I dream of Africa ..(my experience)
Monday, Sept. 5th- as I was dreaming with Botswana, Zambia & SA. my alarm when off...
This time, I didn't drag myself out of bed, instead I but jump out to dance the Happy Dance! listening to...
Yes! I'm going to Africa, finally and I got in the shower, fixed my hair, put on some make up ( ?) , lots of perfume... that never fails and checked around the house to make sure everything was right.
Next, it was time to wait for my Emirates Biz. shuttle driver... Here I am by the stairs steps as I suddenly hear Knock knock!
Who's there ?
It's your driver.. Mr. R. , as I open the door with my biggest smile, I realize my driver it's MILTON!!!
Good morning, Miss Milena, good morning, Sr. and off he went, took my suitcase (under 27lb. and my camera bag. ) walk towards the Black Jaguar and loaded the trunk, open the door for me and off we went headed to the Airport. He was sweet as a candy and very friendly. I had an amazing ride.
well, we got to the airport; I had pre-check, so the only thing left to do was to turn my 27lb. suitcase in and headed to the gate... the entire process was about 2-3 min. ... I think they know me 1 hour later the gates open and I'm walking down through the tunnel to Happiness.
My flight was Seattle-Dubai 14h. piece of cake... my 5th time, I use to it.- This time I'm staying 2 full days in Dubai.
I saw the Museum of the future (just open) the Frame Bldg., went to the Souks to buy my middle E, spices and did my typical Spa ritual...
off 2 days later to Lusaka, Zambia 7h. flight - this time economy- aisle seat 18C. Food was good- service excellent as usual.
Once in Lusaka, I did run to the terminal thinking 2.5 hours was not enough... even as I had already gotten my e-visa in hand- well it took all the process about 15m., now what? The Lusaka airport is new, still some areas are under construction, but it is functional and easy to navigate.
As, a rep. of Proflight saw my ticket, he immediately took over my luggage and took me directly to the Proflight counter.
It's show time! They are ready to board.
and hour later I was finally @ Livingstone airport, where a Tauck rep, was waiting for ma and took me to the Royal Livingstone V. falls hotel.
As incredible it is I was so excited, to be there... I was fresh and ready to start, they greeted me with a non- alcoholic that was delicious... so, I ask for 2 more . No shame!
Thet directed me to the room and as I left my bags, I ran to take some pictures, I saw a Giraffe and some Zebras out in the lawn also wanted to see my first Zambia sundowner.
Well, I got around and find the giraffe which became my new friend... the click of my camera was something he had to see up-close. I have to be honest... I pulled back several steps, but it was Amazing to see it so close and so gentle. Once several pictures were taken and after seeing my first sundowner at the hotel, I headed back to the room to get ready for the next Amazing and loaded with excitement day.
7:00 am Tauck Welcome cocktail day.
But I had other plans till 6:oo pm
1st. my Microfight over The Victoria Falls (THANKS! to ALANS, it was AAAAAMAZING!)
Then, at 10:00 The Elephant Cafe for Lunch. (Not to be missed! ) I just hope Tauck includes it in the Livingstone program. (Lunch was divine too) _ Enjoy!
and finally, the Cocktail welcome reception... Let's meet the group and the TD.
at first glance everyone was very friendly and happy, all very excited to start the trip and drinks, laughter was the order of the night. The cocktail was done outside at the lawn near the river, so we had a great breeze and also saw another out of this world African Sundowner... it never gets old.
Well, these is it for an Introduction... the trip will start tomorrow Day # 2
-Rhino visit & Chobe before crossing to Botswana.
Buenas noches!, Good night! , Bonne nuit. Buona notte tutti.
I have to say, the food was outstanding, but THe 2 ladies Chef at the Kalahari Camp! should get an award! The food was best ever! even better then the One&Only. It was over-the- top excellent!
Mil - Great pictures. Trip looks amazing. I see you figured out how to post videos. Next up, figuring out how to post all of your pictures in the correct viewing orientation! 😂
Loving your review so far. Really enjoyed your micro flight video. What an experience!
Wow, you got a video of your flight! We just got time lapse stills!
Smiling Sam Hi,
Hey, I was able to fix 3 but of course... I got 2 others... Urrrrrr.
Day 2 to follow.....
Great trip report and pictures. Looking forward to the next installment.
Does Emirates give you that "Do I look like I fly economy" thing, or is that yours?
Mil - 3 out of 5 with correct orientation. If you were a Major League ball player, you'd be batting .600 and would be on your way to the Hall of Fame.
Are the water levels now, as seen in your ultralight video, considered low, normal, or high?
Also during the flight do you see wildlife below like during the hot air balloon ride in K&T?
AlanS - You'll have to go back so you can get a video of the ultralight over Victoria Falls.
Day #2 AM
Good morning, Livingstone...How will you surprise me today?
Beautiful sunny day, crispy as I like and several zebras on the lawn... Oh! and some annoying monkeys that were scare away by a kid with a slingshot! and he gets pay for it.
To start breakfast was great and my morning Amarula even better. Once done, when to the room and picked my Bazooka lens. Put on the harness and off I went... on time to the bus. The group was always on time.
We did a quick drive around town and headed to the bush to see the Rhinos; the group was divided into 2- 6ea. and we had a great 2-3 mile walk around the area... no Rhino, lots of tracks (I believe it was all a conspiracy ) once the ranger decided it was all over...
Surprise! we got to mama Rhino and her baby. We all started to scream out of joy, what an amazing encounter...
from there we drove near the river for a bathroom stop and refreshments
Pm to come next.
The sign it's mine. ) just being naughty.
On Day #2... I almost forgot, the visit to the Falls got also switch to the morning, to prevent the afternoon heat; again we drove to the site. As we arrive a local guide was waiting for us to give a briefing about the falls, the facts etc..
we enter the park and start walking towards the falls. - great time, beautiful morning and no one around...
We spend about 1.5h around the park.
Then in the afternoon, after our daily activities were done... I did my girly thing.. The SPA!! Oh la la.. mon cheri!
To be continue...
Mil thank you for the reports and great pictures, continue to have a wonderful time.
mil..does the Royal Livingstone still assign a personal butler to guests. Upon outdoor check-in, my butler was assigned and escorted me to the room. He then proceeded to tell me He was my personal butler for my stay and I should call him if there was anything I needed. My African safari was in 2010--so things may have changed a bit...everything except that fabulous property, food or the wonderful train ride.
And yes, I do remember the giraffes and zebras roaming the property.
FYI...I'll be wearing those same safari pants and boots for the safari portion of the Northern India/Nepal tour.
Yes, they still have the butler, mine was a lady. No train for Tauck welcome cocktail & dinner.
Yes animal still are roaming all over the place. Love them.
The butlers must have been on strike in 2016. The only one we saw greeted us when we got off the boat to the hotel. Dinner on the train became tedious with the slow service. It was not a Tauck exclusive event. We all left before the final course was served. It was walking distance to the hotel.
No Butler that I recall on our tour but we did get the train ride, a bit of a disappointment because it goes dark so quickly so you can’t see anything, and some people did not like when we stopped and were surrounded by kids selling wooden animals etc. we bought some to support the local community. I guess it’s hard to know whether the train ride was stopped due to the pandemic or whether Tauck took it off the itinerary.
The train it's not on service at all.
The same colorful host as in Sealord's photo, but no butler in June 2017.
They must have found some docile and partially socialized giraffes. Back in the mid-teens, a bull giraffe attacked (head and neck butted/slapped) two Tauck guest who were seriously injured and had to be medevaced to South Africa. The giraffe was relocated.
Sealord. The butler looks like the same guy in your photo. Our dinner was served as the train was moving. There was no opportunity to get off. It was lovely.
British. Folks on my tour also enjoyed the children as we passed thru the villages...
I can’t recall passing through any villages, just the stop on the bridge and the kids peddling trinkets.
I love your dress. I wore a skirt but most just wore t shirts etc. Anyway, looks as if the train ride is yet another item off a tour. So many of our past tours have been changed with less included things and meals.
Yes Mil, Alan is correct about the giraffe. It happened just before we went. We were told to call security if we saw the giraffe too near. One day, one was right outside our door when we wanted to go out, so we had to call security to come and get us.when the attack was reported, it was not the first on a tourist.
Hopefully my page will not get kidnapped again...
We packed the duffle bags , we ate breakfast and off we go... to the Botswana border... , here everything is super organized and clean- there is a new bridge to cross into Botswana and also a new building for the border immigration offices.- we got out, showed our CDC cards , passport etc.. we had to step on a disinfectant solution and give the Tauck rep, our other pair to be also disinfected.-
We spend about 20-30 min through the entire process- Toilets are super clean too.
WELCOME TO BOTSWANA!
Next, Chobe. Home to the largest concentration of elephants. We stop at The Chobe River Lodge and embark on our private barge for a water Safari. 2hours in elephant Heaven.... I could just stay there for the rest of the trip. Even Tauck rep. mention he has never seemed so many elephants at once.. more the 400 for sure. We had lunch on the barge and on.. to the airport for our flight to Khwai.
We arrive to the Eagle Khwai River Lodge, our first camp.- Lovely. My tent name... LARGE SOUR PLUM # 11.
I should have known... it was a sign! of things to come..... But focusing on the good, Amazing and what I went there for... my report continues with , what I should say the 1st of 3 Amazing game drives here in Khwai.
after the game drive, back to camp for dinner- food was good. my tent was nice, spacious , pretty decoration and a nice comfi. bed, it also has AC. , nice out side balcony
Breakfast early in the morning 6:00 am- left on another Amazing game drive at the Moremi Reserve. mid morning we stop for some refreshment ( Amarula 4 me) and a toilet stop. Moi! also went to take some pictures..
at around 11:00..sh , we headed back to camp for lunch , we got some free time till next game drive around 4:00 pm and to end the day a Boma Dinner... great food- more Amaula for me, please.
I see the flagger has now been busy here.
British...Thank You! ! I've worn it twice. The 1st time on African Safari (2010) and I re-purposed it again 8 years later (2018) for the New Years Eve celebration in Kochi (India) where surprisingly all of the Indian men were on the dance floor and even more surprising-- alcoholic beverages were not served past 11PM...Apparently, pay day is once a month on the first day of the month and the fear is that Indian men will spend a large amount of their paycheck on alcoholic beverages...so capping drink sales off at 11PM I guess is a deterrent.
No problem... at least it's happy stuff. I'll resume my report, today.
Day # 5
Early game drive...Yuppy Another Fav. one... Moremi is not a disappointment; bring on the 4-legged animals...
At mid- morning more refreshments. (Amarula) for me, please.
Once done with the game drive, we went back to camp for lunch and on to the air strip for our flight to Eagle Island.
We had a great flight and once at the camp we had some relaxing time follow by a visit to a local community, where we share time learning about their way of living, shop for some handmade crafts and had a small drive around the area.
Back at the camp we had a delicious dinner and headed to an amazing glam tent. - Incredible bed- nicely decorated, in and outside shower small plunge pool and best view ever! my tent again #11(which I only realize a few days ago... I was stock with #11 all along)
Le Glamour Camp.
To be continued
Good morning Day #6
Memorable Day #6
We start the day on a motorboat cruising the Okavango Delta.
Lots of fun, incredible Fauna and great break from the dry/dusty safari land. We saw some Elephants, loud Hippos and tons of birds.
at mid-morning, refreshments again... and guess what I had? AMARULA!!!!!!!!!!!
So... moving along... here are some pics.
The Sexy Day #6 to come.... Javah Javah.....
Mil - Good job at getting all of the photos oriented correctly. Next up, work on posting each photo only once. I see the same photo posted twice. 😂😂
Just teasing. Looks like you're having a great trip.
Smiling Sam... I think of you every time I'm about to post a pic. )