Have you ever dreamed of going on an African safari and seeing a giraffe up close and personal? Or have you ever wondered what it would be like to see an African sunset and watch the stars come out at night in a pristine sky? Are you curious about other cultures and want to learn more about what life is like in Africa?
Several Global Gals from around the world came together toward the end of February to experience all of these things firsthand during our first Global Gals Learning Safari in Namibia. It was truly a life-changing event for many of the gals and the experiences we shared created friendships and memories we’ll be able to cherish for many years to come!
We were fortunate to partner with a fantastic group, NHT, headed up by Dr. Colleen Braun, who provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Namibia. There were sooo many highlights but a few of our favorites were:
- Enjoying “sundowners”: Each night we gathered together at a beautiful panoramic lookout point and sipped cocktails as we watched the sun set and dip below the horizon.
- Stargazing: WOW! Being surrounded by Namibia’s breathtaking wilderness, we had the chance to see the stars in a way that very few people can. Without the muddiness of light and air pollution getting in the way, we were given a view that was truly astounding! We’d never seen soooo many stars like we did then, shining like diamonds scattered across the African sky.
- Meeting new friends: Most of the gals came solo, but during our incredible week together they soon developed friendships and shared memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
- Going on game drives: On each ‘safari’ drive we went on we had so much fun spotting an incredible array of animals— giraffes, wildebeest, kudus, zebras, and rhinos to name a few! We learned so much from our guides as well as from our own guest lecturer, Allison Keeley, who—thanks to her experience working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the San Francisco Zoo—was able to shared more about the animals.
- R&R: When our gals weren’t busy with all of our planned activities they got to enjoy some down time! Our beautiful luxury lodge, GocheGanas, was the perfect place to unwind. Whether that meant visiting the award-winning spa, relaxing poolside with a good book, or sitting on the villa balcony with a cup of coffee daydreaming, there were plenty of ways to relax and recharge!
- Yoga and Nature Hikes: Can you imagine doing yoga, hiking in the savannah, or stretching at sunrise while surrounded by a 360 degree panoramic view? Maike, our local Namibian fitness instructor, provided us with some amazing experiences just like these and we’re so grateful!
- Touring & Shopping: We spent a day touring the sites of the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek. We had a chance to see where the locals lived, shop at a craft marketplace, dine on wild game at the famous Joe’s Beerhouse, visit cathedrals, learn about Windhoek’s history, and so much more.
- Wining & Dining: Every night our group gathered for an incredible three-course dinner sampling wonderful African cuisine and wine by candlelight. During dinner we were able to share and talk about everything that we had seen, learned, and experienced that day. After dinner, we had speakers—each one representing different cultures and tribes within Namibia—who shared their way of life and culture with us.
- Learning Together: We had a group of amazing guest lecturers who also shared their experiences and expertise with us. For example, Dr. Colleen Braun (from Calgary) shared her research about the impact of tourism on the Himba tribe in Namibia, while Global Gal Renee (from Tokyo) spoke on cross-cultural communication and how to connect with others around the world. Global Gal Allison (from San Francisco) shared lessons learned from working with animals (and attending zoo school) and our Global Gal from Des Moines, Claudia, shared her inspiring global journey from Brazil to Japan to the US, and how she has used that experience in the corporate world and to start her own business.
- Reminiscing & Remembering: On the last night, we gathered fireside, under the stars, to pay tribute to those special people in our life and to reflect on their impact on our lives. Chief Global Gal Brenda shared how her father, Harold Hagen, had encouraged her to travel the world, which in turn inspired her to start Global Gals as a legacy to him after he passed away. She wanted to have the chance to encourage other women to travel the world, just like he encouraged her. In fact, one of the reasons she decided to organize this Global Gals trip was because of the amazing experience she and her father had shared together in Africa—she wanted to give other women the chance to enjoy the magic of Africa that the two of them had been able to witness on their own journey.
Does this trip sound like something you would really like to experience for yourself? You’re not alone! We actually had a lot of people who expressed interest in the 2017 trip, but weren’t able to go because of timing—but don’t worry! We’ve had such a great reaction to this trip and so much interest that we’re actually considering doing another Safari to Africa next year. If you’d be interested in joining us on another African Safari next year, email us at email@example.com. We’ll add your name to our special Safari mailing list so we can keep you up-to-date on any developments!
Overall, this was an amazing Global Gals trip and we’re so glad that we were able to experience it together with all of the gals that joined us. It’s definitely gotten us even more excited for future trips, and we hope you’ll be able to join us in the future for more incredible adventures with other Global Gals!