Article and photos by Erin Harding

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Erin Harding, our client administrator, was fortunate enough to spend an incredible 4 weeks in Africa with her partner Joe. In this blog post, she reveals her favourite moments along with some fantastic pictures. Enjoy.

The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda: Without doubt, one of the more moving moments of one’s life is spending a little time watching a family of mountain gorillas interact in their natural habitat. While it took a few hours of arduous trekking (my legs the next day could attest to the fact that they are definitely ‘mountain’ gorillas) the reward of watching these beautiful creatures for an hour or so is really something else. The human-like mannerisms and facial expressions leave you in no doubt how closely related our species are…

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The national parks of East Africa:  Whether it be in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda or the famous Serengeti of Tanzania, the experience of camping inside a natural habitat full of African wildlife is really something that you never forget. While the safari drives we undertook in these places and the range of wildlife we encountered (from lions and leopards to rhinos, elephants – and even the humble honey badger) were the most visible memories one has of visiting this part of the world, etched very firmly in the mind is the sensation of waking in my tent to the sounds of grunting hippos in nearby waterways, the sounds of lions roaring at sunrise, or the sound of hyenas scavenging around the campsite in search of an easy feed.

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Visit to the East Africa Mission Orphanage: A visit to the East Africa Mission Orphanage in Nakaru in Kenya was a moving experience. The inherent sadness that it is necessity for so many children to be housed in an orphanage is only overcome by the educational opportunities afforded to these same children – and to see the look of joy and optimism on so many young faces cannot help but warm the heart. Certainly a time of introspection which makes one thankful for the opportunities and the good fortune many of us enjoy that we take for granted.

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The beaches of Zanzibar: The final port of call was a white sandy beach on the tropical island of Zanzibar. After four weeks of camping, eating arrowroot sandwiches, dusty roads and cold showers (as good as all that was!), well…no further explanation seems necessary.  Suffice to say that the cold Pina Coladas went down better than the warm arrowroot sandwiches of the previous weeks.

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Photos courtesy Erin and Joe (Above)
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