Archive for September 2008

Views of Joburg & Soweto

September 29, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal Livingstone

September 29, 2008
The Royal Livinstone

The Royal Livinstone

A Birds Eye View

September 21, 2008

Victoria Falls from the Sky…

The Falls during the dry season

Daring Activities

September 18, 2008

Let’s go sit and relax in the pool…the pool right next to the edge of Victoria Falls!  Now this is a Daring Journey!

The proper way to cool down!

The proper way to cool down!

 

Living on the Edge!

 

Why are we the only ones here?

Livingstone, Zambia

September 18, 2008

Ah, Livingstone….meat pies…Fanta Grape…internet access…and time to update my blog!  So I thought!  We are having a power outage in Livingstone from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.!!!!!!  Africa…it’s all part of the expereince!

Well the electricty came back up early!  I’m just going to chill today and sort out some things.  I’ll see if I can upload some of my pictures from my Journey so far.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

September 16, 2008
Vic Falls, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World!

Vic Falls, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World!

I FOUND ALL MY BAGS!

I got to drive all the way from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls and I hauled down the one-lane highway to make up for lost time.  I believe I made it in 3 1/2 hours!  I stopped by the Vic Falls Airport before I arrived into town and found both my bags waiting for me in the customs baggage room!  So maybe I won’t tell South African Airlines a piece of my mind!  SAA sort of saved me the trouble of carrying those two 23k bags (50lbs) all around Zimbabwe!

Back in Vic Falls!  I just chilled by the pool at the Rest Camp and needed to decide whether to take the comp at the A’Zambezi Hotel or cross over to Livingstone, Zambia.  After watching some of the press conference with the signing of the shared power agreement with the Zimbabwean leaders and having the electricity turn off in the whole town, I decided to move over to the Livingstone side and come back in a few days.

I checked in with a few friends and sorted some of the used clothing for donations and then made my way to the border to cross into Zambia.

Masvingo, Zimbabwe

September 16, 2008
One of the lodges at the complex

One of the lodges at the complex

Just outside the town of Masvingo, Zimbabwe are The Great Ruins of Zimbabwe.  The are believed to be built some where between 1200 AD and 1500 AD.  Amazing history here, but the power was off in this area, so I was unable to walk through the museum to get more facts on the Ruins themselves.  But the Massive complex was built out of granite cobblestone and is an amazing piece of architecture.

I stayed at The Lodge at the Ancient City.  Designed after The Great Ruins…what a beautiful lodge!

The link below will do a slide show of both the lodge and the Ruins…

http://www.rtg.co.zw/lodges/rtg_acientcity_lodge.php

I will probably only make it as far as Bulawayo today.  Then will head to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe tomorrow.

Harare, Zimbabwe

September 13, 2008

I’m now in Harare, Zimbabwe!  All my Zambian friends think I’m crazy!  But what an experience and Harare is not as bad as everyone has made it out to be!  It’s a decent size bustling city with some unique high-rise architecture.

 

Robert Mugabe, Thabo Mbeke and Morgan Tsvangirai are in one of the conference rooms in the hotel I’m staying in (The Rainbow Towers) banging out a power sharing deal for running Zimbabwe!!!  They came to an agreement yesterday and on Monday they will do a ceremonial signing and give the details of the power share.  I might want to exit before that, just in case the people aren’t happy with the details of this agreement!  If you have been keeping up on current events, you know this is the biggest thing happening in Africa at the moment along with Jacob Zuma’s charges being dropped for corruption, etc. in South Africa giving him the go-ahead to run and replace Mbeke as the South African president next year.  Mbeke is here in the hotel and is the mediator for the negotiations for the power share between the Zimbabwean leaders Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai!

 

Hotel I stayed in where Zimbabwe leaders negotiated an agreement

Hotel I stayed in where Zimbabwe leaders negotiated an agreement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I leaving Harare today heading to Masvingo to visit the Great Ruins of Zimbabwe…I hope…I’m located one of my 3 missing check-in bags and may have to hang out another day for the rest of them!

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

September 13, 2008

Well the 12 hour bus ride from Joburg to Bulawayo turned into a 17 hour bus ride after spending several hours getting through each border and customs having to check the purchases of all the passengers…there were hundreds of grocery bags that had to be claimed!  The bus drivers (we have two of them each take turns driving) weren’t in any rush either…stopping along the road to buy items like, sacks of oranges, mealie meal (corn meal), bread, bottled sodas, etc.  I expected this would be the case, but 17 hours???

 

The blow out of one tyre about 45 minutes outside of Bulawayo was the final delay and actually the shortest delay of them all.  Everyone chipped in to help change the tyre (how it’s spelled here) and other busses and trucks came to the rescue to provide additional jacks to get the bus lifted to the proper height.

 

I finally arrive in Bulawayo…hot…tired…smelly!  Now I get to met and greet folks and spend the rest of the day smoozing!  I arrive to the Hilton Hotel in Bulawayo and find all the chiefs of Zimbabwe having an annual gathering!  Wow, don’t think I’ve been around so much royalty…ever!!!!!

 

While in the Holiday Inn preparing for my meetings, I actually run into an old acquaintance, Grace, who previously work at Elephant Hills and Frontiers in Vic Falls and now runs Sales at the Hilton in Bulawayo and Chris, one of the tour guides/drivers of Touch the Wild in Hwange National Park…talk about small world…the folks I was meeting were impressed!  Enough that they comped me lodging in all of the locations that I would be staying over the duration of my Journey in Zimbabwe!

Johannesburg aka Joburg or Jozi (South Africa)

September 13, 2008

We land in the newly renovated Joburg Airport (in prep for the 2010 World Cup) an hour early and 3 hours earlier than my original flight from NY would have landed.  I would have never made that connection…great deal!!  So I thought.  My 3 check-in bags never made it on the plane!  Lost bags in Joburg…Ugh!  They are infamous for going through your bags when your bags are sitting around lost and helping them selves to your belongings!  Most of my contents were donated clothes.  I carried on two bags that have a change of clothing for 3 days as well as two laptops, camera and other gizmos!  It’s hard pretending that a carry-on bag and a back pack aren’t 100lbs!  But you must carry on the important items if you want to ensure you’ll have them when you reach your destination in Africa! 

So know I’m on the bus ride from Joburg, South Africa to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  I’m a little worried because I wasn’t able to make the Greyhound Bus schedule work for me so I had to down grade to a not-as-nice bus company…everyone one this bus has done their shopping for the month in South Africa and are now traveling back to Zimbabwe where they can no longer purchase such necessities.  I don’t know how they make it all fit in the storage compartments and a lot of their goods are sharing the seat with them!  The bus is making this crazy rattling sound when we go fast, so It may take me longer than expected to reach Bulawayo!

Tomorrow morning when I arrive I’ll have been traveling 3 days without a shower and have to meet a few General Managers who manage safari lodges, tour packages and ground transport.  I hope they can give me a room before I meet them!  Phew!