Page 6 of Laura421 Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls February 24th 2017

Geo: -17.93, 25.84 Last night we slept in civilization again, enclosed in a very pleasant hotel with all its attendant (and undesired) amenities: windows that don't open (monkeys could scamper inside), television, sounds of traffic, a refrigerator humming on and off, outside lights shining all night long, and an annoying fresh paint smell because our rooms have been recently renovated and there is no way to dissipate the foul air in these sealed rooms. I'd rather be in the bush any day. But the staff here at the Rainbow Hotel is lovely, accommodating, friendly, courteous, and seemingly happy, as are all of the Africans we've met on this trip. And so today is our last full day here in Zimbabwe, here in ancient Africa. It will be enormously sad to leave this continent. I need to ... read more

Africa » Zimbabwe February 21st 2017

Geo: -19.1504, 26.5759 We left Zambia yesterday, and travelled most of the day to reach Zimbabwe, to arrive at our last camp on this trip. Two flights, two vans -- one in each country, two different jeep rides, and there we were at Kashawe Camp. It's another lovely camp, but we are in hills now instead of flat land. Sadly, we saw the first litter we've seen on this trip on the sides of the road after crossing into Zimbabwe, unexpected and as ugly as litter anywhere. At camp it was almost too quiet last night, so I didn't sleep well; I missed hearing the sound of the hippos snorting and splashing, and walking right by my tent, plus I missed the sounds of the river too, the gentle, beautiful Kafue River. Here we are also ... read more

Africa » Zambia February 19th 2017

Geo: -15.1305, 25.7849 Early Sunday morning was chilly in the still dark of 5AM. I thought about getting up, but it felt almost cold outside of the blankets. So I stayed in the warm bed under the snug duvet for another hour until it became impossible to lie there any longer. During the night I had heard a crashing through the bushes immediately beside my cabin, followed by a large splash into the river --only a few feet away; a hippo had brushed right by! Even though I am usually an avid night-walker in the woods, and routinely use a red cover for my flashlight so as not to disturb wildlife or anyone's night vision, no one at OAT had mentioned bringing along a red cover for our flashlights. So, with only a relatively powerful small ... read more

Africa » Zambia February 18th 2017

Geo: -15.1305, 25.7849 I slept well last night, as Vervet monkeys are not nocturnal, so except for bellowing and snorting hippos, and a lion's purr as it walked by, all was quiet. It is heavenly to sleep in the bush! Sometime in the black of night the wind became strenuous and heavy downpours soon followed. Everything was slightly soggy by morning. But we go on game drives sunshine or rain, so because it was also somewhat chilly, I bundled up in four layers including a rain jacket and off we went. Last night before dinner we had taken a nighttime safari, and saw another implausibility of wildebeests cross in front of our jeep, but it is hard to see the animals well in the dark. I much prefer our daytime drives. This morning we again identified ... read more

Africa » Zambia February 17th 2017

Geo: -15.1305, 25.7849 Today was a day of travel, using many different modes of transportation. Starting in our now very familiar jeeps, we rode to the dirt airstrip, a single line of dirt road in the middle of the grassy bush, to await our planes --a 12 seater and a 4 seater-- to fly us to Kasane. The first pilot had to circle the airstrip twice because a large parade of elephants was crossing. This is Africa! We wait for elephants to cross the road. Ten of our group plus most of the luggage all crammed into this larger plane; I was sorely disappointed not to fly in the smaller airplane. But it was a lovely flight, 7500 - 8000 feet in altitude for most of the way. It's an hour's flight to Kasane from the ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 16th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 Another rest time, unplugged from the internet, which is very enjoyable until I think about the thousands of accumulated emails I'll have to begin to deal with once we reach Victoria Falls, still a week away. Most of the group seem to nap during these hours, but I prefer to shower in the heat of the day, meditate, and write. And, of course, just gaze out at the beautiful landscape, and listen to the sounds of Africa. It is a paradise here, different from anyplace else I have travelled. When I was a camp counsellor in my late teens, the young staff used to meet by the lake at rest time, swimming and lying on the dock, resting and chatting in the sun, enjoying our break from the children, our 24/7 responsibility. This ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 15th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 All night long we heard hippos bellowing not too far outside our tents, plus -- one of my favorite sounds in all the world -- frogs singing for mates. I had my best sleep of this trip so far, waking at 5:30AM only when one of the staff walked by, calling a good morning to each tent. Dressing quickly in the dark, I walked to the main hall and learned that two lions had visited our camp last night, right after everyone had left for the evening. There were their tracks, and where they had lain down, in the mud at the foot of one of the short stairways leading into the dining area. So it is good we are told that no one should walk around at night, although of course, lions ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 14th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 Waking up at 4AM today had not been my plan, but going to bed by 9:30PM ensures adequate sleep. Plus, an elephant was trumpeting and snorting outside, not too far from my cabin. What a treat to celebrate our last night at Baobab Lodge! It was sad to leave this part of Botswana and all the lovely, friendly people at this lodge. But more African adventures beckoned, and another group was scheduled to arrive this afternoon, so our group had to leave. While two lucky members on our tour got to fly in a 4 seater, the rest of us flew in a little 12 seater SSW to the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta waterways in the world. I've always enjoyed flying in small planes. When I was little a friend of ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park February 13th 2017

Geo: -18.5421, 24.5105 Drums waking us again at 5:30AM, our typical wake-up call, our Chobe National Park safari again began as we boarded the jeeps an hour later. But this time we were searching for animals for the whole day, not returning to lovely Baobab Lodge for lunch and quiet time. The Baobab Lodge staff promised to provide PB&J sandwiches for our picnic lunch, but we should not have been surprised by the amazing feast that was presented instead, and served to us in the wilds of Chobe NP. Moses was the driver and guide on the jeep I was riding in today. Even as the jeep was climbing up the severely rutted road from Baobab Lodge, we saw two giraffes, a mama and her big baby. Like the kudu, giraffes seem to use standing still ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park February 12th 2017

Geo: -18.5421, 24.5105 Since first reading Alexander McCall Smith's books on the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series years ago, I have wanted to come to Botswana. What a stunning country it is! We arrived yesterday, a group of twelve of us travelling on OAT's Ultimate Africa trip. The Baobab Lodge is our home for three nights; this is a beautiful, remote camp in the wilds of Botswana, in my opinion much too elegant to be called a camp. Our tour guide is Sku, a very handsome, delightful and enormously knowledgeable guide. We are lucky to have him as our leader on this trip through these African countries. When I woke up this morning the almost full moon was pouring its light through my big front window. I just stood there looking out, watching this beauty ... read more

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