I went to Africa for the first time when I was 20 years old, with a program called Operation Crossroads Africa. The program was poorly organized, which might have made a perfect introduction to Africa, as we spent most of our day sitting around having conversations with whoever happened to be nearby. Kind of like life is in many African villages.
One afternoon, the heat in the corrugated tin roof huts where we were staying, became unbearable. We were in the rural countryside and I decided to go for a walk by myself. I head over the hillside down into a valley with a river running through it, where several women were washing their clothes. They beckoned me to them eagerly and quickly set upon washing me and my clothes as well! Afterwards they took me back to their compound, where we had a communal dinner, eating with our fingers from a big shared pot. Before I left, their elderly grandmother motioned me over from where she lay lying on a low bedframe, took my hand in hers, and pressed some coins into my palm.
This was my first experience of African generosity. It taught me that generosity is a state of mind, and has little to do with how much you have. It is in that spirit that I created Elevate Destinations, a travel company that since 2005 has connected clients to the world’s most inspiring destinations and the people that live there.
I have returned to Africa many times over the years, both before and after creating Elevate Destinations, eager to roam and marvel and dig deep into the challenges confronting Africa’s peoples and the beauty and protection of its special treasures. I am happy to announce the creation of Elevate Safaris, the fruit of these years of exploration.
I invite you to join the Elevate Safaris team in forging travel that will inspire you and your family, benefit local communities, and protect Africa’s unique wildlife for generations to come.
Founder, Elevate Safaris