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Oh man, our hearts beat for Zambia! Zambia is considered to be one of the safest, most diverse, and friendliest countries in Africa.
It is also famous for having some of the most spectacular safari opportunities on the planet, which we will get to experience firsthand as we spend part of our trip in the African bush surrounded by local wildlife. Our amazing safari guides will take us on game drives each day to see zebras, giraffes, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, lions, and leopards all living in their natural habitat--it is seriously UNREAL!
And while the wildlife is incredible, the best parts of this trip are when we spend time with the local people playing soccer, dancing, cooking with them, and learning more about their lives and the traditions that they have proudly carried on for so many generations. We will experience local villages and marketplaces, try plenty of unique new foods, and also visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World: Victoria Falls (known by the locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The Smoke that Thunders”).
We will also work with a local charity organization to help with a variety of projects involving women empowerment and education, building projects, and helping with after school programs for the children.
We’ll worship with the local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sundays and begin and end each day with personal scripture study and gospel-centered group devotionals that will help you understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the role it plays in your daily life.
WOMEN & GIRL EMPOWERMENT
In the United States, we stand on the shoulders of women and men who have gone before us fighting for women’s rights: the right to vote, to own property, to get an education, etc.. While there is still work that can be done, we often forget that in other parts of the world women are still denied those basic human rights.
As of 2019, women represent nearly two thirds of the world’s illiterate population. Education levels are strongly correlated to individual and national income, health stability, and even the political stability within a country. A child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of five, 50% more likely to be immunized, and twice as likely to attend school. Education literally saves lives.
When you educate and empower a girl, you have the potential to influence and elevate an entire community. Melinda Gates said, “As women gain rights, families flourish, and so do societies. That connection is built on a simple truth: Whenever you include a group that's been excluded, you benefit everyone. And when you're working globally to include women and girls, who are half of every population, you're working to benefit all members of every community. Gender equity lifts everyone.”
Africa is home to some of our planet’s most amazing creatures. When we’re young we dream of safaris with elephants, rhinos, and lions. Responsibly sharing a world with these incredible animals should come naturally to everyone.
But it doesn’t.
Poaching is a huge problem in Sub-Saharan Africa as elephants and rhinos are butchered for their horns and tusks. And many other animals are poached for bush meat, supposed-medicinal properties, and skins.
The illegal ivory trade is especially brutal. Every 15 minutes an elephant is poached and 150,000 elephants were killed in just the last 5 years. Traders in ivory actually want these animals critically endangered because low numbers makes the ivory more rare and more valuable.
Poverty, corruption, and consumer influence all mix together to form a messy problem that we learn about as part of our Zambia trip. While there, we spend time with a small local business that creates jewelry out of snare wire and helps to support anti-poaching teams that work to save these animals.
TRIP VIBE: Lion King Safari, Tribal Dancing, and “Is this real life?!!”
SOCIAL CAUSE: Women and Girl Empowerment
TRIP PACE: Moderate
PHYSICAL FITNESS LEVEL: Low
Zambia is a lover-of-wildlife’s paradise! It is absolutely magical and incredible to see animals roaming around in their natural habitat. Confession: we were excited about the safari, but had no idea what to actually expect. To this day, it is one of the coolest things we have ever done! If you love nature and want to learn more about how to make a difference regarding poverty and women’s education and empowerment than this trip is for you! Please be aware that in order to keep you safe, you will be required to take malaria medication for this trip.