Where did your African travels take you?

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Dec 21st, 2005, 05:59 AM
  #1
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Where did your African travels take you?

After reading Sandi's trip report where she stated that she had been previously to Africa a few times or more.

I'm curious as to where she and the rest of you have traveled in Africa and when. Do you have a favorite place? Also, what's on your must see future list/s?

I'm hoping you can indulge this request as it may help confirm my whereabouts for trip#2.

Many thanks ahead;
Sherry
p.s.
50 days to Tanzania/Seychelles
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Dec 21st, 2005, 06:43 AM
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August 1994 -- Morocco

August 1997 -- Egypt (Cairo and Luxor)

August 1998 -- Egypt (Alexandria, on business, and Cairo)

August 1999 -- Kenya (Masai Mara and Amboseli) and Tanzania (Crater and Serengeti)

June 2000 -- South Africa (Kruger, Sabi Sands, Cape Town and Gansbaai for shark diving)

November 2000 -- Ivory Coast (Abidjan), Benin (Abomey, Cotonou and Ganview), Togo (Lome) and Ghana (Accra and Cape Coast)

May 2001 -- Egypt (stopover in Cairo on return from Saudi Arabia)

August 2001 -- Botswana (Okavango and Chobe), Victoria Falls (Zim and Zam sides), Zambia (South Luangwa) and Malawi (Livingstonia Hotel in Senga Bay on Lake Malawi)

August 2002 -- Swaziland (Mkhaya Game Reserve), Mozambique (Maputo), Namibia (Etosha and Sossosvlei) and Cape Town (shark diving again)

August 2003 -- Uganda (Queen Elizabeth NP and Bwindi), Rwanda (Parc Nacional Volcans) and Kenya (Samburu)

May 2005 -- Madagascar (several national parks)

December 2005 -- Tunisia

May 2006 -- South Africa (Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi)
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Dec 21st, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Michael,

Was that November 2000 trip a business trip?
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Dec 21st, 2005, 06:58 AM
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Rocco

In calendar 1999, British Airways ran a special so that if you took one roundtrip, business class trip on BA from the US to Europe in 1999, they gave you two coach tickets to be used in 2000 to anywhere in the world.

I used the first to visit South Africa in May 2000 (they upgraded me to their premium coach class). In the Summer 2000, I started looking for someplace to visit that otherwise would require an expensive plane ticket, and I wanted to go over the Thanksgiving week. I had a friend who had just moved to Abidjan to work as an attorney for Africa Development Bank so I decided to visit her, and then realized how close Benin, Toga and Ghana were, so I flew BA to Abidjan. Then, I flew from Abidjan to Cotonou, Benin, and overlanded over a week or so back to Accra, Ghana, and I flew back from Ghana.

That BA program was the best I have ever seen. The economy was booming so it was very easy to get a client to fund a business class trip to Europe. In fact, I probably did a dozen business class trips to Europe in 2000, and I managed to get 100,000 BA miles (I was gold on BA that year), which I used to fly in August 2001 from JFK to JNB (I think they upgraded me for free to premium coach since I was gold).

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Dec 21st, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Sorry to hijack your thread Cybor, but I did want to ask Michael if he's got trips to other parts of the world interspersed in that list...
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Dec 21st, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Yes, Femi, I'm sure I have at least one or two international trips between each of those trips. Recent years:

2005
January -- Frankfurt (business) with Hamburg and Paris trips appended for holiday
February -- Bogota and Cartegena, Colombia (long weekend)
March -- St. Maarten and Anguilla (long weekend)
May -- Madagascar
July -- Grand Canyon (long weekend)
August -- Ukraine
October -- Churchill, Manitoba (polar bear viewing) (long weekend)
November -- London and Dublin
December -- Tunisia and Rome, Naples and Florence

2004
February -- Paris (long weekend)
March -- Jamaica (long weekend)
May -- Madrid (business)
July -- Bucharest (Romania), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm and Oslo
November -- Michoacan, Mexico (monarch butterflies)
December -- Bermuda

2003
May -- Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Tallin (Estonia) and Helsinki
August -- Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya
October -- Everglades
October -- London
December -- Quito and Galapagos

2002 (I may be missing some trips since my memory is fading for 2002)

May -- Panama City
July -- Belize
August -- Swaziland, Mozambique and Namibia
November -- Antigua
December -- Sicily and Malta


And scheduled for 2006

February -- Honduras (Copan ruins) and Guatemala City (just for one day; have been before)
April -- Rapid City, SD (Mount Rushmore)
May -- St. Petersburg, Russia (long weekend)
July -- South Africa (Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi)
August -- fly into Sarajevo and out of Tirana, so will overland from Bosnia, to Dubrovnik (Croatia), Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia


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Dec 21st, 2005, 11:56 AM
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I can only dream...
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Dec 21st, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Ditto on that thought. Wow!
Thanks for taking time out to reply Michael.
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Dec 21st, 2005, 12:50 PM
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When I was a teenager I went to Tanzania and Kenya with my family - my parents and younger sister. I really did enjoy many aspects of it very much indeed but I didn't like the high vehicle numbers we encountered and I also got very ill during the trip - I turned the corner before hospitalisation but my parents (both doctors) told me later they'd been in discussions about how to get to me to a hospital by road/ helicopter! I also experienced the worse racism I've ever encountered in my life (both before and since) on this trip. So whilst I have some great memories, there are also a number of rather less pleasant ones.

Then in 2001 hubby and I went to Namibia and Botswana. Wonderful, wonderful trip.

In 2004 I did two trips - a short trip to Kenya's Masaai Mara with my dad who invited me to accompany him on a special Festival of Wildlife trip organised by a UK operator.

Also, hubby and I did a special 9 week trip in 2004 including 5 weeks in South Africa, 3 and a bit in Botswana and 5 nights in Namibia. That trip was just a magical experience and we renewed our wedding vows at the end of it in the Namib Desert.

Desperate to get back but funds not permitting - hoping to do a trip next year... am researching and thinking but no hard planning/ booking yet.

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Dec 21st, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Other trips? Goodness, well, not in order, some of our trips over the last 5 or so years include:

Many, many, many trips to our neighbour, France - at least two a year for the last several years - some only 2 or 3 nights, others 2-3 weeks.

Barcelona

San Francisco

Florida (a number of times over recent years)

Venice

Scotland

Wales

Tallinn, Estonia

Jordan

Antarctica
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Dec 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Kavey, you've listed the place (Antarctica) thats No. 1 on my list, plus three others (Scotland, Wales and Jordan) that must be in my top 10 (Jordan may even be No. 2 or 3).

What did you think of Tallin?
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Dec 21st, 2005, 01:14 PM
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I really loved it but I have met many who don't like it.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the stark contrast between the wonderful jewel that is the medieval old city and it's surrounding communist era suburbs - grey, bleak and cold. I studied 20th century history at school and university so perhaps this explains why I found both aspects interesting whereas I've heard others rant about the ugliness of the suburbs.

I also liked the low-key, friendly vibe of the place - it's used to visitors and enjoys hosting them. There are some good restaurants, some fun little museums and beautiful churches and old buildings to visit.

E-mail me if you want my trip report.

The Antarctic was the trip of a lifetime - I cannot tell you in words how much we enjoyed it. The trouble is we now want to go again and again! I've gathered all the bits and pieces I've posted about it here at Fodors to share at another site. Again, e-mail if you'd like the link.

Jordan is another place we really liked visiting and we visited shortly before the US invaded Iraq so it was virtually empty of visitors. We practically had Petra to ourselves! Our tour included the stunning site of Jerash, the desert castles surrounding Amman, a brief stop in Wadi Rum, a swim (float) in the dead sea and Petra itself. We also had two nights in Aquaba which I'd personally not recommend. Warm, friendly and interesting people - one of the very highest literacy/ higher education rates in the world.

Scotland I haven't seen much of but the last trip was Aberdeen to visit a friend (she's a regular poster on the Europe board). The next trip will be for Pete's birthday next year and will be a 5 night visit to Islay.

Wales we've done a few trips too - Anglesey and the area to it's East is great for natural scenery, castles and old standing stones/ burial mounds etc. We went there three or four years ago. This year we went to South West Wales, nearer the Brecon Beacons, about an hour North of Swansea. Beautiful landscapes indeed.

Oh I missed a trip - what was I thinking?? This year we also went to the Galapagos Islands and Peru - I'd been to Peru as a teenager and wanted to take my husband plus always wanted to go to Galapagos too. Wonderful trip!

Oh and I've been to India a few times - my parents were born there so we have family there and visit every so often. I'm going back next spring too.

My wish list includes:

Back to Antarctica, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, France and many others

Madagascar

Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique

I do have interest in other parts of the world - I'd like to go back to Thailand, plus many other countries in the Far East for example, to Finland and back to Canada and Alaska (both of which I've visited) for wildlife encounters, I want to go to the Arctic too - indeed most places hold some interest - but my wishlist is the places I yearn to go to most desperately.

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Dec 21st, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Hi, Sherry:

I've been to Africa five times, and make my sixth visit at the end of this month.

In 1976, we took a budget package to Kenya and Tanzania with General Tours. It was an excellent introduction. We spent time in both Nairobi and Mombasa, and visited the Tsavo, Amboseli, and Masai Mara National Parks, as well as Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

In 1981 we visited Tangiers in Morocco on an overnight excursion from Gibraltar in Spain.

In 1984, we spent a few weeks in Egypt, visiting Cairo, Luxor, and towns along the Nile.

In 1987, I returned to Kenya on a three week safari put together by Journeys. We spent time in the Loita Hills, Masai Mara, at Lakes Nakuru, Niavasha,
and Baringo, and in the Amboseli.

In 2002, we booked a cruise on Orient Lines Marco Polo from Africa to South America. The African portion began with a brief pre-cruise safari operated by Micato Tours, which took us to Amboseli, Tsavo, and Mombasa. The African portion of the cruise itself carried us from Mombasa, through Cape Town, and on to Walvis Bay, Nambia, and featured a total eclipse of the Sun, viewed off Mozambique. During the African portion of the cruise, we took full day shore excursions along the South African coast at Durban (Tala Game Reserve), Madagascar (Nosy Komba), Richard's Bay (Dumazulu, Hluhuwe-Umflozi Game Reserve), Port Elizabeth (Addo Elephant Park), as well as at Walvis Bay, Nambia (Swakopmund, Namib-Naukluet Park). We spent two days in and around Cape Town.

I leave for my sixth visit to Africa next Tuesday, stopping first in London, and then going on to Zambia. I will spend seven nights at Luangwa River Lodge and six nights at Puku Ridge Tented Camp, both in South Luangwa National Park.

What is my favorite place? So far it has to be the Masai Mara, hands down. I've seen nothing else like it in terms of sheer concentration of wildlife. I am hoping that my upcoming long stays at those two camps in South Luangwa National Park, my first African wet season, will equal or surpass the Mara experience in terms of producing unique opportunities for wildlife photography.

Hope this helps, Sherry.

Phil
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Dec 21st, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Africa Trips

March 1995 Tangiers (daytrip with my neighbour)

June 2003 Kenya (Maasai Mara and Nairobi)

June 2004 Kenya (Tsavo East, Mombasa, Diani and Nairobi)

June 2005 Kenya (Samburu, Lake Nakuru, Lamu, Pipeline Road and Nairobi)


And outside Africa

Norway and Finland with my family as a child and Spain as a teenager.

1987 2001 Spain

January 1993 Cancún, Mexico (package trip)

July 2001 Copenhagen (three days with my parents)

May 2002 Tallinn (one day with my mother)

July 2004 London (six days with my mother to visit my brother who was working there)


On my list is returning to Kenya and visiting Tanzania as soon as possible, though at the moment it looks very difficult. If I could find a way to live in East Africa I would like to visit Mexico, India and countries in Southern Africa (esp. Botswana and Zambia) and South and Central America especially Los Llanos, Venezuela and Pantanal, Brazil.


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Dec 21st, 2005, 02:40 PM
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1998 Germany and Paris while daughter was stationed in Heidelburg.
2000 Germany and then Israel and Egypt

2002 Northern Tanzania. Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

2004 Norhtern Tanzania - Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Kenya - Mt Kenya area, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara and Amboseli

2005 Southern Tanzania - Mikumi, Ruaha and Selous

Anxious to return particularly to Serengeti and Ruaha. Okay, okay throw in Tarangire and the Crater.
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Dec 21st, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Kavey, when I get back from Tunisia, I'll email you re info on Antarctica. I may start looking into that for December 2006.

Phil, agree re Masai Mara. I have been to over 100 countries and probably 300 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Masai Mara/Serengeti is the most amazing place I have been (I was there during migration in August 1999).
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Dec 21st, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Phil,

I didn't realize that you had cruised with Orient Lines. My wife and I picked an Orient Lines cruise on the Crown Odyssey for our honeymoon in May 2000. We started out with three nights in Istanbul at a 5* hotel, then had about a 7 night cruise down the Turkish coast, through the Greek Isles and finished up with 3 nights at a beautiful 5* hotel in Rome. Amazing what a difference a hotel can make in a visit because when we were in Rome last year on a Globus tour with my wife's family we were at about a 3.5* hotel and there is just no comparison whatsoever in the experience.

Was this your only cruise with Orient Lines? What did you think about the Marco Polo? Orient Lines is one of the few cruise lines with Antarctic expeditions, although I have read that I would get much more time on land in Antarctica if I went with Radisson but the price will be double. I am considering a January/February 2007 Antarctic cruise.
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Dec 21st, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Wow, reading through this thread it looks like we may have to schedule a Fodors Africa Forum Antarctic Voyage!

Here is my own Africa experience:

Nov 1999 - Tangiers, Morocco (1 day side trip from Marbella, Spain)

March 2002 - Sabi Sand (Singita), Cape Town (Table Bay Hotel & Mount Nelson Hotel), Victoria Falls (Matetsi Water Lodge & Victoria Falls Hotel)

June 2003 - South Luangwa (Kafunta River Lodge & Kafunta Island Bush Camp), Cape Town (Twelve Apostles Hotel), Joburg (Michelangelo Hotel) and Sabi Sand (Vuyatela)

June 2004 - South Luangwa (Chichele Presidential Lodge & Kaingo), Lower Zambezi (Kulefu)

Sept 2005 - South Luangwa (Luangwa River Lodge & Puku Ridge), Lower Zambezi (Chongwe River Camp & Kasaka River Lodge), Lusaka (Inter-Continental Hotel) Cape Town (Twelve Apostles Hotel) and Sabi Sand (Simbambili).

Feb/March 2006 - Arusha (Moivaro Coffee Lodge), Lake Manyara (Manyara Tree Lodge), Ngorongoro Crater (Crater Lodge), Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti (Olduvai Camp, Nomad Masek, Nomad Piaya and Mbuzi Mawe) and Zanzibar (Palms Zanzibar and Serena Inn).

Projected:

Aug 2006 - Botswana and Zambia.
Kwando Lebala (2), Kwando Lagoon (2), Kwando Kwara (3), Kwando Songwe Village, Victoria Falls (1), Luangwa River Lodge (2), Tafika (2), Mwaleshi in North Luangwa (2), Kutandala in North Luangwa (2), Chiawa in Lower Zambezi (3)

If I ever get off my @$$ department:

June 2007: Durban (3) for Comrades (Ultra) Marathon, Phinda (4) for a nearby recovery station, then probably head north to Kenya or Tanzania for warmer climates. Masai Mara would work out well at this time of year, right? What else? Too cold for me in most places in Southern Africa in June/July but I am a wimp accustomed to Southern California weather.

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Dec 21st, 2005, 05:36 PM
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Hi, Rocco,

Yes, we were on the Marco Polo twice. The East Africa to South American crossing in 2002, and the Barbados to Antarctica journey in 2004. We noticed a significant change in the ship's culture when we returned in 2004, due to the purchase of Orient Lines by NCL. It seems to have lost its identity as a ship geared to knowledgeable travelers. We now cruise mainly with Oceania, another small ship line with port intensive itineraries. We will be cruising China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan with them in March.

The Antarctic portion of the Marco Polo's voyage was remarkable, even though weather conditions limited us to just one landing. The problem with most Antarctic cruise ships is that it takes a long time to ferry 400 passengers back and forth on the Zodiacs, so you are usually limited to just an hour on shore. I was still able to make a number of memorable images. You can see them at http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/photo_essay

The advantage of a large cruise ship is a fairly stable ride across the Drake Passage, the roughest water in the world. On the other hand, a smaller expedition ship, which offers more landings and more time ashore in Antarctica, can really be tough going on the Drake Passage. And any trip concentrating on Antarctica is going to be expensive, as much as $500-$800 per day.

As a travel destination, there is nothing like it on earth. Penguins, whales, seals, and birds everywhere, 23 hour long days, and the most incredible light you can imagine. And relatively mild temperatures as well. If you can do it, Roccco, do it.

I am considering a return to Antarctica myself in Feb 07, but on a photographic expedition sponsored by the Luminous Landscape photography site. Here is a link to the one just completed: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/lo...tarctica.shtml It is essentially for fanatical photographers.

Phil





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Dec 21st, 2005, 05:37 PM
  #20
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I'm amazed that so many of you have spent so much time in so many locals in Africa. Although, I'm not so amazed that you keep going back.

I do appreciate those of you who have taken the time to respond to my inquiry. Please keep the info. flowing.

Many thanks;
Sherry
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