“Welcome to my office”, said our guide when we arrived at the lookout point in the middle of a game drive…

The fresh air, the breathtaking views, the exhilarating feeling of being surrounded by wilderness; having to squint your eyes to try and spot a moving creature through the thick bush… I remember taking it all in and thinking to myself  “are we really going to stay here only one week?”…

When my friend Caroline and I were 12 years old, we used to say we’d go on an African safari together one day… 18 years and three kids later, this dream unexpectedly came true; and Buffelsdrift just made it perfect.

Not only did we get to see all the animals, we also learned so much about them, all the guides bringing their own colours to their anecdotes and their accounts of Bushmen legends.  We even got to work in close contact with the horses and the elephants. Their trainers were a gold mine of information, allowing us to develop a deep understanding and respect for them in just a few days.

We came for the animals, but we would have stayed for the people. Everyone at Buffelsdrift welcomed us with open arms, from housekeeping to management, determined to show us all the best that the lodge and the town of Oudtshoorn had to offer. We shared life stories, insightful conversations, laughs and meals, and sincerely, the only hard work we had to do was to say goodbye.

One week was too short, but it was enough for this experience and these new friends to remain forever imprinted in my heart, and I truly hope life lets us cross paths again… Love you all!

Volunteer: Marie-Hélène Basque – Québec, Canada