I am a person who loves travelling, I may have travelled a lot but never to Africa, though I dreamed of travelling to this vast continent one day, to me, it seemed too farfetched. I am a person who likes competitions, whether it is sports, cooking and even magazine subscriptions, if have the time I simply get on with it. I normally do not get the big prize but I do get awarded with consolation prizes sometimes such as books, cooking utensils and you know, just small stuff but I never give up anyway, I keep on trying.
One day I bought a travel magazine out of the blue and just like that, there was a competition which involved a six months subscription, answering simple questions and dropping the coupons in the nearest supermarket where the magazines were sold. I did this as a routine not expecting anything much until I received a call; first I thought my friend who says I am obsessed with competitions was playing games with me. The caller confirmed that I was the ultimate winner of a trip to Africa (organized by www.element-london.com); suddenly my farfetched dream was becoming a reality!
My first destination in Africa was Namibia and I landed in its small capital city Windhoek and had a replenishing meal that included an excellent steak and a cold beer. As I spent the night in this friendly city I had no idea of what awaited me the following day. The next day I was in the Etosha National park and could not believe my eyes seeing the vast chalky pans grazed by herds of zebra, elephant and giraffe and packs of lion, cheeter and leopard. As the animals flocked a nearby waterhole and they bend to take a drink of water with their bodies reflected in the water, I knew it was the perfect moment for a classic photo of Etosha.
During my holiday in Namibia I also witnessed the unforgiving wilderness of Namib Naukluft National Park and stayed in a desert lodge next to an oasis that attracted wild animals. I watched the dazzling Milky Way at night enjoyed quad biking on the towering golden sands of Sossulvei.
I visited the Caprivi Strip that offered a refreshing experience from the deserts I had already gotten used to. The Caprivi Strip consisted of lush wetlands that contrasted greatly with the harsh deserts of Namib Naukluft, I enjoyed watching the chirping birds and it is from here that I enjoyed a boat ride to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
When I first stepped into the region of the Okavango Delta, it felt like paradise, with so many animals and birds, I had to pinch myself to ensure that I was nether dreaming or watching National Geographic.
After a safari in Botswana, my next stop was the island of Zanzibar off the shores of Tanzania. I relaxed on its spectacular beaches after wandering through its ancient towns with narrow alleyways. The Swahili culture here is influenced by local, Indian and Arabic cultures and I could not resist the spicy sea food and coconut side dishes, I felt like I was in a reality show of Food Network only that I was the one tasting the meals not cooking them.
That is how my dream holiday to Africa became a reality just by being a subscriber to a magazine and answering a few questions in each monthly edition.