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BabySis, The AMA site refers to an extension we did not take. Check out their site to see all the options. The weight restrictions were for the fact that it’s a small plane so you can only take like 35 pounds of luggage. Planning is half the fun I always say.

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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

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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

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Dinah – no problem!  You can be that special friend who attracts all the bugs and spares the rest of us!  :classic_wink:

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Posted (edited)

We went last October.  I TOTALLY understand about the colors- I just tried to avoid seeing myself in the mirror!  However, I've decided I LOVE my Columbia shirts and have ordered some in "my" colors to wear in "real life!"  I agree on the long sleeves, but I'd say they're pretty much a requirement for safaris, between bugs, dust and sun! I'm NOT being compensated by Columbia, but once again.... the long sleeves roll up and have fasteners to KEEP them up, and they're really not hot, despite being polyester. For what it's worth, Some People who were in our truck one day had on REALLY bright colored shirts and we didn't see as many animals.... and we were judgey!!!  I DID leave one pair of pants behind that didn't suit me.... don't know if anyone used them, but I left them on the bed with a note.... you might not want to even haul them back to Tulsa!! Have fun.... and I can't wait to hear about your trip!
 

Edited by CSClark
typos

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1 hour ago, BabySis said:

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

I left the beigy tones behind in Africa. The staff there can use them more than Goodwill, and you will have extra room in your luggage to bring back souvenirs.

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I really loved the clothing from RailRiders.  The cloth has lots of ventilation holes so you stay cool.

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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.  

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29 minutes ago, BabySis said:

9 DAYS until we leave Tulsa!!

 

 

How exciting for you. Can’t wait to hear about your trip. 

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 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.

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Oh my, what a wonderful time you are having. Your trip sounds amazing and it will be hard to wait for next October to experience seeing all the animals. 

Interesting about not needing  safari clothes yet. Did they recommend neutral colors ? 

You are so kind to send this update. Can’t wait to hear even more. Be safe and enjoy the rest of your safari.   

 

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Can't wait to hear about the Tanzania portion of your trip. Glad you're having a great time so far.

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We found a great safari tour company for our Kenya/Tanzania safari during the Great Migration next July/August.

No river cruise is involved, but Kenya/Tanzania is supposed to be the best place for a safari.

 

The firm is Good Earth Tours.

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Hopefully you are safely home or still enjoying your safari. Looking forward to the land portion. 😀

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We were home only 3 days before we left on another trip....  I promise to work on updates this week.    It was FANTASTIC!!

 

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5 hours ago, BabySis said:

We were home only 3 days before we left on another trip....  I promise to work on updates this week.    It was FANTASTIC!!

 

 

No rush, I was just being impatient.  fantastic....... sounds wonderful. 

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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 

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IMG_2761 (Edited) - Copy.HEIC

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What an amazing trip. Thank you so much for sharing . 

I do have a few questions if you don’t mind. 

It might be easier to email you, but I will ask a few so others might chime in too

 

how was the treehouse room ? The pictures look so interesting. 

So no safari clothes, so did you wear long or short pants.?

safari hat?

 

Did you only take a duffle type case? 

You mentioned tips, all in us $ ? 

 

I dont want want to overwhelm you, so I’ll save the rest till next time. Lol

thanks so much 

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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!!   

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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!!

LEOPARD-IMG_6045.JPG

WARTHOG.JPG

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Wow nice photos. Did the falls have a lot of water? I read that October isn't the best time to visit Victoria falls. 

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3 hours ago, dolllover said:

Wow nice photos. Did the falls have a lot of water? I read that October isn't the best time to visit Victoria falls. 

Lots of water in the falls, although the guide said not nearly as much as during the rainy season...

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Nice pictures! Did you end up taking malaria pills and if so how did they make you feel?

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