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Diary of a Bush Ways safari with guide Eddie by Frank G.

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Sunday March 26, 2017 and I am aboard an American Airlines flight to JFK where I will meet Kevin for a super trip. We will spend the night in New York City and fly non stop, scheduled that way, to Johannesburg SA. The first leg went splendidly. Kevin and I were each about 2 hours later into JFK due to fog. Connections to the Sleep Inn were straight forward and we immediately went to supper at a nearby Chinese Restaurant. I use the word restaurant rather loosely here. It was close by. It seemed rather early but when we got back to the room Kevin was ready for slumber. He had been up since 3AM Hartley Time and it was now 7 so that computes to 16 hours. The room is too small for one to sleep and the other to keep busy with the computer or TV so I also hit the sack. It is not even sundown in Tucson, where I started my day.

My brother in law Kevin joined me for the trip. Eddie was our guide.
Some of the following pictures were taken by a fellow camper on this safari, Ken, from Scotland. I took very few this time and did not want to show old photos.

Monday March 27.

After a long sleep we are awake at 5:30 AM and start our day. We check the phones and computer get up to date on the communications and go to an early breakfast. Thence to the airport to begin our journey in earnest. After the TSA check in we find two comfortable chairs and lounge while we wait until it is of the appropriate time to call home. All is well at home so now we board our flying home for the next 15 hours. It is about 50% full so we end up with lots of room to stretch out and get comfortable. Right now we are going 631 mph and have only 11 and a half hours to go. Great Scott that is a long time.

We have been flying in a very straight line from JFK to JNB until about 30 minutes ago. Our arrival time has been consistently 8 AM plus or minus about 5 minutes. I was following our route and about the time we changed crews, 8 hours or so, I noticed we made a slow but deliberate turn to the east. This turn was shallow and not noticeable unless you were following the route. Our arrival time immediately moved to 9:30. I watched awhile and then went to the galley area and asked one of the flight attendants why the re-direct? She was not aware of this so she looked at my monitor and was puzzled enough to go to the flight deck with the question. On her way back she stopped and said they were directed to alter course due to some space launch or returning space debris. We are now on course and will be in JNB at 8:45.

March 28 Tuesday

We arrived in Joberg on time after the hiccup and had a short wait for a ride to Maun. We arrived in Maun and were met by a Bushways driver who took us to a bottle store for box wine and a bunch of bottled water for the trip. Thence to the hotel, where I am right now. I have been able to text but no good luck on the phone. I think I know the key and will try soon. I am clean and going slow so as to rest while I keep moving. Tomorrow is quick.

We each called our wives and expressed how much we missed them, and that was from the heart. While we were being driven home, Maun Lodge, our driver told a short story about two elephants showing up on the Maun Iternational airport runway yesterday. It does happen , but rarely in that Maun is literally on the fringes of the live Okavanga delta. Quite a sight for the tourist to see two range fed huge elephants excercising their right to open range grazing on the local airport property. The buffet here at the lodge includes Kudu steaks or Impala steaks, and also fried calamari. Our driver said that the rain has been greater this year than any of the past 27, his time in Maun.

We had an early supper and I was in bed by 7:30 charging batteries and preparing for tomorrow. Just a bye.the.way, on our flight to Maun we had 15 men aboard and they were of a different stripe. Each was the prime example of a body builder. They were fit, tan quiet but friendly. The nearest I can come to identifying them is to say they appeared to be Army rangers or of the Seal team. It was very clear that they were not to be messed with.

Wednesday March 29

We are picked up at 7:30 as scheduled. And start toward the delta. I use the term start because after fording several lakes and rivers we finally give up. We have crossed through water that was actually over the hood of the car.

Water was coming to the area where our feet are and we are 3 tiers behind the driver. The one which turned us around looked as if we would end up swimming. The new destination is not so far and we are met by a rather large group of boaters. They have 8 mokoros with four for passengers and four for supplies. We are to pole through relatively shallow, up to 3 feet deep, running water. We are moving through the water for about 2 and a half hours before we come to a selected small island where we make camp. The trip was not without periods of anxiousness. We were poling around close to the edges of large bodies of water. It soon became clear why. Hippos like the large pools and hang around in the center in deeper water. As long as we are close to the edge we have a, sort of, escape route and we do not represent a threat to them. We did come upon 5 hippos and we had to slowly pass along the edge of the grass and we were within 200 feet of this group. When they submerge all kinds of thoughts come to mind as to where they are going. These ideas are not all comfortable. About 30 minutes later we again spot a hippo. He is alone and again we slip by.

We also saw a solitary bull elephant. He was quite large. When they wiggle those little ears and grunt their whatever it is, it causes you to pay special attention to their relative position to you.

Now we are in camp, tents up, lunch has been eaten and what is next. Oh my gosh how time flies when you are either busy or having fun. This is tomorrow afternoon when I write this section. After making camp we refreshed until 5:30 when we all boarded mokoros for a short trip to a very close island.

We are going to walk around and bend our legs for a bit while stretching and enjoying our first Okavango sundown. You must experience it to understand. We were not intercepted by any hippos, we or perhaps I had seen enough hippos for the day. We did see about a dozen zebras, a few wart hogs and an elephant. Mainly it was a nature walk. The Brit family, of 4, are birders. This means a lot of stopping and ogling some bird. They seem to know almost all of them it is a nice addition to the experience. Upon returning to camp at 6:40 we are fed and sit around a campfire chatting about whatever. A bit before 8 and it is my bedtime.

March 30 Thursday

Kevin and all are telling tales about the group of hippos that passed by our camp at 1:30. The shaking of the ground woke Kevin, I was unaware of anything out of the ordinary. Kevin wakes me at 5:50 for a 6:30 departure. I was zonked and sleeping well. Toast and cereal for breakfast and then to a different, but close island. We are walking by 6:40 and walk about until 10:40. A very good walk. We saw 15 or so warthogs and about 20 zebra. Then as we were returning we saw 1 wildebeest. We came upon a giraffe skull and had many things about the anatomy explained. We of course have seen many pretty birds and a few fish eagles. We had the properties of a termite mound explained and many such things. Our guide, Eddie , presented me with a Bushways ball cap, given to each repeat customer.

We got home to camp before 11 and were fed eggs, bacon, sausage, beans and tomatoes for lunch. This afternoon is for mokoros practice. If you want you will be taken out and pole around the area,I am not interested. The latitude of this spot is 19.696, the longitude is 23.660. I got this info from Simone, an Italian. I intend to find the place on the satellite map available in GMAPS. This is the afternoon for a shower, river water and air temp. It is very nice. It is also time to recapture the pleasantness of a nap. The tent is a bit warm but with a strong will and perseverance I do prevail and get a nap.

Now it is time to join the afternoon bull session and talk of the remainder of this day and the week to come. The group, minus me, leaves at about 5pm for a mokoros tour of the area. It will be mostly a hot afternoon watching birds, so I choose to stay here at the ranch. One of the fellows has set a fish net in the waterway and brings home about 15 10 to 12 inch pan fish. His actions remind me of Peter Johnson, he takes them from the net, throws them far upon the grass and when finished unloading, he goes to a chair and sits. Some woman in the group gets to , “fix it”

Being taller than the headroom inside the tent has an advantage . I can’t stand up but when I am changing pants I can steady myself between the floor and the tent top, forcefully, and then have an assist to maintaining balance. Then changing pants is easy, if you remember to have your new pair in your hands while lowering the ones to be changed. It is most likely a very important part of cardiac rehab program or perhaps tai-chi. It really takes skill and the ability to improvise to be a traveler. Not going out with the group for a mokoros photo trip let me stay in camp and get more info. The primary info I got this time was that we are having macaroni and cheese for supper. That’s it! The mac and cheese turned out to be everything but. There was some pasta, some tomatoes sauce, some corn and perhaps a bit of cheese. It was good though.

March 31 Friday

This morning we are to take our last nature walk in the delta. Toast and cereal for breakfast and at 6:30 We get in the mokoros and pole about 300 yards to a close by island, we immediately startle and cause a tree full of monkeys to begin a frightful chatter and they are bouncing all around in the big tree. There must be 30 to 40 of them. After that all is just tranquil. No more animals, although we do see some Cape buffalo tracks, which are fresh as of this morning. By 8:30 we are finished and back in camp. While we were gone the help disassembled all tents and other items. They are packed and ready for us to arrive. We depart for the land based mokoros station at 8:47 . I have videos of our passage through the tall grass. The water flow is in our favor and it tales but about one and a half hours to return to our starting land point. We skirt the large pools of water, I am guessing so as to have a place to go in case we see a hippo. This has been a three day excursion into the Okavanga Delta that was superior.

Here is a pic of Eddie and me on our last morning in the delta.

It is a long way to the poling station and when we arrive we find that our vehicle has been stuck in the mud for a while. Finally we are off and it is many back roads to the highway. When we arrive at the highway and have lunch I check to see if the batteries are charged on my computer and phone. When I turn the phone on it announces that I have several new messages, WHAT if I have messages I have a live phone and I can call home. It takes about 10 seconds and two rings before Kathy answers. What a great surprise for both of us. We chat and exchange greetings, then we must leave. This was worth the price of admission. Now it is move on to tonight’s campground.

It is a campground with bath facilities like many showers and several toilets. What a treat! We have a great of beef loin cooked to order and an evening of really getting acquainted and just plain old BS.

Saturday April 1

The night is cool but I really don’t notice anything beyond the first 5 minutes. Supposedly there were elephants close by who were making as much noise as possible by rearranging the tree landscape.there as also a pack of hyenas barking close by which I also didn’t notice. This morning was absolutely beautiful. We were up before 6 and the light was barely building. We are now off to the Chobe National Forest for 3 days. It has been an extremely wet period and some of the roads are blocked. All other off road traffic does as we do and make new roads through the brush. We encounter several large, I don’t know why I use the word large – all elephants are large. But these bulls are large and near the road. Actually 2 of them were within 50 feet of the road and our vehicle. We also saw wart hogs a single giraffe, several herds of impalas a kudu and a waterbuck. Quite a morning group of sightings. Just prior to arriving at our camp site we are blocked from passage by a gathering of perhaps 20 baboons.

Now we are at camp, tents pitched and about to have lunch. In setting up our tent we were particular as to which direction the opening would face. Now that would not ordinarily be a problem except you must consider that you are in the Southern Hemisphere. So at about 1 PM , at home my shadow would be north from my feet. Not so here, the sun is north of our position so our shadow is south from our feet. I still have to think about it. No problem with east or west at the early and later part of the day but around mid-day it is confusing.

We left for an afternoon/evening game drive at 4PM and wandered about up and down the Kawai river on dry land and in the river. Pretty quick after leaving we came upon 3 bull elephants grazing within 50 feet of the road. Eddie pulled off of the road and in their direction. It’s amazing for someone to think you can see a 7 or 8 ton elephant better at 25 feet than you can at 40 feet. The older of the three, two broken off tusks due to battle and breaking limbs which were too big, placed his head and tusks such that they were in each side of the large tree and then shook it to cause fruit to fall. Think of shaking a tree which has a trunk of 30″ in diameter, some power display. Afterward we saw and continued to see small herds of Impala. There would be a herd of all female, except for one male and other herds of all male. The story is that after a fight to see which one will have the females to himself, the other male retreats to the male heard. Here he nourishes himself, as are the others in this herd. Sometime later one of the guys in the male herd will feel emboldened and go to the herd of females to challenge the guy in charge. The guy in charge has been so busy defending his harem that he eventually becomes too weak to win the challenge. Thence back to the boys herd and start over. We also saw some Sable antelope, one small, 4 foot crocodile a few more elephants and a slew of birds. We returned to our camp at 7:15 for super. The gang, excluding me, are all going out now for a night run. This has a planned time of about 2 hour.

April 2 Sunday

This morning we are joined in our activities by a tree full of monkeys. There must be 20 in the tree above our dining table. They are scampering about and probably have learned that we have easy food for the picking. They work up their nerve and eventually one scampers for the toast. He is so quick that he is successful. Wow that was easy let’s try again, but this time the chef scares him away. We have our usual toast with jelly or peanut butter plus cereal if you want it. Now it is 7 and we are off on our morning game drive. As with all of these trips , everyone is looking to see a lion. We are driving on the many roads in the area and frequently will cross paths with others doing the same. In a little while Eddie sees some lion tracks and discerns that they are female and have a cub along. Now to find her. While looking we cross more tracks but these are of a male. Eddie figure the female is looking for a place to spend the day, in the shade, and the male is just following along. We actually spot the female and cub at about 100 feet. Eddie closes the distance to less than 50 and we kill the motor. She has found her resting spot. It is about 30 feet away. Eddie knows and I suspect that the male is not far behind. Sure enough he shows up off of the right front fender. He is regal mane, stride and all. He is clearly king of the jungle. However today is the queens day. She moves so fast toward him we are all startled. She knocks him backward over his own tracks. The growling and showing of strength and snarling with the mouth full of great white teeth showing. It would scare anything. She must weigh 400 lbs and is nimble, he weighs bout 500 lbs, and defensive of her cub. It is a truly extraordinary show of power, strength and authority. He retreats, with his kings crown slightly ajar. This all happened in clear view of our group, about 60 feet from the vehicle and it took barely 2 seconds. She was quick.

While getting into position to see all of this we , in 4 wheel drive, forced ourselves over a log which turned out to be too large. We were stuck high and dry on the log. Who is getting out to remove the log, a defensive female with a cub on the left at 25 feet or a rejected male like distance to the fight. Another safari vehicle was near and had someone get prone on their hood, slide all of the way forward and tie a tow line to our vehicle. We are free! This is one of those things that has to have the original sound track to be as powerful as it was. What a show. After this it was time to see zebras, elephants and impalas. We are in camp now preparing to eat.

We need some water so the guide and chef head for the river. We are alone to defend ourselves. Very soon a small herd of large elephants show up about 200 feet away. There is the matriarch a few more adults and 4 young ones. They pay some attention to us but then change course and wander away. How often are you having a private lunch in a picnic area and are interrupted by elephants?

About the time you think all of the truly remarkable events for today had happened—one more! Kevin is taking a shower when out of the surrounding appears an elephant. In fact the elephant is near and by intent getting nearer to the shower tent. The elephant sees a running water source and is thirsty, so why not this close by fountain. We speak to Kevin of the urgency to become aware of the surroundings outside his shower tent looks over the top and is staring at the elephant. We are clapping hands and making an assortment of noises to encourage the elephant go somewhere else. It worked, in slow motion, the elephant came within 10 feet or so to the shower tent and then after our prompting, wandered on. He also stopped by the toilet tent, they were both unoccupied at the time. Just an afternoon in the park.

Well a lot of the group went for an evening game watch and went back to the lions of an earlier time. The lions were still there and the pics are great. They returned and we had lamb chops and sausage for supper. I am hurrying this tale so I can douse my reading light. They are going for a night time drive. Most of us are staying behind. We have been instructed to stay in our tents !!! Why? Because we are tented beneath a tree that is currently producing seed pods, which the elephants like. We are camped on top of their food. He said they are waiting until we go to bed and the activity stops before they converge to our spot. Sure enough if you shine your flashlight out into the area I have spotted 4 elephants waiting. Damn what a night to experience. I can hardly wait until morning to finish this tale. If I had known they wanted these I would have gathered them in a pile, away from the camp.

Monday April 3

Sure enough the elephants come through the camp, but in that I am fortunate enough to not hear an elephant walking 5 feet from my tent, I was not bothered. The tale is that several of them walked through and in between the tents picking up seed pods. Seriously there are tracks just outside the tent which are as large as the top lid of a 5 gallon paint bucket. Their steps were small about 2 feet in lengths and they were extremely nimble and considerate of our need for rest.

Kevin reports that the night drive was a great success in that they saw a large male lion lying in the road. I guess he was wailing for something to come along which he could process as road kill. They also saw a herd of about 30 elephants.

Our morning drive showed us to elephants, impalas, wildebeest , zebra, hippos, crocodile and a lot of birds. I have had a bit of vertigo today and at noon time it was disturbing. Several people suggested that I wasn’t drinking enough water. So they began to push water on me. I wisely followed their directions and Helen even had a small packet of electrolyte powder to add to some water. I took a nap on the tarp, as did others, and when I waked up it was time to go on the afternoon game drive. I went and a 3 and a half hour game drive every afternoon gets to be a bit much. I have had 4 half liter bottles of water since noon and have recovered. It won’t happen again! We didn’t see anything new except a couple of giraffe. We are in camp now preparing to eat and get a talk.

We have a fellow from France, his name is Patrick but when he speaks he is Peter Sellers aka Inspector Cleasou. I just found out we are and have been drinking river water. However it is brought to a rolling boil. Quite safe.

At 17:41 SAST we felt what seemed to be an earthquake. It will be good to know if and if so where was the epicenter. The table shook and the small folding chairs were unsteadily rocking. No one in the group had ever experienced an earthquake, except me. They are very rare in Botswana, perhaps in all of South Africa.

April 4 Tuesday

We must be up by 5:30 so we can break camp and be on the road by 7. Kapapa made fresh bread for breakfast, I will tell you what we saw and the particulars, and they are particular. We saw a jackal, many zebras, perhaps 10 giraffes, several wildebeest, 6 lions, many elephants, perhaps 8 wart hogs and an assortment of misc antelope.. Now about the particulars. We were driving down this dusty old road and Eddie spots a lion lying in the shade of a tree, but she is also in the road. NOTE The lion is truly the king. He can sleep or do whatever anywhere he wants to. No one would dare interrupt his rest or whatever. He is absolutely without fear. So this lioness turns out to be one of two lying in the shade. We pull to within 20 feet of her and she hardly cares or notices. She knows she is safe! Further off of the road there is a small herd of zebra, perhaps 40. They are grazing and slowly moving our way, this is something the lioness also notices. They start spending more time sizing up the possibilities for a fresh lunch and soon are engrossed totally in this effort. We are in no hurry so we are stopped just watching the lioness pair plan the kill. One moves forward and the other stays a bit behind. Both are close. Their interest intensified and we figured that we could get a better view if we moved. So we drove forward 100 feet and turned left, our road is parallel to the shortest path between the lioness pair and the zebra lunch. We drove until we were even with the zebra and stopped again. Now we watch a stalking. One of the lionesses circled clockwise to get the back side, the second was creeping toward the zebra. All of her moves were visible, slow calculated and beautiful to watch. She is camouflaged somewhat by the grass and does her best to keep small brush between her and lunch. The zebra start looking around rightfully sensing something foul was in the air. In their nervousness they began to graze from the direction whence they came. This was putting more distance between them and the lioness. About then they were spooked and ran like the devil, the other lioness had circled from the other direction and not been careful enough.

The lionesses got together again and started the cycle of rest and look for food again.

Next we passed a small water pond which had 2 elephants in it. One was finished with his enjoyment and the other began to frolic. He would sit neck deep, lower himself into the pond up to his neck and splash about. Finally he fell to one side and completely submerged. What an act. We made camp near the Chivati Wash and had kudu steaks for supper. The surroundings are very different than where we have been. We are encircled on three sides by dense brush. It has been, in previous sites, such that you could see wildlife (good or bad) for several hundred yards. Here you are without the benefit of seeing who is going to eat you.

Wednesday April 5

We are up early, as usual, but go to the game drive also early so we can break camp and leave by mid morning. In our game drive we came upon a pride of 6 lions. At first we saw only 2 but then the rest came out of the grass. The set up is that there are about 100 or so zebra munching in front of us about 200 yards. We were in the Chavuti Marsh and it is all fairly tall grass. Everyone sees everyone else, almost. Then there are. About 50 wildebeest about 300 yards to the left of the zebra. We are in the dead center of the lion pride.

The male is the most majestic male lion I have ever seen. It looks as though he just got through working out and was groomed. Statuesque. There are 4 young, 200 lb, lions and their mother. The girls are all stalking and he is watching. It is a truly special sight. He moves periodically to stay sort of close to the hunters. When he moves we move. In fact Eddie intentionally parks in a position which requires the male to walk around us. When he does he comes very-very close to our vehicle. I have stills and a couple of videos. Once when he walked by my, passenger door of the land cruiser, I could have opened the door and hit him in the butt. I chose not to. He was actually within 4 feet, within reach. The lionesses flushed the Zebra and pursued them a short way before cancelling the chase. Then they all, 6 of them, retired to the bushes which surround the water hole. Doesn’t sound good for some poor zebra tonight. We left them and returned to camp to move along.

This next part of the trip is hard. It is on dirt and loose sand roads for 70 miles. We saw the same old assortment of animals but when we finally got to pavement, I had 4 bars on the cell phone so I called Kathy. That was really nice. We chatted, Kevin bought cokes and we moved on. We are now in a camp along the Chobe River. On the way in we passed impala, wart hogs, giraffe and Cape buffalo.

Camp has been made, all tents are up etc; we are having pasta carbonara for supper, which is the one most memorable meal from last time. I bought a small box of wine which has been shared to its finish. The Frenchman, Francois, brought out a bottle which he bought in Maun. He asks each if they want some, most don’t but Martin who is the son of Sipi said no. I told her to have him say yes and we would share his portion, and to speak to him in Dutch so Francois would not understand. It didn’t work. It is clouding up and a bit of thunder but we expect no rain. One of the people is a Scottish weather man and he said it would not rain.

Thursday April 6

Another day another sunrise, what a place to be. This morning we will drive over toward the Chobe river and explore that area. We have seen a lot of game. Summary: one zillion impala, 10 kudu, several elephant, one crocodile, 2 water monitor lizards ( about 3 ft long), several herds of Cape buffalo with 60 to 100 in each, two groups of giraffe one with 12 to 16 and another group of 4. I think that is all. Oh yea. We also saw several groups of monkeys.

This is really. A pleasant time of the year to be here. It is cool at night, cool early mornings with slight warming until noon. Then the afternoon becomes a bit warmer but there is a nice breeze. Don’t go into the tent. The mornings are clear with a gradual buildup until mid-late afternoon when they start gathering in bunches and threaten rain. We had a bit of a thunderstorm, sound and lighting only, last evening. We were on a 4 and a half game drive this morning. I have stayed in camp during the 4 PM game drive, it is just more of the same and four and a half hours on dirt roads is enough for one day. However, this afternoon will be our last game drive. We break camp and pack for Kasane, Livingston and Victoria Falls in the morning.

Well this was not a run of the mill game drive. First we saw and moved through the herd of giraffe. There must have been 15 or so and we got close. We were driving within a couple of hundred yards of the river and it was the last of the day so there were a lot of animals getting their bedtime drink. There were , maybe 100, and a few older bulls who have been kicked out of the operating herd. We were moving relatively fast, clearly trying to get to camp before sundown. In doing so we noticed and passed a herd of elephants of about 40. Impressive sight they were. But we move on. Not for long. Now we have elephants on both sides of the road. In driving between them it is clear that it is a herd of females and calves of all ages. They are not disturbed by our presence. We park within 40 feet of them and they continue to pass behind our vehicle. One mother elephant is caring for a 1 week old baby. I got a video to be shared. It is probably the most significant photo of the trip. They pass and we continue toward the camp. It is a short stop for water where we are surrounded by baboons of all ages. They are along the road for perhaps a hundred yards. Now to the camp, WHOA not so fast! It is past sundown and Eddie spots two subadult male lions lying in the left track of our road. They are not terribly impressed by our presence and just look at us. Me from about 8 feet to my left. One doesn’t like the truck so he moves behind the truck. The other stays behind and has to be encouraged to move. These guys weigh about 250 to 300 lbs, they are not small. It is some treat to see these things and incredible how at ease you get being in an open vehicle this close to a serious predator.

Friday April 7

Up at 6 breakfast, break camp and head foe Zambia. We do a modified game drive all the way to the border. Mostly we saw birds. The border crossing was as advertised. Ten Botswana side was easy, just go in and get your passport stamped. Then wait your turn for the ferry. There is a new bridge being built. It will connect Botswana to Zambia with a small touch of Namibia. Perhaps by Dec this year. Kevin is astounded, as is everyone else at the length of the line of trucks waiting to cross on the ferry. Eddie says the line is approximately 3 weeks long. You can pay a bit or mordida and rush it a bit, but not a lot. Three weeks in line to get your turn on a ferry!

We are through and have our cottage room for the night. We departed very quickly for Victoria Falls and what a place to see again. This is a real heavy rainfall season behind us. The water is high everywhere and the falls are exceedingly big. The rush of water over the falls is extremely noisy. We also got soaked while walking the scenic loop, near the falls. Kevin has a great video of the scene and I will share it when I get it.

Supper was roasted pig on a spit. We talked rather late and enjoyed a last night together.

Saturday April 8

Sleep in until almost 7 then up to check if the clothes of yesterday, which were worn to the falls, are to be dry enough for travel. Check– OK. Random gathering of the early risers and have the park breakfast. 2 eggs over medium, bacon, sausage toast and whatever cereal you want. We are really just killing the morning waiting to be taken to the airport at 11. Check in, passport check, etc completed we are aboard and flying to JNB.

When we left we flew over Victoria Falls and got some pictures to share. It was an uneventful 1 hour 20 min flight to this large town. We are met at the airport and taken to our hotel which is downtown. After a shower and a freshening we depart for a pizza wow was it good. This is a huge shopping mall with everything in it. Really everything from the highest end clothing to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. We skipped both of those. Soon after supper we are back in the room and Kevin is asleep a few minutes before 7. I read a bit but I am also real early.

Sunday April 9

This place really known how to do breakfast. Probably the broadest and finest I have ever had. I ate a helping of smoked salmon and cheese before my omelette and a bit more after. We laze around the hotel room where it is comfortable and leave at 11 AM for Rosebank Sunday shopping extravaganza. It is as I remembered and soon I find the fellow who sold me my elephant skin belt. He recognized the leather and all and knew I had bought it from him. We looked at a whole lot of things and seriously shopped for a few specific ones. Unfortunately I was unable to find anything that interested me so I bought nothing. After 2 hours in the area we returned to our hotel and are waiting in the lobby to be picked up for our ride to the airport and the best ride of all– we are coming home!

This is our group:

Left to right.
Standing : Ken, Simone, Kapapa, Eddie, Francois, Frank, Chantal, Kevin, Patrick, Martin