Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christmas Day flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all. Woke up in Natchez at 5:30 am to no electricity and pouring rain. Not the start I had hoped for to begin my Africa trip. Fortunately for me, my cousin, Brad, had agreed to drive me to the airport. I arrived at the airport at 9:25 am and within 5 minutes I had checked a bag, cleared security and made it to my gate. No one flying today. Now only 2.5 hr wait but better safe than sorry.   

I will have a 2 hr. layover in Atlanta and then a 15 hr. 20 minute direct flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. I am staying at a hostel only 1.5 miles from the airport in Johannesburg because I fly to Livingston, Zambia the next day to begin my week at Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls has always been somewhere I wanted to visit.On January 4th, I will join an Overland Truck Safari. We will be camping in tents most of the time and will travel to Botswana, Namimbia and end in Cape Town, South Africa. The 21 day safari will include 4-5 National Parks and will include the incredible sand dunes in Namimbia.

At the end of the safari I will spend another 5-6 days in Cape Town and then head out on my on through South Africa and Zimbabwae before flying to Uganda for 3-4 weeks. Searching for and visiting with the mountain gorillas will no doubt be the highlight of this trip but you never know.  Not sure of any other destinations, will play it by ear.

Will post pictures when the internet is available and affordable.     

Monday, April 29, 2013

December 26, 2012

Arrived in Johannesburg around 5:45 pm after a 15.5 hr. direct flight from Atlanta. Either the longest direct flight or tied for it in the world. I got South African money (Rand), collected my bags and called the Shoestring Airport Lodge to pick me up. I am only 1.5 miles from the airport which is convenient since I fly to Livingston, Zambia to visit Victoria Falls. I will stay there until Jan. 4th and then go with African Trails on a 21 day Overland Truck Safari. Not sure how camping for that long will sit with me.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Victoria Falls (Zambian side)

December 29, 2012

I went to the Livingstone Fall Heritage Site today to get my first view of Victoria Falls from the Zambian side. It was spectacular. Encountered a lot of baboons upon entering the park. I spent about 1.5 hrs viewing and hiking around the falls and then walked to the bridge to Zimbabwae. I walked to the middle of the bridge and watched the bungee jumping. I had my excitement of that when in New Zealand so saved my money. First picture is Picture of a Picture. Wish I had taken this.

December 28, 2012

Still have days and nights a little mixed up. Tried booking the trip to Livingston Island where you can swim in the "Devils Armchair" right at the edge of the falls. It is booked solid through the next few days but finally got a reservation on New Years Day. Great way to start out the year. The Zambezi River is rising so the Island will be closed soon. Nothing cheap here. $75 for the 1.5 hr visit but definitely on my "bucket list". 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ultralight flight over Victoria Falls

January 2, 2013

Up early at 6 am to get ready for the 7am Ultralight flight over Victoria Falls. I was there today because my Dec. 31st flight had to be rescheduled due to rain. Unfortunately, the price increased by $14 on January 1st. The flight was really amazing and provided some really great views of the Falls. The flight was only 15 minutes but it seemed very long. I never got completely comfortable but it was not too bad. There was only a single belt over my lap which surprised me. I expected to be totally strapped in. The flight was $170 and the pictures were an additional $22. Two splurges in 2 days of the New Year but 2 AMAZING EXPERIENCES.   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Devil's Pool or (Devil's Armchair)

January 1, 2013  Happy New Years

Went to Livingstone Island on a tour for breakfast and swim in the Devil's Pool. ($70)  I took the FREE hostel shuttle to the hotel and realized when I got there I had forgot my money and camera. Luckily I was the only one in the shuttle and the driver agreed to take me back to the hostel and then again to the hotel. Luckily, I still made it back in time to catch the boat to the very small island at the edge of Victoria Falls. The view of the Falls was spectacular and we were told that this is the perfect time to see and swim since the water level was high but not high enough to completely cover the island as it will in a few more days. We had to SWIM in the rapids to get to the staging point. The current is very strong and only strong swimmers are allowed. They have one guide near the Falls in case some one is not a strong enough swimmer to handle the rapids.   

The guide did a back flip first into the pool. I jumped 3rd and quickly was looking for a rock to hold on to. The current is not as strong there but still strong enough to feel it pushing you towards the edge. After a while and some pictures, they threw a rope to us so we could pull ourselves back to safety. 

Great breakfast of Eggs Benedict, Scones, Biscuits and Jam and Juice to finish off our day. Defintely one of my top 10 experiences. Ultralight tomorrow.