Our last day in Zimbabwe so I chose an early morning game drive. While somewhat sparse we saw many birds, including what I called bird apartment trees! Vervet monkeys, warthogs, kudu and impala were plentiful. A Maribor stork family nested high up and guinea hens were plentiful.
A river taxi to our transportation, where a baby hippo peeked out at us, and then we come to the realization that vacation is over and a series of long flights lay ahead.
22 October 2016
To get a full view of the Falls we took a helicopter tour. Since a bribe was demanded earlier of our driver by the police, (and attempted twice more), I followed suit and bribed a worker to put me in the copilot seat!
The aerial views were beautiful and a breeze was coming into the cockpit which made the flight quite comfortable.
Victoria Falls! Our purpose is visiting Zimbabwe was to see these iconic Falls. It is dry season however, so the water levels are at their lowest. Still the two mile hike along the Falls rim is beautiful-- hot, but beautiful. We began with a salute to Dr Livingston who is (surprisingly to me) revered in Zimbabwe. He lived there for many years and spoke out against slavery. Although his body is buried next to Darwin at Westminster Abbey, the locals say his heart remained in Africa.
21 October 2016
In Zimbabwe we took a water taxi to Victoria Falls River Lodge. On the way there, a large hippo bellowed to remind us to whom the river belonged. Crocodiles kept me from trailing hands in the water.
We arrived at the Lodge and gaped with disbelief at our tent camp. The rooms were not only beautiful but had a small AC unit ❤️. A minute plunge pool worked great to quickly reduce body temperature. An inside shower, an outside shower and a large tub with bath salts provided plenty of options to wash away safari dust and relax. The food was very good. Rum Raisin and mango house made ice cream is pictured here. Every day we were impressed by the service and were glad of the luxury of this 'tent' camp.
Our last morning at Elephant Lodge and early game drive with Simon. The game and flora were quite different. Photos include the national bird and an ostrich family with 7 very cute babies about 1 ft tall! Now off to Zimbabwe 🇿🇼.
20 October 2016
The heat was insufferable in the afternoons. My strategy to keep cool without AC was to stay in the pool or an hour or more. Elephant Valley Lodge had a patch of grass and a lovely pool. A baboon chose to join me there. An orphan baby deer stayed near the staff. In the tents, the heat was too much as Linda and I laughingly attempted to capture.
Animals of Chobe Park. I particularly liked families or beautiful patterns. The spotted hyena is native to Botswana.
The game in Chobe Park is impressive. It's not the same as the Okavango Delta but interesting.
It continues to be hotter than hell and we swelter in the tent until very late evening or early morning. The pool is my friend for reducing body temperature. It's the first time a baboon ever joined me at the pool!
19 October 2016
We flew to Kasane to stay at Elephant Valley Lodge at Chobe National Park. The first evening was a cruise on the Chobe River. This area is a protected park and the wildlife are unthreatened by humans. How odd it was to get close to lions and elephants without being in danger. I have to say, it was a little too park-like for me but I'm reserving judgement until we experience a game drive.
We say goodbye to the staff at Kadizora Camp, our comfy tent, the bull elephant that kept coming into camp and of course, Jane the Jack Russell and Asst Manager!
As freight was off-loaded from our plane noticed the Limpopo label and couldn't resist texting my brothers to elicit memories of our mother reading to us.
18 October 2016
Our evening drive turned suddenly from lessons on tracking to lessons on how to recognize elephants feel threatened and are ready to charge! The herd surrounded the small babies and the matriarch led a full charge. Ears flapping, trunk in the air and running at us full tilt 😱.
Two Boy expertly got us to a safe distance. Our "sundowner" was taken at a serene hippo pool, although they made plenty of noise. I opted for a glass of wine to reduce the adrenaline still coursing through my body! What an electrifying evening!
We were privileged to visit a village where the people were friendly and welcoming. They are strongly Christian and proud of their Zion Christian Church. The Botswanan government funds a school and clinic for each village.
Children at the school all spoke English and greeted us politely but showing curiosity. They are in such need I'm planning to make a donation to help.
Parents didn't speak much English but smiled shyly and enthusiastically responded to our greetings of "dumela ma" or dumela rra. They allowed us to take photos and laughed riotously when they saw the pictures.
17 October 2016
Our channel cruise this evening was a little nerve wracking with the sighting of numerous hippos and a couple of crocodiles. I had my survival strategy worked out in case a hippo overturned our small boat!
Regardless the evening was beautiful and the temps had cooled from the earlier 106. The African skies filled with color and the viewer with serenity.
Safari game drive yielded 3 of the Big 5! Started at 6am while it was still cool. Incredibly beautiful morning.
Game drives with Two Boy continue to inspire awe! The Okavango Delta is so beautiful.
16 October 2016
Today we flew to Botswana to begin our safaris. From Maun, a small charter plane flew us to Kadizora Camp. I flew first class! (The copilot's seat). It's extremely hot here -- around 105.
After arriving at Camp, we took a mokoro out into the swamp lands where we sipped wine and enjoyed bird watching. Decadent!
After dinner we heard a commotion in the cooking area and walked over with a flashlight. A honey badger was clearing out a cooking pot and the garbage bin. It's true: honey badgers don't give a shit!
The super moon looked so amazing. Deep orange and huge! Of course my iPhone captured only a small white dot. The shot of our tent shows a big dump of elephant poo in front! Hoping for a quiet night.
15 October 2016
Last day in Cape Town where we visited Bo-Kaap district where freed slaves first took up residence (then known as the Malay Quarter) in the 1800's. The colorful houses and paintings of "skilled slaves" remain vibrant.
Following the walking tour, we couldn't resist Honest Chocolate and joining a group of street drummers.
14 October 2016
The highlight site of the day was the cableway trip to the top of Table Mountain. Views were stunning. We encountered a dassie, an animal I'd never seen before.
The local market was great fun although we passed on the ostrich-crocodile-zebra-warthog kebabs.
Dinner at Chef's Warehouse was a delight. The chef picks the tapas for you and numerous small plates of goodness arrive!
The history of South Africa and the horrible years of Apartheid are made visible through sculpture and museums. On this free standing sculpture you see the pain of oppression in one side and victory from oppression on the other
Sculptures of key SA leaders stand at the waterfront. And in the aerial shot, you can see Robbin Island in the background. Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 24 years in prison there. It's now a museum.
13 October 2016
Excellent touring day as we visit beaches, Lion's Head Peak and the one stop I was eager to visit....the Cape of Good Hope!
Since there is nothing between the South Pole and Cape Good Hope, the wind strength was almost knocking people over. Once again I'm impressed with my husband's ability to navigate big ships through these kinds of water.
Linda's hanging on for dear life! A huge wind gust knocked back a whole crowd of people. We stepped all over one another and tried to stay upright!
African penguins, baboons, super windy weather, and the Cape of Good Hope
After 22 hours in the air and plenty of layover time, we arrived bedraggled and tired but very happy to deplane. Not much up for more than a stroll around the harbor and dinner, at first glance Cape Town looks lovely.