Solo Painting and Photography Trip to Africa
Africa? By yourself? I know what you're thinking. So scary! "I could never do that! It is so far away, so foreign. Is it safe for a woman traveling alone? How do I know what to do and where to go? Isn’t it really expensive?"
I had all those fears, all those questions. Every time I book a solo trip, my head starts spinning with the same self-doubt. But I'm lucky. I have done it before, and I have some experience. It is getting easier so I'm writing this blog to help you with any fears you might have.
I traveled to South Africa in the summer of 2019. I stumbled across a painting safari that sounded interesting and decided to go for it (more on that in a future post). It was the farthest I have traveled and I was nervous to do it by myself! But having traveled a great deal of solo in the past, I have faith in my basic tenet. People are the same everywhere. If you can go to your own city by yourself, you can go to any city or town by yourself. I usually like to book my own travel but this time I worked with an African travel agent. He found me some amazing places. My favorite was Pangolin Photography Lodge in Botswana. The lodge is dedicated to Photography safaris. They have boats with great equipment for cameras (which they also provide). Every day guests go on two safaris, a boat and land safari. You are accompanied by a photography expert who teaches you how to take photos of the wildlife. I had a blast! If you bring your computer and you have software they will also help you edit your images. Besides Botswana, I spent three days in Zimbabwe and a week in South Africa.Here I am on the photography boat at Pangolin Lodge. This was one of my favorite activities.[/caption]
The people I met in South Africa were very friendly. I had no trouble with language, everybody I encountered spoke English. I stayed in lodges that were designed for tourists so safety was not an issue. In Johannesburg, I was told by the desk agents, not to walk around the hotel after dark, and to use the enclosed walkway to the shopping mall rather than walk outside. I noticed there were not a lot of women walking outside. When I travel alone, I am careful to notice these situations and follow the suggestions of the locals. I always check with the hotel about the safety of the surrounding areas.
South Africa was amazing. I am so glad I went solo. I met wonderful people in the lodges and on my tours. I was never once afraid or worried. I was able to paint and take photos of the animals and the sunsets were exactly as advertised. I will go back.