Spent 3 months from Dec - March in Koh Samui, Thailand to escape the cold rainy California winter.
After Thailand, I was trying to decide between hanging out for a few months in comfortable Maui, or going on an exciting African safari.
Made a last minute decision for Africa. Flew from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur to Jo'burg. Malaysian Airlines 747 Biz Class upper deck, something like 14 hours.
Picked up some camping gear in Jo'burg. Drove 2 days north into Botswana.
An early morning scenic flight over the Okavango delta. Zooming 350 ft above the ground, passing herds of elephant, giraffe, and a lone lion. Grabbing some last provisions in town, then a couple hour 4x4 trail into the bush, past the buffalo fence, and into the wild. Some pretty rough river crossings, making sure the intake stayed above water. A spotted hyiena was right outside my tent last night, heard him sniffing, and saw tracks in the morning. Makoro ride in delta, tons of hippos in the water, keeping a healthy 100+ foot distance, massive bird life, lotus flowers. Swim in water hole, with hippo tracks all around, real sketchy, with crocodiles around.
Afternoon nap under a tree.
Late afternoon walk through the bush to lake with a family 6 hippos poking their heads out. Hippos are viscious! If they come at you, you'd better run like hell, and try to get up a tree. Lone elephant in the distance, baboons playing in the trees, as a t-storm closed in and drenched with warm rain.
2 hour early morning hike through the bush. Didn't want to get wet clothes, so I set out in my five fingers shoes and swim shorts only. It poured rain the whole time. Soaked. And shivering, but never felt more alive. Saw a huge flock of scavenger birds chomping on a carcass. Decide to leave a day early back to Maun. 5 hours to get out because road is too wet. Pulled another truck out of mud.
The kids here in Botswana are awesome, they'll all wave and are so excited as you go by.
Moremi park, got stuck in mud, spent an hour trying to dig the truck out by hand. Saw 1000's of impala, giraffe, zebra, elephant, 2 male lions RIGHT by the truck. 10 feet away. You can see a lion in a picture or a zoo, but its a whole new experience seeing a lion in the wild, yawning, and showing immense jaw. As the sun was setting. AND saw a leapord sitting in a bush which is super rare and beautiful. And 3 warthogs. And a black mamba snake crossing the road. And camped down the road from seeing the lions.
Wake up at 5 am, and on a game drive by sunrise. Saw a female lion 10 feet away, watched her roar. Feeling a lion is different than seeing a lion. When they roar you can feel the vibration in your bones. Saw her yawn and open jaws all the way. Got stuck in mud about 15 feet away. Waited a bit for her to leave, and then dug out of mud. Saw 6 cheetahs in the bushes. Saw giraffe fighting. Hippos out of the water. Cobra snake crossing the road. 2 big water monitor lizards going into a pond. Arrived at campsite and as setting up tent, saw what I think was a lion chasing an impala in the distance. Or maybe I was just seeing things. Saw 3 baby warthogs and the mother grazing on grass. Got a flat tire just before dark.
Wow, saw a lone male lion on the road and then a little further down saw 2 females, a male, and 3 cubs. Stayed with them for 15 minutes, sooo cool. 15 feet away, right in the middle of the road. Drove to Chobe park, a totally different landscape, right next to the Chobe river, on border of Botswana/Namibia. Saw buffalo, kudu (like a big deer), 100s of baboons, elephant, giraffe, just sooo much wildlife by the river at sundown. Found fresh leopard tracks, but couldn't find it in the bush. Fell asleep under the milkyway.
Relaxing paddle down the Zambezi river for about 35km, near Vic Falls. Super slow Internet in town. Had fun talking to the locals, gave them like $12 for a now worthless 1 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note. Awesome dinner at Vic falls hotel, a 5 star place, very fancy and different than camping.
Pressed impala knuckle topped with an "inkonasi" and amarula pudding dollopped with a pesto of mixed wild fresh herbs and crushed with wild berries.
Warthog meat is amazing.
Ate 5 mopani worms which were amazing!
Painted face like South African flag, and played the drums.
Decided to fly back to Jo'burg instead of driving for 2 days.
Relaxed for a couple days in Jo'burg, and then flew to Cape Town.
After 2 weeks in Botswana/Zimbabwe,
I spent another 2 weeks relaxing in the beautiful suburb of Camps Bay, Cape Town
Flew a helicopter, went shark diving, kiteboarded, saw the STOMP musical, 5 course lunch at Overture in Stellenbosh.
Decided to fly back up to Jo'burg for a 30-day, 9000 km overland camping safari to Nairobi, Kenya
Jo'burg -> Zimbabwe -> Zambia -> Malawi -> Tanzania -> Zanzibar -> Kenya
After a little over 2 months in Africa, I decided to visit Switzerland for a special skydive jump over the north face of Eiger in the alps. Then Norway for a week, then London for a week, then no plans yet.. But most likely head somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Blue line = 16 days, from Jo'burg to Botswana, and back.
Red line = 30 days, from Jo'burg to Nairobi Kenya.