Five weeks and counting!!!...

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May 1st, 2003, 10:51 AM
  #1
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Five weeks and counting!!!...

Five weeks and counting until I leave L.A. for South Africa and Zambia! A walking safari should prove very interesting since my wife and I are easily scared by the small furry things in the bushes surrounding our new home in the mountains! If that is how we are for squirrels and other little rodents, I don't know how well we are going to hold up to Lions, Leopards and Elephants!

Anyway, haven't dropped by in a few days and today just marked another week closer to the pending trip. I really don't know what to expect with South Luangwa but I do have backup with my 3 nights in the Sabi Sand Reserve at Vuyatela. Something tells me that South Luangwa is going to be amazing but you never know.

It's just about that time to go to the physician and get all those nasty injections and anti-malaria pills. I can hardly wait!
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May 1st, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Woo Hoo Rocco
I know I'm not the only one here really looking forward to your trip report (and perhqps photos too) when you get back.
Have a WONDERFUL time!
Kavey
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May 1st, 2003, 04:39 PM
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Hi Roccco,

I was just like that before I went. You are going to have a sensational time. I also stayed at Sabi Sand --good luck with your shots and perhaps if at all possible,I just may be going to california to visit with my son and see friends in San Francisco & Pasadena--perhaps a coffee to see your photos??
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May 1st, 2003, 06:09 PM
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Patty...I live very close to Pasadena (about 10 minutes away) and I am often in Pasadena on the weekends because I still have a couple homes there (my wife operates them as exclusive Alzheimer care homes and my dogs usually stay at these homes).

I would be happy to share my photos and tales about Africa...there is nothing more I enjoy than talking about Africa, reading about Africa, looking at photographs of Africa, etc.

If you are in Pasadena sometime over the summer just let me know when and we can get together for coffee and Africa! Hopefully some Zimbabwean coffee blend...excellent coffee in Zimbabwe when I was there last year.

Kavey...thanks for the feedback...I can hardly wait and then I can hardly wait to begin planning my 2004 trip!!! I'll be able to take all that money spent on airfare next year and turn around and apply it to a place like Mombo, or who knows, maybe if the Rand continues to strengthen (and Southern Africa continues to become more expensive) I will open my mind and go to exclusive places in Kenya and Tanzania next year.

I was just visiting a website earlier today, www.iol.co.za, and it is an online newspaper covering Cape Town/South African/African news and according to this website, South Africa has experienced a greater rise in tourism in the last year than any other destination in the world. So, despite my whining on this board, I doubt the prices at South African game reserves is going to go down anytime soon. And since many Botswanan game reserves are priced in Rand, the same applies to Botswana.

Kruger National Park experienced 1 MILLION visitors for the first time last year. While most of these people are obviously not going to Singita or Royal Malewane, apparently enough of a percentage are going to the exclusive game lodges for them to continue raising prices. Singita is now above $1800 USD per night! That is insane. I am very fortunate to have visited Singita last year when the dollar was its strongest ever against the Rand.

I will be VERY curious to see the difference in quality between the $550 USD per night Vuyatela and the $1800 USD per night Singita. I mean these places are both in the Sabi Sand Reserve, cannot be more than 20 miles apart, both feature private plunge pools and both pride themselves on great service and amenities. I do not expect the 1,200 sq. foot room that I had at Singita or food quite as exquisite, but if it is anything close at all, then I doubt that I would ever return to Singita.

This time around, my wife and I may team up on a travel article and submit it to our local newspaper or perhaps even the L.A. Times for consideration in their Travel section. My wife has numerous front page stories on the local newspaper (probably has a circulation of about 50,000) and this would be a really fun story to put together on this trip and our first attempt at travel writing. I will have no problem, whatsoever, in taking some amazing pictures.

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May 1st, 2003, 08:55 PM
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Rocco, the rand is falling by the day. Drives me crazy. Which shots are you going to get? I know I want Hep A, I guess Typhoid but probably not Hep B or yellow fever. Will get anti-Mal. pills (but not the kind that doesn't work anymore).

We're also doing a walking safari... I'm less worried about the lions than the small tiny bugs in the bush that carry interesting diseases you've never heard of.
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