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SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2000
Having recently returned from nearly two months in "Darkest Africa," we would love to share a few of our favorite pictures along with some other tidbits of information. To begin, it's an amazing and fascinating environment and it's the most "different" place we've visited. Everyone was a wonderful host – our guides, local people, shop keeps and individuals working in lodges, hotels and restaurants. It's nearly impossible to describe the experience in words but we tried, so read on. Also, there's lots of photo's because "a picture is worth a thousand words!"
Basically, our trip was centered on five photographic wildlife safaris. After arriving on the continent in South Africa, we transferred the following day to Kenya. Our initial days there were spent in the Nairobi area, basically to get us acclimated to the time difference (9 hours!) and to introduce us to animal watching. The Nairobi National Park (more details on the "Kenya Page") was a half-day drive and provided great opportunities to see our first wildlife.
After spending time in Nairobi, we were driven to Tanzania in a Land Rover. The border crossing was quite an experience. Imagine being surrounded by 20 native (Maasai) women trying to get you to buy their goods. It makes shopping in a Mexican market a non-event! Tanzania was our first safari. There we visited the wonderful parks of Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park. All spectacular and more beautiful than the footage you've seen on Nature (PBS) or the Discovery Channel.
When we left Tanzania, we returned to Kenya to begin our first of two safaris there. We visited the Samburu National Park where we had our first stay in a tented camp. Next, we visited the famous Treetops Hotel (more details on the "Kenya" page) for an evening of animal watching over it's waterhole. Next came the Kenyan lakes – Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha – and we ended our safari in the unbelievable Maasai Mara.
When we finished this safari, we began the second in Kenya. This time we spent the week in Hilton Hotel's private game reserve. It's located between two national parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West. This part of the country is famous for its once infamous man-eating lions. They stalked railroad workers in this area killing and eating well over 100 before being killed by big game hunters hired by the railroad. "The Ghost and the Darkness" with Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas is an accurate portrayal of the story (and a darn good movie!). If you want to see the man-eaters now, they're in the Field Museum in Chicago. We didn't run into any of their kin other than the game-eating guys who still reside in the park.
Our fourth safari took us to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We again were in a tented camp but this one was accessible only by air. Due to the small aircraft and landing strip, we were limited to 10kg (~20 lbs) of luggage per person. This added to the packing challenge for a 7 week trip but did help us limit our souvenir purchases! The setting was great and very different as we were surrounded by water instead of being in dry, arid areas. Yes, we did get to do some fishing! Of course, it always fun when you go to a place where you first have to buzz the landing strip to get the zebra to move off it.
We next went to Zimbabwe where we visited the Victoria Falls area. It's as beautiful as we had heard in advance and a great part of the overall itinerary. Unfortunately, we couldn't take any animal safaris in Zimbabwe due to the political unrest there.
Our final safari took us to Namibia. It's amazing to think of doing a safari in a country that is almost completely desert. We had lots of surprises even before arriving in Namibia's premier park, Etosha.
In summary, it was as this site says, "Lindy
& Ed's Excellent Adventure!!"