We’re trying hard to do a better job at keeping you posted on our second African Safari north from South Africa to Kenya (this time Ethiopia is in the plan.) So, here is a summary of month two.
[Missed month one? Click here for story and video]
Happy Birthday Margrit
So, only one birthday candle in Margrit’s breakfast cereal? Well, let’s call it a bush cake. And 66 candles, well enough said. We did sing Happy Birthday, saw a John Wayne Movie up in the roof top, and her gift… an 8 month safari in Africa, of course.
Broken Back Window… Again!
Then I backed Landy into a pole shoving the spare tire into the back door breaking the back window. So far the fix is working with glorious gorilla duct tape. [WATCH The first broken back window saga in the desert]
The Legend Continues
Samantha, Stephen, and Sam from C.A.R.E. are amazing people with top notch rehab methodologies and facilities. Presently they have 450 rescued baboons with many troops ready to be released. But the difficulty is negotiating suitable release sites. Baboons just aren’t cute enough I guess.
The Border Camp
Then on to Botswana. Made it through the border without a hitch but had to chase the donkeys and monkeys from our campsite before we could fix dinner. Had some good signal so we hunkered down to get caught up with videos etc. And relax and recover.
Its Fun to Give Away Money!
Then we jumped into Zimbabwe chancing any political fallout from the recent contested election.
We were amazed as usual with Baye and her progress at Free to be Wild. Glad to report we handed over another donation to support Khumbulane’s salary for another 6 months. Thanks guys.
The Bird Nest
Again we hunkered down to get caught up at Burke’s Paradise Camp. The name definitely fits the place. Of course Margrit found an agreeable camp kitty and discovered a Sunbird building a nest, in a cactus of all places.
Amazing Elephants and other Wildlife
As we headed for Hwange NP we got side tracked at Tuskers Camp. With no fences, a fantastic waterhole complete with high platform and a very close hide. Elephants, Kudu mama herd with a young male, sick vulture in tree, sunning terrapin, Egyptian geese, a mischievous baboon troop, 2 types of horn bills, white faced vulture, buffalo herd 30+, skittish side striped jackal, But the most fantastic experience was in the night blind with a herd 12 Eles 3 young up close and personal. And a very quiet owl.
Making a Difference Off the Grid
Brent & Lauri, a highly educated couple, decided to make a difference on the ground. First being adopted into a local tribe and then living totally off the grid. They helped form a group to heal the land and environment with proven traditional methods. It is bringing back the pride of hard work with tangible results in food production and wildlife protection. Meet the committee & work party.
Like the ‘Real’ Africa
Then amidst road condition challenges, we found the drive towards Kariba amazingly beautiful with lake, mountain and cultural views. Don’t tell our daughter but we Wild camped in what we thought was total wilderness next to an old elephant present. Oh the Stars and the quiet, until an ox cart went lumbering by.
Bush School Visit
Barbara & Louise connected us with the Kariba School District, where they help with volunteers. District Administrators Thomas and Ishmael took us to a rural bush primary school. 50 kids in 2 brightly painted rooms live and learn amongst the wild animals, considering themselves to be the visitors. Isn’t that Beautiful.
Doing Their Part
It was at Warthogs Camp we met Sonya and Debbie with Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust. Their program is effective at cleaning up snares, negotiating local issues, and getting Barbara started. Another benefit of Warthogs Camp was the lake view including a large hippo pod with youngsters. The shore and tree birds were prolific, including a red headed weaver couple who tried to build a nest on our tent stay.
Our Diversion to Mana Pools
Mana Pools, however, is the gem of wildlife places in Zimbabwe and new territory to us. After a long very bumpy road, we finally dropped into the famous open camp next to the marvelous very wide but shallow Zambezi River. Literally living with the wild animals in camp we saw monkeys, elephants (particularly one notable camp elephant,) hyena, hippo, amazing birds, but unfortunately we missed the lions by about 10 minutes.
Rarely do we build a fire but we wanted to stay up late to enjoy the chaos and the stars.
It was also fun to see the various camp setups. One complete with tiny swimming pool being very much enjoyed (you’ll have to watch the video to see this.) And don’t forget the fantastic sunset over the Zambezi river.
In the morning we took a lazy cautious walk through the camp; Amazing sunrise, loads of animal tracks; of elephants, hyena, hippo, serval cat, you name it. We had breakfast without our camp elephant… but with a beautiful view of Zambezi river.
We then packed up and took the long way out with river views, lots of pools with birds, buck, elephants, and crocodiles. We watched hammer heads (birds – watch video below) fishing, drove white knuckled 4×4 tracks, and of course traversed the terrible corrugated roads coming out,
We feel so fortunate for the hero visits and animal viewing of the last 2 months. Some of the best in our African experience over the past 5 years. Now watch the video to experience it even more.