Looking Forward To: AFRICA

When I think about Africa the words that come to mind are colorful, majestic, wild, and pure. It just seems to me there’s no other place on earth quite like it. I’ve imagined what it might feel like to stand and look out onto the savanna, breathe the air and hear the sounds of elephants, lions and more.

Photo by Kate Holt/Africa Practice

Two Special Visits

We start in Nairobi, where we’ll meet a young girl my parents have sponsored for the last six years through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. She’s 15 years old now. Through letters and photos they’ve gotten to know her and it will be really special to meet her and walk around the orphanage.

After our safari tour, we’ll go back to Rwanda to stay in a small mountain village with Jane, a family friend. Jane is currently working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative at the Rwamagana School of Nursing and Midwifery, and we’re hoping we might lend a hand too in some way while we are there.

One Epic Tour

In Nairobi, we’ll join a 34-day overland tour through East Africa. (Yes, that’s right. 34 days. HALP!) We’ll be with a group of about 20 people, driving through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, in a big bus/truck and staying at campsites along the way. It involves what’s called “participation camping” where you set up your own tent, help prepare the food, etc. Everyone pitches in and does something, so I imagine it won’t be long before we become our own little family. And I love this line from the tour notes:

“Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.”

Highlights of the tour include:

  • Game drives in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
  • Camping in a small village on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Jeep safari in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • Mountain gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
  • Game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera
  • Camping on the shores of Lake Mburo in Uganda
  • Spice plantation tour in Zanzibar

Courtesy of Jane, here is "Mrs. Chief posing"

And Cape Town

Finally, we’ll head down to Cape Town (where we’ll likely cash in some Starwood points to stay at the Westin). Over 10 days we hope to visit the nearby wine country and take in the area’s unique history, cosmopolitan culture and geography.

Oh, and did I mention I’ll be celebrating my 40th birthday…in Zanzibar?!?

Kinda nice how that worked out.