New US Passport Laws go into effect June 1, 2009!
Okay, I have no excuse for not blogging since we returned from our safari! Well, actually, I have several excuses but none are valid (except for the one about waiting for the stars to be aligned with the orbit of Jupiter—that, my friends, is a very valid reason!).
I will try to upload a movie I made of our safari to Botswana and Zambia. It was our 5th safari in 9 years and we loved every minute of it! Thank you, thank you, thank you to our friends at Wilderness Safaris! We had an amazing adventure! To whet your appetite: we saw a buffalo tree a lioness, a hyena stalk one of Legadema’s cubs (Legadema, a leopard, is the star of a National Geographic film that chronicled her life), and two starry-eyed humans celebrate their 10th anniversary with a private candlelight dinner a deux at Vumbura Plains (that would be yours truly and Michael, of course!)
Next post I’ll update you on White Knight 2, the mother ship for Spaceship 2. She’ll be unveiled in 2 weeks to the press and I’ll see her a month from today. That reminds me, have you reserved a seat on Virgin Galactic, yet? What are you waiting for? Trust me, the stars have definitely aligned with Jupiter!
No matter what day you think it is, while reading this post, pretend today is June 8th! Unlike Toto, we didn’t hate our version of Oz! We loved our safari and the friends we made along the journey. Like Toto, we came back on June 8th to Kansas! I believe a well-balanced life of a traveler consists of planning glorious journeys, taking the journey, happily returning home, and, best of all, savoring the memories!
As soon as we get our photos together, I’ll post a link to the Picasa website to share with you!
Now, it’s Sunday,June 8th, in the late morning and in Mauritius it’s 9 hours ahead. My body is here in KC, but my body clock tells me I’m still many thousand miles East of here. Jet lag and all, it’s great to be home!
NOTE: For those of you who faithfully followed my directions in my original “pre-Safari” post back in May, bravo! I must admit that I am now totally confused because I am writing this and envisioning myself being back from our journey AND I haven’t yet left! Since I didn’t take my laptop with me, I pre-entered my posts as if we were communicating from Africa. Confused yet? I’m dizzy! I think I need a vacation!
Saturday May 31 2008
Today you will be assisted to your scheduled road transfer from the River Club to Livingstone Airport. At Livingstone Airport, you will be assisted to your light aircraft transfer to Kafue Airstrip, for your helicopter transfer from Kafue Airstrip to Shumba Camp. Please note that in some instances you may experience a delay at Busanga airstrip & heli pad before your transfer to the lodge – this is due to the limited number of seats available on the helicoptorer. Depending on your transfer time to the lodge, wilderness Safaris will make the appropriate arrangements in terms of this connection – a ranger will accompany you at all times.
At 22 500 sq km, Kafue National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Africa. In the extreme north of the Kafue lie the Busanga Plains – one of Zambia’s most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remain untouched by development and human activity. The Busanga Plains cover an area of approximately 750 sq km and Shumba Camp is located on the fringes of this wildlife paradise. The Plains are home to thousands of red lechwe, ubiquitous puku, stately roan and sable as well as the diminutive oribi and duiker. The Defassa waterbuck, herds of tsessebe, hartebeest, zebra and buffalo make for a full set of antelope. This wealth of game on the plains is also a big attraction for predators, including leopards, wild dogs, cheetah and prides of lion up to 20 strong. Shumba Bush Camp comprises six spacious luxury safari tents on raised platforms with breathtaking views of the surrounding plains. A maximum of 12 guests can be accommodated at any one time and great emphasis has been placed on the “guided” experience – being led by qualified, enthusiastic people with in-depth knowledge of the area and its wildlife. Guests have the option of game drives in and around the Plains and night drives provide the added excitement of the nocturnal wonders of the area. For those interested in birding, the Park boasts 491 species of birds, including endemics such as Chaplin’s Barbet.
Thursday May 29 2008
|Today you will be assisted to your light aircraft transfer from Kings Pool Camp to
The River Club is a sunlit bubble of comfort and hospitality that lies dreaming in dappled shade overlooking the Zambezi River, 18km upstream from the world-famousVictoria Falls. The River Club, with its Edwardian-style house and manicured lawns on the banks of the swift-flowing
Activities include sundowner cruises, fishing, visits to the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, Simonga Village and Mosi-Oa-Tunya
Before I begin, I remind you that today is Monday, May 19th—no matter what day it really is! If you’re not following my logic, I invite you to re-read the last post.
May 19, 2008
Using frequent flyer points sometimes requires a person to fly from here to there in less than perfect timing, flight connections, etc. Our flight to South Africa is an example of the perils of using mileage points. Although it is not an unusual flight plan, it has a very long layover.
Leader Limo (the absolute best in KC!) picked us up this morning and whisked us to Kansas City International Airport (we will never be in contention for “World’s Busiest”–thank God!) where we boarded our flight to Cincinnati. Did you know that Cincinnati is the home of Graeter’s Ice Cream? Ice cream afficionados know these things, of course! Oprah knows this, too, and has given her seal of approval to Graeter’s!
Because we have several hours to enjoy the Cincinnati Airport (which can be easily enjoyed in less than one hour), we contemplated renting a car to go to the nearest Graeter’s store. We planned to pig out on their divine creations and lug our sated, bloated bodies back to the airport while toting some extra pints of this mother’s milk packed in dry ice! Go ahead and scoff! You haven’t tried Graeter’s, have you?
Bowing to the gods of moderation and judgement, we decided we’d just sit at the airport, do Sudoku puzzles, eat the delicious food always available at airports worldwide, peruse the exciting shops (all together now—Wilson Leather, PGA shop, the book store, Brookstone, the Duty-Free shop, the local souvenir shop, et al), inspect the restrooms, do Sudoku, get bored, wish I had brought my laptop, look at my watch, re-inspect the bathrooms, tape my watch to my forehead so it dangles before my eyes, eliminating the repetitive wrist strain of checking the time every minute, and finally board the flight to Paris.
Tune in tomorrow for my exciting entries in the saga of the Traveling Kings!
Last month you and I kept up-to-date frequently as we journeyed throughout India. While you may have been entertained (and I certainly hope you were), this method of journaling helped me chronicle all the amazing experiences we had. I’ve discovered I have Sometimer’s Disease—Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don’t. Electronic journaling becomes my version of “data storage!”
On Monday, May 19th, we are off on another adventure—this time to our “home away from home,” Africa! We will be on safari in Botswana and Zambia, arrangements made by our wonderful friends at Wilderness Safaris, followed by 3 relaxing nights in Mauritius as guests of the Oberoi Mauritius. Book-end this journey with stays in Johannesburg and you have our essential itinerary.
Because there is no Internet connection in the bush, I’ve decided not to take my laptop with me. Okay, I heard you cheer—watch it!
Knowing that you may really want to follow our journey, I am posting our itinerary in advance. All you need to do to make it current is to draw stick figures of Michael and me on your computer screen each day as you read about where we’ll be. You might want to add little leopards, elephants, hippos, and lions, too.
Here’s what I suggest: I am going to post the itinerary today and will divide the posts by destinations in order of visit. Your job is to read each post ON THE DAY(S) we are at those safari camps/hotels. Because we will be staying in one place for a few days at a time, you’ll have the opportunity to re-read each post and, if lucky, memorize it so you can use it as your “mantra of the day” or perhaps share it as a juicy tidbit at the next cocktail party you attend!
So, are we ready to begin? Let’s head off to the next post!