Grahame and Gretchen Benvie


Grahame and Gretchen Benvie

Asia » Singapore June 17th 2019

This blog covers a two day period 17th and 18th June 2019 Well this time had to come eventually, we have been everywhere we planned, we have seen everything we wanted to (even if the lioness was shadowy), we have used up all the leave our bosses gave us, the only thing we didn’t use up was all the spending money we bought with us and it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Africa has been an inexpensive place for Kiwis to travel to and the sights to be seen and experiences to be had just can’t be found anywhere else we have been. But a little drama first and it was like history of 3 years ago repeating itself. As usual we did the check of all valuables that should be on our bodies somewhere, ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park June 17th 2019

Here we go again, after a few days off the real early morning wake up, coffee and game drive and it doesn’t get any easier in pursuit of the elusive lion. We have decided too to take advantage of another potential 3 game drives if we don’t see a lion before. This thing is not going to beat us despite saying ‘nature is what it is’. Hot coffee does get you ready for driving around looking for animals and it does fortify the body against the considerable chill factor at 6am in the morning even if the guide drives the vehicle at a sedate 40kph up to the park entrance. This morning our guide was Phuti and he had a trainee called West who sat alongside us in the front tier of seats. Alongside Phuti was ... read more
Baboons and mongoose co habitating
Banded mongoose
Pod or raft of hippos

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Kempton Park June 16th 2019

We awoke earlier as usual although we would have struggling to make a morning game drive had it been on our agenda for the day as it was just after 5.30am.It is going to take some time before we get back to waking later although it isn’t really going to be necessary to get too much change to our timing as we are both back to work the day after we get back to Tauranga. We took the luxury of staying in bed and listening to the afternoon talk back on Newstalk ZB(well you do have to keep up with a bit of news) We caught up with the Aussies at breakfast who had done the boat cruise yesterday while we went on the game drive. They were heading for Victoria Falls this morning while we ... read more
Our neighbours
Ancient baobao tree in the hotel lobby area
Another hotel view

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park June 15th 2019

We did get a shadowy glimpse at dusk yesterday of a lioness and then she was gone. No photo and no video. We just have to do the morning drive this morning and then this afternoon if we are unlucky this morning. So here it is again,5.15am and we get ourselves dressed for the wind chill factor that you can’t avoid in the open sided Toyota land cruiser whistling along at 40kph towards the park entrance. This morning our guide is Odey and in the front passenger seat is a young woman from the capital Gaborone who is studying tourism hospitality. Our fellow passengers are a couple of Aussies from Wollongong who we met yesterday and found them to be enjoyable company. Sometimes one of the things you miss when there is just the two of ... read more
Mother and teenager hippo
Marouba stalk
Buffalos in the long grass

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park June 13th 2019

oday was going to be an easy day for us. All we had to do was meet our transport to Kasane, Botswana at the front entrance to our Victoria Falls hotel and we would be whisked away. Well that part turned out fine; it was what happened after we reached the Cresta Mwana Hotel, Kasane that meant this was another day on the go for us. We had time to spare before the pickup and so decided to take a stroll downtown for some window shopping which might turn into some big time shopping if we find what we are looking for and the price is right. In the 4 or 5 times we have walked to and from the hotel to the township and vice versa, some 400 metres, we have always been offered a ... read more
Open window over part of the sidewalk,Victoria Falls.A hazard !
Baboons downtown Victoria Falls
All drain maintenance is done by hand in Zimbabwe

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls June 12th 2019

We had deliberately not taken in the falls yesterday afternoon when we arrived. For one thing there is a USD30 each entry fee and it is for one admission only. So we decided to hold off until this morning our visit to tick off another of the Seven Wonders of the World. Flying in to Living stone yesterday the pilot had announced as we were in our descent that the falls would be visible from the right side of the aircraft. Where were we on the aircraft you may ask? The left side !and belted in for landing ! So today will be our first sighting of one of the greatest sights one can imagine when it comes to looking at geographical views. We had established from a map that there is a rain forest to ... read more
Devils Cataract,Victoria Falls
Mist rising in a bright blue sky
Plunging water Devils Cataract

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls June 11th 2019

Again we didn’t a wakeup call for breakfast and then a ride to the airport for our flight to Livingstone, Zambia as we are now well in the mode of waking well before dawn. In saying that the sleep we do have is solid and we generally seem to last the day without a ‘nana’ nap in the afternoon. O R Tambo airport is spacious and modern and we got some help from a woman at the automatic check in machine to get our boarding passes. We had done everything else ignoring the chance for an upgrade on the flight to business class where the lowest bid was USD85 that you could make for the upgrade. What do you think they take us for? There was heaps of leg room and the economy seats were generously ... read more
Nobody took any notice a steam train was just metres away from the uncontrolled crossing
The luxury excursion steam train runs Tuesday(lucky us) and Fridays
Great name for a restaurant

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Kempton Park June 10th 2019

We didn’t actually get the extra hour of sleep this morning before our wakeup call because as usual we awake well before although we did lie in bed and listened to Newstalk ZB on Iheart Radio to catch up on the talkback in NZ.It was late afternoon at home and it had been a while since we had had such a sustained listen. For the first time in 3 days I had mastered the shower controls and had an even temperature shower for all the time I was in there. The water is heated by gas and it appeared as though the gas flowed and then stopped before starting again but this time is was all go !Gretchen was pleased when it came her turn to prepare for the day. All the others staying at the ... read more
All the comforts of home inside
View from our deck
Water source for Lisbon Falls

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Sabi Sands June 9th 2019

Our last day at Tydon Safari Camp and it was still an early start but this time we are off to Kruger National Park itself and we are not sure just how this will compare to driving around private game parks where we could go off road where as Kruger won’t let people do that. The Aussies and the Welsh couple will be on board so for the first time in the last 3 drives the land rover and the guide won’t be just for us. We headed off just after 6.30am and it was a half hour drive to get to the gate into Kruger. Neil was our guide this morning and he has the job to do to find us lions although we have told him that our leopard experiences to date in both ... read more
Monkey's !
A baby hyena waiting for breakfast
All the tastiest food is on the second floor !

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Sabi Sands June 8th 2019

The wake up call at Tydon Safari Camp in Sabi Sands was a little later than at Gomo Gomo and we enjoyed the extra lie in albeit only another half hour. Again the routine was to rise, get dressed warmly and head down for a coffee before boarding the land rover for the morning game drive. For some reason here at Sabi Sands it seemed much lighter in the sky even though there was only a half hours difference to Gomo Gomo get up and about time. We again got to feel like royalty this morning as we are the only two staying at the safari camp although there will apparently be more people coming in later in the day. Drikus,a stocky South African guy, who told us he loved the outdoors, was to be our ... read more
The sun just hanging there
No words can explain the beauty
Mother battilier

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