South African photojournalist Shiraz Mohamed said he was relieved to be back on home soil.
Mohammed has on Sunday spoken for the first time since arriving back in the country earlier this month.
His family has released a video, thanking South Africans for supporting him while he was being held captive in Syria for almost three years.
Mohammed was kidnapped by a group of masked men in 2017 while he was on assignment with the Gift of the Givers in the war-torn country.
There were ongoing negotiations for his release but reports later emerged that he had escaped.
In the video statement, Mohammed who is accompanied by his mother, said there were too many people to thank and too many names to mention.
Mohammed also said the money that was collected for his release would be returned to those who donated.
“From my side, I thank everyone that assisted me and who tried to secure my release. I thank everyone for their prayers and whatever support they have given.”
Mohammed said he needed time to rest and would conduct interviews once he had regained his strength.
“With regards to the money collected, there is a process that has started to return the money back to everyone.”