Mandy Kloppers

Trip to Tanzania


I am writing this on my last day in Tanzania. It’s been a trip of real highs and lows. My son came with us and we spent the first day driving from Nairobi to our safari lodge in Tanzania, near Lake Manyara. We thought the trip would only be four hours. We left at 9am and arrived at 7pm! It was exhausting – never again. Then we couldn’t find the lodge and it was starting to get dark. We were in the middle of nowhere and our poor driver still had to drive all the way back to Nairobi.

Thankfully we eventually found the lodge and after the first night, we visited Lake Manyara for our first safari. We saw baboons, giraffes, elephants, zebra, impala, monkeys and warthogs. It was great and we saw an elephant really close up! We could’ve touched him he was so close. The following day we went to Tarangire Park and saw all of the above plus lions.

The third day was the hardest – dropping my son in Arusha where he was beginning a charity placement, looking after children in an orphanage. He wasn’t happy about going and had changed his mind. It was tough. I cried when he left and he hated it at first. After two days he told me had met a nice girl and had met the kids at the orphanage who climbed all over him. What a relief!

Highs and lows are a part of life and we are experiencing the lows it can feel like the worst thing in the world. Totally overwhelming. The good thing is that the next day is a new start, and a good night’s sleep can often help to alter our mindset.

We met a Dutch family at the Lodge (Morona Hill Lodge) who had climbed Kilimanjaro. They said that what got them through was their mindset. It’s so true – if you believe you can you’re probably right, and if you believe you can’t you’re probably right. Keep the thoughts hopeful, believe in yourself, believe in change and the good in people.

The staff at my son’s placement (he is volunteering through a company called IVHQ )have been absolutely amazing  Really kind, caring and attentive and sympathetic to their volunteers who often feel very lost initially. There is a lot of love in this world but sometimes we have to make ourselves vulnerable to find it.

Mandy X


Tarangire National Park Tanzania