When did it start, my passion for Africa? I really can’t even remember. For as far back as my memories go, I have always been fascinated with Africa. Whether it was all those wildlife television shows I watched as a kid, or the political struggles I became aware of as a teenager; Africa has always called to me.

I first stepped on African soil on my way to scuba dive in the Red Sea in 1996.That was soon followed by Kenya and Madagascar. A few years later, I headed west to wander the Sahara and make my way to the ancient city of Timbuktu. More trips and work in East Africa followed, before I met and fell in love with a South African man in Canada. That relationship, soon celebrating it's tenth marriage anniversary, has taken me around Southern Africa on more occasions than I can now count.

So what is a Canadian woman doing writing a blog about rural South Africa? That is a fair question. However, I think I can offer a unique perspective. I can provide both my knowledge of the area which is now my second home and the perspective an outsider brings.

I am focusing this blog on the Kruger Park to Blyde River Canyon region, in particular our lovely town of Hoedspruit. But South Africa is such a diverse and beautiful country, I will no doubt stray further afield on occasion. South Africa is home to unique people and cultures, but it is also home to wine-making industry that dates back to the 1600’s. It has expansive parks where lion, elephant and zebra roam. Yet it also develops and operates radio telescopes that are helping scientists explore our universe.

For those of us living in higher-income countries, we often only see images of Africa containing hungry children, civil war or wildlife. Indeed, many talk of Africa as if it were one country. But Africa is many things and many people. I hope to be able to share my love of one little corner of this vast and varied continent with you. Perhaps I can inspire you to dream of Africa as I once did.

Annette Floyd, June, 2016

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