife!
Written by: Michaël Theys (Africa Freak) http://www.africafreak.com/