Africa

Crossing the Equator

Fort Portal, Uganda We leave Bwindi National Park and drive north, along the border between Uganda and the Congo, to a region of lakes named for British monarchy: Albert, Edward, George. To the very north, Lake Albert is the source of the Nile River. Farther south, Lakes Edward and George are joined by Kazinga channel. And, of course, the largest, …

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Gorilla Time

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda Ibo Island was not an easy place to leave. I could have easily spent more time there, especially on the reef at the lighthouse with all the fish and coral. But leave we did, flying to Pemba, overnighting there and then flying to Entebbe, Uganda on Sunday morning. Our flight was via Nairobi, Kenya and …

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Swahili Africa

Ibo, Mozambique Ibo Island is a step back in time to when the Portuguese and the Arabs were both trading and defending their footholds in east Africa. Numerous forts, administrative buildings and, sadly, slave pens are reminders of times past. In 1975, when Mozambique achieved independence, a quarter of a million Portuguese fled the country and here, as well as …

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Beach Time!

Pemba, Mozambique From Maputo we fly north to Pemba, Mozambique, jumping off point for the Quirimbas archipelago, famed for its beautiful beaches and calm Indian Ocean waters. From Pemba we drive for 4 hours, the last hour on an impossibly rutted dirt road that would be completely impassable with any amount of rain. Passing village after village of subsistence farmers, …

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Cross Maputo off your Travel Wish-list!

Maputo, Mozambique Arriving in a new city after dark is never a good idea and in the case of Maputo all we can hope is that it looks better in the light of day. Garbage everywhere, plastic bags blowing with the breeze, broken pavement, grimy, crumbling apartment buildings with windows that are barred all the way up to the top …

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Village Visit

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe The drive from Victoria Falls to Hwange passes through some traditional Shona and Ndebele (the two major tribes in Zimbabwe) villages. Mud walled huts with grass thatched roofs. People walking along the roadside. Failed corn and millet crops. Children selling melons and plums. Baboon, warthog and zebra in the bushes. Iconic African countryside. Duncan, our Zimbabwean …

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The Smoke that Thunders

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe The most recent leg of our odyssey has taken us from the Okavango Delta on a flight to Kasane, on the border b/w Botswana and Zimbabwe, where we crossed the border, and took a mini-bus to Victoria Falls. Along our route we followed the mighty Zambezi River, whichs marks the border b/w Zambia & Zimbabwe. We’re not …

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Okavango Delta

Maun, Botswana The Okavango Delta is where we spent the most recent leg of our journey, at another “tented” camp called Kanana. We flew over the delta, expecting it to be full of water as this is the rainy season. Normally rain in the highlands of Angola drains into this unique inland delta, the only one on the planet. The …

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Desert Safari

Koraxis, Namibia After almost a week of spotty to no internet access, I am catching up, so this blog is coming much closer to the last than what happened in real time. Five days ago we left Terrace Bay, a fishing village on the coast, and drove inland to an area called Damaraland, home to the “click-speaking” Damara people. Much …

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The “Skeleton Coast”

Swakopmund to Terrace Bay, Namibia Greetings from northern Namibia! We’ve been in some amazing and remote places. From the red dunes of Sossusvlei, in the south, we drove along some pretty sketchy roads to Swakopmund, a very German town – more German than Germany apparently – on the Atlantic coast. The attraction here, besides the beer and bratwurst, are the …

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The Namib Desert

Sossusvlei, Namibia Greetings from southern Namibia! Monday morning we drove our 4-wheel drive truck south from Windhoek into the Namib desert. As the scenery changed from semi-arid to desert we began to see oryx and ostrich along the roadside. Large herds of a small desert antelope called Springbok as well. How these animals exist in this hostile environment is a …

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Farewell Cape Town

St. James, South Africa Our last few days in Cape Town included a morning hike on the spine of mountains that runs down the middle of the cape peninsula for some amazing views. Breathtaking scenery! A dinner party for 19 at our villa almost filled the dining room table. Friends of friends gathered on Friday night to reconnect and meet …

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The “Rainbow Nation” 10 Years Later

Cape Town, South Africa Our first trip to this gorgeous country was Dec, 2004, the 10 year anniversary of the end of apartheid. A lot has changed in the intervening 10 years. The downtown area in particular seems more vibrant and feels a lot safer. What is also different on this trip is that we are with a group – …

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Africa 2006/07

On return from our three month 2004/05 African trip, we inundate friends with stories and photos. The ones who travel as much as we do, Donna & Ron, decide they want to go. Jeanne & Don join the trip. They’ll be taking their two teenage boys, Kyle & Tommy. Wanting to go along, we immediately think about Quintan and Mackenzie, …

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Egypt 2005

Landing in Cairo at 7 AM with no hotel reservation and no guidebook is unadvisable. Luckily we had the foresight a few days prior to get a hotel recommendation from a traveler we met on a plane in Ethiopia, the guy who said poverty looks the same everywhere. His buddy lived in Cairo for a few years. Unfortunately his buddy’s …

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Ethiopia 2005

Ethiopia? Why? Who goes there? What’s there to see? All good questions. Craig reads an overly complementary review of Ethiopia that refers to it as “Egypt without the tourists”. Enticing. We are heading that direction on our way to Cairo and have some time to spare. Two weeks in fact. Why not go to Ethiopia? Ethiopia is interesting. It’s just …

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Kenya 2005

From Arusha, in Tanzania, we take a bus, across the border into Kenya. The trip is billed as being four hours, but of course, takes several more. By now we’ve been in Africa for six weeks, long enough to know that time is relative and elastic here. We arrive in Nairobi late in the afternoon and after a bit of …

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Tanzania 2005

We fly low over the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, getting our first glimpse of what we think of as the real Africa. South Africa felt European, not African. Morocco, where we have been, feels middle-eastern, not African. Tanzania, from a hundred feet up looks like Africa. Orange dirt tracks, thick vegetation, small cinder block houses, sun glinting off the …

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South Africa 2004

We’ve been planning this three month trip to Africa for a long time. One of the guidebooks we own is over ten years old and we have to replace it with a more current edition. Finally, December 1, 2004 is chosen as a departure date. Craig & I both arrange to be away from work for 3 months. We buy …

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Morocco 1998

  We start planning our September 1998 trip to Morocco a year earlier, as soon as I finish my masters degree. Craig was in Tangier, on the coast, in the late ’70s while travelling around the Mediterranean. This will be my first time in Morocco and my first time on the African continent. The routing is Vancouver – Paris – …

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