This trip was a whirlwind of 13 camps in 16 day s! On arrival in Lusaka I boarded a scheduled Proflight to the Jeki airstrip. There I was met by a guide from Sausage Tree and we took a short 10 minute ga me drive to the boat launch site. From there we traveled up stream for a 20 minute boat ride to camp. Sausage Tree has beautiful views to the river and the rooms are large with all bath facilities outside - open air.

Elephant outside my bathroom..                  Sausage Tree Camp


The next stop was up river - Chiawa Camp. I was allocated Tent 9, the honeymoon tent set apart from all the other rooms, on a small rise. The tent was perfect, all new with the bed under canvas but the facilities outside the tent under roof, but fully open to views to the river. There is a deck with day bed and comfy chairs. I awoke to the rhythmic sounds of ground hornbill. I opted for a morning walk with Paul and a few other guests. The elephants stayed far away but we saw lots of little things, like praying mantis and spiders.

Trying to find a pr aying mantis             Lion and elephant - Lower Zambezi


Downstream about 30 minutes was the best camp of all - Old Mondoro. The camp has 4 rooms, so it is intimate and private. The rooms are a little small, but perfect, because there is a large porch with day bed and chairs, so your living space is expanded. I did a nice walk with Etienne and saw lots of elephants.

Back at camp the elephants had invaded, there were so many I ha d to take a game drive to get to the room, with a coordinated pick up for lunch. We saw lion, honey badger, white tailed mongoose and black mongoose on the night drive.


So many elephants in camp we had to game drive to lunch!


I then flew 45 minutes back to Lusaka and then an hour to Mfuwe and then a 1.5 hour road transfer to Tafika Camp in the South Luangwa. It was an interesting drive through the village, but I would only do it once, fly out! I met up with a game vehicle for sundowners, and we spott ed 2 leopards mating, and saw a third! A python was even spotted on the limb of tree. Tafika is a typical Zambian camp that is made of reed and rebuilt every year. The camp has a great view to the river, and a green lawn - a welcome site in the height of dry season.
The following morning I drove to the canoe launch site to join a walking safari for the night - Chikoko
Walking Trails. Our guide was Isaac who has been in the South Luangwa for over 30 years. We set off on a
4 hour walk back to camp. In order to have a tea or coffee break you had to start your own fire with sticks. I am sure they had back up plan just in case. On the walk we encountered baboon, buffalo, puku, impala, hippo and many different bird species.

Start your own fire                                      Chikoko Bar                                 Chikoko Lounge


The food is comfort food, simple but delicious. Our chef baked all the breads and cakes in a hole, with a steel plate on top. I took a much needed siesta - the day time temperatures were well over 107 degrees . The day finished with a short walk starting ar ound 4:30pm ending back at camp for sundowners and dinner.

Early the next morning we walked out of camp and I drove back to Tafika. John Coppinger operates a micro flight and it is something you have to do! Hold on, because we buzzed crocs, giving them an early wake up call, saw a huge herd of buffalo. It was an amazing experience.

Who needs a Viking Range when you have a hole in the ground?


I took a long 3 hour game drive to Kaingo Camp - saw several lion along the way as well as the Thornicroft giraffe. I really enjoyed Kaingo, the rooms are small, but there is a nice sala overlooking the river, where they serve a private lunch! There are 3 hides in the area, so you can choose to spend time there in the afternoons. I was observing some guinea foul from the hippo blind. There was a croc very close to them, the birds were quite nervous but the croc never made an attempt. Derrick and Jules Shenton run a great little camp - put this one on you to do list.


Private lunch with cooler box of drinks                               Mmmmmm homemade chips!

From Kaingo we drove to Mfuwe - about 3 hours. I flew to Lusaka, then Kafue then onto Lufupa Camp to join my colleague Lynne Glasgow . You can read about our adventure together on th e next trip report.

Egypt Trip ReportBy Sarah TaylorCairo, Luxor, Aswan and a 4 -night Nile Cruise July 11-19, 2010

I am back from one of the greatest adventures I have been on. Although brief, my trip to Egypt is registering in the top 5 trips that I have ever gone on.

July 11

We arrived Cairo after a very smooth direct flight from New York -JFK. We were met at the airport and quickly driven to our hotel, the Oberoi Mena House.
Our check-in was handled smoothly and we were quickly whisked off by golf cart to our roo m which was located in the Garden Pyramid wing. This wing has been recently renov ated and the rooms are gorgeous.
We ate dinner at the Khan el Khalili restaurant as we wanted something quick and simple. The menu had a nice mix of continental and ethni c cuisine. I enjoyed the kofta (lamb meatballs that are grilled) which was wonderful.
We went back to our room and got ready for bed as tomorrow was going to be busy with a full day of touring.

July 12

I was wide awake at 4:00 am and ready for the ex citement to begin. The breakfast buffet was served in
the Khan el Khalili restaurant and offers a nice range of pancakes, eggs, grilled tomatoes and some interesting sausages made from chicken. There was also a decadent table filled with pastries, croiss ants
as well as fruit and yogurt.
Following breakfast we met our Egyptologist, Mohamed Nabil , in the hotel lobby.
We know from selling safaris that the right guide makes the trip! A bad guide can leave a sour memory for the client - and a great guide can surpass even the pickiest client's expectations. That is what Mohamed did for us. In a word - he was AMAZING! Warm, funny and with a great sense of humor, he brought ancient Egypt to life for us. He was delighted to answer all of our questions (and trust me, we had a lot!) Everything from the culture, religion and debunking the myth that aliens built the pyramids (ha! Ha!) - Mohamed was patient and articulate, explaining everything to us. We were truly blessed to have him as our Egyptologist!

Our first day of touring consisted of Memphis, Sakara and then back to Giza for lunch followed by the
Pyramids and Sphinx.
Memphis and Sakara are about 45 minutes outside of town and it gave us a wonderful chance to see the rural life of Cairo. Memph is was the first capital of the Old Dynasty and dates back to 3100 BC. We saw a giant statue of Ramses II carved out of limestone (dating back to 1224) which is housed in an open -air museum.
A short drive took us to Sakara and the Step Pyramid. The sc enery of this unique pyramid standing in a sea of desert is really spectacular and there were few tourists around which made the visit special.
Following lunch we headed back out to the Great Pyramids and then on to the Sphinx. Visitors have the opportunity to climb into the Cheops Pyramid.

We were actually done around 3:30 pm and had the rest of the day at leisure which was ideal as it gave us a chance to go for a swim in the hotel's gorgeous pool.
We had dinner in the Moghul Room, the Mena Ho use's famed Indian restaurant. They offer 2 seatings, 7:00 pm or 9:30 pm so we took the earlier one as tomorrow was a busy day. The food was fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves Indian food.

July 13

We had a morning departure of 7:30 am and stopped enroute in downtown Cairo to pick up Mohamed and then it was off to the airport. We had a 9:00 am flight to Aswan and then a connecting flight to Abu Simbel. We landed in Aswan and right on the tarmac boarded our next flight to Ab u Simbel. It was a short little flight to Abu Simbel.
Abu Simbel is absolutely spectacular! The main temple is dedicated to Ramses II and besides the spectacular hieroglyphics inside the true wonder of the site is that it was completely moved. I n the 1960's when the Aswan High Dam was built the resulting flooding threatened to destroy the temples. UNESCO stepped in, disassembled the temples and reconstructed them 200 feet above the original location.


We flew back from Abu Simbel to Aswan. I was so excited to arrive downtown Aswan where our ship was docked. The Sonesta Moon Goddess is fantastic! It's a small ship intimate in size and every cabin has a balcony. We met the ship's Manager who informed us that we had been upgraded to a one -bedroom suite. The suite was lovely with a separate toilet from the shower/sink area. The living room had panoramic windows and a large sofa with two chairs.
The ship held lunch for us (the time was about 3:15 pm) so we ate and then regrouped as we had a late afternoon felucca ride which was magical.
Following dinner we went up to the pool deck for some peace and quiet. The desert air was blowing in and it was such an odd thing to experience. The best way to describe it is that someone has turned on a blow dryer on super hot heat and aimed it at your face.

July 14

Today was such a delightful surprise. We got in the van and headed off to a launch site where we boarded a small boat to Philae Temple. This place was fantastic! Besides the temple being a un ique and gorgeous hysterical site, there was a great breeze blowing and since we were there early, not many tourists.


From there, we went back to downtown Aswan and then boarded a felucca which sailed us to the Botanical Gardens, a garden oasis and a p erfect place to wander around and enjoy the breeze.
The ship sailed at 12:30 pm to Kom Ombo and docked around 3:30 pm. Mohamed suggested we tour the temple at 5:00 pm when it had cooled down a bit. The temple at Kom Ombo is walking distance from the ship and a lovely site to tour. On the way back from touring, there are quite a few shops selling trinkets and galabeyas, which everyone buys for the galabeya party which was the following night.


The ship set sail at 7:00 pm for Edfu and tonight was Ca ptain's Cocktail Party. It was nice to see everyone get dressed up.

July 15

This morning we were scheduled to tour the Temple of Edfu. We toured the Horus Temple at Edfu from 9:00 am until 10:30 am and then back to the ship as it was setting sail for Luxor.

We met in the lounge as Mohamed was going to give us a talk on Luxor and the Valley of the Kings and Queens which we were going to visit tomorrow. This was so educational and insightful and really one of the highlights of the trip for me.
The cruise from Edfu to Luxor is some of the most scenic on the Nile and we enjoyed viewing it from our balcony.
Everyone got dressed in their galabeyas and a traditional buffet dinner was served on the top deck. Then it was down to the disco for some dancin g and games. It was really fun!

July 16

Early morning wake -up and quick breakfast and then we all met at 7:00 am for an exciting day of touring.
First stop was the Valley of the Kings. Tour guides cannot ente r the tombs (as the noise would be too great with each one trying to talk over each other) , no cameras are allowed and they have put plexi -glass over the hieroglyphics from the floor up about 6 feet to prevent people touching them. It was unfortunate that the antiquities department don't put littl e signs in front of some of the more important hieroglyphics so travelers don't miss the important things. We visited Ramses III, XI and IX as Mohamed thinks they are the best explain of the brightly painted tombs.
Then we went on to the Valley of the Qu eens and Hatchepsout Temple - both of which are spectacular.

I had been joking about the vast number of alabaster factories in Luxor and realized that it is inevitable that visitors will stop at least one during their stay. That being the case, I figu red I needed to see one for myself and asked him to pick the best one. It was actually a really nice experience. The staff did not hassle you and there is every type of stone souvenir but it was the alabaster that really shines. I received my favorite souvenir on my trip from this shop - a gorgeous alabaster vase.
Then it was back to the ship for lunch and some time to relax (we had to pack as this was our last day on the cruise).
We had a special evening planned - the 3 of us were heading off the ship for some shopping in the Luxor bazaar and then dinner at the Steinberger Lebanese restaurant followed by a visit to one of the cafes along the Nile. We had a wonderful time!!

July 17

Everyone was asked to be out of their rooms by 8:00 am so we met Moh amed and left for touring the Karnak and Luxor Temples. The Karnak Temple is blow -your-mind amazing! One of my favorite sites during the entire trip!
Following our morning of touring we went to our hotel, the Sofitel Winter Palace. We quickly changed into our swimsuits and went down to the pool. We spent all afternoon there and it was the perfect way to end the Nile cruise portion of the trip. I would strongly recommend we encourage all clients to add the extra day in Luxor as it will give them a cha nce to regroup and relax.
Mohamed met us in the lobby at 7:00 pm as he was flying back to Cairo this evening and we were headed off to the Karnak Sound and Light Show. The beginning of the show was fascinating as seeing the temple lit up at night was lov ely but then it took a c heesy turn and ran a bit long (but I still enjoyed it)


July 18

We had the 9:00 am flight to Cairo as we had another full day of touring. We met Mohamed at the Citadel and toured the Sultan Hassan Mosque and then the Mohamed Ali Mosque.
We went to the Khan el Khalili Bazaar and ate lunch at the Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant (owned by the Mena House and located off the main alleyway of the bazaar). The food was delicious - probably my favorite meal and the best kofta of the tr ip!
Shopping in the bazaar was fun and thank goodness for Mohamed as he was the one who wheeled and dealed for us.

Our last stop for the day was the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. There is only one word for this hotel -
SUBLIME!!! They gave us a Nile vi ew room on the 19 th floor and oh my, what a view!
We had farewell drinks with Mohamed in the 3 rd floor 'Bar' - we all agreed it had been a fantastic week! One that we would never forget!


Take it Easy, but Take it - My Namibian Biking Trip - June 2010

"Take it easy, but take it"

These were the words most repeated by my guide over five days of mountain biking in Namibia this June.

The Namibian desert in the northwest part of the c ountry, better known as Damaraland, is an open book that reads like a story. The unique landscape, flora and fauna that survive there have their own stories to tell. It is tough adapting to Namibia's harsh conditions, they tell us.

Experiencing the land from a bicycle with an expert guide is unlike anything else. While the most difficult aspect of the ride was navigating through terrain such as loose stones and sandy patches, it must be said that you do need to be somewhat fit to enjoy it. The keyword is enjoy - take it easy. Anyone can toil along for the 2 -6 hours per day spent on a bike, but by preparing yourself mentally and physically you are getting ready for an epic adventure.

The excitement at the prospect of seeing lions or elephants from your bi ke, the magical sunsets with hues of purples and pinks on the surrounding hills as you ride into camp and the delicious food when you eat only paint a part of the picture. By yourself, Namibia is a dangerous place to be on a bike, but in the hands of profe ssional guides you will be able to experience the country on a whole new level.

The Africa Adventure Company specializes in unique adventures such as this one - take it.

Ian Flores Assistant Operations and Sales Consultant



This vacation began with a te xt message 'all of your flights are cancelled'¦..this is no joke'. The Iceland volcano was set to spoil a vacation that I planned for a year and a half. Thankfully I booked by my flights with AAC and Bill jumped into action and rebooked us on Delta, last minute.
We spent two nights in Johannesburg due to the flight change. The first night at African Rock Hotels, the rooms were clean and fresh, the host was very homey and the food was delicious. It is a great one night stay. The second night we spent at Athol Place - in my opinion the place to stay if you arrive in the morning and leave the next day. The rooms are huge and the food and service are outstanding . They drove us Melrose Arch for lunch and some people watching.

The next morning we flew to Maun, Botswana and a further 1 hour charter flight to Jack's Camp situated in the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana. Upon landing I knew we were not in Kansas anymore. The landscape is VAST and no picture or description can do it justice.

Standing at the edge of a Salt Pan the size of Switzerland!


Green season was off and running with the zebra and wildebeest migration - the last in southern Africa. They were everywhere, felt a lit tle like the Serengeti. The late afternoon storms del ivered the most amazing sunsets and a thrilling night as the canvas tented breathed with gusting winds and lighting fired up the night sky.

Hyena scent marks on a blade of grass - great eyes Super!

Our guide was Super Sande and was an awesome guide, he could spot a hyena marking on a blade of grass from the safari vehicle, at 25 miles an hour.


One of many highlights at Jack's is the opportunity to visit the habituated family of meerkats. We drove out after an early morning breakfast and sat on the mounds by their wholes and waited for them to wake up. They want to be on the tallest object to look for predators and now you are the tallest thing around.
The photos say it all. The camp has a very relaxed attitude, no staff and guide uniforms, everyone is dress ed in whatever is comfortable, it does not feel like a corporation. If felt like a n old world safari camp -
including the toilet! My only criticism is that there is no where to kick back an d take that much needed 2:00pm snooze. Antique furniture is not made for 21 st century bodies.


The drive to the Masai Mara was long and extremely exhausting, but thanks to our tra veling companions-an Aussie couple and a British Dad and daughter, made the long drive less strenuous. Our guide Stephan was a bit quiet and non talkative at first, but we quickly started joking with him and brought him out of his shell. The first Swahili words he taught me (at my request) were 'pole'¦pole', I found myself saying this on a daily basis. His answer was always 'Akuna Matata'.On our very first afternoon game drive, the first animal we saw was a lioness!! Now I realized why our clients keep coming back over and over, the feeling of respect you get from being so close to such a magnificent creature is second to none.We saw all the animals that were on our list, elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, lots of baboons, impalas and buffalo. In a way it kind of spoiled it for any future game drives as we found ourselves

The one animal we did not see in the Masai , but were lucky enough to see in Lake Nakuru was the black rhino. Our game drive was cut sh ort due to bad visibility and floods. Fortunately enough, seeing the black rhino made up for the bad weather and other expectations.

The next camp was Vumbura Plains in the Okavango Delta. The food at this camp was amazing. Wayne, the chef was new and dazzling everyone with his c reations. Benjamin the assistant manger in training prepared
a special private dining experience, lots of candles, lanterns, great food and sounds of Africa just beyond the deck. We did not see any lion or leopard, the grass was too tall, but we did lots o f elephant, hyena, giraffe, plains game, even a ground hornbill flying! Lots of babies and even a charging 3 month elephant - we could not help but laugh at him.

Charging baby elephant

A herd of beautiful Sable




We bid farewell to Botswana an d enjoyed Cape Town for a couple of nights at the One & Only. We stayed in the Island Suites. The rooms were amazing but , no view whatsoever. If you stay book a room in the Marina Rise building, with views to Table Mountain. We had a memorable dinner at Ma ze and Nobu (don't forget to take the cardboard off the knife) . On our full day we took a cab to Table Mountain, followed by a pool side lunch at the hotel and an afternoon of more relaxing.
The next day we went to Majeka House in Stellenbosch after enjo ying the Cheese Festival in Stellenbosch. Not much cheese in Stellenbosch, so hit Le Cottage Fromage for a healthy dose of fat and cholesterol as only South Africa can deliver!
The room a Majeka was comfortable, nothing over the top, but perfect the one night. The dinner that was cooked just for us was amazing. I was really impressed with the quality and presentation.
The following morning Thomas drove us to Bushmans Kloof - the place to end a long trip. One tip'¦.brush up on your Afrikans! The lodge roo m, food and service are beyond top notch. There is so much do at Bushmans Kloof including mountain biking, hiking, bow and arrow target practice, canoeing - none of which we did. We did move further than the kitchen on an afternoon hik e to the rock paintings and never left the room after that - expect to eat. We booked the Riverside Suite which is basically a house, with three verandas and a private infinity pool, living room, bath and bedroom. It was heaven for 3 days!

  Fluffing the pillows on one o f our verandas This was the spot for an afternoon snooze

The one day we actually moved.


Safari with friends by Elena Theodosiou


A special safari this one - I had the pleasure of traveling with 3 Africa '˜virgins' - my partner Sonia and our dearest friends Barbara and Steve. For those of us who have had the good fortune to have been on safar I already taking first timers is incredibly exciting - we know what is coming and how fantastic the whole experience is ….

After a few days with my family in Johannesburg we left for Maun and were met by our bush pilot and our first flight over the delta. Chitabe was our first stop and our first game drive we found a juvenile leopard that had eaten too much impala and lay full and sleepy in the shade a few feet from the vehicle - needless to say my safariers were blown away. The sense of triumph an d I told you so…was overpowering. After a second game filled day at Chitabe we continued to Vumbura Plains - the game viewing continued, our first night drive at Vumbura a pride of lions roaring so close to the vehicle you could feel the vibrations in y our chest! What can I say we saw it all and more - with the most memorable '˜encounter' being that night when we all went to bed and the hippos came to crop the grass under the tent and kept Steve awake the whole night wondering what was going on outside - needless to say the three girls slept through it all and he has yet to live it down!


Next Victoria Falls where the water was so high you could see the mist from everywhere - it was truly the smoke that thunders! We stayed at the grand Victo ria Falls Hotel which is so beautiful and where sitting on the outside patio gives you a sweeping expanse of lawn, the bridge and the mist from the falls as your view - breathtaking. We enjoyed the Jungle Junction for dinner, the next day an elephant back safari and a sunset cruise on the Zambezi. A grand time was had by all…

Cape Town was good to us and the weather was absolutely beautiful! We stayed at the Cape Grace with a beautiful view of the Marina. One of my favorite things is to res erve '˜a go as you please' and I had arranged two days for us. The first day we did the peninsula with the drive on the coast, Cape Point, and visited the penguins and the seals - our afternoon ended with Table Mountain - crystal clear air views of the who le city, the new stadium and a glass of wine. The next day we drove to the wine lands - some of the most awe
inspiring countryside, surrounded by mountains, vine yards on the slopes and the little historic towns of Franshhoek and Stellenbosch. We had lunch at the Goatshed at Fairview - where you can enjoy some of the excellent wines they produce along with excellent goats cheese a fantastic combination for a lazy afternoon. The next morning we spent some time at Greenmarket square looking (and buying) so me of the fantastic curios and African art, a visit to the V&A for an excellent lunch at Balthazar - and a stroll enjoying our last sights and sounds of Cape Town.

Our last stop was Phinda in northern KwaZulu -Natal. We spent time at Mountain and Fo rest Lodge and enjoyed both very much. Forest Lodge is in a very special sand forest area and has a very special feel about it - definitely a favorite. Here we had our fist rhino sightings which we up close and personal and reminded me how huge these animals are - for my newbie's they were impressed and a little shaken at how close this encounter truly was. The game viewing was great and in -between game drives I got the opportunity to have a look at all the Phinda properties. Our last night on safari we had a boma dinner under the African stars with the special smells and sounds surrounding us.



Elia Valdovino and Anthony Radcliff

Over the past two years, I have been reading trip report s from all of our clients. I always imagine myself in their place as they vividly describe their adventures and sightings. Not hing, and I mean nothing prepared me for my very own experience in the dark continent.
Our first overnight was in Nairobi. We were tired and in bad need of a shower. The drive to the hotel from the airport was a real eye opener. It was an amazing experie nce all on it's own. Never had I seen so many people , including young children and women walking alon e in the streets at 11 pm at night. Not to mention police officers walking around with rifles in their hands. I asked our driver if there was a problem out in the street. He casually answer that 'no everybody is just on their way home from work'. Acuna Mattata-first time I heard that phrase outside of a Disney movie.


 The drive to the Masai Mara was long and extremely exhausting, but thanks to our tra veling companions-an Aussie couple and a British Dad and daughter, made the long drive less strenuous. Our guide Stephan was a bit quiet and non talkative at first, but we quickly started joking with him and brought him out of his shell. The first Swahili words he taught me (at my request) were 'pole'¦pole', I found myself saying this on a daily basis. His answer was always 'Akuna Matata'.
On our very first afternoon game drive, the first animal we saw was a lioness!! Now I realized why our clients keep coming back over and over, the feeling of respect you get from being so close to such a magnificent creature is second to none.
We saw all the animals that were on our list, elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, lots of baboons, impalas and buffalo. In a way it kind of spoiled it for any future game drives as we found ourselves always comparing it to the Masai Mara.



The one animal we did not see in the Masai , but were lucky enough to see in Lake Nakuru was the black rhino. Our game drive was cut sh ort due to bad visibility and floods. Fortunately enough, seeing the black rhino made up for the bad weather and other expectations.

Amboseli is a true gem, from our room, we had a perfect view of Kilimanjaro, it was truly an amazing sight to see.. Her e we saw plenty of elephants and giraffes. We also had to be careful with the monkeys sneaking into our rooms, they were everywhere!

Lots of hugs, kisses and e -mail address were exchange at the end of this stay with our Aussie and British friends as we were all continuing in different directions.
We met Seif at the Nmanga border. From the very beginning I understood why he was AAC's Guide of
the year for 2009. His passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of his country and job is extremely extensive.

Lake Manyara was our first stop. Here we were charged by an angry elephant who did not wish to be followed as we h ad been doing. We saw countless of giraffes, baboons, impalas, wildebeest, and many, many beautiful birds.


The drive to Serengeti was something to remember. We had given Seif the mission to find us some leopards as we only got a 2 second glimpse of one in the Masai Mara. He took this as a personal challenge.
The highlight of this drive was the mating of lions! We spotted two sleeping lions near the road. It was truly an amazing experience seeing up close and personal what can only be seen on television.

The game drive was great, we again saw many elephants, giraffes, and wildebeest and yes our sought after Leopard!!!

My itinerary also included a visit to a Masai Village and to an orphanage. The children were a delight. They sang for us and even invited us to join in their games.

Anthony and I left Africa with a new found appreciation for nature, and much respect for the people. Their incredible strength is amazing. Even thru the ir poverty, they always manage a most sincere smile.
Up to now, we have been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel all over the Caribbean, South America and Mexico, but somehow I kn ow that out of the countless vacations Anthony and I have experienced, this particular trip will be the most memorable and most talked about.