Sunday, July 17, 2011

Into Africa......Marilyn's post

Where did the dream begin??? Was the seed planted fifty-plus years ago while three little girls played for hours with the collections of plastic jungle animals lovingly given to them by their grandmother? Was it the hours spent watching Merlin Perkins on Animal Kingdom? Or was the x-tra special treat of going to the movies to see Tarzan the catalyst? I don't know. Bett remembers always wanting to go on safari to Africa since childhood. I don't ever remember needing to go on safari but I do have a love of animals and nature and locate every zoo, wildlife park, and national park on my RV travels with Greg.

Julie has traveled the world and rated her safari in Tanzania as " the best of the best" and wanted to share the experience with her sisters. She proposed, planned and made possible the most perfect adventure always to be appreciate and never to be forgotten-a celebration of life and sisterhood and the perfect way to celebrate HER 59th birthday. Truly: one of the best twelve experiences of my life!

I don't especially like flying and the trip was long---fifteen hours non stop from New York to Johannesburg and five smaller planes to get to the remote lodges, then a return trip of over sixteen hours to return to JFK. To be honest, the flights were smooth and I had a really great time with the girls. Did you know the drinks are free on an international flight? By the way, I did break my long standing "no pee on the plane" rule.
The planes did get smaller. Julie actually became the co-pilot. No drinks were served. I went back to my " no pee on the plane " rule!

These are pictures of my hut and the lodge at Madikwe Safari Lodge in South Africa. The three lodges were totally different in design, but were all remote and very intimate with only eight to fifteen private huts or tents. Don't let the term "tent" fool you! Even the tents were huge and luxurious with a king size bed, beautiful African wood furniture, animal skin rugs and bed spreads and en-suite bathroom with flush toilets. Believe it or not, we were really in the middle of the game preserves with nothing else around us but bush and animals!

Each of the huts had a small plunge pool on the deck. Because this area is much drier and many of the watering holes dry up later in the winter, often the elephants wander onto the lodge property and drink from the pools.
Stay tuned for more of the safari....

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