Page 2 of The Steiners Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Namibia » Windhoek December 23rd 2009

The internet is very slow right now, probably a countrywide issue in Zimbabwe. We leave the hotel at 11AM on one of the combi vans to yet again cross the border and get to the international bus terminal in Livingstone. It will be a while before we post again. Probably not until we reach Sesriem in Namibia. When we arrive in Windhoek tomorrow morning, most likely late, I have to walk over to the Budget office to pick up the car and get back to pick Jen up with the luggage. Then we cross the foreboding Namib Desert to Sesriem, arriving around 12PM Namibian time (1 hour behind South Africa and Zim/Zam). Sossusvlei Lodge should have internet access, but it IS the middle of the desert so I will not count on it. 1400 Kilometers And ... read more
Bolted Emergency Escape Hatch
First Pit Stop
Zambezi Valley Lodging

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls December 22nd 2009

Thoughts on Lions and Africans We did a Lion Walk this morning, a tour organized by Wilderness Safaris which has an office in the hotel. We were picked up in one of the ubiquitous Toyota Combi Busses and driven west of town and down a rough road to The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust's (ALERT) Walk with Lions enclave. This non-profit group is working to rehabilitate the lion population by having a breeding program which is largely funded by these lion walks which cost anywhere from $100 to $125 per person. Our lions' names were Kosy and Kala, 19 month old female and male lions. We were a bit surprised when we saw them as all of the brochures showed much younger animals. Though not fully grown Kosy and Kala were quite imposing, but everything ... read more
Walking our "Cubs"
With the real cubs
Looking for Impalas

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone December 21st 2009

We have been told by enough people now that the Zimbabwean side is where it is at. Especially in the dry season as less water is coming over the falls and certain portions have no water coming over. It is a bit early but I paid for a 24 hour internet connection and I am not sure when I will be able to post again, both from a time and connection standpoint. In 3 hours we will be off to the airport, flying SAA to Livingstone, Zambia and then crossing the border to Zimbabwe. We made it to OR Tambo without a hitch, this time attempting the southerly route to the N3, but making a left turn onto M85 rather than continuing into Alexandra. We did so well we were quite early and did a little ... read more
Dr. Livingstone's Statue
At Victoria Falls
Devil's Cataract Falls

Africa » Swaziland » Mbabane December 19th 2009

We split the day between Kruger in the morning and Swaziland in the afternoon. Myths abound regarding Swaziland, so I will place information on here that I think is the best characterization of how things are. There is just not much happening in Swaziland. It is a mountainous country, at least in the west end. The country's real claim to fame is that at LEAST 30% of the population has HIV. "At least" because that is the percentage of the sample of the million population that has been identified as such but it is likely the number is much higher. The African Experience Ah yes, people walking on the highway, people wearing random items of clothing, but nothing beats the African bureaucrat. We got our taste, without issue, at the Kingdom of Swaziland's Jeppe's Reef border ... read more
Swaziland Landscape
Swaziland's Highveld
Lumber Truck

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park December 18th 2009

Same answer as usual. The answer is of course yes, but HOW deadly are they? Not at all. We had lions within arms reach and a Leopard within leaping range of our heads. We are very much taking it easy today. We skipped the morning Game Drive with the intent of doing tomorrow's before we head to Swaziland. The intent was that we would sleep in, but I punched out of bed before sunrise as the wildlife outside began its excited pitch at first light. So I sent the Game Driving party off and dutifully brought coffee back to the cottage. We are now relaxing on the lodge's verandah as the day progressively heats up and humidity sets in. I should have brought more shorts. And some flip-flops. I heeded warnings too much and came prepared ... read more
Praying Mantis
African Stick Insect
Great Tree

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park December 17th 2009

So, are the roads as deadly as they say they are? As I said before, ALL roads are deadly, especially those that you take for granted. That said . . . Alexandra We had what hopefully will be the most eventful episode of the trip this morning. Near Sandton is a township called Alexandra which is as rough as they come. We went a different way to the highway this time, which got us lost in the middle of Alexandra. Some people think there are some bad spots in America . . . my friends, Parsons Avenue, Little Creek, Over the Rhine . . . these have NOTHING on Alexandra. I felt like I was on the set of Black Hawk Down driving through Mogadishu. We made it out safely evidently, and in hindsight, it was ... read more
Entryway at Tinga Legends Lodge
Main Hall
Tinga Legends Lodge

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 16th 2009

The first of our discovering South Africa series where we pose certain truths·myths that exist out there. The answer: Not for us. But we have only seen a very small and exclusive part of it. I would say it is generally safe but you just need to be very careful. We made it safely to the hotel, I am writing at 2:30AM local time as we are both reasonably wide awake, but having missed an entire night's worth of sleep, we are still a bit tired. There is a 7 hour time difference, so this means that when we "wake up" at 6AM this morning, it will be bedtime back home. First Impressions The OR Tambo Airport is unusual, relatively new but clearly still African in its disproportionate size and non-sensical design. It's like a big ... read more
Our Room

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta December 15th 2009

I am in at work today for a half day of wrapping things up, though the phone calls will likely continue right into the flight to Jo'burg. Jennifer is sleeping in and wrapping up the usual program at the house. Musings I've heard and read a variety of opinions on how southern Africa will be. Not entirely certain what to expect, but despite the crime rate, despite the disease, despite the wild beasts, the greatest danger on that trip will be the amount of driving I will do. Driving is always dangerous, especially in what has become the familiar roads of Ohio and Virginia. We will have to be vigilant and keep thinking backwards when driving, thanks to British Colonialism (if only the Dutch and Germans could have kept control of Southern Africa). 2,280 kilometers in ... read more
At the SkyClub

North America » United States » Ohio » Columbus December 14th 2009

Intensive Planning Over We are finally all set to go on the trip, it was a far more laborious process than I would have liked. Last Minute Planning Begins Now we scurry around for those things we may have missed. My only complaint is how bulky all of our camera and video equipment is, but then that is the point. My Sony that Pat gifted me 5+ years ago still takes amazing pictures, especially when mated to the lens adapter from Sony. But I am betting nothing will beat the Nikon D80 for good pictures of wildlife. Our goals remain as follows: 5 Countries in 3 Weeks: *South Africa *Swaziland *Zambia *Zimbabwe *Namibia Must Sees: *Kruger NP - Seek the 'Big 5' in Famed Game Park *Victoria Falls - One of Seven Natural Wonders, twice as ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Denver October 5th 2009

Waiting for the flight back to Columbus tonight at Denver International Airport, at least it's a direct flight back, but we'll be in close to midnight tonight. We had a great weekend but after yesterday, we slept in (relatively speaking) and opened The Cheesecake Factory in Boulder for brunch. We walked Pearl Street a bit and after checking out from the hotel, headed south. Western Denver We went through Golden, Colorado which only has about one useful thing in it - the Coors Brewing Company, which was not much to look at. The old town is a bit interesting, but did not appear to be worth the stop. The whole western side of Metro Denver seems to be Mexican, there are just tons and tons of them. We went to Colorado Mills nearby and half the ... read more
Pearl Street Mall
A Cat! A Cheesecake Cat!
16th Street Mall

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