Anticipation: 30 days to go!

Oh my… it’s May 1st. And the flight out to South Africa is on May 30. I can’t believe it… just 30 days to go.

At times this whole trip doesn’t seem real. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so very long, it’s just very hard to believe it’s really going to happen. I mean, packages keep arriving with gear I’ve ordered for the trip, and my credit card and bank account most assuredly reflect the fact that I’m certainly paying for the trip (and will be paying for it for a long time to come). But it still somehow doesn’t seem real.

And there is so much to look forward to:

When we first arrive in Johannesburg, we stay overnight at the Zulu Nyala Country Manor. (For more on the Country Manor, check out photos here or here.)

The next day, we fly South African Express Airways to Richards Bay, where we are met by folks from the Zulu Nyala group and motored to the Zulu Nyala Heritage Lodge. There are so many things to look forward to there, especially the game drives and other activities there. (For more on the Zulu Nyala trips, check out these wonderful photos, or the photos at this blog here or here.)

In addition to those, I think we’re planning to go to the Tembe Elephant Park and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park.

At the end of the week, we fly back to Johannesburg, and will spend another overnight at the Zulu Nyala Country Manor. That final Saturday night, Fred will fly in and join us, so we can all at least have breakfast together Sunday morning. That day, Evan, Gina and Dana will fly home, and Fred and I will be off on our additional adventure.

First, we fly to Maun, Botswana on Air Botswana. (Read the blog on how not to do business as to buying those tickets…) We’ll be met at the airport by someone from Grant’s staff where we will leave all of our gear except what we need for the Okavango Delta. That’ll be a short charter flight up to Gunn’s Camp. We’ll stay there for three nights. Activities there include mokoro (or mekorro or mekoro or…) boat rides and game walks.

On Day 4, we fly back to Maun, meet up with Grant and (after stopping off to stock up on the necessities of safari life… yep, beer, wine and other spirits!) it’s off to the Moremi Game Reserve where we will camp at the Khwai campsite. We’ll be there for two nights.

On Day 6, we head into the Chobe National Park where we will camp at the Savuti campsite. On Day 8, we go further north in Chobe to camp at the Ihaha campsite on the banks of the Chobe River. On Day 9, we will spend one final night at a campsite at Kasane and do a sunset cruise of the Chobe River.

On Day 10, we’ll transfer by land over the border into Zimbabwe (if the political situation allows) or Zambia (if Zimbabwe is too unsettled) to spend two nights in the area of the Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Then on Day 12 (June 19), we head back to Johannesburg, one more night there, and back to the States on June 20.

Sigh… I absolutely can NOT wait…

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