Heading to Pearson and a summary


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September 9th 2016
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 43.6485, -79.3854

We are currently at 35000 ft over the Northern Atlantic somewhere south of Iceland with another 5 hours of flying time ahead of us.

I hope you have enjoyed following us through Africa.

This is a trip that really started before we got married. Lisa, our fabulous travel agent at Valente Travel who helped plan and book this trip knows that for our honeymoon Sharon wanted to go to Africa. It was probably a good thing that we didn't attempt that on a limited budget having done it the right way this time.

The planning for this trip started over a year ago. We made a visit to Lisa to ask about what she recommended for the trip. Goway Travel specializes in Africa and it was the best move to trust them in making the plans. Every pickup and transfer and every reservation was flawless. We never had to worry about anything. They used Thompson Travel in Africa. It was door to door service with very friendly and knowledgable guides and drivers. The information provided helped us plan and know exactly what to expect. Very professional services well worth the price. Making the arrangements on our own locally would have added stress and we just wanted to go and experience everything and let someone else do the arrangements.

Overall the experiences and sights exceeded our dreams. Cape Town was a great place to start to get over some sleep deprivation and jet lag. The V&A Waterfront area was a great place to start. Seeing the picturesque view from Table Mountain was as expected. A day trip to the Cape of Good Hope and a wine tour got us started in Africa.

A fellow traveler we had met on a cruise had recommended the Garden Route. We were amazed at the different landscapes along the route. We didn't expect to see such a variety. Africa is not all desert or wide open expanses. We were glad we started our trip out of Cape Town this way.

Our first game reserve was Kariega River Lodge. The geography at the two reserves were very different. Kariega was more hilly. Spotting the animals wasn't as easy, not to say the second was easy. Since the conditions were not harsh, the animals didn't have to look as hard to food. The encounters we had with the animals here were memorable. Seeing the animals is one thing but seeing their behaviours is also part of the experience. We were able to see 4 of the big 5 here. The big 5 are lion, elephant, water buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros. Seeing giraffe and zebra here was better for the interactions. Thomas our guide did a great job.

Our second game reserve was Lion Sands River Lodge just outside of Kruger National Park. Here we completed the big 5 search with leopard. Add in the cheetah, wild dogs, wildebeest, hyena and hippopotamus and our guide said we had the grand slam. Again it was the experiences and interactions with the animals. Following the cheetah, watching 2 male lions on a mission to search out another male, the hyena den, the wild dog pups at play, watching a leopard walk under our vehicle and being charged by a big bull elephant all made the trip a wonderful experience. Andrew our guide had a much fun as we did. He couldn't believe our luck with seeing everything. I think we made his year (or career) with the success we had.

Our last trip was to Victoria Falls. I told Sharon that as a kid I remember getting a bookmark with Victoria Falls on it. I told her the story when we were flying to the falls. Isn't life funny how things in our childhood can become a reality. I guess the message there was don't stop dreaming. I wasn't disappointed with the lack of water as other people were. I came to see the falls, not the mist created by the water. As I mentioned, we have been blessed to see arguably the top 4 waterfalls in the world.

Heading home we are pretty tired. Early morning wake up calls to go on game drives are now behind us. It's been a long two days travel to get home. The flights are long and the layovers are brutal. It will be nice to be home.

Again, thanks to Lisa and all the companies that were involved in making these arrangements.

What a great way to start our retirements together now that I finally have joined Sharon in retirement.

You see we already have two more trips planned. A river cruise in the fall to celebrate Sharon's birthday. To bad we won't actually be in Paris on her birthday but we can celebrate a few days early. In March, Hong Kong to Shanghai will our destinations with a trip to the Great Wall too. Follow us again, wifi permitted to post pictures.

We have been blessed to be able to do some great trips. We thought doing the Galapagos was amazing. Seeing the Baltic countries, cruising around the Mediterranean or Alaska. Going around Cape Horn in South America. This was probably the best trip we have had. The game reserve experiences and animal interactions with truly wild animals in the African setting can't be topped. If you get a chance, go to Africa to see the animals in there own habitat (while you still can).

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