In the first of our series of interviews with the safari experts at safari.com, we sat down with the lovely Kim Abrahams to discuss her extensive experience exploring Africa, how her love for the outdoors blossomed at an early age, and the most amazing thing she’s ever seen on safari.
Which experiences shaped your love of nature and the bushveld?
I have always loved the outdoors since I was a little girl. We used to take family trips all over South Africa, and then I started travelling on my own, backpacking all over and outside of the country. One finds so much peace in the natural world, and travelling alone through Africa was a formative experience.
When did you know you wanted to work in this field?
When I did my first safari in Namibia on my 21st birthday with some friends, I knew that I wanted to share my love of travel and the bush with others, and combine my professional life with a personal passion.
What is/are your favourite memories from your travels in Africa?
Doing a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River and swimming in Devil's pool in Victoria Falls are definitely some of my favourite memories. Devil’s pool, which is also known as the armchair, is a small pool where you are sometimes allowed to swim when the water level is low enough. It’s right on the edge of the falls, where the water cascades into the abyss below, so unlike any swimming pool on earth, infinity or otherwise.
What was the most amazing wildlife sighting you can remember?
I went to Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and went on a walking safari. We spotted a herd of about six hundred buffalo, a truly incredible sight, but when they started moving in our direction, we headed back to our vehicle at high speed. It was a truly breathtaking experience and being on foot made it even more exciting.
What three things should people see or do when on an African safari?
Make sure to truly enjoy your experience. It’s lovely to have photos to take home but make some time to really experience the wild through your own eyes, so to speak. The natural world provides so much for the senses, beyond just the sights and the animals. The smells, the sounds, the world around you is alive in the way it’s not in the city. Do a walking safari and immerse yourself in the bush. It's not just the big five that can be an amazing safari experience, but the little things as well. And, if you can afford it, do a hot air ballooning safari. I mean, do I even have to explain how cool that is.
What's your ideal holiday?
Two weeks exploring different parts of Uganda and not just gorilla trekking, as there are some amazing regions in Uganda, including a safari experience.
Can you tell us your most disastrous travel story and how you got out of it?
A few days before I went on my Zambia trip, I packed my passport and thought nothing of it. When I got to the airport, I realised I’d brought my old one, which had expired, so I rushed home and spent half an hour searching frantically for my new passport, before eventually finding it in the car! I missed my flight, of course, and had to re-book a flight the next day, which initially threw the flow of my trip completely off. But I adjusted my arrangements and soon got things back on track.
If someone could only visit one destination on safari, which should they choose?
There are so many I would recommend, but I would definitely say the Serengeti, as it is such an amazing experience with so many massive herds. You also get to experience the annual phenomenon where millions of wildebeest cross the Grumeti and Mara River.
What makes Africa a unique destination?
From the various different cultures to the amazing different terrains, each country in Africa offers such unique experiences, from gorilla trekking to bush safaris, to beach destinations and even desert safaris. It really is a magical place, and you have to have been here to understand.
If you could only see one animal in the wild, which would it be?
100% an Elephant. They are such intelligent animals, with an incredible memory. So sympathetic and caring for their young, and so fierce in defending them. One can see so much emotion in elephants, and of course they are beautiful creatures as well.
If you'd like assistance from Jayson in planning a trip feel free to get in touch below:
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