Leaving NYC for Africa

Dear friends and family:

We have completed our Africa tour. After a quick stopover in New Jersey, where we visited so many good friends, we left the United States for Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town was the start of our Africa tour including safaris in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Kenya. Cape Town was an unexpected delight with wonderful food and exceptional wines. After adjusting to our jet lag, we flew to Johannesburg where we gathered up with Hemingway Safari’s for a hands on learning experience which none of us will ever forget. We learned the art of tracking game, surviving the bush, making rope, teas, tooth path and dies out of roots along with dissecting and reporting on the health of an impala (one of Africa’s antelopes). This part of our trip was so exceptional that we want to tell all our friends about Andreas, who owns the camp in Timbavardi. Better yet, check out his web site at (see travel tips). After leaving Andreas we participated in 2 games captures including darting and moving a young male giraffe. We also participated in a lion capture that began at 5:00 pm and lasted until 4:00 am the next morning (see photo’s). This part of our trip was great for families traveling with Kids and was life changing for so many adults without kids. We want to say a very special thank you to Brian Gazan of Hemingway Galleries in NYC. Brian put this safari together and fully understands the bush experience. He even introduced Douglas to his first crocodile tail.

After 14 days in South Africa, we left for Zambia and Zimbabwe to visit Victoria Falls. We stayed in a romantic safari camp called Tongabezi. If you ever stay at Tongabezi, make sure you request the doghouse, the best room in the Tongabezi. Alvin will take good care of you. We spent a memorable lunch on Livingston Island overlooking Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls is a breathtaking sight (see photos). From Zambia, we left with our guide John Stevens (see travel tips) for Botswana. John is considered one of Africa’s most experienced and knowledgeable guides. John taught us about tracking animals and living in the bush. We had a chance to see several lions, Cheetahs, leopards, Wilder beasts, Buffalo, Rhinos, wild dogs, vultures and several other animal and bird life. On our final day we were very lucky and in the right spot for our first lion kill. Three lions killed a buffalo and slowing ate her from toes to nose.

Our final stop was Kenya. We arrived in Nairobi and stayed at a very charming and highly recommended guest- house called the Ngong house (see travel tips). This guesthouse has wonderful and unique accommodations and the food preparation is outstanding. There were many highlights from Kenya. Perhaps the most memorable highlight was our stay at The Borana Lodge. Fuzz and Bimbi Dyer run a 30,000 acre ranch called Borana. We had a great experience and highly recommend this as a place to stay if visiting Kenya. As a side note, this is where the Disney team came up with the inspiration for pride rock in the movie, Lion King. We spent our last few days in The Maasai Mara Reserve. Julia finally saw baby lions and cheetahs. We visited local schools and participated in a celebration with the local anti-poaching team that included sacrificing a goat and enjoying a barbeque with the Maasai.