East African Safari

Tour dates: 24 Jan to 22 Feb 2007.
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Start in Johannesburg

This is "The Backpackers Ritz".
Bunkhouse accommodation in the suburbs.
A really nice place to start from.

We had one "buffer" day available. Where to go?
We settled for a visit to an old gold mine at "Gold Reef City". A good visit.

Its location near the Apartheid Museum was fortuitous. We went to the museum in the afternoon and it turned out to be one of the most interesting visits of our tour!

Towards the Kruger Park

Once the tour was under way, our first stop was Bushman Camp - a small game reserve adjacent to the Kruger.
Here is half the group on an afternoon game drive.

It was a good visit. Plenty of grazers like this Kudu.
Also we had many good views of a foraging herd of elephants.

At one point we found a group of young lions resting in a firebreak.
They were quite happy to have their photos taken.

The Kruger Park

Beautiful tarmac-surfaced roads.
Much had changed since my previous visit in 1960.

Keep the camera pointed in the right direction and the park still looks the same.

No caption needed!

Plenty of drama, right by the road...

...and not just the Big Five to look at!

Interesting birds too.
Saddle-billed Stork.

I never did get to hear the story behind this tame antelope at one of the "you may get out of the vehicle" places.

Elephant Sands

A couple of days later we were well into Botswana.
There we had a bush walk, with a solitary Elephant as our best "find".

There were also some nice Giraffe.

That day our walk finished with a glorious sunset.


The following morning we had breakfast and then set off.
It was a short journey.

By late afternoon we were out on the river in a boat.
Things to see included this: the most indolent crocodile I have ever seen outside of a zoo.

Our boat trip finished with the sight of a shoreline full of elephants that had come down for their evening drink.
This is just a few of them.

Late that night, part of our group visited a mud-wallow.

Crossing to Zambia

Here we are boarding the Kazungulu Ferry.
(More or less the starting point of
our kayak trip down to Vic Falls in 1988)

Livingstone and Vic Falls

My fifth visit to Vic Falls, but the first one in the wet season.
It was very wet!

Here is the river about to go over the edge.
During a dry season visit we walked across here!

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

We got up early to go on a Rhino walk and within the first few hundred metres we got stuck while trying to by-pass a bogged-down lorry.
We got towed out but it all took one hour.

A mixture of wildlife in the park.
They have even got Impala!

We had come to see the rhino.
They have a 24hr armed guard to deter poachers. It has the useful effect that they are habituated to humans.

This means that you can get unusually close to them.
(Your guide will advise on things not to do!)

With caution and suitable good manners you can get some super photos.

It can seem rather odd to be so close.
UPDATE: I heard that one rhino was killed by poachers in June 2007 and the other injured.

Back on the Safpar campsite

Reading books and watching Vervet monkeys
helped the time go by.
(We spent 5 nights on the campsite)

Dinner by the river could be pleasant.

Travelling on

Lunch by the roadside.

Often with a few spectators.

Stops for supermarket shopping.

Nights in Igloo-style tents.


We attempted to cross Nkhotakota Game Reserve via a tarmac road.
It seemed there were e few places where the tarmac had gone missing.

Indeed we got hopelessly bogged-down in five places.
And we struggled elsewhere.

Sand-ladders were useful in the soft mud...
...although they needed flattening again each time.

Everyone got a little muddy.

Each stop was in the middle of a sea of liquid mud.

We even lunched on the shores of mud pools.

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