Different plans in Bulawayo

Hello, Bonjour and Salibonani from Bulawayo where I have safely arrived 2 days ago. Immigration and customs took quite long and wasn’t without any hustles but I mastered it. Afterwards, I got a new SIM card with a Zim number and internet, which seems to work for now, even though I am still trying to understand the money market to get new internet data.

Plans have changed before I arrived in Zimbabwe and I will not directly stay at Cawston. For the time being, I am based in the suburbs of Bulawayo and helping to workout the horses on a donkey and horse sanctuary.

There is also a little foal that is about 2 months old, which had a tough start into life. Two of his legs were broken and he has lots of wounds to recover from. As he can’t walk, we do some physio on him and try to walk him with 4 persons, each taking one of his legs to show him how he can move. Long way to go for him to recover.

Unfortunately one of his wound on his shoulder was so bad that we had to bring him to the vet today and he got an operation. Hopefully this is now the turning point and he will get better soon.

I will stay here for some days before moving onwards to Cawston. I will see what the next days will bring.

Cheers to wandering the world and the wonders of our lives, hope to see you in a few days again in Zimbabwe – bye bye, salut and lisale kuhle ∞

Preparing for an adventurous time in Zimbabwe

Hello, Bonjour and Salibonani to my first blog post about my African adventures. Here, I am sitting in my cosy apartment in Germany counting the days until I will step into the airplane of South African Airlines to fly to Johannesburg for my stop-over and move on to the Airport of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I will stay at the private game reserve, Cawston Wildlife Estate that is about 70km North of Bulawayo for a period of 3 months. I just can’t wait for the month of April to come, when my airplane will take-off for a magical adventure.

Sooo I always wanted to live in Southern Africa, where I feel my heart belongs to and I particularly looked for possibilities that would involve horses, as I just love these beautiful animals. Lucky enough, I found a place (following # on Instagram can be quite a good choice) that sounds awesome to me and I am looking forward to start this new adventure in my life. As little as I know today, I will be staying on Cawston surrounded by horses and other African wildlife. The reserve itself is home to game, such as herd of sable, giraffe, wildebeests etc. Right now, I am unsure if and which wild big cats I will encounter on Cawston, but I am keen to find out soon.

So, how would you get ready for this kind of African adventure? First of all I decided to book my flight tickets – Check, so that is done! Then, I started reading and reading lots of travel guides, historical books and economical lecture about Zimbabwe, my new „home“ for April until end of June. Afterwards, I decided to draft a list with things that are necessary and handy for such kind of adventure:

  • Sleeping bag and Mosquito net
  • Headlamp and flashlight
  • A small backpack for short hiking and riding excursions
  • Hiking and riding boots
  • My riding equipment such as helmet, riding trousers, chaps, etc.
  • Sweater and jacket
  • Chinos and shorts
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and gadgets
  • Plug adapter
  • The rest of the details I will figure out

Of course, I invested in my riding skills and started to take riding lessons on a regular basis 3 months before my flight would take-off and got physically in good shape. I also checked my passport, would be very stupid to have to return home before even touching the African ground.

But what else? Well, it seems to be a good idea to look for medical advices, just in case and to be prepared. So, I got some vaccination shots (rabies together with meningitis vaccination really got me knocked out) at the tropical doctor, not knowing if these are much of a help and a prescription of Malarone, even if the reserve claims to be Malaria-free. Maybe I will have some time for traveling and then I don’t want to miss out anything because of Malaria endangered places. Finally, I checked with my health insurance what is covered and needed. It’s important that the insurance covers expenses for medically necessary transfers back to the home country in any severe cases. That’s it, I believe! Now, I hope to be prepared for the big unknown that awaits me in a country in need for some economic improvements and stabilization but also home to some of the most magnificent landscapes and wildlife that Southern Africa can offer!

My newest lessons I learned while preparing for these wonderful months ahead of:

  1. Africa is always good for any surprises – shortly after I booked my flights the violent demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo took place due to the bad economic situation in Zim;
  2. Lots of people appreciate my adventurous time-out and admire my courage to step into the unknown – well, you can do it, too if you wish! Go ahead and make your dreams come true before they fade away and you have to put lots of effort into chasing instead of living them!
  3. Whatever you do, do it with passion and your goals are easily achievable – the effort was little to fulfill my dream: fun times in researching and taking unpaid leave from work, off I go!

Cheers to wandering the world and the wonders of our lives, hope to see you in a few weeks in Zimbabwe – bye bye, salut and lisale kuhle ∞

African Adventures

I’m Janine:

Half-French, half-German, I love traveling the globe, exploring new cultures and enjoying the wonders given by our nature. Especially the African continent has my heart and I am mesmerized by its magical beauty. No wonder I have a deep passion for Southern Africa, its’ wilderness, wildlife and landscapes. An astonishingly divers region enriched by breathtaking landscapes, prolific wildlife and ancient culture.

Originally from Germany, my heart wanders the world and admires the Southern African continent. I dream about the African savannah, its vastness, its natural richness and its beauty. Southern Africa is Africa at its very best.

There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask „What if I fall?“ – „Oh but my darling what if you fly?“

Erin Hanson

That is why I make my dreams come true: 1.) Flashback April 2019: I fly to Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, to volunteer at a private game reserve in the western part of the country. It’s actually not so far from the largest, most beautiful and just the greatest waterfall in the world that I was attracted to during a vacation in the past. Of course these majestic falls soaked my clothes until the last layers. However, a wonderful experience to be this close to the mighty Zambezi river falling into the gorge.

This fabulous country raised a passion and curiosity within myself, leading to a fantastic research of opportunities how I could interact and actively participate within these wonders. Finally, I found this great possibility of equine volunteering program and received the chance of participating for a three-months period. I will surely learn more about horses, African culture and living in harmony with the nature.

2.) Flashback December 2020: Life will take you to where you want if you dare to dream your dreams! I am lucky enough to have found a job in Mother City, Cape Town where I will be working for some time. This new journey starts a bit later than planned due to COVID-19 but it won’t make it any less adventurous at all. My Cape Town holiday back in 2018 showed me that this beautiful city is a place I want to call my home. The stunning sunsets, the fabulous vineyards and all the magnificent hiking trails are just waiting for me to be explored.

South Africa got my heart and didn’t let me down when I was looking for opportunities. Finally, I signed my contract, patiently waited for COVID to make the plans for me and booked my flight to move to the African continent in the midst of a pandemic to enjoy my first Christmas under the African hot sun. Welcome to my adventures!