Thursday, October 14, 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
As many of you know I did this trip solo.. but solo did not mean alone, I had many visitors along the way, met an old friend, and made many new friends.
Also along the way, so many of my destinations and logistics would never have been possible without the help of so many back home, in Africa and even in Sweeden!
For this note I’d like to sum up a list of recommendations and thank yous.. first I’ll start with the thank yous!
Mom and Dad – phone calls, moral support, and shipping logistics for vaccination card
Kjell – even from Sweeden before my trip started I knew you would be a fantastic help. You not only were helpful in logistics but your friendly disposition and patience was more than could be expected of someone helpnig basically a random stranger
Michelle – your company, patience and sunny disposition
Randon taxi driver in hurgadah – faith in Egyptians
Ingrid – your friendship in a very strange place made my transition easy
James – Your hospitality and friendship
Gie – Companionship and help
Coconut – the excelent driver, friendly guy and cheap taxi
Dullah – your tour guide services and friendship and general love of your island
Chante – your strength was inspiring. Your smile infectious and your company stellar even through what I now call “The Nairobi Incident”
Peter from JK Safaris – patience durnig The Nairobi Incident and setting me up on the most amazing tour!
Annie, & friends on Kenya safari – company and friendliness
Todd – My new Anglican Bishop friend – friendship, help and direction, hospitality
Dasy – Our Madagascar driver extrodinaire and saviour on more than one occassion
Pat “Botonist Bob” Donahue – Travel adventure partner par excellance.
Jo “the Queen” – ATM assistance – sorry I missed you in Cape Town
Allister – Life savor with the delivery service
Finnish Jan – company in a very low time
Linus – stimulating conversation, open minded debate, remind me there are worse things in life
Patrick – Nomad driver who deftly handled a bad situation and made the best of it
Luke – keeping me lauging for 8 days to vic falls
The rest of the nomad crew – tons of entertainment and smiles!
Jinxy in the delta – nothing like being able to talk NCAA football when feeling lonely in Africa
Colm and Caitln – excellent friendship, companionship, moral support (congrats on the wedding)
Clive – Bungee Jump Operator and general great guy – superb timing, excellent knowledge, willingness to go the extra mile
RECCOMENDATIONS and HINTS:
– diving in hurgadah, prince and blue water, johny
– bus service in hurgadah – go bus
Dar Es Salaam
– beaches south of town in Kegomboni
– arrange bus through agent before getting to Unbungu station
– Call Dullah, tell him bill the american sent you
– Dive Pemba
– Night fish market in stown town
Safari in Tanzania
– China good tour – check on truck status and payment for park entries.. know this is a lower end budget type trip but good game drives
– muzungu bus recommended, know specifically your hotel before you get there
– hotel comfort inn recommended right next to Nakomat
– Giraffe experience in Nairboi worth while
– Shipping souvineers from Nairobi is cheap through Kenya Post Office
– book flights WAY early and think about air france from paris. flights from mainlaind africa are crazy expensive and schedules are terrible
– DASY the driver
– all of the national parks along the N7
– trasportation and lodging in Andringitra – look up photo
– guide in Andringitra – look up name
– skip Toliara and go straight to Ifaty..
– Ifaty – dive with John Pierre
– stay with hotel mentioned in blog entry better than top end .. rooms nice, view spectactular, cost cheaper
– If you need to get from Morondava to Tana, consider renting an entire Taxi brusse for your crew alone.. 13 hours but cheaper than a flight
– In Tana – recommend hotels check out the blog entries.
– Nomad tour if patrick is driving.. otherwise I think they have lost thier edge and are too big
– Okanvango Delta – Jinxy and Gunn’s camp
– skip the day drive in Chobe and focus on the night river drive
– Be leary of anywhere that says they have a pool.. probably not filtered or cleaned often
– RAFT THE ZAMBEZIE
– See the falls in the late afternoon sun!
– Skip the elephant lodge.. not worth the extra money and out of the way location
– flying from livingstone not worth the $20-$50 savings and hassel of crossing the border
– Garden route with Nomad.. skip it!
– Garden route on your own.. DO IT!
– Bungee Jump Bloukrans
– Clive and his backpackers hostel is a fantastic bargain and friendly beyond imagination!
– lunch in Plettenburg at the big hotel
– Shark Dive with white shark africa (alternate from Chante)
– Glen Carlou winery in the morning so you have the staff to yourself!
– Simons Town backpackers surprisingly friendly, clean, comfortable and fantastic atmosphere
– Restaurant at cape point lighthouse is worth the splurge!
– mamma afrika on long street cant be beat for African game meals and atmosphere!
– Kulula – use only if you know without a doubt no changes will be needed
Finally.. if anyone EVER finds a journal in a 6″ x 4″ spiral notebook that was either left at the sky club in Joburg, on a Delta flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta or anywhere else.. I will PAY.. it has been lost for years now and I miss the more private thoughts from my trip!