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

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Tuesday March 13. Tucson Az
Daline is to join me for a trip to Botswana and an 8 day safari in the Okavango Delta, as
I have done twice before. I have been pining for a travel partner and one day about
three weeks ago I got an early morning phone call from Daline. Her first words were,
“Grandpa, I’ll travel to Africa with you”. Wow what a way to start a day. I got
reservations for the safari and plane tickets before the end of the day. We are now
leaving. It is an incredible gift for me to be able to travel with relatives and friends. This
is a special trip. Her husband, Brad, is the one who suggested she accompany me.
The trip is in itself a grand adventure for anyone who has not done it. I must say it has
to be experienced and afterwards I can almost assure you it will be in the top echelon
of memories. It will give you fodder for conversation for the remainder of your life. We
are scheduled to meet at JFK tomorrow morning

Each of us changed flights on travel day. I was rerouted through DFW to LGA. Daline
departed GSO instead of CLT and she was also routed to LGA . We were each
scheduled to arrive at JFK which is close to our lodging. In fact Daline was not
supposed to be here today at all. She was to fly on Thursday morning, early, to JFK in
time to join me. She arrived 2 and a half hours after I did, then we took the shuttle to
JFK. All in all it was pretty smooth. We didn’t get to our room until about 9 pm. Daline
ordered pizza and we had food in the room. We didn’t stay up long before getting some
sleep. Tomorrow is to be a long day.

Wed March 15, New York City.
Our phones and iPads are charged, we hit the dining room and self charge ourselves
for the day. An 8 AM departure for the airport and with very little fanfare we are beyond
security. Daline is awed by the size of the plane, an Airbus 340-600.
We departed on time and have a 15 hour flight in front of us. It is 7980 miles, damn
that’s a long way. Immediately we are over the Atlantic headed southeast and it will be
7 hours before we are again over land. The most western point of Africa is our landfall.
And we are not halfway yet. As in most instances the larger the plane, the smoother the
ride and it is so for our flight. As Darrell told Daline, we have time to watch 7 movies on
the way.

We flew and flew and flew and finally got to feel landfall and only 400 miles to go. The
sun comes up on a beautiful partially cultivated landscape and a fantastic clear day.
About this plane, it is really large and so it is has an extremely comfortable passage
thru the air and a soft landing.

7:35 AM Thursday March 15 and we are in J’oberg. Clearing passport control and
luggage forwarding is done. We are officially legal visitors. We kill a couple of hours in
the lounge and then we are off to Maun. It is a 1hour flight and flawless. In Maun we
are met by a driver from Bushways who takes us to the store to get water and wine.
Then he takes us to the Bushways facility. We have brought a bunch of gear to be
shared with the local school children and some instruments for the hospital. I brought
a Lands End coat which fit me 50 pounds ago. Now I am hoping it will fit Eddie, my
guide last year. I also brought him a new Birds Of Southern Africa reference book. We
are many pounds lighter and that is a welcome feeling.

Just thinking, when you plan a trip like this you really look to the start date or starting
line for the trip. I was excited and thought I had reached it Tuesday morning when
Kathy took me to the airport in Tucson. Well when I traveled all day to get to JFK and
met up with Daline, it was sort of like I had had a false start. I hadn’t gone anywhere.
So when we got on the plane at JFK I really thought I had started, after all I was now
with Daline. But it is work and very tiring to get to J’oberg. So I knew the start line was
still in front of me, I was still making progress to start the vacation. However, we are in
Maun and cleaned up, refreshed and looking to get a good nights sleep prior to
meeting with the guide and Starting our safari. We can see ‘Start’ it from here.

Friday March 16 somewhere in the Delta
A full nights sleep to reset my system a well prepared breakfast and off we go. We do
leave the lodge at 7:30 and for 15 minutes we are on pavement, then it is 2 hours on a
dirt road and our initial game drive. Twists and turns, going thru large ponds of water
and running water, passing over large termite mounds before breaking out on the
Okavango itself. This is the launch point for further excursions into the water world of
the delta. We are joining a safari group which is just completing the mokoro excursion.
On the way into this area Daline spotted her first game animal, a group of 6 to 8
giraffes. Good pictures as there were some not 30 feet off of our road. On the way
out , after joining the group she spotted an elephant. Some sightings huh?
We gather and retrace our rough dirt path/road back out to the pavement. Then it’s off
toward more game drive. One last, and he said this is our last commercial stop for 6
days, stop prior to dirt road again for 6 days. We stop in a concession area where we
will make camp for the night. Daline and I pitch the tent for the first time. We did well.
An announcement by Evans our head guide, about our itinerary for the day and
roughly for the week. We are then allowed to rest or whatever until the 4 pm game
drive. On the game drive we do see several pairs of large bull elephants. The bulls
have left the females and will spend the next several months minding their own
business, eating grass and drinking water. They are basically loners but will join up with
one other bull. We also see the first impala and several giraffe. On the way back to
camp we come upon several large, 14 or so, female elephants. These are the mothers,
aunts, nieces and daughters of the group. Very protective indeed. We get about 10
minutes of video and stills. There are several real small ones. Now back to camp and
our evening meal. We have a vegetable mix and filet of beef. Really good. A round table
of talk with evening drinks. A little from everyone. We have a German couple, a single
German young lady, a French Canadian man from Montreal, and a Swiss physician.
Varied indeed.

Saturday March 17 Moremi Game Preserve Botswana
He wants us up at 5:30 so we can break camp eat, bathroom stop and be on the way
by 7 am. We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot
jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or
corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !
We did and we are. It is a beautiful game drive morning. The sun is not up and it is
cool. We drive, longer than I expected, to get to the entry to Moremi. There is a formal
gate, registration and so forth. By the time we get there we have seen a few elephants
and a lot of giraffe. Now we are on the Moremi Preserve and driving slower on much
coarser roads. Each time we spot an animal, except impala which are too abundant,
we stop for photos.

We are now stopped for lunch, and the activity of the past 15 minutes has generated a
sense of eating now, it may be your last meal. We just had the crap scared out of us, all
of us, more later. That is a teaser, don’t quit early. Back to the animals we have seen.
We have seen about a dozen zebras, perhaps 20 giraffe, 4 monkeys, 20 hippopotamus,
a spring bok, a herd of Cape buffalo, a herd of Tsessebe, 2 water bucks, but the last
thing we saw was 10 lions. This is where the teaser comes to life! The road is very
muddy and frequently you must get off of the main track and go slightly thru the bush,
not far, say a 60 foot bypass. This detour was around a small bunch of brush about 10
feet long and 6 feet wide. However there was fully grown lion in full makeup to look
mean. Now there were 4 other males, same size, same attitude within 50 feet. Off to
the left was at least 1 perhaps more lionesses. There were also 2 young cubs. This is a
bunch of lions trying to nap in the middle of the day and we want by. Evans pulls up
absolutely beside the lion in the bush, on our right. Daline was , unfortunately, sitting
on the right side of our bench. She was close, no more than 5 feet from the lion. The
Canadian, Peter, also no more than 8 feet from the lion, was going to take a close(er)
up so he had a long lens on his camera. He extended the camera body outside of the
vehicles lines. The lion objected with a very stern and strong roar. We all crapped in
unison. It was scary! No, we weren’t afraid, no not us! BS, Evans wanted to give us an
even greater experience, we were parked 5 feet from roaring lion , and Evans turns the
motor off so we could take pictures of this guy. He kept asking if the lions tail was
switching or his eyes were blinking, that meant something with relation to the lions
current attitude. He asked Daline, who was closest and had the best clear view of his
highness, to report on these two conditions frequently. We finally moved forward and
found another one, one of the 5 big boys. Sure enough we pulled off of the road to
approach him and watch the movement of his tail and eyes. Of course Evans killed the
motor. Oh yea, I have taken so many animal pictures in Africa that I am not taking any.
Daline and Peter have the pics covered. Well Evans finally starts the motor and backs
out so that we can make another pass on the first lion in the bush. He is still there but
now we are on the opposite side of the small bush, his side, big deal we didn’t stop
but we did go only 100 feet down the road before turning around and headed in the
direction we were initially going. As we approach Mr Friendly, he has had enough of
this crap, he raises his body as if to “try it”. We waited him out and finally passed for a
last time. Now it’s lunch.

After lunch we continue in our effort to find tonight’s campground. We have seen an
additional 30 hippos, and another herd of Cape buffalo. I would guess that herd to be
at least 400, more of the zebra, and giraffe, ., you get it. Evans is taking a shortcut to
the campground. On this route the tire tracks get lost in the grass growth and length of
time since the road has been used. No kidding at times it looks like we are going to
have to penetrate a solid wall of green tree growth, and at the last minute , we do just
that and come out the other side on what was a road some years ago. Well our luck
has run out. We have rounded a corner and there is a dead tree blocking the road. It is
a tree with extremely hard wood and must be cut with our axe. The trunk is 10 inches
thick. It is a tough job. One could cut some live growth of smaller trees and gotten thru
quicker but, you are not allowed to cut green growth in the preserve.
Glory be, after they cut the dead tree which was blocking our way and removed a
bunch of assorted dead limbs and such, we are through. But, it is only 50 feet to our
campsite. Absolutely 50 feet. It is very very heavily overgrown with tall weeds.
Uncomfortable to say the least but tall enough to have a predator lying beneath the
tops. There was never and never will be anyone in line to claim this site. Evans says
we will be here 2 days and the weeds will be trampled. There is a river less than 100
feet from our campsite. Can’t wait to see what comes thru here to get their evening
drink, I will keep you posted on that for sure.

We just had our post evening meal talk about today and tomorrow’s plan. Today I have
covered and tomorrow we are going out specifically to find a leopard. Then Evans
says, “I have something to tell you about today and our arrival”. That sounded ominous
and it was. When the guides and cook were chopping the dead tree to remove it,
Evans heard a fairly loud “thump”. When we got settled he looked around under the
tree beside our camp and found leopard spoor and super fresh deep tracks where a
leopard had jumped down from the tree beside us. Our arrival waked him and caused
him to leave. Evans says he probably lives near here and extra careful when walking
the 75 feet to the biffy, which is under said tree. I am probably going to refrain from
peeing until Wednesday. I did refrain for the night.

Sunday March 18, 2018 somewhere in the Moremi Game Preserve.
It seems like I am missing out on a lot of the excitement. I sleep soundly and all others
enjoy the sound of the bush like; lions roaring, leopards coughing, hippos making their
fart sounds and elephants crushing brush as white noise. This is all in harmony. We had
7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and
strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or
granola! Such a dilemma !

We are up prior to 6 for a game drive at 7 which is to last until noon. We will be seeking
leopards. Supposedly the big cats, who hunt all night, do not like to walk in the wet
with dew grass. So they go to their respective daytime rest area via roads. We are
going to get on the roads while they are still commuting and see them better, if at all.

As I am eating and others are rising from their semi-sound sleep the talk is of the lion in
our area last night and his loud roars. Everyone heard him, except me, and were duly
impressed, I miss a lot. Some thought I would hear it if I wore my hearing aids to bed, I
doubt it and why would I want to disturb a sound sleep?

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

The morning game drive was from 7 am til 1:14 pm. That is a lot of slow driving but boy
did we see a lot. We saw similar to yesterday plus some African Dogs. These are the
best hunters in Africa. If they initiate a pursuit, they have a success rate of 90%. They
are also known to be the most cruel. When they catch the prey they begin devouring it
immediately, they do not kill the animal first. They also run in packs of about 30
animals. We parked our vehicle in the midst of a pack. They were under the trees, in
the road and roaming around. They paid no attention to us and we were often as close
as 5 feet from them.

We saw an extraordinary number of hippos, I imagine we saw 40. When you are
noticed by one of them, they all surface and face your direction as if posing for a family
photo. We also saw 6 or so who were out of the water, damn they are fat! We stopped
at an installation used as headquarters for the local game patrol. They are here to
enforce anti poaching laws. Namibia is just across the river and they poach in
Botswana. Within the area is WiFi. We, all of us, got out of the vehicle and wandered
around including a bath stop. I was milling about and asked someone if they had WiFi,
she responded with the faintest of voice, “yes”. I asked again for confirmation and lip
reading and again she responded in like manner. May I use the service. , yes. I got the
iPad and attached to the web, told Daline and she spread the info to the others. Soon
all of us were on line. Evans said that he had wanted to keep this option secret so as
not to slow the group down. Poor connection and very slow. I posted an email and
hopefully for my log, on Pages, saved in the cloud. We’ll see later.

I took a shower and we rested until 4 pm when we left again for the evening game
drive. Just about 10 minutes from camp we came upon 6 hippos. Same-o-same-o.
These will mostly be repeats but they are interesting to watch. They grunt, look our
way and submerge. Later we find 300 cape buffalo with a few zebra, wildebeest and
assorted antelopes. The real deal of this trip is our last stop. We arrived at a larger than
small pond with 18 hippos in it. Sure enough they face our way, pop up then drop
down but after awhile they begin to yawn. They would thrash the water about then
open their tremendous mouth and show their complete insides. They can really open
wide. It almost looked like it was a competitive yawning event. There were a lot of
pictures taken but my camera is not built for that range and then a telephoto shot.
I’ll take a minute here to acclaim the sharpness of Daline’s vision. I have done this trip
before and been with a few people and three guides, but Daline is absolutely as sharp
in her visual acuity as any of the previous encounters. It only took a little while for her to
process game outlines when camouflaged in the bush, game in the open grass and I
would pit her against our guides. At several hundred yards she will identify a zebra or
specific antelope. She can identify a jackal from an African wild dog, specific antelope
species such as impala, wildebeest, kudu, waterbuck, spring bok, tssesebe and so
forth. On today’s evening drive she first spotted a crocodile at about 200 feet. The croc
was small, about 7 feet, and the only parts visible were his brow and his nostrils. He
didn’t break the surface by more than 2 inches in three spots. He was backgrounded
by weeds and floating debris. Pete. Johnson would love to have her along for a game

Monday March 19
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

Up early, breakfast and break camp at 7, we have before us a long day of bush driving,
I will be unable to describe the situation. We are traversing a woodland which is very
thick in what you might thing of as young oak, the campsite we have been assigned to
is one which has not been accessed in a long time and there are no traffic ruts.
However he is really good at coming across the track often and thus determining that
that we are still on track.

We are beyond the North Gate and on our way to campsite 2. The road is as it has
been but now we have had to detour around a fallen tree across the road, not the first
time for this. We ran over a log and broke off a limb which was sticking up vertically.
Then we ran over the broken stump and that then pierced our tire. We are stopped with
a flat tire in the middle, absolute middle, of no where.

We just passed a few elephants about 5 minutes ago, we have been told that there is
increased lion activity in the area including campsite 2 and we are disabled. It is initially
very uncomfortable being in active lion country and making noises which attract
attention of all kinds of animals. Strangely we get comfortable when we aren’t
immediately attacked. We all get out of the vehicle and proceed to change the tire. We
had to disconnect from the trailer to get the vehicle on flat ground. It only takes an
hour. Now we must clear an alternate route from where we are to the road we just left.
We were forced to bypass a large tree, the detour is what caused us to get a flat. Now
how do we get back on track. We must back down a newly hewn clearing avoiding
larger trees. I scoured the means to do so and recommend that the truck be driven
forward about 50 feet and backed down a lightly treed area. It was agreed and the two
cooks took the axe and cleared the path. It worked out well. When we did continue we
were only 20 minutes from our camp site. We are here.

We are all glad to be situated and everyone pitches in, as usual, and the camp is set up
tents pitched, shower set up, head situated , awning in place, all the chairs and the two
long tables. It’s time for a beer. Evans announces that there will be an afternoon/
evening game drive as soon as everyone is refreshed and showered as desired. They
all did and now they are gone. I asked the Swiss doctor, JP, to watch out for Daline, he
responded that she is the same age as his children. I’m showered and enjoying not
experiencing an “E” ticket ride on the bouncy road. I’ll get more tomorrow.
Daline and all returned from the evening drive. They saw elephants, giraffe and a
porcupine. Hoping for a leopard, but no such luck. Our evening meal is scalloped
potatoes with cheese, baked squash and kudu steak. Daline looks up from her meal
with a great degree of alertness, staring behind us. I asked and she said that she heard
a lion, or so. She was equally puzzled that I couldn’t hear the lion. Very soon, after I
was alerted to listen intently, I heard the lion, you can imagine how close it was for me
to hear it. I believe Daline could hear him breathe. The whole table is alert and stay that
way for the remainder of the meal. Evans said the lion was very close, I think that
meant less than 200 feet. I went to bed and felt secure in the tent. Daline followed
sometime later. This morning she told me that after I retired a large bull elephant
approached the site. According to Evans, we had set up our tents and all right in the
way of his usual walk way. He lingered awhile on the perimeter and circled the camp
about 60 feet from our dining table. Peacefully

Tuesday March 20, campsite 2
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

We broke camp by 7 and had a very nice drive in grass with heavy dew. Not many
animals this morning. We just drove all morning until 1:15 when we stopped for lunch.
The road is better, but still uncomfortable. We were in a stretch where we were
essentially on a roller coaster. About 100 feet of higher land then rolling off to 60 feet of
water in the lower parts. The water was not deep, say 12 inches or so and the hills
were equally small only rising a foot or so. Think the corrugated metal roofing, now
think horizontal across the ups and downs. That is how it was with it being 150 feet
between peaks and the troughs were filled with water. But I counted the rather regular
occurrence and there were 67 of the dips and hills. That was a noticeable amount. We
are now beneath a large tree eating a lettuce and tomato salad with tuna added. It is
but 6 miles to the camp site.

After lunch we head out to see our new camp site. There are about 20 elephants in a
line walking to the water, “elephant walk”. The matriarch is a monster in size. There are
2 small ones one very small one and a young male who has not been ejected from the
troop. He will be forced to leave soon. However now he is pretending to be the
defender of the group. He balks, fake a thrust, shake his head on see what happens.
We don’t budge so he tries again and again, and swings his trunk around about as if to
club us. he looks silly. In the end he bellows out his best trumpet call. We are leaving
anyway, but he will take credit for defending the group.

We got to our campsite and set up efficiently. Everyone helps in whatever needs to be
done. It is a great team effort to ready yourself and in parallel help do other misc tasks.
We then have the highly anticipated shower in the wild. I may put one of these at my
home, it is fresh and clearly clean!

Now we are out for the evening game drive and we see a lot of the usual but near the
end I spot the lion of the day. I was astounded to have been the one who located it, I
saw a large brown back moving slowly across the grass. It is the same color as the
impala, but they are skittish and run and jump. This guy did not do that. I couldn’t see
his head or mane, but there was nothing else it could be. We pulled to within 90 feet of
the big guy. He laid down and drank from a small puddle of water. Within 10 minutes
there are 9 other vehicles drawn like flies to honey. We enjoy their presence and take
several pictures.

Wednesday March 21
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

This was a day of moving. We drove many miles leaving Chobe National Park. Then we
were on pavement through a couple of towns, and then re-entered CNP. It was 6 hours
of driving, and of course game viewing. We are now at a campsite just above the
Chobe River. This afternoon/evening game drive was different. We saw more elephants
than we saw impala. We must have passed through 300 elephants going in herds to
and from the river where they get their drinks. They were all the female herds with many juveniles. Some were most likely less than a month old. We even had one next to the vehicle which appeared ready to deliver any time, according to Evans. Some bellowing at us and one matriarch challenged us to the point that Evans put it in reverse and retreated. When we first drove to the river there were about 50 elephants in the area.

Probably as many as 10 were in the water playing, just like homosapiens. They would
push each other in or under the water. They were shoulder deep in the water. Then one
would submerge with his trunk showing, like a submarine, and run along the bottom.
What a time they were having.

Our supper was pasta carbonara, one of my favorites. I showed incredible fortitude and
didn’t have seconds. This is similar to the memorable pasta meal on my first trip. Our
supper talk, which details the next day, had a lot to say about elephants and how they
will most probably come to the camp tonight. Also, the chefs heard a leopard coughing
today. Maybe tomorrow we will see one. This has been a heck of a vacation.

Thursday March 22, 2018. Campsite Ihaha #7. In Chobe Nat Park
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

I’ve spoken about the “get outta here” bird. It is the one who acts as a sentinel for the
bush. The bird calls loudly when there is a predator near. Well in the middle of the night
all loud sounds are interpreted as being his call. Last night the impersonators were the
baboons. Nothing is regular! Today has great promises, we are going down river this
morning, back for lunch and showers, then up river.

About an hour into the drive and Daline makes a discovery. She announces
LEOPARD, boy does that get attention. Evans slams on the brakes and asks for
directions to see the find. At first he doubts that she has in fact seen a leopard, they
are rare and he didn’t see it. She is clear in telling everyone where to look. He was
about 150 feet off of the road on a path to cross the road and get to the river. Our
stopping caused him to change plans and drop below grass level. We jockeyed up the
road and back down the road changing our position to be near the Leopard. Pretty
quickly we are joined by several other vehicles. We stayed long enough to get a lot of
pictures then moved on. This was the first Leopard seen on this Leopard Safari. Daline
is the person of the day and has again examples that she can spot game with the big

The rest of the morning was driving and seeing lesser animals such as a monitor lizard,
4 feet long, two small crocs, buffalo, giraffe, the ever present in great numbers impala,
a pond with 40 + floating hippos, elephants of all sizes, waterbuck, warthogs, jackal,
kudu, and a zillion birds. While watching the hippos, on the other side of a stream of
water, they get startled and make a run for the water. Most are in the water but there is
a mad rush for everyone to get in the water. This quick movement startles the
elephants who are wading on our side of the creek and they also bolt— out of the
water and into the hillside. During all of this there is a Cape buffalo resting in about 2
feet of water and he is totally unconcerned about any threat. Nothing, including the
lion, threaten the buffalo.

When we stopped for our morning break and snack we stopped at a designated place,
a Chobe River overlook. There were 3 other vehicles there also. The real deal was the
resident monkey population. They are accustomed to these visits and the associated
lack of interest in what is going on in the vehicle. When your back is turned or you are
not paying attention, they will steal all of your fruit. If challenged they will put up an
intimidating and fake charge, if you back up they will continue and get your fruit.
However if you charge them or wave a stick at them they retreat. They also show in
their facial presentation that they are pissed at you.

Almost at camp and we are faced with a small herd of elephants on the road coming
our way. There are about 15 of them and they are taking their half of the road right out
of the center. At this part of the road they have the right of way. We are stopped so as
not to confuse them and want to allow them to pass without stopping. All is mostly well
until about 4 elephants from the last. This is the matriarch and she wants us to
acknowledge their right of way by backing down. It is a symbol of submission by us
and accepted as a good gesture, she actually shook her head approvingly and passed
on by.

The last evening game drive left camp without me. I am clean and not sweaty, and I
want to stay that way until we get to Victoria Falls. That is already going to happen,
tomorrow. This has been an exceptionally good trip. Daline has shown to be among the
best travelers I have travelled with. She is congenial with fellow travelers and has a way
about making casual conversation with them. She is a first class camp helper and
works like a Trojan when there is work to be done. She is extraordinarily good at
scanning the surroundings and spotting game, some of which she has never seen
before. I believe I have engaged her sense of travel and adventure?

Friday 23 March 2018. Chobe National Park
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or
toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes,
or granola! Such a dilemma !

We are leaving today. We get to sleep in until 6 am , then break camp and hit the road.
The trip to Kasane is nice with the sighting of our first hyena, so we really have seen a
lot of animals. In Kasane we part company with PJ, the physician from Switzerland
He was one of the people who you get to meet if you travel often enough. He was
worldly and understood the many moods and personalities of the other guests. He
would be a fine man to travel with. Perhaps someday I will see him in Switzerland, not
too far fetched of an idea. Then the campground where we part company with our
camp helpers. On to the border and the ferry ride across the Zambezi. The Zambia side
is fraught with corruption re passports and vehicle permission. Our guide, Evans, will
have none of it regarding bribes and we wait for the authorities to understand he knows
the rules and will not be bent. I heartily approve. It did cost us an extra hour of delay,
but he did not pay a bribe! Thence to the Marumba Camp grounds and our tent
facilities. We have WiFi so we called, vis FaceTime, and said hello to our loved ones.
Then to Victoria Falls. I had told Daline how wet you would get, we got even wetter. I
don’t take a shower in water running that fast or full. It is crazy. It is not raining in the
near vicinity, but pouring here on the path around the island. Fun times. We do a bit of
shopping and then we’re met by Evans and brought back to the lodge.
We had our supper with Evans and had a long fruitful talk. It is so educational to
converse with an intelligent person about their country and all. To bed!

Saturday March 24, 2018. Marumba Lodge Livingstone Zambia
We had a good full, with eggs, breakfast. While we were eating, a hippo in the river just
below the dining deck, started making noises. Strange sound at breakfast. We will be
taken to the airport at 10:30 for our flight to Joberg.

Evans takes us to the airport, and we have time for some shopping. This airport has
one of the nicest small gift shops around. Once we arrive in J’oberg I decide that I
would really like to upgrade from economy to business class. Kathy spoke with the
SAA agent in Tucson and she said that sometimes they did last minute reduced price
upgrades to fill those seats. I asked if it was available and it was, for a price. The price
was fair and we bought the upgrade. We will return to NY city on a 15 hour flight in
business class. I hope to sleep most of the way. Perhaps only watch 3 or 4 movies. As
an extra benefit we were invited to wait in the SAA premium visitor lounge. Lots of
good food and drink. We have each used face time and spoken with our loved ones
back home. What a find that was.

Sunday March 25, 2018
Great flight with the business class seating stretching out to provide a full length flat
sleeping surface. We were 3 hours late leaving J’oberg so I missed my earlier
connection to Phx. Kathy drove to Phx to meet me and I drove us home. We each got
home on the day we planned to get home. This trip is complete.