2004 Africa Safari
August 10, 2004 Tuesday We arrived at Capetown in the dark and cleared through customs and fortunately when we got to the welcome hall that Djosers our tour company had a driver waiting for us named Ion. While waiting in line we had a nice visit with a girl from Jackson MN who had a boy friend here. It was here third visit here. He told us about the area and that in world war II the present downtown area was filled and reclaimed. We got up at 6 am to be sure we would not be late as we were not able to make contact with our group. We had breakfast which came with the room. The hotel was a historical prison. We had a nice visit with a local, met our cook and guide Char and he got us hooked up with Jerome or guide. We walked around Cape Town and got some nice pictures and also of Table Mountain which is flat and towers above the city. Jerome suggested we get Rands so we went back downtown to the bank and got Rands. We then met the group and got loaded into the Safari Vehicle and traveled on down to the Cape of Good Hope It was chilly and windy but sunny and got pictures, hiked to a light house on the point, seen lots of baboons. They were to used to humans and had been fed so they were a nuisance! We had a nice hike along the ocean and then headed back to Simon town and spent our first night at a back packers hostel. The manager was an interesting fellow and we met the last member of our group Geta who had been traveling independently in East South Africa. Simon Town was a naval base in WWII and still is the South African Naval station. It is called a false bay as it is a dead end and has a tremendos amount of wildlife.
August 11, 2004 Wednesday We left the hostel and took the safari vehicle to where the Penquins were. This is the fartherest north they get. They are only at the south pole. The are called African or nicknamed Donkey because of their sound. They are protected here but it is very natural and they live off the ocean. We then went back through Capetown which is a modern city with some four lane roads but over-all it would like one of our towns in the 70's. They mainly have small shopping squares. We did find a super market at Table view and stocked up with snacks. We ate along the beach here with white sand a a view of Table Mountain. There was some smog in the downtown area. We then headed north in South Africa, it was cattle and small grain. As we got north we came up out of the valley and went along the Orange River and found some fruit trees, such as Oranges. We arrived at a hostel and got ice cream but we stayed in our tents but had use of the facilities. We did a hike up the mountain behind and got some nice pictures.
August 12 2004 Thursday We had a low tire and had a terrible time getting the nuts off as we did not have a good breaker bar. The spare was held on the back with some nuts and would not come off. We finally figured out they were left hand thread so and example of not good mechanics and not good tools. We then toward the Namibia border. The farther we went the more arrid and rock it became. We seen some granite mining where large, cut, rectangular pieces of granite were mined. We got to the Orange River and set up our tents with Namibia across the river. The group did some canoeing on the river. We did not since we canoe a lot.
August 13, 2004 Friday-We were ready to go into Namibia but had to wait for a permit for Tippy our driver who was from Zimbabwae. We crossed the border and in talking to the guards find it gets very hot in the summer. It really got dessert like in a hurry. We got to a hot springs and went swimming. It had marble streaks in the mountains and reminded us some of Black Canyou of Gunderson in Colorado. We headed for Fish Canyon which is like the Grand Canyon and is very nice but over rated in its comparison to the Grand Canyon. We blew a tire at the rim and it got dark so we limped to camp as we could not get it changed. At camp they borrowed some tools and got it changed but now we are down to no spares and 500 miles. Again there is not doubt the tools and extra things are sadly lacking. They depend on other safari vehicles from there company to rescue them or they have contracts with mechanics who come out or in worse case drive another vehicle for one end or the other none stop. We are gettting used to the African safari camps which have flush toilets and hot showers so far.
August 14, 2004 Saturday-This was a travel day to the Red Sand Dunes. It was a long day on lots of gravel but fortunately no flat tire. It was dessert country all the way. We got in late and had a very late supper. We are seeing Gemsbok and Springbok and of course Jackels.
August 15, 2004 Sunday We got up and was at the gate to the Red Sand Dunes, sossusviei at 6 am and went to a dune you can climb and get a picture of the sunrise. The dunes are numbers. It was a good climb with the loose sand but I was in good shape so no problem. These are the largest sand dunes in the world with the tallest being 425 meters. The one we climbed was Dune # 45 at 125 meters. A bushman then gave us a tour of the desert and showed all the life that is in the desert. We also seen the dry lakes where the trees were dead and 800 years old. The night at camp the Jackels came right up to the truck. Char and I went out and seen lots of animals at night using his good flashlight. It is chilly at night so it is good sleeping.
August 16,2004 Monday We went to a slot canyon and hiked in it. It was very desolate and was called the moon scape. We are seeing desert animals as we travel. We then went to Solitare which was an oasis in the desert and well know to the Dutch we were traveling with as a fellow from Holland stopped here on a trip and the brothers here did not have fuel as the drank a lot and did not have money. He ended up staying a few years and really improved things. They have coffee and apple pie in a huge cake pan and you get a huge piece for a $1, they have animals there a deep well and a motel. He had a falling out with the brothers but has written a book about it and they are now making a movie. We then looked at the flamingos at Walvis Bay and got stuck in the sand but used the steel plates and got out. The wind was blowing the sand and we seen more granite mines and the beginning of diamond mines and some gravel or rock quarries. We then went on to Swakomund, both of these are nice German towns. Germany lost Namibia after WWI but the Germans living there stayed so these are very German. In South Africa and Namibia English is the official language of the countries and all the signing is in English. It is a very modern town and have lots of adventures available such as sky diving, quad, horses, township tours, boat tour, etc. We stayed at a hostel, which was the nicest yet.
August 17, 2004-Tuesday We walked around Swakomund, did some things on the Internet and got some nice pictures and got some books and maps Charlie helped me pick out and where to go to get them. We hiked along the ocean. Things are irrigated and get water from the fog. Inland a bit it rains only once in 10 or 15 years. We toured the poor area called townships and that night had a group supper which got late and Edith got very tired. We got two new tires here.
August 18 2004 Wednesday We left Swakomund after a breakfast at the hostel and headed north after stopping at a store and got some eye wash for my sore eye. We then went to Cape Cross to see the Fur Seals and is where the first Portagese first landed. Lots of noise and a terrible smell and pictures of the cross the Portagese put up. There also were Jackels hanging around. North of here are the diamond preserves. We then back tracked a bit and had lunch along the ocean and fueled up and headed inland. Along the coast it was called a salt road with salt being put on it. Inland it was a washboard gravel road and went to the Brandberg mountains which are the highest in Namibia but were to late to see the painting of the bushman so we went to the camp and now are getting into wood hot water heat. The facilites are crude but we do have hot water and flush toilets.
August 19, 2004 Thursday We seen the painting and the famous white lady on a tour by the ranger. We then went to Twijfelfontijn and seen lots of animals carved in the rocks by bushman 2000 years ago or more and a over hanging rock that is famous in Namibia. We also see Organ Pipe rocks and some volanic activity and colored rocks. There are pictures of this on the web site.
August 20, 2004 Friday We seen some desert plants that were very old and petrified wood but no desert elephants which have adapted their habits to the dry, desert conditions. We seen quite a few animals, such as Gemsbok, Springbok. We got into our first animal park Etosia and seen elephants, giraffes, wilderbeest, kudu, Zebra, a water buck, Black Rhino and other animals at the lighted water hole. It is really a thrill to see all these animals all this close. The camps are fenced and out in the park you have to stay in your vehicle. The facilities are in fenced area and you open the gate, drive in and lock the gate. Char spent the day in the back of the safari vehicle with us so we learned a lot about the animals today and that elephants are right or left determante so they prefer their left or right tusk and you can tell which by which is shortest. I have now gotten familiar with the southern cross and using it to tell direction.
August 21, 2004 Saturday we drove to the north to another camp and seen lots of animals but no lions yet. We scramble to get pictures out of the window. The 10x camera and field glasses are working great. We seen an African Cat, Impala, Red Hertebeest, warthogs, other animals and lots of colorful birds. We did finally see a lion at a distance.
August 22, 2004 Sunday My eye was really sore, I went swimming in the pool at the park and now my eye is really sore. I am taking penicillen but it is not helping a lot and putting in eye wash. We seen three young lions before leaving the park and of course more of the normal animals.
August 23, 2004 Monday We headed for the Okavango Delta. We crossed in Botswana and found some of the best facilities of he trip. Once into Botswana we started really getting into the native tribes of Africa with villages all along the way. We stopped and got some nice pictures. We stopped along the River and I got a chance to take the boat to Angola. The motor died and we had to be rescued but then took the other boat and I made it to Angola.
August 24, 2004 Tuesday On the way to Maun in Botswana quite aways we had fuel pump trouble. You can read about it in the e-mail travelogue. We did a great road side fix with plastic and foam from a meat dish but eventually it failed and Char had to hitch a ride ahead to a town and line up help. We were not supposed to park along the road but at about midnight we were going to when a sister company Nomad showed up with a truck and we loaded our stuff
August 25, 2004 Wednesday We got into camp at 3 am and did not get much sleep. I was up to get a shower but could get only cold water. The driver who rescued us said he had hot water and I though he was joking but I discovered the faucets were reversed and the left, red on was cold and the right blue on was hot so welcome to Africa. Eventually around noon the vehicles showed up and our food for dinner to take us to the staging area to get on the dug out canoes to go to the delta. We made it into the delta, got camp set up, had to chase a bull elephant out of camp, and got holes dug for the toilets and had our evening meal. It was not bad except we had no chairs so we took our mats out of our tents and laid on them.
August 26, 2004 Thursday -We took a hike and seen lots of wildlife and got our first look at Hippo's up close and were on foot very close to a bull elephant. Back in camp we enjoyed relaxing and had singing and dancing by the natives that night and our dutch friends sang some songs and Edith sang God Bless America which was impressive. We also took a sunset ride in the dug out boats and one of our group ended up right by a hippo. Their poler got them out of there fast.
August 27, 2004 Friday We packed up and headed out and then back to town. We got back to camp and got loaded up to head out. At Maun Char had bought meat for the rest of the trip and not far down the road we were stopped and the took all our meat. That night we stayed at Baobab Planet where the big trees were. Char lined it up so we had supper at the restaurant as he had no meat. We ate with some of our dutch friends and they only spoke English that evening so we could take part in the converstation. These trees are very old probably 3000 years old. We had a group picture here. I got some anti-biotic eye sauve from the people from Belgium and for the first time my eye started to get better. It was really sore for a few days.
August 28, 2004 Saturday-The next day we drove to Chobe National Park in Botswana by Zambia. We did see some elephants on the way in and we picked up a lot more trees, grasslands and farming. We got into town soon enough so we were able to do the sunset cruise on the Chobe River. We seen crocodile, african buffalo, black sable, water bucks, colorful birds. kudu's, Impalas, monkeys, elephants and some hippo's on land which was a first for us. We visited with Richard from Venzeula who is a USA citizen and a couple from Washington and a fellow from the Netherlands who we have seen about 6 times along our trip at various places.
August 29, 2004 Sunday-We did an early game tour into Chobe and seen 3 lions very close which was our first good lion pictures. We also seen a new animals Puku and Red Letche. We then got in line for the ferry to Zambia. It was a long wait and again our friend Richard and the others were waiting also. We eventually got on the ferry, definitely no safety standards. Once on the otherside we had to wait while the paperwork was done We made it to the falls and got to tour the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. It was a fun time, the noise from the falls and the spay is impressive. There is not the volume of water like Niagara but it is so much wider. We got into camp and had tents on a wooden platform so we did not have to set up our tents.
August 30, 2004 Monday-We had a nice hot shower and good breakfast. Some of our group did a bicycle ride, others white water rafting which I wish I would of but then I would not of been able to go to Zimbabwe which was a thrill. Char went with me, we took a taxi, cleared customs and then walked across the bridge and then we split up. I then toured the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls which is more impressive than the Zambia side. You can read about it in the e-mail travelogue, it was quite an experience shopping. I seen no Americans. In fact in all of Africa we seen 3 americans on the first trip and 4 on the second trip. Americans just don't go on these safari camping trips. Later I made it back to the bridge just in time to watch Char and Daniel bungy jump. That night we had our going away supper. It was quite nice and they did it in English for us which was very kind. We sure have had some people who have visited with us in English and interpreted for us and we SHALL ALWAYS REMEMBER THEM. Susan, Suszanne, Daniel and Mike are some that we really remember and also the kindness of Wendy. We spent all but 4 nights in a tent, had sandwiches for dinner everyday and not much for breakfast but the suppers were good. Edith helped Char a lot with the cooking as he was just 18 but was a sharp young man and I am sure he learned a lot from Edith. We got to be very good friends with him and have gotten e-mails from him. We lost some weight on the trip.
August 31, 2004 Tuesday We went to Livingstone, did some shopping, said good bye to our leaders at the airport and flew to Johannesburg where we said goodbye to our Dutch friends. It was an emotional moment after being together all these days and facing some tough conditions and working together with meals, camping, packing, hiking, etc. We were met by a driver for the hostel we had in Pretoria so we were set. We were late due to customs but he knew this happens so he was not surprised. He provided us a lot of information about the area. The biggest problem in some areas is due to crime with is primarily caused by proverty and people getting desperate. We stopped at the hostel near the airport that we had looked at on the Internet and then headed for Pretoria. It is a good highway over. We got in about 4 pm and got settled in and found out where we could walk to and get groceries. We had some steak and ice cream which we had not had for days and it was great. We got ahold of Johan on VHF ham radio and Ole N0ABE in South Dakota
September 1, 2004 Wednesday We walked around town, made IRLP contact with Ole again and eventually Floyd WB0MZB. We found out Stan W0IT had passed away. I sent out an e-mail travelogue, the cheapest internet yet and talked to Johan again and he said he would be by about 10am and show us around on Thursday. We visited with people at the hostel. They had a lock box which was nice. They were intrigued by our radio contacts with the handheld to South Dakota.
September 2, 2004 Thursday At 10 am Johan arrived and we had a great tour of Pretoria government area, down town area, historical fort area on the hill. He told us a lot about the area, history, climate, IRLP and repeaters, ham radio and his work. We met several hams on the air. It is nice as you just use the CEPT agreement and sign your call ZS5. They are trying to get more black people licensed but most don't have the money to get the equipment. It was cool here but not bad as it was winter but it is the dry season so things are brown. We relaxed the rest of the day and had more good food. Pretoria is a nice place and safe enough during the day. One does need to be careful some places at night. As in Capetown a lot of people live here but most can not afford cars so the traffic is not so bad. The roads are good with a few four lanes. Prices are reasonable and shopping is good. Not really malls as such but a few good sized stores but most are medium in size. We talked to both Floyd WB0MZB anf Ole N0ABE.
September 3, 2004 Friday Hanille took us to the airport, we left about 6:30 am and beat the traffic. We got on the plane in good shape and were off for Nairobi. We got some good views as we left and also of Mozambique and Lake Malawi as we traveled north. We applied for SA airways frequent flyer miles. We seen Nairobi quite well and lots of smoke. We had our Kenya visa and found we could go to Tanzania all OK so they stamped them and waved us through. We were met at the airport by Smiley and that is just what he was. We had an enjoyable ride into the hotel. We were soon met by our guide-Tracie who was a gal and she was nice and almost always explained things to us first in English before the Dutch announcements. Of course things got added and sometimes we found out and sometimes we did not. This group there were not nearly as many who know English as well so it was a lot tougher figuring things out at times but two gal's both named Ester and Eric and Toni helped us a lot so we are really grateful to them, more than they will ever know. Also the cook and driver did not speak dutch but rather Swahili and some English so we visited with them a lot and found out a lot from them. We were able to leave a bag we purchased in Pretoria with our souveniers we purchased. We obeyed the instructions where the Dutch did not and had only one bag each which was under 25 lbs. And a small day pack for our back. This worked out great and then we could pick it up when we got back. We had a concern as we could not find the envelope that had $1200 in it but finally discovered we had moved it to the bottom of the camera case. It was a relief to find it after a 15 minute frantic search. We were ahead of the Dutch group so we had a peaceful afternoon.
September 4, 2004 Saturday We met our group and headed toward Mt. Kenya. We soon discovered there are a lot more people here and it is much more tropical and lots of corn and tropical plants. We got to a town and got money changed and went through the market. We were the only whites here and it was a good experience. We got to camp and set up and took a hike with two other to Mau Mau where the resistance movement against the British centered as there is hiding, food, water and medicinal plants in the area. We also got a picture of Mt. Kenya as the clouds thinned out for a bit. The people on this safari are not into hiking like the other group.
September 5, 2004 Sunday We made the trip North to Samburu NP on a long, washboard gravel road. We visited a Samburu village and learned about their customs and they did dances for us. They dressed in red and are related to the Masi. We saw them start a fire with a stick in a wood hole. We seen lots of animals as we drove into the park. A new animal we seen was the long necked Geranak. We also seen a hiena and a different Zebra with narrow, straighte strips. Here there was no fence so the tents were huddled by the safari vehicle. Edith and I went of a bit to have it quieter. They thought we did not want to be a part of the group which was not true but they were scared and we were not. There was some hiena's right out side of our tent that made a lot of noise once. We heard lions in the distance. The facilities were pretty tough and we were to find got a lot worse on this trip.
September 6, 2004 Monday We did more game drives and seen lots of animals but no new ones for us. This is a dry desert area, not like the rest of Kenya. We left and returned on the same road we came. The road on through and down to our next stop has had some trouble we found out from our driver and cook. The others don't know about this. We found out lots of things the others never heard. Again we are having a hard time seeing lions. We got more pictures of Mt. Kenya and got back into a more tropical area. We had noon lunch and people and kids seem to appear out of no where. They sang for us and we sang, we found out they wanted food so we gave them what we had left over. They really fought over it which made us feel bad. I don't think there are many starving but many are on the edge and are short of food a lot of the time. We camped by Thompson Falls and were able to hike down to the bottom. Again I found not many were hikers in this group.
September 7, 2004 Tuesday The dogs were noisy and the showers crowed but we got some rest. We then entered the Great Rift Valley which goes from Israel to Mozambique. It still is settling a little each year along the fault line. It is rich farming country. We got to Nakuru the fourth largest town in Kenya. We had fun shopping here and visiting. Again the signs are in English and nearly everyone speaks English. As always we were the only Americans. We had a great time in the market place and everyone welcomed us. They were especially happy when they found out we were from the USA. They like the USA. At Lake Nakuru NP we seen White Rhino's and the first away from a lighted water hole. We seen Elands for the first time. As the Red Sand Dunes and Victoria Falls were the most scenic on the first safari, Baboon Cliff over Lake Nakuru was on the second with all the flamingos in the lake and all the animals on the plains below. We then made it to a nice campground that night. They farmed and had dairy cows.
September 8, 2004 Wednesday In the morning we visited a school. Everyone goes to primary school but it is tough and even though the government supposedly pays for it there are other things they need such as books that are hard for them to get the money to buy. The teachers are poorly paid and only a few can go on to high school and college. They have prayer and bible reading in school. We presented gifts and balls and money to the school. The next stop was for pictures on the equator which we crossed several times. Our camp was Lake Baringo.
September 9, 2004 Thursday We spent a hot night in the tent here. You could hear the hippo's at night as they came out to graze. We did a boat tour of the lake and seen fish eagles. There was a giant turtoise in camp, we visited a school for handi-cap kids and they also helped them with braces, etc. A gal from Ireland was in charge. We left a donation. She said they get help from people in Great Britain and Germany. We spent another hot night in the tent. The long drop toilets were better here than the facilities we have been having and the showers were hot from the wood fire.
September 10, 2004 Friday We went through the Rift Valley again. It was very tropical, hilly and lots of corn. We ended up near Katale by the Cherangani Hills. Eric had been sick a lot so he went to the doctor. He got some anti-biotics and did better but he never was completely well for the whole trip and recovered when he got back home. The campground was at a British Colonial farm and they had an English garden, horses and rabbits.
September 11, 2004-Saturday We hiked in the hills, visited a water falls and learned about native customs and dances. We found here there were some multiple partners. This is not to common anymore and the are definitely making progress witht he AIDS problem. We did meet an American lady here working on an AIDS education program. Again I found out how very few in this group liked to hike. It rained some here. The facilities were good here. At various places we washed our clothes by hand. A good set of hiking pants and shirt and socks, nothing cotton work great, wash easy and dry fast.
September 12, 2004 Sunday We did some shopping in Katale and then headed for Mt. Elgon. That is the highest mountain. At camp we toured a private game farm and enjoyed some local music with home made instruments.
September 13, 2004 Monday We did a tour of Mt. Elgon NP. We seen the famous caves where elephans and African Buffalo get salt. There were lots of bats in the caves. We had an interesting visit with the guide. They just could not believe that I could own and have guns in the USA. We seen Columbus monkeys which are white and black, a black Mamba poisonous snake, a new animal the Reed Buck. We finally got some good pictures of coffee trees. We could see the hills in Rawanda.
September 14, 2004 Tuesday We traveled through several southern Kenya towns. We started to see sugar cane. We arrived at the Kakamega Rain forest and it rained a lot. We had a covered place to cook. There was a wet hike in the forest and not many animals to see. The facilities were very bad, just a hole in the cement. The tents were soaked but stayed pretty dry inside.
September 15, 2004 Wednesday We traveled south and there was even more sugar cane and it got more arrid. We arrived at Tanzania and found for the locals that they just walked back and forth over the border with no checks. No infastucture work, no big equipment, construction techniques were like in Mexico or Ghana. Many of the schools are church sponsered. We entered not have to spend to long on paper work and headed for Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. The campground was crowed but the facilities were good. Our driver and cook got excited on the way in about people who wanted to wander off at a bathroom stop along the bush they did not want to make. We found out there had been some robberies in this area and the authorities watched with field glasses and did not want vehicles stopping here. The rest did not find out about this but they told us.
September 16, 2004 Thursday We shopped in downtown Mosoma. There were some Muslims here but there did not seem to be a problem. There was a nice sand beach here on the lake. It don't think it was as safe here as in Kenya but no problems have been reported here. I did send a travelogue from here and the lady there helped Edith with some Swahili words. We were off around noon and I got to ride up front in the truck which permited me to get some good pictures out of the front. There was one area where there had been some trouble with robbery but the police had put in a station and that cleared it up. Our next stop was Speke Bay where the Nile starts. It is a camp run by some Dutch people. They have hired a gal who is good and speaks excellent English. The facilties are out of this world. It is an oasis. We set up our tents, enjoyed have coke in the shade on the beach and charged my camera batteries. I had 3 512 mb cards so I had plenty of storage for the whole trip and had adaptors to fit the 220 vac plugs. My charger could handle 220 vac. This was the first place I did not have the correct adaptor but they had one that I had an adaptor for so I got my camera batteries charged. We found out a driver or guide makes about $800 a month. One certainly would save money by going to Africa and booking a tour on site. It would be easier now that we know some reputable companies. It was nice and cool at night. There are Titse flies here but not many this time of the year so we had no problems. Actually we could of gotten by with out Malaria medicine as it is the dry season and as long as you start treatment right away you should be fine but we took Malarone which is expensive but has little side effects so it has worked fine.
September 17, 2004 Friday We took a boat to a native fishing village. They are poor as the lake is fished out and now are trying to get some tourist money. Some of the group went on a bike ride and others on a bird walk. After the village tour I visited with Geoffrey the guard who makes a $1 a day so the economy is really tough. I gave him some money for batteries for his radio. He spoke excellent English. We got some great sunset pictures at both stops on Lake Victoria.
September 18, 2004 Saturday We headed into the Serengeti NP. It was burned off for quite a few miles. We did see a new animalscalled Topi and Thompson Gazelle. We came to an open area and there were animals as far as you could see and then you looked in the binoculars and they went for miles more. This is the place to see animals; especially when you realize that the migration has lots of animals north in Masai Mara in southern Kenya. We seen lots of animals on our way into the campsight. We camped in a tight circle as lions come close to camp here. We were not supposed to go to the bathroom at night but we did. The facilites were pretty tough here. The entrance fees and campground fees are not cheap.
September 19, 2004 Sunday We finally seen a young female lion our first of this trip. The others in the group were really excited. Edith and I want to see a leopard to complete the big five and to see a cheetah We finally seen Cheetahs up real close and some lions reasonably close. We seen many, many animals but nothing new. It was a fun day but the lions just were not there like they normally are. Probably because of the migration.
September 20, 2004 Monday We heard a lion roaring a lot during the night. Our cook and driver said it was a male that was alone and not happy. They did not say anything to the rest. When we were leaving we spotted him not far from camp. We seen more animals and cheetahs but no more lions. We then left the park and seen Grant's Gazelle. We then seen Masai warriors with their cattle which is there wealth. We made it to the Ngorongoro Crater. We had to wait as there was a mix up on vehicles but before long the other vehicle came and down we went. What an interesting place. The animals are basically trapped in this huge crater. The Masai do graze their cattle here but it is controlled so the animals have enough grass. At the bottom there are lakes and springs so plenty of water for the animals. Away from the lakes during this time of the year is the dry season so it is brown and dust is blowing. Our group seen all the big five except a leopard but did see some lions up very close and one male lion which is one the website is my best picture of the trip. I was concerned we were not going to see the big five but on the way out other vehicles were stopped and we spotted a leopard in a tree where they normally are eating a kill they drag up there or are resting so we were elated. We did not get a good picture but enough to prove it was a leopard. We got out a bit late and had to pay a bit of a fine for our vehicle but I guess that is no big deal. We made it to a campground called Kudu near Karatu which was very nice.
September 21, 2004 Tuesday- We made it to the Snake Park CG near Arusha and toured the cattle market, inquired about buying a cow and toured the snake park. We learned about the color faces were of young Masi that are becoming men. We rode camels to a village and learned about customs and got to take pictures.
September 22, 2004 Wednesday Ester and I were able to go to Mt. Kilimanjaro and hike up past the first camp. We met people coming down from this 19,000 feet plus mountain which is close to the equator but has snow on the year around and is the highest peak in Africa. Later on the way back the clouds lifed enough so we could get a picture. We got a coke and tee shirt of Kilimanjaro. We had a great day. Edith and Vincent toured Terangeri NP near Ashura and seen to Leopards and got some good lion pictures. Vincent visited with us a lot in English which was very nice.
September 23, 2004 Thurday We drove north out of Tanzania into Kenya and back to Nairobi. The road was wide but really bumpy. I had a sore muscle in my shoulder so I felt the bumps. It was a full day. That night we had a going away supper at a nice hotel and had all kinds of meats and great entertainment of acrobatics and dancing. The meat was kangaroo, crocodile, ostriage, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, goat and other. It was roasted over a flame and they brought it to the table and sliced some off for you. It was a great night. Back at the hotel we said good bye as they were leaving early in the morning and we were staying until the next night.
September 24, 2004 Friday We had breakfast, met Tracie and discussed the trip and she had a card from Eric, Toni, Ester and Ester so that was an emotional time as they sure were great friends to us and they will never know how much we appreciated that. We got it lined up with Tracies help to see the animal nursery at the Nairobi Wildlife park. We seen a baby Rhino and baby elephants. We then went with Tracie downtown and shopped. It is supposed to be so dangerous downtown but that is not true at all during the day time. I got a nice embroidaried tee shirt very cheap. Back at the hotel we had supper and Smiley showed up and we said good bye to Tracie and our cook and driver who was getting ready to go on another safari. Smiley got us to the airport and before long we were on our way to Amsterdam.
September 25, 2004 Saturday We landed early in Amsterdam and using the info we had gotten form our Dutch friends took the train downtown after getting some Euro's. We walked and looked at a lot of sights, took a boat ride on the canals and visited the Rembrandt Painting. Things are really expensive. We took the train back and found our flight was going to be delayed. We had a lady from the Twin Cities join us as she was by herself. It turned out the flight was delayed until morning so we were put on a bus, took to a hotel, had supper and breakfast and taken back in the morning.
September 26, 2004 Sunday We seen Amsterdam as we left, boats and oil rigs in the ocean and then Ireland. Then it clouded over. We seen some of Labrador or Northern Quebec and then around Dulth, MN. We got into Minneapolis about 2 hours after we took off since we flew with the sun. We got our rental a day late no problem and drove to Sioux Falls by late afternoon, picked up the car at Edith's brother and went to Sam's to leave the films and get some groceries and home where everything was fine. This completed over 50 days in Africa.