In 2014, I flew alone from Glasgow to Amsterdam to Nairobi and finally to Livingstone, Zambia. This was my first time in Africa and I was excited but nervous, I didn’t know the people who would be meeting me at the airport and I knew very little about Zambia. My expectations admittedly were based on stereotypes about Africa portrayed by Western media and some of these were true but Zambia surprised me in so many ways.
I spent two weeks volunteering with Greenpop, an organisation that runs environmental projects across Southern Africa. We spent days planting trees with school children, with farmers, with doctors, with policemen. We spent weekends exploring Victoria falls, shopping in the local markets, relaxing by the pool and on safari. Evenings were spent by the campfire, hearing stories and singing songs. During my two weeks in a beautiful campsite, I learnt so much about myself, my fellow volunteers, the environment, Zambia and Africa.
Words can’t accurately describe how Zambia inspired me, and sent me falling head over heels in love with Africa. I just want to share my experience with others. Before and after my trip, people commented on being going to Zambia as if it was some big bad terrifying place and I was lucky to make it out alive. I never felt unsafe and it is a truly beautiful, welcoming country. I would highly recommend Livingstone, Zambia to anyone, especially first time visitors to Africa.