BC: Africa 2007
FC: 2007 | Africa
1: Johannesburg, South Africa | We arrived at 4:20pm and the bags from our whole flight were missing and didn't come out until about 7pm. We stayed at the Park Hyatt which is one of the nicest hotels i've ever stayed in! We couldn't sleep so were down at breakfast 6:30am the next morning. We booked a bus tour around Johannesburg which was a pretty goood way to see hte place in one day. We got tours of the rich areas, middle class and poor areas. We drove past Nelson Mandella's house & went past one of his other houses which is now turned into a museum. | We went to another museum which was about a school kid that got shot when they tried to kick the black kids out of a certain school & the kids protested so the police opened fire on them. We also visited a little community where they all lived in little sheds, they have no power and just have a communal tap where they all do washing. There were little kids running around too. There was this one kid that was running around our group, he was so cute and mum sat down with him and put her sunglasses on him. Simon later gave him all of his coins, i'm not quite sure he knew what it was, he just stood there looking at it in his hand, then he kept dropping them and was trying to pick them out of the dirt. We went into one lady's house and she was telling us about how they all live around the community, her name was Hilda. When we got back to the hotel we had to check out and move to our next hotel which ended up being accross the road. It was The Courtyard & was self contained appartments. We then walked to the shopping centre which had shops similar to Australia, they had a Roxy & Quicksilver shop and a sportscene. We found an African market which was full of carvings, beads and all sorts of stuff, drums, carvings in bones. There were really nicely carved Giraffe's of all sizes. I bought a few bracelets made from beads, i bought a really nice one made from black and silver beads that looks quite dressy. That was our brief encounter with South Africa. Tomorrow we fly to Nairobi in Kenya at 9:50am, i think its about a 5 hour flight.
2: Nairobi, Kanya. Arrive flight SA 182 at 1440 hrs. Transfer to the STANLEY | 04/09/2007 - Another good start, Dad's bag didn't arrive as well as about 5 other people on the flight so they said they'd fly the bags up tomorrow, so hopefully it turns up! The landscape in Kenya is completely different to South Africa. We were met & picked up at the airport by a lady named Lucy who was very nice and helpful. There was heaps of traffic driving to our hotel and there were people walking up and down between the cars selling all sorts of stuff like hats, soccer balls, inflatable toys, peanuts, beltsblank cd's, fruit.. so much random stuff! I made a joke that you could do all your shopping in traffic on the way home. We drove past a whole bunch of trees that had Stalks nesting in them. They are massive birds. We are staying at the Starova Stanley which is an old English hotel/pub. Lucy also organised a driver for us for tomorrow to take us to a whole heap of places. We're going to the Elephant Orphanage , The Giraffe centre, a bead factory & some other palces. Then maybe a tour of the city if we feel like it. We ate at a restaurant downstairs and tried some African dishes. I had Traditional Kuku ya Kupaka which is Kenyan style chicken stew cooked in coconut, tomato and corriander served with Ugali roulade and sukuma wiki. | 05/09/2007 - Today was awesome. We went for a walk around Nairobi this morning & got picked up at 10:15 by Lucy's friend Ken. We went to the Elephant Orphanage and on the way there we saw some Babboons on the side of the road. The Elephants were so cute and playful. They were jumping all over each other, throwing dirt on themselves, there were also warthogs there and a Rhino wandered out of the bushes which was really cool. There were also two Massai people there in their tribal gear with piercings and we got photos with them. Mum ended up having a big conversation with the. They seemed to take a liking to her. From there we went to the Giraffe centre which was also really cool. You could feed & pet them. They also had this thing called a Giraffe kiss which you put some food in your mouth and the Giraffe takes it from your mount. I ended up having Giraffe slober all over my face! We then went to an African craft market where we had lunch. Then we came back to the hotel.
3: At the Elephant orphanage there was a warthog on its elbows searching for food, it looked so funny. Simon said there were some doing the same thing at the Giraffe center. We also learnt the meaning of the colours on the Kenyan flag. Red is for bloodshed, white is for peace, green is for the land and black is for the people.
4: 0715 hrs. Transfer to Wilson Airport for Safari Link flight to Amboseli departing at 0815 hrs. Met on Arrival and transfer to Amboseli Serena Lodge. Afternoon Game drive. | 06/09/2007 - We were picked up at 6:30am this morning as our flight had changed.On the drive there were thousands of people rushing along the streets.They are all looking for work. They are people from the slums which house about 800,000 people. They go looking for a job just for the dayThey live as a massive community & if someone doesn't have food for the day, or doesn't have enough money for school fees, all the neighbours will pitch in. The President of Africa was at the airport and we saw him get on his plane. Our flight was awesome, we flew over the Rift Valley & we weren't flying very high & could see the trails on the ground where all the animals walk & you can see all the Masai villages. Just before we landed we saw some water buffalo below us.
5: We were picked up by Elijah & Duncan who are going to be driving us everywhere for the next two days. We got to the Lodge & were served champagne & breakfast Simon then started feeding monkeys & i took a photo, then i wanted a photo feeding monkeys & Simon told me to stop feeding it so he could sort out the camera & the little bastard bit me! | We were picked up for our first game drive at 10:30am & saw heaps of animals, we had a massive family of elephants cross the road right in front of us. That was pretty amazing. We saw two Giraffeand there were heaps of dust storms that look like little tornadoes. That is what Amboseli stands for, twisting dust.The game drive in the afternoon at 4pm we saw 5 cheetas that had just killed & half eaten a gazelle, we also saw a pride of Lions with 4 cubs, they were just laying around under the trees. At the end of that drive Simon asked to go back to the Cheetahs in hope of seeing vulchures & Hyenas eating the left over of the kill. But all the Cheetahs were eating again. | We went and sat on the lounges before dinner & they had a man playing a guitar & singing. Then we saw two hyenas walk through the trees in front of us.
8: Full day in the Amboseli National Park with game Drives. Overnight at Amboseli Serena Lodge. Weather: Warm and Sunny | 07/09/2007 - Our day started at 6:30am with a beautiful sunrise and the sun shining through the dust trails as animals walked. The first thing we saw is the pride of Lions we saw yesterday, they had killed an animal & the Hyena's & Jackals were eating the carcass. We drove around to where we saw them yesterday and there were two male Lions they were both only about 5 years old & their miens weren't very long. We saw some vultures in the trees & we were driving & saw that the Lions that had killed the animal before were walking to where we were stopped. So we decided to wait for them which turned out to be a fantastic idea & the 2 male lions came over to meet the females & cubs & they walked right in front and next to our truck. Then 2 water buffalo started fighting on the other side of the truck which was awesome! We saw a stalk in the swamp & 3 Zebra came and drank from the water right in front of it. & us. We followed one male elephant in the truck and it turned around & shook its head at us which meant it didn't like what we were doing. And i got a great photo of it!
9: The game drive in the afternoon started well, We were going to visit a Masai Village & on the drive there, there was a bridge & a water buffalo standing right in the middle of it. We drove towards it & it turned to us to charge but then another truck came that was bigger than ours which made the water buffalo run away.v The Masai tribe did a dance for us & showed us their village & inside a hut which is made from cow dung and ash. They said the ash keeps the termites away. Then they showed us how they made fire with two sticks which was pretty cool. There was a cute little girl there that kept smiling at us and mum was trying to talk to her and she got shy and went in her hut. They have pens in the middle of the village where they keep their goats & cattle. It was all pretty great until the end when they took us out the back where they had set up little stalls and put us under heaps of pressure which pissed us all off for the rest of the day. On our drive back we stopped and climbed up 'Observation hill' & watched the sunset which was beautiful. We had an Elephant charge at our vehicle and we played chicken with it for about 5 mins until it gave up and walked away. We also had a hippo walk across the road in front of us. We had a lovely bush bbq dinner at the back of the lodge out in the bushes which was super tasty!
12: 08/09/2007 - We flew from Amboseli to Nairobi then Nairobi to Lewa then Lewa to Samburu. We had to pick people up at Lewa but the were running late so Simon & Dad were talking to the pilot & the pilot let dad sit in the co-pilot seat from Lewa to Samburu. We were picked up by a man named Jelly and taken to the Intrepid which will be our accommodation for the next 3 nights. We are staying in tents which is pretty cool! They are up on stilts and have proper beds inside. The bar and eating area are really nice, up on stilts also, they are like open wooden huts with woven roves. | Morning transfer to Airstrip for Safari Link flight to Nairobi departing at 0905hrs. Connecting flight to Samburu at 1020 hrs. Met on arrival & transfer to Samburu Intrepids. Afternoon game drive. Stay overnight at Samburu Intrepids. | We had lunch which was really nice, everywhere we've been the food has been great & the steak over here is the best i've ever had! The beer is good too, it's called Tusker. We were picked up at 4pm by our tour guide Dominick & went for our first game drive.The landscape is completely different to Amboseli. Here there are lots of trees & shrubs & has mountain ranges all around us. We saw a Leopard in a tree, a whole heap of Girafe right next to the road with awesome dark storm clouds in the background. Two of the males were fighting. That was pretty cool. The big storm was heading towards us & we drove back in the rain & got wet & had to run back to our rooms in heavy rain. We then sat in the bar & had cocktails before dinner.
13: 09/09/2007 - We had a game drive at 6:30am this morning. We didn't see much except heaps of birds, we drove along the river & saw two male Impalas fighting, their horns crashing together made a really cool noise. We saw some water buffalo in the distance but it was really nice just driving around. The landscape is beautiful & the sun was low, the air cool & crisp. We all relaxed around the room after breakfast and were picked up at 3:30pm for our game drive. We didn't see much for a while, but pulled up right in front of 3 water buffalo on the side of the road. We saw heaps of Impala, baboons & Guinea foul all eating together by the river. We saw some elephants and got some nice shots of the surrounding mountains. We were pretty much near our lodge & saw 4 elephants that crossed the road in front of us a few times. Then we saw a giraffe walking along side the road. We had a talk from a local Samburu tribal guy before dinner. I decided to skip dinner because i was tired & our waiter Risto bought dinner to my tent for me which was really nice of him! He has been looking after us really well!
18: 10/09/2007 - We organised for a later game drive this morning, we had breakfast then headed out at 7:30am. We crossed the river to drive around buffalo springs. | We saw a family of Elephants, about 20 of them & they walked in front of us. We saw about 10 vultures circling about us, then we saw a Leopard up in a tree eating a kill. It had killed a male impala & the herd of Impalas it was with were hanging around closely making noises, which are noises they make when they are mourning. We spent our time before our afternoon game drive relaxing by the pool.
19: We saw a heard of Orix on our afternoon game drive which is awesome because they are rare! We drove to the top of some plane and there were volcanic rocks everywhere, we then crossed a section where a river of lava had flown. So cool. We then stopped & got out of the truck on another observation hill which gave us an awesome view of the surrounding mountains.
22: 11/09/2007 - I got a photo with Risto this morning and he gave me his email address so i could send it to him. Our flight was good, over a lot of green hills and plains, we saw 2 big waterfalls from the plane in mountain valleys below. We had a bit of a walk around the lodge& checked out the observation deck at the back of the Lodge. There is a large pond where there were a lot of Hippos. The lodges are nice here & they have big grassed areas. The food however, is terrible. | After lunch a massive storm came over, had heaps of thunder and poured for about an hour. It was still cloudy when we went out for our game drive, all the roads were wet and the car kept sliding in the mud. There were a few times when the car slid around sideways. It was so much fun. We saw a massive herd of wildebeest as well as Hyenas, Elans, 2 female lions walking and a whole group of Lions sleeping, two right on the side of the road and then heaps were in amongst the bushes. We also saw some Topi. | Morning transfer to the airstrip for Safari Link flight to the Mara departing at 0930 hrs. Met on arrival at Keekorok airstrip and transfer to Keekorok Lodge. Afternoon game drive. Overnight at the Keekorok Lodge.
23: 12/09/2007 - We had a full day game drive today. We were picked up at 9:30 & our guide Tim who had organised a packed lunch for us. We drove over the border to Tanzania to see if we could see a herd if animals crossing the river. On the way over there we saw some cheetahs on the side of the road eating a baby Impala. We saw a male Lion on its own sleeping under a tree we saw vultures eating the head of a wildebeest. Just before we crossed the border we got out near the river & there were heaps of hippos. | There was a guide who took us for a crocodile walk & we saw a dead wildebeest in the water. Over the border we saw a herd of wildebeest at the top of a hill next to the river they kept wandering down to cross, but kept walking back up. There were heaps of vultures in the river eating all the carcasses that had got stuck on rocks. We saw another cheetah on the way back and we had another afternoon storm. The smell of rain was so lovely.
24: 13/09/2007 - We saw 3 black Rhino's on our game drive this morning! A female & its calf and then a male further away. We couldn't get very close as our driver said the vehicle would scare them off. We finally saw a male lion with a big mein! There was a whole pride & one of the cubs kept jumping on all the others. The big male was eating then all the other lions came over to eat. They walked right past our truck and if i thought of it earlier and wasn't standing, i could have opened the window & petted it as it walked past. I had a long sleep after that drive and mum was feeling sick so didn't go on the afternoon drive.
25: The first lot of Lions were on rocks, simon threw some shillings in front of one so it would look up at us & the third one he trew scared the crap out of it & it ran around behind a bush. There was one female that must have been about to give birth she was so fat and looked so uncomfortable, she kept shifting her position and was panting really heavily. We saw heaps of vultures eating a carcas on the side of the road, there must have been about 15 of them. We saw another pair of lions, a male and a female sleeping in grass on the side of the road, the male was pretty old as his mein was very black. The two were mating then having rests between.
26: 236 HURUMZI | STONETOWN | ZANZIBAR | heaps of narrow streets, like the ones you see on tv in Italy, at first i wasn't sure this place would be any good. We had to get out of the car and walk the rest of the way because the streets were so narrow. The hotel was really awesome inside. It has all different types of rooms, we stayed in the best rooms on the top floor, the east and south rooms. This is the description of our rooms: EAST: FACING THE RISING SUN, THIS SPACIOUS ROOM IS A FAVOURITE FOR ITS LIGHT BREEZES AND SPECTACULAR VIEW. This is the room Simon & I stayed in, the walls were made of lattice, no fly screen or anything, it was almost as if we were outdoors. There was also an open shower & bath. SOUTH: A VERANDAH GARDEN SEPERATES THE AIRY BEDROOM FROM A SEMI-OPEN BATH UNDER THE STARS. This is where mum & dad stayed, it was so cool, the bath & shower were outdoors, would have been awesome to sit in the bath on a clear night. The breakfast area was above us and was the best 360 degree views of the town. It was fully open and a nice breeze was passing through. The stairs through the hotel are huge, each step is as high as my knees. | 15/09/2007 - This place is the coolest!! We stayed at the | Hurumzi in Stonetown last night, and wow its amazing! On the way here we drove through
28: ZANZIBAR | 17/09/2007 - The last two days Simon & I have been out windsurfing. We are leaving here at 10am tomorrow so plan on going for another windsurf before then. It's so much fun i struggle a little when the winds are stronger because i don't have enough strength in my arms. We went for a run along the beach 2 nights ago which was the first decent exercise i've had all trip, it was great. By the time we had breakfast today the tide was too low for windsurfing so we went kayaking, we tried to head all the way to the reef but the water was getting too shallow so we had to head back in. We got fresh coconuts and ate & drank them on the beach. Once the tide was low Simon & i walked out to the reef, it's pretty far, took us about half an hour to walk there & there were so many sea urchins. We saw heaps of colourful fish & starfish. We had lunch on the deck above the pool when we got back & i had a few Pina coladas. Two couples have gotten married here over the last two days, the people here spend all morning weaving the fronz off the coconut palms.
30: 18/09/2007 - Simon & I went for a little Kayak this morning, the rest of the day was pretty much spent flying & waiting at airports. There were only 2 seats left on the flight from Dar Es Saalaam. If we didn't get on it would have meant we'd miss our connecting flight to Vic falls & it would be the end of the trip. We were relying on no shows which there ended up being 5, so lucky for us! We are staying at the airport grand in Jo'berg & catching an early flight to Vic Falls tomorrow morning. The hotel is pretty cool except we're at the start of the runway, all the planes that came in looked close enough to land on our roof, they are pretty loud too! | 19/09/2007 - We were picked up from our hotel this morning & taken to the airport. The flight to Vic Falls was a bit over an hour. We had bought a commercial ticket for this flight but it was the safest flight to be on standby on cuz there were heaps of spare seats! When we got to our hotel, The Kingdom, we walked to the Falls which is about a 5-10 min walk from here. They are pretty cool! I was taking photos with sSimon but he kept pulling faces. hehe. The first waterfall was pretty big & there were two rainbows from all the spray coming up from the falls. It was hot walking in the sun and really refreshing when you got sprayed, it was like a short shower. We also saw a bushbuck in the bushes on our way back
32: VICTORIA FALLS
34: 20/09/2007 - TODAY WAS THE COOLEST EVER!!!!!! This morning we went walking with Lions that were about 18 months old. We got to follow them while they walked around the bush & got to pet them while they were lying down . While they were walking we got to hold their tails & walk behind them. When i was holding the tail of one Lion the other Lion walked up from behind me and joined the other Lion beside it, and i picked up it's tail too and was walking holding the tails of both Lions. It was so good! The Lions stopped again and everyone got photos petting them and we got a really good family shot together. Out of the group I was the only one to get o scratch one of the Lions around it's chin, the African man that was walking with us told me that he can see i wasn't afraid and told me to lay my head on the Lion's head. It was so awesome, the Lion was all sleepy and loving the scratches. He was just like my dog. On the way back the Lions saw a warthog & started sneaking up on it & then chased it. They didn't catch it but it was pretty cool. Before we went back we went to a watering hold where the Lions had a drink and we got photos with them there again too. We got some pictures with some baby Lions at the end that were really playful and cute. Simon said he's just had the best day of his life, he did the flying fox, Zip line, which is like the flying fox but more of a free fall. Then he did a canyon swing which was a 70 meter free fall then he did a bungee jump. He went to his room after that for a sleep because he was exhausted but couldn't sleep because he's so excited. Good way to spend your 21st! | SIMON'S 21ST