“Being outdoors for me is like a kind of therapy, therapy of the mind body and soul”
I was never a morning person and in actual fact getting up before 9am was a real struggle. When I went on my first volunteer experience holiday to South Africa with Blue Lizard Adventures it was like an entire character transformation! I was the first up and the last to bed. I had to drink in every last bit of the African day that I could before sleep took hold.
For me there is nothing like being outdoors and my volunteer experiences have helped me do that in some many amazing places. I have visited three of Blue Lizard Adventures volunteer project in Africa and all three have been very different. However, all three have allowed me to engage with my one life remedy….. Nature.
Early mornings bring an incredible haze to the air, so still and quiet yet full of life. The dawn chorus from the birds has the same magical feel all over the world. Each bird staking their claim to their little part of the world. The odd roar of a lion or leopard and a trumpet from a breeding herd of elephants reminds me that I am in Africa for sure. The Wilderness Conservation Project was my first experience of the glorious African dawn. Rich reds and oranges litter the sky, brightening up a somewhat cool African bush. My first encounter with a spotted hyaena was on my first morning on a research drive with the volunteer team. He was a small male making his way up the dirt track presumably back to his den. He stops right in front of the truck like he had been in his own little world and had not noticed us before. He suddenly realised there was a strange large object in his way and with a little sideways jump and hyaena giggle he went t on his way.
The Wilderness Conservation and Wildlife Research Project was the best for such natural experiences as you send so much time in the bush the encounters with African wildlife comes thick and fast. Lions, leopards, elephants, and rhinos I saw so often. However, it was the general plains games and the birds which struck me the most at this volunteer project. With nearly every turn there was impala, giraffe, kudu, an iliac breasted roller, dwarf mongoose or large bird of prey revealed themselves showing us a small glimpse of their daily life in the bush. This made me feel so humble and empowered at the same time. We have the capacity to help or destroy these amazing creatures’ homes. I voted to help conserve!
Depending on the type of day, my senses were bombarded with colours, smells and sounds. It is true that the silence is totally deafening. But this bombardment cleans the soul and is a wonderful reminder of how free we are and how we have the most amazing planet.
Now I am up most days at sunrise and it is the best part of the day. If I need a little nurturing I turn to nature and let this wonderful free source of amazement wash over me.
If this short blog has inspired you to experience for yourself, visit Blue Lizard Adventures at www.bluelizardadventures.com or on Facebook and join one of the volunteer project or trips of a life time.