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“Last August, I spent two weeks in Africa with six of my best mates. I was at this point in my life when I didn’t want to go chill on another beach or sit at a hotel or even party; I wanted to be out learning things and experiencing cultures. Africa had been on my mind—and I’d been to South Africa before—so we made our way across Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda. In Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania, we missed the Great Migration but saw plenty of hippos and elephants. In Kenya, we visited the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary—a community-owned organization that takes in orphaned animals—where we got to feed baby giraffes. Another day, we traveled to Mount Kenya. About three quarters of the way up, we spotted one of its many beautiful volcanic lakes, and I jumped right in. It was absolutely freezing. One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was trekking through Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, where we hiked for two days through the jungle to spot gorillas. Along the way, we stumbled across these remote villages, meeting people who told us stories of their lives and kids who welcomed us with smiles and music. It was surreal to realize that my ancestors came from a place like this. But nothing prepared me for the moment when we finally saw the gorillas. We came across this flat piece of land, and suddenly there they were: a group of about 10 mountain gorillas within a meter of us. It was mind-blowing. Seeing them there, so relaxed in their natural habitat, was incredibly moving. I remember thinking, This is where they should be, in their homes—free.”….Click here to read the full article

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