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About Me

  • Location
    Hudsonville, MI
  • Interests
    travel, reading, fishing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania and AMA Waterways
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Africa - South Pacific

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  1. We DID take the pills.... had no ill effect... and we NEVER saw a mosquito!!! We felt it was an insurance policy... some people took them, some did not. I did not wear black or blue clothing..... or beige 🙂 I did wear white & pink & orange!!
  2. Lots of water in the falls, although the guide said not nearly as much as during the rainy season...
  3. Just a few more....I seriously have a hard time believing I actually was there and took these photos with my little $300 Canon camera!!
  4. Every single lodge was amazing!!! The treehouse was a "hoot"!!! With the canvas roof, the Rock Hyrax were dancing on that roof all night long!! But we were so tired, it didn't matter. Spacious room, nicely appointed. Cannot go out after dark without an escort... they have a "walkie-talkie" in each room. Literally cannot see much of the other "treehouses".... they are well separated and you will have a walk to the dining room. Animals right at your back door... I'm not even kidding!! Walk walk walk is the code for the entire trip!! I always wore long pants and so did most others in our group. We had 23 on the ZQ and only 15 on the extension to the Serengeti & Crater. We did have hats... some wore the Safari hats, we wore the ball cap type safari hat, but didn't need the neck protector, so removed that. We took only the duffle bag & back pack for 26 days!! Most lodges will do limited laundry without charge. All tips were paid in US $$.... and there were MANY!! AGAIN... this is a pretty pricey trip, but for us, worth every cent!! We fell in LOVE with the African people..... gentle, kind, hard-working, gracious!!
  5. Hello everyone!!! Instead of trying to remember and review for Cruise Critic, I'm just cutting & pasting the emails I sent to our 3 sons.... Long, but hope you enjoy. Before the review, know that I left some things out because I just couldn't write it all down in the limited free time we had. I do want you to know that this trip was worth EVERY cent it cost. There are LOTS of tips to "pay".. so take lots of US$$$. All the vendors, street vendors even, take US $$$. Safari clothes are NOT required. I just don't do "beige"... so I didn't. You are always in a vehicle and the animals don't see you. We were bothered only by flies and that was in the Serengeti. We saw absolutely every possible animal except a cheetah. We even saw a partial wildebeast migration... Water bottles are supplied. All of the lodges are extremely lovely. Questions?? You can always send an email dinahsue at dinahfuller dot com We boarded the boat a few hours ago and we have seen tons of elephants and hippos in the water and out of the water and all kinds of antelope and fish Eagles. I just watched a crocodile jump out of the water and get a bird and eat it… It was the coolest. After breakfast we set out on a jeep safari. We left the Zambezi queen got on the small boats and went to the immigration/passport station to have our passport stamped that we were leaving Namibia. Then we got back on the boat and they took us to Botswana where we had to present our passport at emigration and have them stamp it that we are entering their country. Then we got in the jeeps. What an absolutely fabulous fantastic magnificent week. We saw everything imaginable including a male and female lion laying down and about 50 feet away two more female lions. We were watching them and I guess it was time to go and we backed up and on our right side way down the river was a lion walking from the grasslands into the dense forest. The male lion got up and made happy time with the female lion. As we turned back around from seeing the one lion crossing the flat grassland, there marched an entire pride of lions the other directions across the grasslands into that dense forest. There were 8-10 lions in that pride. Our driver put it in gear and went so fast over these this road made of sand and we bounced clear off the seats many times. But he got us there in time to see the last few lines in the pride cross into the forest. We stopped and turned to our right and there they all were lying in big groups right inside the forest. Their bellies were fat, and the forest ranger said they had come from the grasslands after killing and eating something early this morning and had come to the forest to rest…. so beautiful. We saw warthogs, giraffes, one black back jackal, lots of birds, including a spoonbill. We had a picnic lunch and I got pooped on by a bird. We saw the carcass of an elephant. It was about half gone. We asked why none of the big cats or hyenas had eaten it and the guide said that elephant had anthrax and the only thing that will eat it are the birds. Now how in the world did those mammals know that elephant is diseased? I guess you call that animal instinct. We did at least one safari every day... only once in a jeep, the others were "boat safaris" and it was amazing how close we got to the animals. We have seen hundreds of elephants, an entire pride of lions, every animal you can think of and we haven’t even started our Safari week. This has been an incredible experience. Victoria Falls ...... left Namibia and Botswana and have arrived in Zimbabwe. Tomorrow we will take a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls. The Falls and train ride were fun and we loved the helicopter tour over the falls. Today is Friday, September 6. We passed through customs areas in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We had lunch at the hotel and then boarded a vintage steam train and beautiful on the inside. We stopped on the bridge overlooking Victoria Falls. Great drinks and snacks… Like Yorkshire pudding, smashed up chicken livers with crackers… …we didn’t need a lot of that stuff. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is absolutely magnificent. We left the Manor House where we are staying at 5:40 am in our Safari Jeep and the first thing we saw was four bachelor male lions crossing the road in front of us. We stopped and watched them for a long time. About 30 minutes later we came across another male lion and his female companion lying… And I am not kidding… On the side of the road… We could have reached out and touched them… But of course we did not. One of the males lifted his leg and “marked his territory” on a jeep!! We loved the African Serval Cat and the Ostrich.. saw two black rhinos. We had a breakfast picnic on the floor of the crater. The guides set up a table with all kinds of wonderful breakfast food and they sat “saddle stools“around the table for us. There were about 10 of us this morning and as we were filling our plates with food… A huge bachelor male elephant starts “strolling“ toward us… The guides immediately said, “get in the jeeps, NOW, as fast as you can“… And one Guide drove his Jeep between the elephant and our food and us. It was really exciting. The manor house is extraordinary and we have half a house. When we got back from our Safari this morning our room attendant had a bubble bath prepared for me… I am so spoiled… Now I am sitting outside on one of the three private patios connected to our “house” On this enormous coffee plantation on top of a mountain and my view includes four beautiful horses. The Serengeti ..... Our first day in the Serengeti began with a flight on a bush plane and a dirt runway. We saw a pride of lions that included eight females and 13-15 cubs ....We saw a female leopard in one tree and across the road was her “kill” hanging from another tree. We saw a momma and baby giraffe and a clan of hyenas. There are rock hyrax on the top of the canvas roof of our “tent” and from our deck we have seen zebra, hippos, momma and baby monkeys, baboons, and a gorgeous hornbill...or Zazu in the Lion King. The stars are so bright under this African sky as we sit on our deck and listen to all the animal sounds. We are well and truly blessed and appreciate being able to be here, see and hear all of this and share it with you! RWANDA!!! As usual, we were the oldest ones by far on the gorilla trekk.... the next oldest was a lady who would celebrating her 60th birthday soon. There was a girl in her 20’s and 3 others in their 30’s…. so much for matching “physical capability” for each pary. We walked through the jungle, the gorillas kept moving up, and we kept following them, the trackers just hacked their way through the jungle with huge machetes. Doug had two Porters and I had one Porter .....we could not have done it without them. We walked about 3 miles up the mountain through the jungle before we saw a huge family of Gorillas.... The videos and photos you see of people interacting with the gorillas in a great open area did not happen to us. We were deep deep deep in the jungle… through bamboo, over tree roots, through both elephant and gorilla poop. . The elevation was over 8500 feet. We saw two silverbacks, I can only remember one mother with a tiny baby, there may have been other mothers with juveniles. The juveniles were very curious and got so close to us one of them stepped on my foot. There were about 10-12 gorillas in the “family”…. 3 silverbacks who were very cautious. We were the last group back to the lodge because our gorillas kept moving further away. It was totally amazing!! We left the lodge at 6:30 AM and returned at about 2:30 pm At the lodge, we sat outside on our patio and they brought us beer and Coca-Cola and a lots of beautiful fruit, since we had chosen to skip lunch. We were just too exhausted. I just took a hot hot bath with lots of bath salts and bubble bath. We skipped dinner as well, just can’t bring ourselves to eat… Not to mention it’s about half a mile to the Lodge restaurant. We are having a thunderstorm with lots of lightning and we are sitting in our cabin in front of a wood burning fireplace with a blazing fire to keep us warm. What a great way to wind up an even greater experience. Exhausted, it was very very difficult, even though we requested the easy trekk, the gorillas kept climbing up the mountain… So we followed behind the trackers who were hacking their way up the mountain to the gorillas. We sat at dinner last night with a couple who had done the trekk the day before… They chose medium instead of easy… And their group of gorillas actually were about 10 minutes from the “wall“… Which is the entry into the park. It was kind of cool, we had to walk through potato fields and past little huts made of mud… Unfortunately our gorillas chose to go up the mountain instead of down the mountain. It was incredible and exciting but absolutely and positively exhausting IMG_2761 (Edited) - Copy.HEIC
  6. We were home only 3 days before we left on another trip.... I promise to work on updates this week. It was FANTASTIC!!
  7. We have arrived in Victoria Falls after a lovely five days on the Zambezi Queen. I will give you a brief overview, then answer any questions you might have. First of all, The flight to Namibia was about 1.5 hours and lunch was served in the form of a cold box lunch. Not bad at all. When you get off the airplane in Namibia, have your hat and sunglasses at your fingertips… Better yet, put them on before you walk down the stairs of the airplane. The heat and the sun will hit you. During the Zambezi queen days, you will have your passport stamped multiple times, so just get ready. Someone commented that there was no food except for meal time… They must’ve been on a different boat, because we had cookies and biscotti available all the time. I think there might have even been chocolate in some of the jars where the coffee is kept hot for you. The bar was always open with a good variety of drinks including beer and soft drinks. The staff was absolutely amazing! The food was incredible and cooked in the kitchen under the dining area. And the desserts at noon were absolutely killer. I think every single one of us on the boat gained weight. WiFi Was sketchy at best. You are on vacation, shut off all your electronics, but do buy extra cards for your camera, because you will take more pictures than you ever have imagined. Also, stop going out to buy safari clothing… It does not matter what you wear… That might be different when we get to Tanzania, I will let you know. Our only transportation from the boat was the sightseeing boat You will have the same driver all five days and they are incredibly knowledgeable regarding every living thing in that area. We did go tiger fishing, but did not catch anything. I have no idea what your expectations might be, but let me tell you we saw hundreds of elephants, tons of giraffe, cape buffalo galore, crocodiles, warthogs, Impala’s were everywhere, and every bird you can imagine. Perhaps the highlight of our jeep tour was spotting a male and female lion couple showing us how they have a “happy time“. Not far from them or two more female lions. As we were leaving the lion show, we spotted an entire pride of lions crossing the savanna on the way to the shade of the bush. Unbelievable… Never in my wildest dreams. As soon as they got to the shade, they all lay down in different spots and we must’ve taken 100 photos. We were not bothered by bugs of any kind. I have only good things to say about the boat, but do you remember you are on a small boat that is constantly moving up and down the Chobe River. The water in the shower goes from scalding one moment to freezing the next, so you just have to adjust. We found that if we got wet, turned off the water, soaped up and then turned the water back on to rinse off, it worked better than trying to stand under the shower the whole time you were bathing. We are taking a little train this evening and then the helicopter over Victoria Falls tomorrow. Then we will start our Safari adventure in Tanzania.
  8. 9 DAYS until we leave Tulsa!!
  9. GNOME12...... I LOVE that idea of leaving the "neutral" colors and long sleeves behind in Africa. JAZZBEAU.... I'll check RailRiders out CSCLARK... I do have several of the Columbia shirts and lightweight hoodies. 30 days and we are on the first leg of our flight!! Stopping to visit friends in Zurich for a couple of days... we met them last year at the Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge, where we went fly fishing for a week on the Alagnak River in Alaska... very remote... kinda like Rwanda, only different..... fish instead of Gorillas.
  10. CSCLARK ----- when did you go?? I do NOT do gray, beige, light green or light blue... I do pink & red & white & coral!!! And I do NOT do long sleeves.... something to do with being a "woman of age"!!! I get overly warm! HOWEVER!!! VINO100 ----- Old Navy has some cute "loose" & cool long pants & very lightweight long sleeve shirts... so I stocked up and will be making a trip to the Goodwill donation box upon return to Tulsa. My hiking boots for the Rwanda Gorilla extension are PINK & GRAY!!! Shouldn't be a problem, since I understand they will be muddy immediately. I refuse to buy ugly brown ones and these are well worn. I'm sure I sound like a total bimbo.... I will absolutely do as requested regarding clothing.... and I will use the sink for laundry!! Dinah
  11. CSCLARK ----- when did you go?? I do NOT do gray, beige, light green or light blue... I do pink & red & white & coral!!! And I do NOT do long sleeves.... something to do with being a "woman of age"!!! I get overly warm! HOWEVER!!! VINO100 ----- Old Navy has some cute "loose" & cool long pants & very lightweight long sleeve shirts... so I stocked up and will be making a trip to the Goodwill donation box upon return to Tulsa. My hiking boots for the Rwanda Gorilla extension are PINK & GRAY!!! Shouldn't be a problem, since I understand they will be muddy immediately. I refuse to buy ugly brown ones and these are well worn. I'm sure I sound like a total bimbo.... I will absolutely do as requested regarding clothing.... and I will use the sink for laundry!! Dinah
  12. BitburgBoy....Tintswalo Is not on our itinerary. I would love to see those big cats. Can you tell me what side trip it was that has a weight restriction. We are not exactly tiny people. Just a month away and we are still getting so excited. Thank you so much for sharing the photos… I absolutely love the one of the two elephants “kissing“.. Dinah
  13. BitburgBoy!!!! LEOPARD!!!! Oh, my word, where did you see the leopard? That is totally on our bucket list at the very top! Do you have any special hints for us? Did you do the Victoria Falls portion of the trip? My biggest problem is packing for three weeks in a 33 pound soft side suitcase. Because were doing the Rwanda extension, we are limited to 33 pounds Of checked luggage. Where are you in Michigan? Our number three son lives in Hudsonville, between Grand Rapids and Holland. Vino100....AMA Waterways website is amazing and our awesome travel agent has arranged for us to speak with the AMA Africa specialist. Trekking with the Gorillas is exciting and a little....Intimidating.
  14. We leave August 28, 2019, to join AMA waterways “golden trails of East Africa“ with the Rwanda add on for trekking with the silverback mountain gorillas. I have personally spoken with the AMA Africa specialist who assures me that the cockroach issue was immediately taken care of and has not been an issue since. We have cruised almost 60 times on oceans, and we have been to almost 150 countries this will be only our second river cruise, both with AMA. We have sailed the ocean with 6-7 different cruise lines, but our cruise line of choice is Oceania. You can always find something less expensive....A cheaper ocean cruise line, a cheaper river cruise line ... you can always find a less expensive anything. I believe you will find you pretty much get what you pay for. We are certainly not wealthy by any means and we do not throw our money away carelessly, but this AMA trip has exactly what we want. The food is not important to us, the size of the cabin is not important to us, fancy is not important to us,… What is important is seeing as many animals as possible in their native habitat. So do your research, and choose....that’s why there are so many opportunities… To meet everyone’s needs. I promised to submit a reView when we return the end of September.
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