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Uhtred's living the dream in his African Vacation


leafsman
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I had my dream vacation last season with my wife to unwind and get ready to move to new city in his home continent.   That trip was to Africa as I always wanted to go on safari.  I didn't know anything about Africa so I used an agency called rhino Africa which I would highly recommend.  You let them know what you want to see and give them a budget and they design a great vacation.  The journey began with a flight from Lisbon to Maputo Mozambique before catching a flight to Cape Town.  The city is very poor and while landing you could see that it's very much a developing country.  After a couple hours it was off to cape Town where the vacation begins.

 

Day 1.
We woke up after a crazy wind Storm where it sounded like the windows were gonna break at any moment.  Day one was a cape point tour.  The day was spent going to cape point which has beautiful views of the ocean and it's where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.  The wind was still intense but it was beautiful. The next stop was to a place called Simon's Town to see a historic little town but the highlight is seeing the African penguins that live at a park in this small town.  Was great to see the little guys running around.  This was the last stop on the tour and it was back to the hotel for some rest and then dinner.

 

Day 2
We had planned to visit tabletop mountain but it was closed because the high winds still in the area.  We instead went down to explore the waterfront area where a nice lunch was consumed on the pier.  We then walked back to the hotel which is something you can only do during daylight in Cape town.  

 

Day 3
Today we went to the wine region of Cape town which is Stellenbosch.  We were driven to a couple different wineries where we got to do some wine tasting.  The wines were very delicious and we discovered some south African wines like a red in Pinotage and a white in Chenin Blanc.  I am not much of a white wine person but I enjoyed that one.  We had lunch at another winery where we sat on a patio high up in the hills with a great view of wine country.  The day ended being dropped off at our hotel.

 

Day 4
This was more of a relaxing day after some days of touring. Each hotel room had it's own little pool so we spent the day by relaxing by  the pool to get ready for the upcoming safari adventure

 

Day 5
Today is is an exciting one as we were off to the airport to fly to the game reserve.  The first leg of the journey was taking a flight to a small regional airport where we would board a tiny six seat plane that will take us to the safari lodge.  Its the first time in such a small plane and you can feel all the movements in it.  Our pilots told us that they are basically Uber of the skies as they go from air strip to airstrip picking up and dropping off passengers.  We were the third stop on the flight so we had many takeoffs and landings in the tiny plane.  Once we got to our airstrip we suddenly took off just before hitting the the ground as animal veered into the runway leaving our pilots pissed at the guy on the ground whose job it was to keep them away.  Once we finally landed we got on a safari vehicle that took us to the lodge where we checked into our lodge.  We had a couple hours until our first safari so we had lunch and relaxed.  At 430 we gethered in the lobby had a drink before setting of for Safari.  Going on safari is amazing and you never know what you will see.  We saw some elephants a rhino some warthogs that day.  At about sunset they park the range rover and we have a snack and a drink.  Once it gets dark it's back to the lodge for dinner.

 

Day 6
The day starts at about 4am as you wake up and get ready for the 430 safari departure.  The morning is the best chance to see things as it's cooler.  This morning we were able to see some lions on the hunt.  We were a decent amount away from the actual kill but we could see how they work together to take down the prey.  The guide said he can see them eating but it was hard for us to spot with the the binoculars.  Later on that same morning we were able to watch a leopard try to catch some prey.  It was just lying in wait and waiting for the prey to get closer so it could pounce on it. One got really close but then spotted the leopard and called out a warning.  The others still paid no attention thinking it was a false call but once another animal spotted the leopard they took off.  Those were the highlights of the morning and back to the lodge for lunch and to rest before the late afternoon safari.  The evening safari was another great one, we got to see some hyenas and their young babies.  Although the adults are ugly the babies are much better looking.  We also got to see lions having a drink at the pond after sundown.  The Lions are so used to the vehicles they don't feel threatened and come pretty close and was great to see them close up.  We then returned for a special dinner with our guide Harley and got to year some great stories.  Once dinner was over he escorted us back to our room as we always need someone to walk us to our room at night.

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Day 7
Today is our final full day at the safari and it was another great one.  You might think it's all the same when going out to see the animals but the excitement is not knowing what you will find.  After our morning drive we had a safari on foot which ended with a breakfast in the bush.  We didn't see much while walking as the animals feel threatened by people outside the vehicles.  That said the guide has a rifle at the ready just in case .  In the afternoon drive, we got to see some cheetahs which are a very rare sight apparently.  Harley was so excited as it had been weeks since he last spotted some cheetahs.  We got to see a mother with her 2 Cubs just relaxing in the late day sun.  Our day ended with a barbecue dinner out in the bush where you can hear all the animals while eating.

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Day 8
We were scheduled to depart for Zimbabwe in the afternoon but in the morning we got to have our final safari.  The highlight of the day was seeing some African wild dogs which are also a rare sight as there aren't too many of them left. Leaving the safari was kind of sad but we still had one more to go and we still had the Victoria falls devils pool to see. We arrived in Zimbabwe and had a late lunch at the hotel overlooking a nature reserve.  In the late afternoon we went on a river boat cruise which was great and the highlight was seeing a group of elephants in the river playing and crossing the river.  I didn't know that elephants enjoyed the water until seeing them in the river.

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Day 9
Today we are going to devils pool at Victoria falls.  Victoria falls across the border from Zimbabwe in Zambia and is one of the largest waterfalls in th world.  At first I was a little hesitant about doing it but I was glad that we did it, after all if a hunch of seniors in the promotional video can do it, so can I. You start by walking over a bunch of rocks until you get the part of the falls called the devils pool.  The water was warm and calm and you approach the waiting area for your turn to go to the edge of the falls. We were the first pair to go and the guide brought us towards the edge and said to make sure you stay away from a certain point as it's very dangerous.  We then approach the falls and look down to amazing site.  It feels like you are at the edge of the world and when you look down you can see a double rainbow created by the falls.  As we are doing this one of the guides is taking pictures and filming us and they are like mountain goats in how they can navigate those slippery steep rocks.  When we got out of the water we walked to another point along the falls where you get both a great view of how large the falls are as well as seeing people at the spot where we just came from and it looks crazy.  We then made it back to Zimbabwe for lunch to spend the afternoon by the pool.  For dinner went to a buffet and drum show where they perform traditional dances and music while they eat.  There is an interactive part of the show where they teach you how to play a song and it showed me why I am a hockey player and not a musician.

 

Day 10
Today we departed for Botswana for our final safari of the Trip.  This safari was different from the south African safari as it was a more open grassland instead of the bushland in South African. Here we saw much larger groups of elephants and giraffes.  We also got to see a large group of baboons with a lot of youngsters in it.  It was fun to watch them play and get up to mischief.  We saw many of the same animals as in South Africa but was great to see them in a different type of landscape.

 

Day 11
The highlight of today was a river cruise.  We were on the boat with just one other couple so it was almost like a private tour.  Being on the water you can see a much of aquatic birds plus some crocodiles.  There was one point where a group of the Crocs was feasting on an elephant carcass. In Africa nothing goes to waste, some kind of animal will devour everything some bones.  It was fascinating to see how the Crocs eat by hitting and twisting off a piece.  As we were coasting down the river our engine malfunctioned so we were just drifting along the river for a while as the guide called for help.  Eventually help came and they got the engine to work again and we finished the trip.

 

Day 12
Today was the final day of the safari.  Today we got to see some lions resting and drinking by the river.  Unfortunately between this safari and the one in South Africa we were unable to see any fully grown males but just a couple     adolescents with partially grown manes.  The highlight of the day was after dinner while video chatting with family back home w group of elephants came to our pool for a drink.  We were in the middle of the call when we hear a loud noise and look outside and see a family of elephants having a drink.  There were both young and old elephants drinking making alot of noise.  It was crazy to look out the sliding door and seeing a giant elephants ass.  When we woke up the best morning we discover they drank the whole pool although it's a tiny one where basically enough room for two people to sit or stand in.

 

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Day 13
The day was spend traveling to Johannesburg our final stop on the trip.  We got there late in the day and after the safaris we had a meal at the hotel and had an early night.

 

Day 14
This was our final day of the trip.  The day was spent going to the cradle of mankind which is a cave where many early human beings were discovered fully preserved in the tarpits in the area.  We want into a cave where some of these remains were discovered.  At one point deep in the cave they turned off the lights so you can experience what total darkness is like.  There no light down there and you could see your hand in front of your face.  The last stop on the tour was to the apartheid museum which was sad to see how brutal humans can be to one another.  After the museum it was off to the airport for the long flight back home to Europe.  It was the trip of a lifetime and will be in our memories forever.

 

 

Based on my real  life trip.  If you ever want to go on safari one day when this pandemic is over, look up Rhino Africa as they put together a trip of a lifetime for us.

 

2176 words. 4 week claim. 

 

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