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Africa Safari

Cleveland and Travel
Johannesburg, Safari Camps, CapeTown, Dubai
30 April to 19 May 2018

Enjoy the experience without the jet lag... Yvonne and I took a 3 week trip that included several “to do” objectives: Fly Emirates Airbus 380 (the double-decker) in business class, go on safari in Botswana and South Africa and tour Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Dubai.

All accomplished in:  44 Flight hours, in 10 legs, and 25,243 Air miles. The earth is 24,901 miles at the equator. Three new country passport stamps for Y and one for me.

Enjoy the slide show, Yvonne’s selection of the best of her 1,700+ images (inluding our cell phones). A bit long (10 minutes), but so was the trip. Take a look at how close we got to these animals! They seem to regard the vehicles as just another 'elephant', no threat to them. Though repeated cautions, do not stand, do not raise or wave your arms or call to the animals, then they'd see us as human and a threat to respond to.

Now think of the 'heroics' big game hunters demonstrate. We appreciate Botswana, fiercly protective of their animals, no big game hunting (and shoot to kill policy regarding poachers). Judging by the increasing number of safari camps, preserving the natural landscape and animals may slowly become more profitable than killing them. We hope. 

--Mark

Itinerary:

Cleveland (CLE) to New York (JFK)

Dubai (DXB) overnight

Johannesburg (JHB-Tambo) 3 nights

Lanseria Airport in JHB to Limpopo Valley Airfield, drive to Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana 3 nights

Limpopo Valley, Polkowane Airport to clear customs, to Airfield at Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa 3 nights

Mala Mala to Skukuza Airport to CPT 4 nights

Cape Town (CPT) back to DXB 3 nights

DXB to JFK to CLE

Johannesburg, Apartheid Museum, difficult history well presented. Soweto guided tour, much progress, much still in need. Issues to be sure, but never felt unsafe in our neighborhood (Rosebank) in our cozy well-staffed boutique hotel. Evenings cab or car hire door to door.

Cape Town, Penninsula guided tour to see seals, penguins, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Vibrant restaurant scene, our neighborhood and lovely guest house hotel very comfortable, yet also in the evenings, car hire only door to door. Uber worked very well, as long as had wi-fi. In general, prices reasonable.

Waterfront bit tourist-centered but worth the visit especially to the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art. Ferris Wheel a way to enjoy great views. Slave Lodge, another harsh historical check. On best weather day, hiked up (really, a climb, took us mature people three hours) Table Mountain. Worth the views, and road the cable car down.


Safari. Amazing. The photos will tell most of the story.

Two rides every day, animals most active at dawn and dusk. Depart at 6:00am return by 10:00am for a larger brunch. Mid day break then depart 3:30 pm and return after sunset at 7 or 7:30pm. Two camps we chose for their different landscapes which determines types of animals.

Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana, Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa adjacent to Kruger National Park. Excellent accommodations and cuisine.

Dubai, why? Because it's there, and desire to ride on Emirates Airlines. Endless skyscapers, in a ten year period 300 were built, cranes everywhere. Visited the Burj Kalifa, tallest building in the world for now, already building one taller. Desert safari on a private reserve, an environmentally respectful drive (i.e. no crashing over the dunes) a traditionally prepared dinner under the stars. Took a hop on hop off bus tour to Palm Islands and around other sites. Very comfortable accommodations and excellent dining options. Prices generally, expensive.

We hope this inspires you and or helps you plan a trip!

--Yvonne


 
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