Maaike traveled with Snowminds as a ski instructor to South Africa. If you want to experience skiing in South Africa don’t hesitate to contact us. If you want to become a certified instructor and instruct in Africa see our course here; Become an Instructor in South Africa and send an application yourself!
The decision to do a season in Africa was very spontaneous. When thinking of possible destinations, Africa is definitely not the first place that comes to mind. But when I heard of Snowminds I became extremely curious. When I think of Africa I would never have thought of skiing, it all sounded extremely bizarre. But my curiosity lead med to keep researching and I found that the season stretches from June to August. Less than a week later I had made the decision: I am going to Africa! I’ve had three ski seasons in Austria in the same ski area, and on top of this never been outside Europe. So for me this is completely outside my comfort zone. Is it even possible to prepare for this? Towards the date of departure it slowly sinks in that this is going to happen. I’m extremely nervous and have had thoughts of cancelling 38 times… People try to reassure me that it will be an unforgettable experience, and I don’t doubt them, but it doesn’t quite help with the nerves. I’ll probably be this nervous until I’m sitting in the plane and can’t return. It might help the nerves to take a look at the website for Afriski. There’s only one pist, a snowpark, childrens area and toboggan area. It actually looks really nice. There’s a big bar at the bottom and some chalet-like buildings. There website surprises positively and has useful information along with a 360 degree virtual tour of the entire area.
There is also some information on the country itself. Lesotho is an enclave in South Africa. One of the 3 independent enclaves in South Africa. It’s also the only country in the world which is 1400 meter above sea level -they call it “the kingdom in the sky”. On specific picture of a Snowminder in Afriski made my heart skip a beat.
The packing process was made simple by the ski school. They sent me a list with all the necessities, which made things super easy. They-ve given me a clear picture of the job and atmosphere in Lesotho. Luckily, the ski school is well organised and this gives me a reassuring feeling of security. They even asked me if I wished to bring old clothes to donate to less privileged people -super cool initiative.
I also recently had a conversation with Thijs from Snowminds. He had spent a season as an instructor in Lesotho, and his personal experiences were worth more than what i had found on the internet. Thijs told me a lot of stories from Lesotho and my nervousness was shifted to excitement. For example Thijs had taught an African princess how to ski!
As I’m writing this I’m packing the final stuff and heading towards the airport. Thanks for reading, and I’ll post more about my adventure 🙂
Maaike WijtsJune 29, 2017