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Olivia's African Dream

Olivia's African Dream

Author -  Olivia Graves

I began this year with four adventurous weeks at the South Africa Dream Horse Adventure in South Africa. It was the trip of a lifetime! My only regret flying home was that I did not stay longer. 

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Giraffe.jpg

 

The wildlife is incredible and the people are amazing. Don't even get me started on the awesome horses and dogs!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Plane-Trip.jpg



This was my first time travelling alone overseas so far from home 

so, naturally, I had some reservations and safety concerns. I can’t tell you how much stress and pressure was removed by directing my trip through International Working Holidays! I was able to book 10 months before leaving, pay the project off over the course of the year (which also made life a lot easier for me), organize my flights and travel insurance through their travel guru, and have all my pickups, drop offs, accommodation, and meals during my stay set up and paid for before leaving the country. When I walked out of the arrivals gate at the Johannesburg airport, Awesome Travel, the company International Working Holidays coordinate with while you’re over there, was waiting for me with a sign and a big smile!



iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Mandela-Statue.jpg

 

I spent 3 days with them in Johannesburg for an orientation and it was well worth the extra week in South Africa! You get to experience various cultural tours, travel through to Soweto and Pretoria for sight-seeing, explore the local markets, start collecting souvenirs and meet other volunteers heading off on their own adventures. International Working Holidays also ensure that the Awesome Travel team set you up with a local SIM card, and they pass on all relevant information needed to keep you safe during your entire trip.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-group.jpg

 

After my orientation ended, I embarked on a nine-hour road trip up to Hoedspruit. The lengthy bus ride was definitely worth the destination, and I was fortunate enough to be joined by a couple of girls who were with me at the hostel. And now for the best part… The South Africa Dream Horse Project!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-dam-swim.jpg

 

I am at a loss over how incredible this place was.

I've experienced exciting trail rides in New Zealand before, but nothing is as breathtaking nor comparable to a horseback ride in the African Bush. I will never forget the excitement I felt when riding through a herd of Giraffe for the first time, nor will I forget the joy of swimming with the horses in the dam while Zebra, Kudu, and Impala watered themselves nearby. And that is just the tip of the iceberg on this project!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Bungalow-Elephant.jpg

 

Around our stable duties and trail's we were also given the opportunity to participate in early morning and late night game drives. I am still floored by the amount of wildlife I encountered over my month long stay, and I’m forever grateful for the wealth of knowledge that the Africa Dream Team passed on during those drives. You learn so much about the animals that reside there, and you also get to see the anti-poaching team in action which is awesome! The rides were always thrilling, and they often involved a lot of animal tracking, which was equally as exciting to learn and watch. I will never forget my first experience with an angry wild Elephant in musth, forever retaining the image of this gigantic creature trying to chase our vehicle down the path, and I'll always remember how mind-boggling it is to watch Lions, Rhino, Buffalo, Hippo and all sorts of other creatures interact in their natural environment.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Jejane-Sunset.jpg

 

The Jejane Bush Camp that becomes your second home during your stay is just as jaw-dropping as the Game Drives and horseback trails.

As it's situated in the middle of the Big 5 reserve you get wildlife right on your doorstep at all hours of the day and night.

The outdoor kitchen also overlooks a waterhole where animals can be seen drinking or cooling down in the heat. Over the course of my stay I was fortunate enough to see not only Elephants, Giraffe, Kudu, Wildebeest, and Jackals there, but Lions as well! Imagine my surprise when one of them dropped by for a drink while I was eating my breakfast one morning. That same lion and three of his brothers had also made a Buffalo kill 100 metres from Bush Camp. They stayed there for two days! One of the most incredible experiences I had while there was falling asleep to the sound of them calling out to each other all night long.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Lion-Waterhole.JPG

 

Other treasured memories and moments from my trip include a Hyena casually walking by the kitchen metres from where we all sat, the owner storming down our doors in the middle of the night because the Lions had been spotted making a kill nearby, everything and anything to do with the horses and dogs, swimming in the mountains while monkeys chilled in the trees, experiencing Kruger National Park in all its glory, building a house for the village out of mud and recyclables, having a wine and cheese party in the middle of the Big 5 reserve, seeing a Leopard walk straight in front of our car, dancing in the rain all night long when the power went out, and forming life-long friendships with people from all over the globe!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Outreach.jpg

 

But most importantly, I need to give a shout out to the incredible lady who runs the South Africa Dream Horse Project. She is simply the best host in the world and truly cares about all the volunteers who pass through her home, no matter how long they stay for, and no matter what background they come from. All are welcome at African Dream! The same words can also be said about her team, who are just as kind and caring as she is. They also treat all of their horses, dogs, and various other creatures with such loving care and devotion, nobody could possibly be disappointed! Thank you everyone from the team at the Africa Dream Horse Project, you guys are simply the best!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Doggie-Me.jpg

 

Written by Olivia Graves, Auckland, NZ. Her South Africa Dream Horse Project took place in January 2017. 

Olivia's African Dream

This was my first time travelling alone overseas so far from home so, naturally, I had some reservations and safety concerns. I can’t tell you how much stress and pressure was removed by directing my trip through IWH! I was able to book 10 months before leaving, pay the project off over the course of the year (which also made life a lot easier for me), organise my flights and travel insurance through their travel guru, and have all my pickups, drop offs, accommodation, and meals during my stay set up and paid for before leaving the country.

I began this year with four adventurous weeks at the South Africa Dream Horse Adventure in South Africa. It was the trip of a lifetime! My only regret flying home was that I did not stay longer. 

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Giraffe.jpg

 

The wildlife is incredible and the people are amazing. Don't even get me started on the awesome horses and dogs!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Plane-Trip.jpg



This was my first time travelling alone overseas so far from home 

so, naturally, I had some reservations and safety concerns. I can’t tell you how much stress and pressure was removed by directing my trip through International Working Holidays! I was able to book 10 months before leaving, pay the project off over the course of the year (which also made life a lot easier for me), organize my flights and travel insurance through their travel guru, and have all my pickups, drop offs, accommodation, and meals during my stay set up and paid for before leaving the country. When I walked out of the arrivals gate at the Johannesburg airport, Awesome Travel, the company International Working Holidays coordinate with while you’re over there, was waiting for me with a sign and a big smile!



iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Mandela-Statue.jpg

 

I spent 3 days with them in Johannesburg for an orientation and it was well worth the extra week in South Africa! You get to experience various cultural tours, travel through to Soweto and Pretoria for sight-seeing, explore the local markets, start collecting souvenirs and meet other volunteers heading off on their own adventures. International Working Holidays also ensure that the Awesome Travel team set you up with a local SIM card, and they pass on all relevant information needed to keep you safe during your entire trip.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-group.jpg

 

After my orientation ended, I embarked on a nine-hour road trip up to Hoedspruit. The lengthy bus ride was definitely worth the destination, and I was fortunate enough to be joined by a couple of girls who were with me at the hostel. And now for the best part… The South Africa Dream Horse Project!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-dam-swim.jpg

 

I am at a loss over how incredible this place was.

I've experienced exciting trail rides in New Zealand before, but nothing is as breathtaking nor comparable to a horseback ride in the African Bush. I will never forget the excitement I felt when riding through a herd of Giraffe for the first time, nor will I forget the joy of swimming with the horses in the dam while Zebra, Kudu, and Impala watered themselves nearby. And that is just the tip of the iceberg on this project!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Bungalow-Elephant.jpg

 

Around our stable duties and trail's we were also given the opportunity to participate in early morning and late night game drives. I am still floored by the amount of wildlife I encountered over my month long stay, and I’m forever grateful for the wealth of knowledge that the Africa Dream Team passed on during those drives. You learn so much about the animals that reside there, and you also get to see the anti-poaching team in action which is awesome! The rides were always thrilling, and they often involved a lot of animal tracking, which was equally as exciting to learn and watch. I will never forget my first experience with an angry wild Elephant in musth, forever retaining the image of this gigantic creature trying to chase our vehicle down the path, and I'll always remember how mind-boggling it is to watch Lions, Rhino, Buffalo, Hippo and all sorts of other creatures interact in their natural environment.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Jejane-Sunset.jpg

 

The Jejane Bush Camp that becomes your second home during your stay is just as jaw-dropping as the Game Drives and horseback trails.

As it's situated in the middle of the Big 5 reserve you get wildlife right on your doorstep at all hours of the day and night.

The outdoor kitchen also overlooks a waterhole where animals can be seen drinking or cooling down in the heat. Over the course of my stay I was fortunate enough to see not only Elephants, Giraffe, Kudu, Wildebeest, and Jackals there, but Lions as well! Imagine my surprise when one of them dropped by for a drink while I was eating my breakfast one morning. That same lion and three of his brothers had also made a Buffalo kill 100 metres from Bush Camp. They stayed there for two days! One of the most incredible experiences I had while there was falling asleep to the sound of them calling out to each other all night long.

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Lion-Waterhole.JPG

 

Other treasured memories and moments from my trip include a Hyena casually walking by the kitchen metres from where we all sat, the owner storming down our doors in the middle of the night because the Lions had been spotted making a kill nearby, everything and anything to do with the horses and dogs, swimming in the mountains while monkeys chilled in the trees, experiencing Kruger National Park in all its glory, building a house for the village out of mud and recyclables, having a wine and cheese party in the middle of the Big 5 reserve, seeing a Leopard walk straight in front of our car, dancing in the rain all night long when the power went out, and forming life-long friendships with people from all over the globe!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Outreach.jpg

 

But most importantly, I need to give a shout out to the incredible lady who runs the South Africa Dream Horse Project. She is simply the best host in the world and truly cares about all the volunteers who pass through her home, no matter how long they stay for, and no matter what background they come from. All are welcome at African Dream! The same words can also be said about her team, who are just as kind and caring as she is. They also treat all of their horses, dogs, and various other creatures with such loving care and devotion, nobody could possibly be disappointed! Thank you everyone from the team at the Africa Dream Horse Project, you guys are simply the best!

 

iwh-africa-volunteer-olivia-african-dream-blog-Doggie-Me.jpg

 

Written by Olivia Graves, Auckland, NZ. Her South Africa Dream Horse Project took place in January 2017. 
Olivia's African Dream

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