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Journeys : Feb March 2010
Christine with RACT Travelworld Kingston Shop 49A Channel Court Phone 6242 3211 Glenorchy Corner Terry Street and Main Road Phone 6212 9500 Launceston Cor ner York and George Streets Phone 6335 5655 Devonport 119 Rooke Street Mall Phone 6421 1977 Ulverstone RACT Travelworld 38 Reibey Street Phone 6425 8050 Burnie 24 North Ter race Phone 6434 2955 Christine Benbow travelled in Africa as a guest of Kiboko Adventures on the Trans Kalahari Adventure. Kiboko offer both accommodated and camping tours of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. Some of her most cherished moments in Africa were a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls; walking with the lions in Zambia; elephant night viewing in a thunderstorm in Etosha National Park; dipping her toes in the Atlantic Ocean on the Skeleton Coast; and sleeping in a treehouse with hippos grazing all around on the Kavango River. Contact Christine at RACT Travelworld Kingston on 6242 3201. Been there, done that Christine Benbow discovers darkest Africa Camping or accommodated? This is the dilemma I faced in planning my first holiday to Africa. I wanted a dow n- to-earth African adventure, not just a 5-star lodge experience and there are pros and cons for both touring styles. In the end I chose a 22-day overland accommodated safari that would still be adventurous but with a bit of comfort at the end of each day. My jour ney took me from Cape Town in South Africa through the Kalahari Desert, across the border into Namibia, on to Livingston in Zambia and back to Johannesburg via Botswana. Along with my nine travelling companions, a delightful mix of Canadians, Germans, Spaniards and Australian s, I was expecting r ustic and perhaps mediocre accommodation in some of the remote areas on our itinerary. In contrast, we soon realised that ‘3- star basic’ meant tastefully-decorated African-style chalets oozing character and char m, treehouses with magnificent views, friendly family- run guesthouses and working farms in spectacular locations. Every one was different and we looked for ward to each new stop with relish, joking with each other that eventually we would have to have an ordinary accommodation experience -- but we never did! The food was another surprise -- whoever thought you could travel in Africa and gain weight! Wholesome home cooking using local produce was the nor m. Hearty cooked and continental breakfasts started each day. Fabulous à la carte or buffet dinners of beef, lamb, chicken, fish or local game such as kudu accompanied by lashings of salads and fresh vegies kept us satisfied each night. There were also a lot more opportunities than I had envisaged to buy daily snacks and drinks on the road. Our vehicle was a Toyota 4WD safari tr uck. Sturdy yet comfortable and equipped with a fridge and freezer to store our water and drinks, we made this our home during the day. Touring days were long, bumpy, dry and dusty on unsealed roads, but the scenery and wildlife made up for any discomfort, not to mention the company of my new- found friends. Our driver/guide was knowledgeable, interesting, enthusiastic and funny. We put our lives completely into his capable hands and kicked back to enjoy the ride. At all times we felt completely safe and rela xed in a way that is typically African. The best tip I have for travelling in Africa is not to plan too far ahead -- all that matters is what's going to happen in the next hour or so. But you do need to do some planning in advance to get the most out of your African holiday. The continent is made up of many different countries with many different experiences to be had. Politics, history, culture, landscape and climate all vary greatly from country to country. On our journey we saw vast deserts, in spiring sand dunes, colonial tow ns, amazing wildlife parks, serene rivers and dense forests. I wanted to see animals (as anyone would in Africa) but I was also keen to see the landscape, meet people and lear n some more history. Make your wish list first then pick the countries and itinerary that is best for you. Africa is a magical land with unique experiences and a unique feeling about it. The one thing that was constant throughout for me was the kindness and friendliness of the people we encountered. It was unexpected, over whelming and in some cases quite humbling. In Africa you tr uly feel alive. I laughed and I cried; I was able to look and really see; hear and really listen; but most of all I could breathe -- perhaps properly, for the first timeinmylife. Ihopetobeabletogo back one day and try to regain the sense of peace I felt in those few weeks. Christine meets women from the Himba tribe 53 February / March 10
Dec Jan 2010
April May 2010