A Travellerspoint blog

Day 17 - going home and reflecting on the trip

Amsterdam, Detroit and Home

overcast 40 °F
View Russ and Beth go on safari on Weimerrv's travel map.

This trip exceeded by a large margin, my expectations. Our group really gelled and we made some new friends. Touring with a small group is vastly superior to a large one. Herding 13 cats was tough enough for our tour manager but he stated that our group was easy for him and the only real issues David had was when South African Airways went on strike and one couple from our group had to be rebooked home to San Francisco via a different initial carrier. Since the info about the strike only came out Thursday and we were leaving Friday. Collette and David had some scrambling to do. It all worked out in the end and the Bob and Margot were delayed one day. Beth and I had a fantastic or Afrimagnamazing time and would recommend an African Safari to everyone. The countries are beautiful and their stewardship of these wonderful animals is truly a gift to the world.

I want to list the animals and birds we saw and some stats about the trip so here goes:

elephant, white rhino, hippo, Cape buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, wildebeest, banded mongoose, slender mongoose, baboon, Hyrax, cheetah, Bush pig, warthog, vervet monkey, zebra, jackal, brown spotted hyena, sea lion, jackal

Antelope types
Eland, kudu, waterbuck, blesbok, red lechwe, impala, springbok

Reptiles, etc.
Crocodile, leopard tortoise, monitor lizard, dung beetle, blue headed agama lizard

Cormorant, ostrich, African penguin, brown snake eagle, guinea fowl, black chested snake eagle, sacred ibis, oxpecker, kingfisher, marabou stork, red headed vulture, black vulture, yellow billed kite, yellow billed stork, red billed hornbill, cattle egret, great egret, African fish eagle, African darter, blacksmith lapwing, blue waxbill, Senegal cuckoo, hammerkop, open billed stork, little egret, turtle dove, crested francolin, white crowned robin chat, arrow marked babbler, malachite kingfisher, weaver bird, go away bird or Turaco, crested barbet, african starling

Over 60 different species

here are some sayings and trivia:

Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders - during rainy season 550 million liters of water per day goes over the falls
Traffic lights are called robots
Largest concentration of great white sharks in the world is in False Bay, South Africa
Happy-Clappy is a contemporary church service
If they don’t feed you we don’t fly that airline in Africa!
LIA - life in Africa, used to describe any little setback or something going wrong like a power outage
Impala - the McDonalds drive-thru of the bush
Brown spotted hyena - no teeth but jaws that can crush bones
Botswana currency the Pula which means rain, also very low unemployment unlike Zimbabwe
Chobe means Push
They loaded the plane in Zimbabwe, windows, then centers, then aisles - may sound logical but in practice- people were confused and there was NO intercom!
Elephants are right or left handed, whichever tusk is shorter, that is the favored side
African elephants are designated that because their ears look like the continent of Africa
Crocodile gender is determined by the temperature in the nest. Hotter= males, only 5% survive but they can live up to 100 years
Hippos Mark their territory by dung showering (using their tail like a propeller and urinating)
Male hippos will kill male babies to decrease competition
A hippo yawn is a threat display
A bumpy Jeep ride is called an African Massage
Carcasses are burned if a ranger suspects disease killed the animal, so the disease is not spread especially by hyenas. Elephants are susceptible to anthrax due to the bacteria living in the soil and the animals drinking from standing water.
Impala is the most successful animal since they both graze and browse (eat leaves from trees)
Afrimagnamazing - a term coined by Beth and I to describe this trip!

Number of photos taken by Beth - over 3000. She won’t bore you with all of them though....just the small collection of very best

Posted by Weimerrv 02:55 Archived in Netherlands

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This adventure was everything I hoped and imagined it would be. It was an afrimagnimazing experience from beginning to end. Being close enough to hear a lion roar and then be eye to eye with him, Touching and feeding the elephants, and seeing how beautiful and different each part of Africa we travelled to was beyond words. Thanks for following us on our journey. We are ready to come home and get back into our normal routine. See you all soon!

by bweimer

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