MY STORY

« Living my dream instead of dreaming my life »

The story of an encounter with a country, South Africa, which changed my life.

What if I tell you more about it…

ONCE UPON A TIME...

A passion which pushes me to realize one of my biggest dream ever:

Explore the African bush on safari

and capture the beauty of the wildlife with my camera.

And what a better way to do it

by sharing it with others, with you…

Into My Wild Africa

Is born from this wish to show you Africa through my eyes,

Through my photographies, adventures and encounters…

into my wild africa

Into My Wild Africa

CONTACT AIDA SAFARI

Hello,

My name is Aïda, Douda for those who are using my nickname from my childhood.

I am passionate about travels and always keen to meet people, especially inspiring people.

I discovered South Africa in 2009, and since then I literally felt in love with this country!

So much in love, that I decided to quit everything and focus on my passion:

Spending as much time as I can in the African bush surrounded by the wildlife.

Huge open spaces, stunning landscape, nature like you never see it, wildlife in their natural habitat, a light you can not even describe and all my senses awake… this is what happens when you first taste Africa.

A place on earth where you can reconnect with yourself and where I feel more alive than anywhere else!

With an epicurien spirit, I love to celebrate life and share it with people I care.

My personal experience in life had taught me to appreciate every single things that life can offer, and most important, not to be afraid to go out of our comfort zone to appreciate even more what can come.

It took me severals years to understand that and to dare go for it.

The best decision I have ever taken in my life!

FROM RETAIL MANAGER IN FRANCE …TO SAFARI GUIDE IN AFRICA

SAFARI LIFE

Leaving a comfortable life
in France...

My previous life..

As a Retail Education Manager in a very well known international company, I was fortunate to travel a lot all over the world, in quite good conditions managing people from so many different nationalities (Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Middle East, Africa…).

10  years of lots of good memories, lots of hard work too.

A job, which was offering all what I was dreaming about at that time: being part of the Top 1 Worldwide company in the cosmetic industry, being challenged every day, travelling in the most amazing places, having a very good salary which allowed me to have a stunning apartment in Paris…

A job that allowed me too, thanks to my salary, to travel as well a lot for myself more and more often in South Africa, using my days off to work as a volunteer in some Natural Reserves.

the bush: a vital necessity

One day I realize that all my trips to South Africa were becoming more than just a fun trip but clearly a vital necessity to me, like an obsession or a lack that nothing else could fill , not even a great job like I had.

The question we should all ask ourselves one day

So I asked myself a very simple question:

Does my life fill me completely? Why do I go to work every day?

What do I really want and need?

The answer was more than easy..

…FOR A LIFE AS PRIVATE GUIDE IN SOUTH AFRICA

I then took one of the most important decision of my life:

Take a sabbatical year from my work and use this precious time based in South Africa to focus on one thing: learn, meet, and live in the bush, among the wildlife.

I needed to go out of my comfort zone and explore the African wilderness with some of the best professionals guides and

in the middle of the bush.

I started here an incredible adventure which was even over my expectations and which at the end had a huge impact in my life and in what I really wanted.

For sure, the best first concrete decision I took in my whole life…

AVENTURE SAFARI

Into My Wild Africa

I have never learned so much knowledge than during this sabbatical year.

I trained myself with one of the best guide training school, called Eco Training, in South Africa and Botswana, I got to practice and develop my photographic skills as I had so many opportunities to encounter wild animals like, lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, birds…. I got to work in a beautiful lodge based in one of the most prestigious private reserve of the Greater Kruger. I spent times with incredible and so inspiring people who taught me a lot of their skills, out on a drive or on a bush walk. It was like a rebirth.

mashatu botswana ecotraining

THE CALL OF AFRICA

Today I want to share with you this passion and make you feel the call of Africa. I want to show you the beauty of this country through the angle of a woman (myself) who actually discovered South Africa step by step, by travelling there a few weeks first as a guest with friends, then more weeks on my own, exploring part of the country I hadn’t explored yet, then some months with South African who trusted me and opened their heart to me. They are the one who showed me their secret spots here in South Africa, and I am the one today, who will share that with you while on safari…

This is all the beauty of the serendipity in life…

Into My Wild Africa

PHOTOGRAPHY

Being out in the bush offers you so many opportunities. Just close your eyes and imagine: some stunning landscape with an almost mystic light highlighting elephants and zebras on the background, some colorful birds flying over your heads, enjoying a sunset at the end of the day.. What a better way to capture all of that by using your camera and trying to get the best shot as possible.

This is exactly what happened to me. Before South Africa, I have never used a camera to take any wildlife photography. 

But here, this incredible wildlife and landscape was such an inspiration. I have never taken any course, I have just learnt by practicing and making lots of mistakes. But what an excitement when you finally managed to capture one of those magic moments!

Into My Wild Africa

« I have never knew of a morning in Africa where I wake up and was not happy » Ernest Hemingway

SAFARIS

There’s nothing more exciting than jumping in an open game viewer 4×4 on safari, checking like a kid, every single piece of grass or any mouvement in the bush which could take us to a sighting of a wild animal, whatever the animal.

What I love on safari, is that every safari is different, and this is what makes it so special and so addictive. Every sunrise, sunset is different, the light is never the same, the smell, the sounds…

It’s like all your senses are awake: taste, smell, see, feel and hear. The sight of course is the first sense you will perhaps use, but don’t under estimate the others, like the hearing (some birds calls can lead you to the big five for instance), or the smell ( like the popcorn scent that can indicates the presence of a leopard who just urinated to mark his territory), the feel and the taste (like for some plants or trees that can help you survive in the bush).

How not to become addict then?

Into My Wild Africa

MY FIELD GUIDE TRAINING

What a better way to learn about the bush and the animal behavior than to live in a basic tent in the middle of the bush without electricity or wifi and with the best trainer on the field!

This is exactly what I chose to do for a couple of months with Eco Training in some beautiful nature reserves

in South Africa and Botswana.

The best experience of my life so far

A camp without electricity, unfenced and surrounded by the wildlife, including the famous big five: this is the best way to observ and learn. It was such a great experience. We were a very small group (8 people). You can not imagine how many stories I got from that time. Elephants right in front of my tent, leopard having a nape 1 meter away from my tent, a tree squirrel as a room mate on top of my head, and so many more..I will probably dedicate some articles about that in my blog.

« If you think adventure can be dangerous, try the routine.. it kills" Paulo Coelho

Into My Wild Africa

Kevin Richardson,
animal behavior specialist most known as
" the lion whisperer"

INSPIRING PEOPLE

Going out of your comfort zone to explore the unknown

One of the advantages of traveling on your own, is that you meet a lot of people. Its probably what I love the most in my travels; to discover a country through his inhabitants among them you can sometimes encounter some truly amazing and inspiring people who will bring you without knowing it, so much in your life.

South Africa

South Africa is one of those places that brings you to another dimension:

Sharing a common passion about wildlife and conservation is the key of it. Whoever I met on my path, guides, ranger, photographers, vet, lodge manager, journalist, cooking chef, animal behavior, driver, trainer, filmmaker…  all have one thing in common: They are all passionate about what they do and they want to share it.

A man,  kevin Richardson

Among all the people I met and spent some time with a man called Kevin Richardson, often called the Lion Whisperer. I met him for the first time in 2013 and I was fortunate to work  with him a couple of weeks as a volunteer in his property. A very special experience with very special people who are still today some of my closest friends.

Into My Wild Africa

WANT TO FOLLOW MY ADVENTURES?