It was all about the journey

Rian Van Schalkwyk

Rian Van Schalkwyk

Safari means ‘journey’ in the Swahili language. The cliché stating that it’s all about the journey and not the destination is such a true description about our lives. We should enjoy the process, the getting to our final destination. It’s what makes the final destination more special and worthwhile.
We are placed on this earth to protect what is ours and to safe it for our children so they can also experiences the wonders of nature. On this trip we experienced so many truly amazing moments. Form the quiet fresh predawn hues and colours to the clean musty smell after the rains. From the stately giant elephants on the plains to the energetic and curious monkeys of the rainforests. It filled our soul and lifted our spirit to a higher realization.

We have also seen the destruction of man. It makes me sad to say that we have a big challenge on our hands and that we are up against forces of greed and destruction. We as humans have the power to change things for the better but it takes will and action from good people to overcome these evils. We are overpopulated on this small planet of ours. As the human population grows so does the challenges we face. Animal’s habitats are decreasing in size making human wildlife conflicts inevitable. Poaching is an ever -present threat to wildlife. Greed and false beliefs have seen the rhino and elephant numbers plummeted over the last few decades. But also other species like lion and the pangolin. It is alarming to say the least. We need governments to do more in this regard with harsher penalties and more firepower on the ground.

We must all try to do our part. I could see the difference it makes when governments do get it right and decide to act to benefit nature. Tanzania’s government for instance has banned plastic and the difference between them and their neighbours Malawi was astounding. In Malawi the blue plastic bag is taking over the beauty of their landscapes. All it takes is a decision from government. But you don’t have to be in government to play your part in protecting our future. It all comes down to education. Teach them real values and teach them about the wonders of nature and the good will follow.

I can see now what this trip meant for Nina. She has seen animals in their natural habitats and she learned their names. She mimicked their sounds and acted their behaviours. She knows that we should be kind to animals and never harm them. She interacted with the creatures in campsite and knew when to be silent when a lion walks past. Her mindset is set for life and I’m confident that she will uphold and protect any animal alive. You don’t have to take you children on a 9 months safari to make them appreciate nature. Take them for camping where they can experience open spaces and fresh air. Take them away from the screens and show them a real giraffe and a real sunrise. Teach them how to be kind to animals. Take them to parks and teach them about animal behavior. If you appreciate nature then you will fight for it.

We are only renting our space on earth for a very short time. Are we good tenants? Will we get our deposit back?

Acknowledgements

Firstly, thank you for everyone who believed in us even when I doubted myself at times. Thank you also to everyone that didn’t belief we could make it. You gave me the willpower to prove you wrong.
Thank you to my family who had no choice but in believing in us. Special thanks to Lusia for believing in me and waiting for me for 9 months. Thank you to Jorge Neves and Nampharm for your financial contribution. It helped a lot, believe me. Thanks to Brent Anthonissen for the case of medicine. Luckily we didn’t use much of it on ourselves but I could treat numerous fellow campers. Thanks to the Steyns and especially John Steyn pimping my vehicle into a mean camping machine.
Thank you to all the well -wishers following us on Safari with Nina and on my Facebook and Instagram pages.Thanks to all the people that meant something to Nina and I on this trip. You touched our lives for a brief moment in time but forever remembered in our hearts.

Thank you to all the animals we encountered on the plains, savannahs, floodplains and mountains of this beautiful African continent. You filled our days with wonder.

Lastly, Thank you to the best travel companion I could wish for. Nina, we had so many special moments together. We cried together and we laughed together until our tummies hurt. I saw you grow into the little brave curious girl you are now. I’m so proud of what you have become. Papa loves you more that a sky full of stars. “I’m gonna give you my heart. Cause you light up the park”

We love you all

Until next time………….

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