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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Out of Africa

Well...we did it.  We went on safari to Africa...just got back 2 days ago.  We visited South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.  WHAT AN ADVENTURE.  The things we saw, the people we met...all so amazing.  The trip was to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary AND to celebrate a milestone for me...5 years POST treatment for my Stage IV colon cancer.  As I told everyone in an earlier post I was diagnosed with cancer in May '06.  Finished treatment in August of '09...sooooo 5 years since any kind of treatment and I'm still cancer free.  Yipppeeee.  Anyway...back to Africa...

We started in South Africa...toured Soweto and Johannesburg...interesting, depressing, noisy, crowded, very poor, culturally diverse, hectic...on and on and on. Visited Nelson Mandela's home, saw the apartheid museum, Desmond Tutu's home (interesting 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners are from the same street in Soweto)  I'm glad we saw it...probably don't have to go back. Next stop...Zambia, a camp called Chichele in the Luangwa River Valley.  So full of wildlife. The Zambians are happy, welcoming, kind people.  We had a great time...saw all kinds of animals.

From Chichele we headed to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls.  It's impressive...nature at it's best.  We took a helicopter ride over it...wow...the Zambezi River tumbling over the falls makes quite a show

From Victoria Falls (Livingstone) we drove into Botswana to the Chobe River...stayed at the Chobe Chewero Lodge. Lots of "Be Ebola Aware" signs at the border...!

From Chobe we flew in a bush plane to a great lodge on Chief's Island. Saw tons of game...some of it quite up close and personal.  Baboons and hyenas running freely through the camp...pretty unsettling but fun and exciting once you knew they weren't going to attack!!!

mama hyena and her cubs


painted (wild) dog

And my favorite...this beautiful leopard.  We watched her make a kill and devour it.  Kind of gross but fascinating at the same time.

An incredible adventure...I'm sure we'll go back...I'd love to see Kenya.

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