On the Road Again in Southern Africa!
We're back from a memorable, month-long, marathon tour in the heart of Southern Africa.
... via Cathay Pacific Airlines from Vancouver, Canada to JFK International New York
... via South African Airlines to Johannesburg, SA and Lusaka, Zambia
... via Airlink Charter to Livingstone- Victoria Falls
... via Airwaves Cessna to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
and return with a business stopover in New York.
In between, we participated in one of the most spirited, productive and fruitful Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congresses to date - where the focus was on "Ethno Tourism- and its role in Job Creation." This was the first ATA event to be held at two separate venues, which kept us all on the go. Details will appear on line soon and in our magazine's Zambia update in August.
We sampled every kind of lodging ...from Caesar's The Emperor Casino Hotel at Jo'burg Airport, to Lusaka's Inter-Continental, Holiday Inn, Taj Pamodzi, the Mulungushi Village complex, Chita Lodge and Jul's Guest House. Wildlife Lodges we enjoyed included Chaminuka and Protea in the Lusaka area, Kanyemba and Chiawa Camp on the Lower Zambezi, and Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa near the Malawi border. At Livingstone, we stayed at Sun International's Zambezi Sun - a stone's throw from the mighty falls.
The whole month was one of nonstop action ... including a "River Safari" at Kanyemba, paddling fibreglass canoes, dipping our oars in the water, and dodging the gangs of snorting hippos that resembled islands of blubber in the Zambezi ... with hungry crocodiles lurking near the shore. You wouldn't care to fall overboard during this 3 hour adventure on one of the world's great rivers. A more gentle river excursion was from Livingstone on the Zambezi Queen riverboat, where we were entertained and viewed a typical Zambian sunset, returning by moonlight.
Game drives were a key part of the action at all of the lodges we visited, and it was a true learning experience, since all of the guides and drivers were well schooled in the flora and fauna. Yes, we had anxious moments several days running, with our vehicle in the midst of a herd of elephants. We expected at least one of them to charge, but managed to luck out. We were also up close to lions on a few occasions -- and viewed most of the big five along with a wide variety of game animals, impalas being the most prolific.
We made more great friends this trip than any time in the past(the people are terrific) and will enjoy telling their stories in words and pictures. Speaking of photos, it will take weeks to get them all prepared for the web site, so watch for new picture show pages for the next while.
We are glad that the return trip included five days In Johannesburg, where we enjoyed tours of the area including several visits to our ATA friends in Africa's largest black city - Soweto - where community spirit is making huge strides. There's much to tell in that exciting story. We spend some quality time with the management of South Africa's famous Blue Train, and at the Airport Authority's head office. The transportation options in Southern Africa is an area we will be featuring in our section on SADC and RETOSA, a key element of our coming editions.
There's so much more to tell you about, so keep watching the web site
Muguette Goufrani and Jerry Bird
Africa Travel Matazine editors.