Leaving Las Vegas!!

Trip Start Dec 21, 2006
Trip End Nov 15, 2007

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Friday, January 5, 2007

After 2 weeks of 5 star pampering on the Sofitel Resort in Las Vegas (AKA Sharm El Sheikh), it's time to shift gears and start the real adventure. So I'm putting aside the Armani suit and the polo uniform, and ironing all my trekking clothes and getting the camping gear ready to commence my East African journey.

Sharm was the perfect place to unwind, read my lonely planet book collection, enjoy the holiday season, spend quality time with Mama Zariffa and learn how to belly dance. Don't laugh, I am very serious about the belly dancing, I am totally awesome!!! I even entered the 9th annual Sharm El Sheikh belly dancing competition and nearly won...Blondie took the grand prize but we were neck in neck throughout the competition!!! I've included the video of Blondie's winning performance for your enjoyment. Sharm was also a place where I met a lot of great people, some of which I will likely bump into again somewhere along the way.

Anyhow, the East African tour starts in Nairobi. "This is not a luxury tour"... a quote from the intro paragraph of my Africa tour company's marketing material!!! I'm really not surprised as this is a 35 day camping tour where we all get to participate in the daily chores (includes shopping for produce at local markets, cooking, cleaning....)....I'm not too sure how many stars that qualifies for!?!

As internet will not be easily accessible for the next 35 days, I just wanted to share with you the East African travel itinerary for now. I plan to circle back to you with back-dated blog postings whenever i'm in internet-friendly areas which will could likely be after the 35 day tour. So in summary, I will be traveling overland through Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania including the island of Zanzibar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The major attractions on this tour are:

- Safaris in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro crater and the Masai Mara national reserve (Kenya/Tanzania)
- Drives through the great Rift Valley (Kenya)
- Gorilla Trek in the rain forests of the Congo
- Diving in Zanzibar (Tanzania)
- Swimming at great beaches on Lake Malawi
- Victoria falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

So please keep your fingers crossed that I do not get eaten by the hungry East African lions and I'll be in touch with you soon.

After this entry, you should read the February 12th entry and then circle back to the individual blog entries for the selected African destinations (dated between January 6th and February 9th).

Best wishes in 2007 from "MOI" and Mama Dina Z

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