Girls Going Wild in Africa…the Closing Act

We began our 30 hour final adventure of returning to the USA,

I had to laugh as we packed up, but was deeply appreciative of Molly’s pharmaceutical offerings. Molly, Fernando and Luke provided us with everything from special bandages to high impact meds if needed along the way. It was an impressive and prepared group for bush travel -:)!!

These are just a few of Molly’s offerings….

Molly also hosted us in the Premier Lounge of J-Burg as we awaited our 16 hour international flight home on South African airlines. Of course, those hours of waiting between flights also included some pursuing of the African artifacts luring those travelers still searching for that perfect ‘Out of Africa’ memento ( that would be yours truly🤗)!!

The farewells to our two dear new BFF’s, Mirian and Fernando, began to commence. It had truly been an amazing and wonderful experience with life in the bush exceeding our expectations!!!

My sister Gail and I will never forget the kindness and immense treasure of traveling with Molly and Robin on this African adventure. We have been friends for years as our husbands all met and also bonded decades ago.

The chance meeting of ‘the kids’ ( Mirian, Fernando, Kate, Luke, Beth and Steven) as we affectionately call them was an added layer of sheer joy, story sharing, adventures and laughter.

Africa beckons us to return one day.

Thank you for following our journey!!!

Sisters…arriving safely to the ‘Big Apple’ of JFK….

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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe…by land and air-:)!!

What a magnificent natural wonder of the world is Victoria Falls. We spent the morning touring by land and the afternoon in an exhilarating helicopter ride hovering over the spectacular scenery below.

My sister, Gail, was in a terrible auto accident at the tender age of 26. Her miraculously ‘saved’ ankle, now fused, has led to some additional navigation challenges-so we FINALLY convinced her to take a wheel chair for this walking tour!! Thank you ‘Angel’ ( such an appropriate name and her personal chariot driver) for making her journey to Victoria Falls possible. Gail never missed a ‘navigational moment’ what a TROOPER!!!

In the afternoon Gail and I toasted her next birthday with a helicopter flight above this amazing topography. The helicopter ride topped off our African modes of transportation…open air jeep rides, Mokoro dugout canoes, hot air balloon ride, bush plane fights, private touring vehicles. and good old walking-:)!!

I will allow the pictures to speak for themselves…including the stately statue of the infamous Dr. Livingston….”I presume”🤗🤗🤗!!!

Ohhh my gosh, Robin…don’t fall….

….and from the air….

We spotted you hippos …just basking in the African sun…

The village of Victoria Falls found some interesting glimpses, including the fact that KFC found its way there…

Then our last night in Africa we experienced the traditional BOMA and loved the fun of the bongos…

Off to pack …beginning our farewells to this magnificent and exciting African experience. Girls Going Wild in Africa is soon to become an amazing memory, We are each SO blessed to have our health and to be able to share this experience🙏❤️!!

Karel’s philosophical reflection of the day…if you are still reading along…

Shared experiences of bonding certainly do not have to be exotic, as you all already know, they can happen right in our own backyards, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and communities. We just have to have the courage to embrace each moment as a unique gift and blessing from God….truly appreciating those moments for what they are.

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Girls Go Wild…Crossing the border from Botswana to Zimbabwe…

As we entered the border zone from Botswana to Zimbabwe we learned that the supply trucks may have to wait up to two weeks to be given approval and a time to cross over to Zambia or Zimbabwe. The infrastructure of the country has been a project of the Chinese who are bringing in their engineers but have agreed to hire locals when able.

To make the experience a Girls Go Wild in Africa true adventure…

We literally ‘cha-cha’d ‘ our way across the border with this entertaining ‘dancing’ guide. We certainly gave the border patrol something to talk about.

Of course, ‘some of us’ responded by quickly lighting up our fun party glasses…I will let you guess who participated in that experience🎉🎈🎉!!!

VERY sadly this morning we had to say good bye to four of our new BFF’s….Steven, Beth, Kate and our very own ‘Dr. Luke’. They all headed back to the States….unscathed from the ‘soft landing’ of the hot air balloon experience…(with THEE emergency helicopter evacuation) ….and forever loaded with an exciting cocktail party story hit!!!

….And to think that was suppose to be ‘our time slot’ but the pilot suddenly changed the plan the day before and took the four of us early…ohhhh my…..not sure we would have fared as well as this awesome group-filming the whole thing😳👍!!!

Now, we are off to Victoria Falls…!!!

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Elephant Valley Lodge…Girls Going Wild in Chobe

After a rather bumpy bush plane ride, we headed to Elephant Valley Lodge. Now we have departed from the private reserves of the Kadizora Safari Camp in the Okavango Delta to our game rides in the Chobe National Park. The experience provides a contrast in African bush safaris. Chobe did not disappoint us.

Our final game ride provided a lioness with four cubs, a leopard after a kill, the rarity of a sighting of the male lion plus a dramatic lion chase right in front of our jeep!!! Plus more elephant herds than one could EVER imagine.

Here are a few of those moments and a spectacular, yet serene ride, on the Chobe River.

Two dollar bills for our new friends…

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Too Close for Comfort…

How would you feel one night if you awoke to one of these guys staring at you in your tent….

well it actually happened….

I could feel the earth shaking as I heard the deafening crush of leaves and branches and then suddenly in the shadows of our tent porch was one HUGE elephant staring right at Gail and myself ( or so it felt like…) With our adrenaline at full rush we quickly sprang into action…but what does one REALLY do when faced with an elephant in your Camp sight?? So we just shook and prayed. We instantly recalled the famous words of our safari camp leader…”do not sound the emergency horn unless it is a MEDICAL emergency”. Gail and I pondered….would an adrenaline rush qualify???

The hours passed VERY slowly and our dear friend returned about two hours later only to actually curl up beside our tent and make his ‘bed’ for the remaining of his night’s rest.

The next night he was replaced by a hippo who got to his bed first!!!

Thank goodness we love the adventure and these amazing animals…

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The Story of the Hot Air Ballon Ride that turned into an “Out of Africa thriller’….

As pictured earlier our hot air balloon ride was phenomenal. However, not so for our dear new BFF’s- – their balloon ride ended in what the endearing pilot referred to as an ‘aborted landing’….-:)!!

Thank goodness they were all fine!! However, in one day our bush buddies experienced two Jeep rides, one hot air balloon ride with a crash landing, were emergency helicoptered off an island in Botswana as a result of the hot air balloon experience, had a jeep mishap with injuries, and then ultimately ended their day by joining us on a rather rough bush plane ride out of the Okavango Delta into the next tented camp in the Chobe area of Botswana. What a day for them…to say the least!!!

Thank goodness Steven, Beth, Mirian, Fernando, Kate and Luke all had their youth and sense of humor to survive a most challenging day in the African bush.

We all cheered to their survival of ‘ ‘lessons learned’ during a single day in the bush…❤️👍❤️!!

Toasts to a beautiful sunset and more African experiences to come….

Recapping our experiences in the Okavango Delta here are some highlights from our bush experience…

The Kadizora Camp…To The Mokoro….

A mokoro is a type of canoe commonly used in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. It is propelled through the shallow waters of the delta by standing in the stern and pushing with a pole, . Fun to have the hippos sharing our water way….

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‘Maun to a small island in Botswana …Girls Really Going Wild in the Okavango Delta -:)!!

We have arrived in the Okavango Delta-by ‘puddle jumper’. What a thrill to all board this plane and meet Pete our Bush Pilot and his lovely wife.

Forty minutes later with some spectacular views of the Okavango Delta we landed on a gravel runway and headed to Kadizora Camp where we were greeted by an amazing staff. We are enjoying three days in this tented, rustic camp with magnificent game drives, hot air balloon rides and dugout canoe experiences.

The games rides began immediately and they sure did not disappoint…Navas was our guide and did a terrific job spotting the big game.

Let the tracking begin…

African style ‘termite homes’…

Then we had the trill of a lifetime …hot air ballooning over the Okavango Delta…

What an adventure in the Delta…

With beautiful sunsets to end the long days…

Hey…who wants to put riding the ‘Orange Mango’ on their bucket list…

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Loving the Capetown experience..

Water is a real shortage in Capetown. The situation has been very challenging for this city. It was suggested that we time our showers with a three minute egg timer which appears on the door of each of our showers. Amazing efforts have been put into effect to advert this crisis and the South Africans are gaining ground.

However, it did bring a chuckle to us as we entered a beautiful winery today and were greeted with the following sign…

It was a great day with drives to Stellenbosch where we enjoyed a wine tasting and toasted to dear friends at the Lanzerac Estate.

We then drove to the culinary and wine center of Franschhoek, South Africa

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We finished up the afternoon with a final tasting at Fairview Winery near Paarl. They not only provided great wines but excellent cheeses for the pairings.

Of course…we also had to let the fun shopping begin. SO many options….of course, restraint was the order of the day…-:)!!!

A great last day in Capetown…tomorrow off to our first safari.

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What a GREAT day-:)!!

We started our day off in Capetown with a spectacular cablecar ride up to the vistas of Table Mountain… take a peek at the beautiful sights from the top…

Then we met the ‘dassies’ along the way….cuddly little creatures perilously perched on the cliff edges…

Then we headed to Robben Island. This is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. The guide and Mandela were inmates together on Robben Island. It was a moving story of how Mandela began his ‘long walk to freedom’.

Here is his actual cell where he lived for his 18 years of imprisonment…

This is the former prisoner who told the story of what it was like to be here with Nelson Mandela who was known only as #466/64.

Pictured here is a garden Mandela grew to try and keep spirits up with his inmates.

On a lighter note in the day we enjoyed one of the best mime’s ever …who managed to sneak a wink at my sister upon her departure…

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On the way to the Cape of Good Hope…

Look who decided to join us on our drive…..baboons-:)!!

Reaching the actual Cape of Good Hope…tip of Africa ( almost-:)!!) ….more shipwrecks than any other Cape in the world.

Gorgeous flowers along the way…Capetown’s spring is in full bloom with exotic flowers!!

Amazing drives and scenery along the way…

Sister Gail truly enjoying her ‘Bucket List Dream’-:)!!

The infamous African penguins…

Interesting lunch of Cape Malia stew with our new traveling companions joining in on the fun❤️!!

Tomorrow to Table Mountain and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was in-prisoned.

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