No time to read up: enjoy each day as it comes

Trip Start Jun 17, 2009
Trip End Aug 11, 2009

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reading the various Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor reviews ... crikey - what am I in for?
A few weeks ago, my manager told me to use up some of my 22 days of accrued annual leave so where to head to this year?

After a two hour session dreaming where I would like to travel to, with Eve from Adventure World assistance, I left her office armed with tentative travel itineraries to 3 parts of the world that I had always wanted to travel to: Galapagos Islands and Peru in South America, having already seen Xian and Beijing the middle section of the Silk Road and for me living here down under in New Zealand what seem to be far away Africa!

Why did I finally choose Africa and travel there in their mid winter with Acacia Africa as my local travel company?

Simple ... it was a camping trip and this aging body will not get any younger. I had heard of Acacia Africa many years ago and their web site plus brochure was enough to say "Choose us to travel and see Africa!"

BUT - How will I as a 50 something Kiwi born cope with travelling with a group where the average overlander was likely to be in their 20 - 30's? 

Oh well, I now work in an university environment so that's cool. I have worked with young people nearly all my life. I have travelled extensively including in 1990 a 6 week overland Top Deck bus trip London to London through Scandinavia to Russia, trekked up to Gokyo Lakes and over to Mt Everest base camp in 1997 with World Expeditions. In my youth and then for decades working as a volunteer youth leader, I use to camp, tramp, climb mountains, kayak, sail and along the way have ran some 30 marathons .... but this was in my younger days so what's 43 days travelling by truck overland through Africa pitching a tent and sleeping on the ground going to be like? Yes, you are right, I did get approval to take some extra leave. The African continent is so far away from New Zealand. The airfare alone was 50% dearer than flying to London return.

Having seen or read many African travel TV programmes, movies and articles, I do want to meet the locals.

As a keen amateur photographer, I do want to try and capture the animals, see them living in their natural environment, not being confined in a zoo and the African vistas. 

Let's do it before my aging body ceases up and I need to be travelling around Africa in a wheel chair.

So join me on this magic once in a lifetime trip to Africa as seen by a 50 something Kiwi. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Packed with 16 kg to check in, all ready to jump aboard the big silver bird in Auckland next Wednesday afternoon and hopefully emerge safe and sound some 34 hours later in Nairobi via transit stops in Perth and Johannesburg!

After 2 restful days getting my body clock right, probably by the hotel pool as Nairobi is said to be unsafe, next Sunday at 8 am I am off travelling for 43 days overland with Acacia Africa from Nairobi, Kenya to Capetown, South Africa via Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Here is their web site. My tour number is KTC43. Type this in the top right hand box and open the trip dossier to see where exactly I am off to.

This is a camping overland safari travelling by mainly self contained custom built truck with up to 24 other kindred travellers, a driver and Acacia guide.

The travellers will probably be 20 + years younger than me. Hopefully not a young drinking crowd who will want to party till the wee small hours!

Pitching a tent most nights, sleeping on a 3 to 4 cm so called "THICK, firm, comfortable foam mattress", buying local food and then in our groups cooking it = all good fun (we will see!). 

I will try and upload from time to time a little bit about how the safari is going for me plus give you a sneak preview of some of my photos. Brought a new Canon Power Shot SX1 IS camera that has a wonderful 560 mm lens to really pull in the animals.

Brother Tim will fly into Capetown from London at the end of my overland safari tour and for the next week we will drive around South Africa's famous coastal Garden Route plus see a bit of Capetown as well.
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