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Tried to post this on my Bon Voyage thread but it's not swallowing it!!!

Tried to post this on my Bon Voyage thread but it's not swallowing it!!!

May 18th, 2004, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Tried to post this on my Bon Voyage thread but it's not swallowing it!!!

Thank you everybody for your best wishes for my trip.

I hope to make a few discoveries on this trip to share with the board so I do not wear out my usefulness anytime soon!

I do wish that Star Of Africa took a greater interest in public relations, such as having a weekly update the way that Robin Pope Safaris does on its website. With Kaingo, I completely understand. They are the smallest camp in the entire South Luangwa, with only five rooms at Kaingo and three thatched rooms at Mwamba.

However, Kaingo's reputation is excellent. Considering the fact that Star Of Africa is trying to position itself as the premier tour operator to Zambia, they do need to pick it up a notch in order to hold the interest of potential clients. I will need to have a conversation with a couple managers at Star Of Africa!

I do hope that the pool at Kulefu has been completed, although it may be too cold, but maybe not. If it hits 80 degrees during my four night stay, I would love to take a dip in the new pool, and watch the occasional wild animal dart by me...perhaps I should pack a snorkel!

I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have the opportunity for 11 straight nights in the bush. While it would be great if I was visiting Tena Tena, Sausage Tree Camp and Chiawa (although I believe that Puku Ridge and Chichele also belong in this exclusive category), ultimately, it will be the magic of being in the African bush in a couple very beautiful areas that will make the most difference.

Although safety should NEVER be taken for granted, I do believe that my walking safaris will be very safe. The South Luangwa is where walking safaris were first pioneered, and with guides moving back and forth from South Luangwa to the Lower Zambezi, even the Lower Zambezi should be safe.

With a couple mekoro (canoe) excursions planned, perhaps three or four bush walks, three or four mid-day excursions to the hippo and/or elephant hides at Kaingo & Mwamba, perhaps four or five morning game drives and nightly evening game drives with guide and tracker, I do expect to have a plentitude of interaction with my Zambian animal friends!

One thing I really hope to do this year, that I have neglected to do in years past is to have at least a few hours of interaction with the local Zambian people, whether it is at a school or going to a bar and having a couple beers with my guide and tracker. I have not shared this before, but here is an incredible photo album taken by my new friends, whom I met on Fodors, advised for this trip and have since befriended in real life. They took their elderly parents along to Zambia, as well as their two daughters and these photos are just amazing. Have a look:


If that photo album isn't the best advertisement ever for Zambia, then I do not know what is. And this was taken in Green Season, when rates are incredibly reasonable. Photos were taken at Tongabezi (Bono from U2 shared the camp) and Robin Pope Safaris (Nkwali and Robin's House). I will be in the same general area as Nkwali/Robin's House during my time at Puku Ridge and Chichele.

Now if only I was half the photographer, I may be able to come away with some similarly amazing photos.

Two more nights to go, but hopefully I will spend some time packing and maybe SLEEPING instead of writing posts and researching stuff that I already know by heart.
Roccco is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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Those photos were absolutely amazing. And nice to see that the entire family went on this holiday - three generations. Thanks for sharing these.
May 19th, 2004, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Rocco: I love you to death, but would you go already!!!
SusanLynne is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Do you suggest I camp out at LAX for the next 36 hours?!
Roccco is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, but I don't think STD would be too comfortable! I would think that with just 36 hours left (but who is counting?) that you would be doing other things to prepare for your departure than spending time here. Saying "goodbye" to your dogs, for instance. Considering how many you have (envy here ...), it would take you a good four hours to pay each a little attention. STD is probably still less than enthusiastic about the Zambia portion of the trip, so perhaps run out and buy her a little something to smooth things over ... Are you packed? All in good fun, friend. Have a wonderful trip!
SusanLynne is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Tonight will be the night from hell. Packing, charging batteries, getting all documents and medications in order, making sure all utilities are paid!, and generally stressing out about the longest trip we have taken to date. In total, it will be 24 days, and while I am mostly fine with this arrangement, others who will remain nameless are mostly scaredtodeath by this arrangement!

As far as my dogs go, it is going to be especially tough on a couple of them that require a lot of attention. Both of these dogs have been with me for less than six months (but long enough to produce six puppies! Ooops) and I feel especially bad for the Corgi, Scooter, aka Papaboy, since he just loves scaredtodeath and I.

The puppies are three weeks old, and honestly will probably be pretty obnoxious for the next 24 days. I think weeks 3 through 7 are a canine version of the terrible two's and three's from which human animals suffer. By week 7, they should be at about the level of a preschooler or kindergardener, making them a lot more fun!

Three of my dogs will not miss a beat, as although they are very precious to me, and I see them at least a couple times a week, they are pet therapy dogs in scaredtodeath's Alzheimer home and they just love it there.

The other 10 dogs will not suffer from lack of canine company, that is for sure. And as soon as I get home, I will have to get to work on finding the best homes for at least five of the six puppies. While I really don't need Permanent Dog #8, these puppies are really cute and since I love the parents to death, I am going to have a hard time not keeping one.

ANYWAY!!!...The time has nearly arrived, and I will be flying out of LAX to London tomorrow night, followed by a connection to Rome, for a late night arrival. There is a thunderstorm arriving just in time to welcome me on the second day, as the Romans must have thought that I preferred a three day storm to the beautiful sunny weather that they have experienced all week long!

Italy will be A LOT of fun, but it is Zambia that will really touch my soul!
Roccco is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
A little quote by Rudyard Kipling to take with you on your journey...

"When the Man waked up he said,
'What is Wild Dog doing here?'
And the Woman said,
'His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but the First Friend,
because he will be our friend
for always and always and always.'

Best of luck seeing the real 'wild dogs' in Zambia. I'm counting on some great pics from you on this one.

And I'm sure your own dogs will miss you as much as you'll miss them.
Safe Travels!
divewop is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Rocco, on the walking safari be sure you wear good shoes (not sandals) and pull your socks up high - pants rather than shorts are safer. I did a 4 hour walk in Botswana and it was very special. Have a wonderful trip - the board will miss you!
Clematis is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 08:55 PM
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Divewop and Clematis,

Thanks for the kind words.

As I am writing this, Papaboy the Corgi, is flat on his back like a dead person, right at my feet!

I cannot promise Wild Dogs, but I will definitely sneak in a few pictures of my own dogs in my next photo album.

I went to Petsmart last night, and it was ugly! Shopping for 13 dogs for four weeks worth of food and other products is an adventure in itself, especially with all of the designer dog foods out there right now.

I have everything I need and now it is just jamming everything I can into suitcases.

Regarding the shoes for the walking, I had given long thought to that previously, and I decided that my trail running shoes would work best. They were able to get me through 19 miles of running/crawling along the Kern River a couple months ago, before I returned to my natural couch potato status, so they should be good enough for the little 3 - 4 mile walks in the bush.

Going to Africa three years in a row does have its benefits. I am really not at all concerned about anything, as it is all so familiar to me!

Well, I don't know how many more posts I have in me before I depart. I may have to take a trip to the emergency room to have a suspected spider bite looked at (right on my belt line, of all places, very uncomfortable), I may have to make my way to traffic court tomorrow for an extension, I definitely have a million things to do at work tomorrow, but I suspect that I will flake on most of them, and I do have to get at least 4 hours sleep in order to function, although if I do go to the hospital, I'll be lucky to get 2.5 hours. Hey, they have hospitals in Italy, right?!

I just know that scaredtodeath and I will be running around like idiots, screaming at each other tomorrow, three hours before our flight leaves. We do procastinate, to say the least.

Oh well, we're going to Africa!!!
Roccco is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 11:27 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 18
Have a great one, and I would love to see all those incredible leopard pictures. Can't wait.
Bon Voyage
ILoveAfrica is offline  

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