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    MARYELLEN301   160,854
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Africa Review, with pictures (It's about time!!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I've been home from Africa now for about a month. Between adopting a new cat, (Copper. He's such a love! Big orange Tabby. Huge head, long legs and tail and quite a talker!) posting photos on line for everybody to see, catching up on regular as well as email and trying to get my yard in shape, I've not taken the time to blog about what a wonderful time I had.

Webster did not invent enough words to describe that experience. We had 15 days in the bush, living in tent camps. I can't tell you how many people said to me before the trip, "Mary Ellen, I can't picture you in a tent for 15 days!" Well, "roughing it" was not exactly what I would call our accommodations.

Small charter planes took us from camp to camp. We had a total of 5 different camps, each lovelier than the last. The bathrooms were wonderful and had dual sinks, flush toilets and both indoor and outdoor showers. Despite my misgivings, the outdoor showers were wonderful! The staff treated us like royalty. They fed us 6 times a day! Buffet Breakfast, snacks on the game drive, Buffet Brunch, Tea, Snacks on the Sun downer game drive and then another Buffet Dinner! The camps were all in the National Parks so the game was free to roam around our tents and camps. We had Cape Buffalo, Elephants, Impala. Baboons and Zebra grazing all around us!

We were chased by a deranged male elephant who was in "musk", looking for a mate and we weren't it! A herd of female elephants with babies, surrounded our safari vehicle warning us not to get too close to their babies.

We saw a Leopard guarding his catch from the hyenas.

I was about 6 feet away from a full grown male Lion who casually walked alongside of our vehicle to join his pride while they hunted an antelope.

No zoom was used for this picture! I really thought I was a goner and took the picture for forensics, so they'd know which lion it was that ate me!!

You can see how close he was by Jimmy's hat. The lion paid us no mind at all!

We floated on the Okavango Delta in Mokoro boats, poled by the native naturalists who taught us so much about the area flora and fauna. We were in 4 different countries, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We saw Victoria Falls, the Cape of Good Hope, We walked with 10 month old lions in a captive breeding program where I not only walked with them and petted them, but I got to rub a female lion's tummy and hold her paw in my hand! After that I actually zip lined over the gorge at Victoria Falls going from Zambia to Zimbabwe! Those pictures are posted in my gallery.

It was the trip of a lifetime, and I can't use enough superlatives to describe it. The animals, birds, dessert, jungles, people, food, accommodations, everything exceeded our expectations. If you ever get the opportunity to go there, you must take it. You won't regret it.

The good news is that I only gained about 4 pounds, despite eating with great abandon! AND within about a week I was back down to goal weight! WooHoo! I am continuing at Curves at least 4 and usually 5 days a week, which probably helps bunches. My next trip is in 2 weeks when I will be on the American Queen paddle-wheel boat from Louisville to Pittsburgh. Hopefully I will be able to hold my own on that one and if I do gain, I will take it off as quickly as I did for Africa.

Life is good!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LINDAK25 1/12/2013 9:00PM

    Wow! Spectacular. You are far more intrepid than I. Actually, I am the world's worst traveler. My sister lived in Angola for four years (she's been back for two), they were in Luanda and while she and her husband traveled, I don't recall them having anything close to your experience. How wonderful for you!

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HAZYSKIES 9/26/2012 10:36AM

    Wow, I am not a traveler but your adventure to Africa sure sounds like it was exciting. I cannot imagine being THAT close to a lion. Neat. :)

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1NANA4EVER 8/25/2012 9:40AM

    Love your blog. I am adding Africa to my list of places to go when I retire. I would love to take my son there for his college graduation present, but I think this would break the budget. Thanks for sharing.

Comment edited on: 8/25/2012 9:40:41 AM

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SISSYFEB48 8/14/2012 12:06AM

    Incredible photos I am just now seeing. And I LOVE the "tent"...that is my idea of tent!

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-SHAWN- 7/24/2012 7:37PM

    Wow, what an adventure!

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    That sounds cool, maybe when I retire.

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CATLADY52 6/30/2012 5:33PM

    You must have had your Fairy Godmother in your corner (either that or she was a lion tamer in her spare time). Thanks for the pictures. emoticon

Have fun on your next adventure. emoticon

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JACK714 6/30/2012 11:57AM

    Thanks for the update. I really enjoyed your descriptions and the pictures. Now it but a memory.

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FARMERJENN73 6/29/2012 1:54PM

    Wow - you had a terrific trip. I am adding Africa to my bucket list.

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ARTJAC 6/29/2012 5:47AM


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DMF2012 6/29/2012 5:09AM

    What an awe inspiring trip! I've always wanted to do that. Thank you so much for sharing, especially the pics - priceless!

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CAT609 6/28/2012 9:23PM

    It looked like you had a wonderful time! The pictures are beautiful. I would have thought the same thing about the lion. A dream trip! emoticon

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DZDAZR2BGR8T 6/28/2012 8:34PM

    I loved your pics!!! thanks for sharing!!!

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GRAMMAP1 6/28/2012 6:29PM

    Wow Sweetie, I lived in Central Africa for 13 yrs. and had none of those experiences. We saw some baboons, monkeys and a black panther. Daily we saw goats everywhere as they represented prosperity in a very poor country. Oh yes, and a lot of Pythons and Vipers!

Thank you for the pics and fine report and enjoy your next trip..a might tamer!

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