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Blogs containing the tag Africa
41 Posts
Stuck at Nairobi airport for Christmas Eve
24 December, Friday; Nairobi Airport, Kenya. After our amazing time in the Ngorongoro Crater it was time to start our very long journey home. First, to Arusha and a stop at Good Earth Tours headquarters where we were able to take a shower. I was glad that I didn’t have to board the plane after being in the 4x4 with the top off for hours on dusty roads.  
The Awe-Inspiring Ngorongoro Crater
24 December, Friday; Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. We woke up early to see the sunrise over Ngorongoro Crater. What a great way to start Christmas Eve, though it doesn’t feel like it’s Christmas.  
The Doors of Zanzibar
The doors of Zanzibar are legendary. I couldn’t find exactly what started the trend but it dates back to 1700s. On our whistle-stop shopping trip I grabbed as many photos as could, when not being offered Boa boards for ever-decreasing amounts.  
From Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater
23 December, Thursday; Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. After packing up, we left the lodge for our last game drive in the Serengeti en route to Ngorongoro Crater. Although the wildlife in the Serengeti was amazing, we were definitely ready to leave. We weren’t very pleased with our lodge, the Seronera Wildlife Lodge.  
The Curious Case of the Limping Lioness
23 December, Thursday; Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Today we bid farewell to the life-filled plains of the Serengeti. We awoke before 6am this morning for an early morning game drive.  
Simba Sightings in the Serengeti
22 December, Wednesday; Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Ben explained to me before we left about how close we would be able to get to the animals on our game drives. I didn’t really believe him; I thought he was exaggerating a little bit. He was right, though.  
2,500 Miles of Drive By Shootings
We covered over 2,500 miles by road in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Along the way there was plenty of interesting, and quite often amusing sites to keep me and my camera entertained. What can you carry on your head? Not pictured here is the woman Lisa saw in Rwanda carrying a 3-seater wicker couch on her head!  
Baboon Wake-Up Call
21 December, Tuesday; Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. We set our alarm to wake us up this morning in time to get breakfast and meet our guide at 8:30. Little did we know that we would not actually need an alarm. Apparently, the baboons that live around our hotel feel that it’s their duty to wake up all of the guests each morning.  
Safari, Lodge Style
20 December, Monday; Lake Manyara, Tanzania. It was not difficult to leave Zanzibar this morning, for we had already fallen in love with Pemba, not Zanzibar. Plus, we were looking forward to our safari on mainland Tanzania. Ben played dumb with the check in agent and got us out of having to pay for extra weight.  
Exotic Zanzibar
19 December, Sunday; Zanzibar, Tanzania. We sadly said goodbye to Fundu Lagoon and Pemba Island today. When we booked that part of the trip, we were a little hesitant that we might get a bored towards the end of the stay. Quite the contrary, we found.  
Diving in Pemba
Sometime in December; Pemba Island, Tanzania. We knew we wanted to do some diving on our honeymoon, especially as it will include Ben’s 100th dive. We spared our divemaster the pain of doing what is apparently a tradition for dive 100 whereby you dive naked. Ben was surely glad to be informed that the water was cold enough that he’d have to wear a wet suit.  
How’s your lift?
19 December, Saturday; Pemba Island, Tanzania. Fundu Lagoon is very coupley. This is not surprising. Nearly everything I’ve read about the place talks about honeymooners and the place was most definitely filled with honeymooners when we visited.  
Still on Safari?
Sometime in December, no clue what DOTW; Pemba Island, Tanzania. When we booked our time at Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island, we were expecting a break from safari. We knew that the resort was a bit rustic, but we hadn’t given much thought about wildlife that we might encounter on Pemba. In our first 24 hours, we were visited by  
OMLG, What a difference a day makes
13 December, Monday; Fundu Lagoon, Pemba Island, Tanzania. We had twelve hours of travel today and it was worth every second to get here. Picture this – a private boat ride to our resort that currently has ten current guests, three bars, pool, spa, dive shop, open-air restaurant and a seemingly endless stretch of beach looking out onto an azure sea. More importantly – our own private suite to celebrate our honeymoon in style.  
The End of One Adventure
12 December, Sunday; Nairobi, Kenya. Today was both a sad and happy day. On one hand, I am sad to leave this group of people and our overland adventure. On the other hand, I’m excited to be heading to Tanzania.  
Back to Kenya
11 December, Saturday; Eldoret, Kenya. Today we said goodbye to Uganda, a country that really left an impression on me. I hadn’t given it too much thought before the trip, as I was mostly focused on the gorilla trek in Rwanda. The country is fantastically lush, green and beautiful.  
Jet Boating in Jinja
10 December, Friday; Jinja, Uganda. We had a day of leisure today – no planned activities for the group, which is a nice change of pace. Ben and I decide that we’d rather do jet boating with Adrift instead of a full day of rafting. I didn’t expect to have as much fun as we did on the jet boat, even though we were doused with rain.  
A downer day to a delightful evening
9 December, Thursday; Lake Mburo to Jinja, Uganda. Today started as a downer. It’s just really hard to stay positive when it’s cold and raining and none of us has taken a shower in more than 24 hours. Taking down the tent when it’s cold and muddy is worse than normal.  
Wet and Wild
8 December, Wednesday; Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. It was an early morning departure from our warm, blanket-covered bed at Lake Bunyonyi. I felt a bit down today, realizing that the remainder of the trip is just getting back to Nairobi. After seeing the gorillas, the rest of the trip feels a bit like filler.  
Agashya, the Gorilla, and his Women
7 December, Tuesday; Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. Today is G-Day. The reason we’re all on this trip. We’ve spent that last 12 days building up to this day and it did not disappoint.  
Rain, Rain, Go Away
6 December, Monday; Mucenze, Rwanda. We had a much-needed break today with a day of no activities. Our gorilla trekking permits are dated for tomorrow, so we will wait here at the church mission where we are staying. The good news – another day of not having to pitch or take down tents since we are staying in dorms.  
Oops, I just peed on myself
Going to the toilet on this trip is quite an adventure. Most of our campsites have western style flush toilets and a few have pit toilets. However, toilet breaks along the way are typically squat/drop toilets. And they are NOT pretty.  
Into the Mist
05 December, Sunday; Mucenze, Rwanda. We had an early morning departure from beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. All night, we kept hearing the pitter patter of an animal walking out onto our porch, sitting there for quite a while, and then pitter pattering off. We quickly realized it was a dog (or dogs) and they were friendly, so I drifted off to sleep in peace, revelling in the fact that I didn’t have to take the tent down in the morning.  
Nelly the Elephant and a Lake Swim
4 December, Saturday; Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. We survived the night on Hippo Hill with no incidents. After breakfast, we had a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. On today’s menu – lots more elephants and some scared warthogs (thus, no photos of the little buggers).  
An Elephant Crossing
3 December, Friday; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. On our drive back to camp after the boat tour, we were stopped along the way due to a herd of elephants crossing the road. The locals were not very impressed and tried their best to scare them off with stones. The Elephants had other ideas and actually created their own smoke screen with the dirt to hide the baby’s as they crossed.  
Hungry, Hungry Hippos
3 December, Friday; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. After settling in at our camp on Hippo Hill, we drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park and encountered a large herd of elephants, which are magnificent creatures.   
A Poke in the Butt and the Fake Equator
3 December, Friday; Kibale, Uganda. Lucky for me, today was an easy travel day. I wasn’t feeling well the night before and welcomed an easy day. Driving along the road can sometimes be boring and sometimes quite interesting.  
2 December, Thursday; Kigale, Uganda. Today is the chimp trek day! The highlight of the trip for us (and everyone else) is the gorillas. I honestly didn’t put too much thought into the chimp trek, but as we started hearing about it, our excitement grew.  
1 December, Wednesday; Kampala to Kigale, Uganda. Today is a long travel day so we wake up early and break down camp in the cold dampness. I’m all about helping out with the chores, but I have to say that taking down the tent when it’s wet outside is definitely my least favorite. Funny enough, our tour leader asks me why I’m so clean.  
I am Mzungu
30 November, Tuesday; Kampala, Uganda. Breakfast at 6:30 today and tents down beforehand. After 2 days, we’re finally starting to get the hang of it, but welcomed some help this morning breaking down our tent. Surely next time we’ll nail it on our own.  
Gorillas, Chimps and Game Parks
29 November, Monday; Nakuru to Eldoret, Kenya. We woke up on a chilly Monday morning and the Baggage Dilemma was ancient history, nearly erased from our memories. We emerged from our tent after a somewhat sleepless night and greeted our travelling mates for the next 2+ weeks. To our luck, they are a fantastic group.  
The Luggage Dilemma
28 November, Sunday evening; Somewhere between Nairobi and Nakuru, Kenya. To a weary traveller, especially one in a foreign country, seeing other travellers leave with their bags while you wait, wondering if yours will arrive, feels like the most agonizing time ever. When it’s the third flight without your bags arriving, it’s three times as agonizing. After spending the day at a cafe at the Nairobi airport, we made our way to the arrivals hall, having to get official passes this time.  
An Afternoon at the Nairobi airport
28 November, Sunday afternoon; Nairobi airport, Kenya. Just how I wanted to spend a day of our honeymoon – hanging out at the airport in Nairobi. And by hanging out, I don’t mean at the Star Alliance lounge being plied with cocktails and snacks. Our bags didn’t show up on last night’s flight and our safari has officially left without us.  
I am a spoiled traveller and it’s all Ben’s fault
28 November, Sunday evening; Nairobi, Kenya. I feel that I must preface this blog that I wrote before arriving in Kenya and dealing with our baggage situation. I have it good. I have it really good.  
One lump or two?
26 November, Friday afternoon; Cape Town, South Africa. On our Australian trip, we had high tea one afternoon at our hotel and I was hooked, even though I’m not really a tea drinker. There is something so civilized about sitting down and taking a break from the day with tea, finger sandwiches, scones and cakes. We went searching for a hotel that served afternoon tea.  
Travel (un)luck strikes again
27 November, Saturday; Nairobi, Kenya. Many folks know about the bad luck that Ben and I have with travelling. So far the honeymoon has been going well. So far.  
Cider, Coke and Clown Fish
24 November, Wednesday; Cape Town, South Africa. Thinking that we got a great start on the morning (for us…we don’t have kids and like to sleep in!), we arrived at the Robben Island visitor’s center at 9:30am to be told that they were sold out for the next 5 days. Bummer, but I guess that just means we have a built-in excuse to visit Cape Town again! After a leisurely stroll around the waterfront and marina, we stopped to enjoy a cider before heading to the aquarium.  
Lisa eats (and enjoys) sushi
24 November, Wednesday; Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve never been a big fan of sushi. I like sushi restaurants, but I seldom order raw fish. I’ve been extending my tastes, though.  
Our first animals
23 November, Tuesday; Cape Town, South Africa. The main focus of our trip (well, besides spending time together) was seeing animals. Our first full day wasn’t meant to be about animals, but it was a nice sneak peak. First sighting.  
Cape Point 2002 & 2010
It’s not often that you get to compare two photos of yourself 8 years apart. When we visited Cape Point yesterday I was suddenly reminded of a photo Tracey took of me back in 2002. So Lisa kindly did the honours and now we have me in 2002 and me in 2010. Spot the difference?  
Four weeks until our Honeymoon
It’s just under 4 weeks until we leave for our Honeymoon, and 2 weeks until we move out of our loft in San Francisco! We’ve got a lot to do before we go, including trying to watch a game in the World Series (The Giants stadium is 500 yards from our loft). Everything’s booked, and our five week trip is going to be awesome. We leave on the 20th Nov, returning to Seattle on Christmas day. In total we’ll fly 25,023 miles, drive 1,335 in an Intrepid Truck and 265 miles in a 4x4.  

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