On our Way to the "Smoking Thunder"

Trip Start Jul 10, 2007
Trip End Mar 11, 2008

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Flag of Zambia  ,
Saturday, December 22, 2007

On our way to Zambia, we:
1. Scratched more cheetahs behind the ears
2. Walked with some caracals
3. Observed up close a grouchy leopard
4. Climbed the highest sand castles
5. Went sand boarding on very hot dunes
6. Slid down sandy hills at 80km an hour
7. Threw rocks into the deepest crevices
8. Stood on the Tropic of Capricorn
9. Explored coasts where nothing lives
10. "Smelled" a colony of seals...skunks would run away
11. Walked in a petrified forest late one afternoon at 45 degrees Celsius
12. Learned how to hunt and trap animals from the kindest tribe members
13. Watched the best live animal programs at a water hole
14. Slept in tents beside hippos, wacky warthogs, genets, elephants, hyenas, lions, giraffes,,,,
15.  Had a too close an encounter with a baboon
16.  Stood in line and waited for four hours to cross the Botswana and Zambia border
17. Celebrated our wedding anniversary wasting four hours to cross the Botswana and Zambia border  (bribery is all too well at work here) and then drank some bubbly
18.  Had an unexpected shower at Victoria Falls (Smoking Thunder)
19. Flew to Johannesburg on Christmas day
20. Shared a "traditional " dinner with another Canadian family starting their safari.
When we left Africa, I had a huge knot in my throat.  I know we each left a part of ourselves on this continent.  We felt the warmth, the passion and at times the deep rooted pain the people endure in these South African countries. We truly hope that one day; more peace can find its way to every region in this remarkable part of the world. 
I now understand what my uncle Hubert meant every time he left to work to "mon Afrique"; his Africa. I understand the excitement he felt returning to his beloved adopted country. I only wish that my family could have shared part of our first experience "en Afrique" through his eyes. I am now "Out of Africa", I hope to return.
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