Page 2 of SheilaWirick Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone November 24th 2019

We had to depart Zambia in the early afternoon so we started out at 6am for our final river cruise with Godfrey. We still hadn’t seen any elephants so Godfrey said we might see them crossing the river in the early morning hours. Boy was he right. We saw three different groups of elephants for a total of 16. They are great swimmers and cross the river by sticking their trunk out of the water where it is deep. They pretty much stay in single file and sometimes rest halfway through. Once upon the shore, two juvenile males played in the shallow water. On another bank, a large male tried to scare us by folding out his ears and trumpeting. We knew we were safe in the boat but I did gasp a little. We were ... read more
Arriving on shore
the male juveniles playing
The pilots greet us at the Cessna.

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone November 24th 2019

There are no phones or alarm clocks at Toka Leya. Instead, someone walks to your suite, which, by the way, are all connected to each other and the main lodge via elevated wooden walk ways. This protects you from the wildlife. When it gets dark, you must yell out for someone to come get you and then they escort you to where you need to go. We had a great breakfast and then were driven to the Zimbabwe border where we went through customs again so we could tour Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The United States has one, the Grand Canyon. The falls are massive and even though they were at low flow as this is only the start of the rainy season, we still got damp from the ... read more
A water buck
A wildebeest
A giraffe

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone November 24th 2019

Today, we flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then on to Livingstone, Zambia, a new country. We were immediately driven to our lodge, Toka Leya, just outside of Livingstone. Livingstone and surrounding areas are very rural and impoverished with over 50% unemployment. But our lodge was lovely. Our guide, Godfrey, had us quickly unpack and then took us on a personal Zambezi River Cruise where we saw many, many hippos, water bucks, birds and a huge male Cape Buffalo. The other guests at our lodge consisted of 14 people on a tour with OATS, Overseas Adventure Travel Services, an educational tour. After a nice dinner, we went immediately to bed. Mornings on safari start early so early bedtime is a good thing.... read more
Our Suite
Our suite from our private deck.
Cape Buffalo

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek November 20th 2019

The roots of the South African wine industry can be traced back to the exploration of the Dutch East India Company when a supply station was established in Cape Town. Cape Town was then only a stop for ships and crew to pick up fresh produce during their journey along the spice route to India. Jan van Riebeek was given the task to manage the station and plant grapes to produce wine; falsely believing the eating of grapes and the wine created from them would prevent scurvy and other diseases between sailors during their long voyages. In 1659 the first South African wine made from French Muscadel grapes were successfully made. Thank you Wikipedia. So today, after touring downtown Cape Town and the beautiful gardens around the government buildings, Jenny drove us to the Winelands. It’s ... read more
the Winelands.
More vines.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope November 19th 2019

Today, our guide Jenny picked us up early and drove us all the way around the peninsula. I’ve attached a map of the peninsula. The coastline of this area is like Yosemite but with even more fabulous mountain peaks and they are right at the ocean. There are many sandy beaches and most of the coastline is a national park and therefore has not been developed. We drove to the most southwestern point of the African continent, The Cape of Good Hope. We also rode a tram up to a lighthouse which gave us amazing views of the coastline and the vast Atlantic Ocean where we lunched there at a very nice restaurant. We saw a colony of penguins, an Ostrich farm, a huge eland (a very large antelope) and a mongoose. There are several tribes ... read more
Ostrich, antelope, you name it.
a very sleepy penguin.
lots of penguins.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We had a lovely breakfast before Jenny picked us up at 8:15am. We walked to the waterfront and caught a catamaran that took us to Robben Island, the island that contains the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life in a very small cell. We toured the island in a bus and then a former prisoner took us on a walking tour of the prison. I learned a lot about Apartheid on this tour and how differently the Indians, “the coloreds” and “the blacks” were treated, with the blacks being the most badly treated. Mandela, a black, spent most of his time shoeless, in shorts, was forced to do hard labor and he slept on a thin mat on the cold concrete floor ..... for 18 years. I encourage you learn about this ... read more
Mandela’s Cell
The Tram to Tabletop Mountain
The view from the top

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We arrived in Cape Town yesterday and had a busy day so I’m just now getting the chance to blog about our adventures here. Our hotel, the Cape Grace Hotel, is absolutely beautiful and is one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in. The decor is stunning, as is our room, the pool, the restaurant and all of the common areas. And I must not forget that this is also the home of a whiskey bar that houses 450 single malt scotch whiskeys, the largest collection in the southern hemisphere. We enjoyed a tasting of South African wines at the hotel bar and dined at a fish restaurant on the Victoria & Albert waterfront, just a quick walk from our hotel. Next I’ll be blogging about our first full day with our tour guide, Jenny.... read more
Our room
Our view of Lions’s Head and Table Mountain
Common area

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region November 17th 2019

We just stepped foot on the continent of Africa for the first time. We are here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before boarding our final 5 hour flight to Cape Town, South Africa. We’ve been up and traveling for 24 hours and will be so glad when we can check into the Cape Grace Hotel and freshen up. We have access to the business class lounge here in Addis Ababa but it is nothing like the one in Istanbul or even Newark, for that matter. It’s a place to sit down and blog though. I added a photo of the lounge so you can make the comparison. Until you hear from me again in Cape Town ....... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul November 16th 2019

We have arrived in Istanbul and I thought the Polaris Lounge in Newark was nice. The Istanbul Airport is absolutely beautiful. Kevin and I both agree that it’s the prettiest airport we’ve ever visited and Kevin has been in many, many, many more airports than me. The entire airport is like a huge mall with shops everywhere and beautiful detailing on the walls and ceilings. And I haven’t even got to the Turkish Air Lounge yet (for business class travelers). We are sitting in comfortable leather lounge chairs surrounded by food stations where chefs are preparing various Turkish dishes, as well as Asian cuisine, a beautiful salad bar, dessert bar, coffee bar and even a movie theater and a slot car racetrack for kids and adults. This is not a bad place to relax for 4.5 ... read more
Turkish food
Food station
panoramic view of the airport

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin November 16th 2019

We leave Dublin today and will be traveling for the next 24 hours. Our first flight is to Istanbul, Turkey. Then on to Addis Abads, Ethiopia and then finally to Cape Town. I’ll make some airport posts if we see anything interesting.... read more

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