Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kristina is back from Africa

I'm back from an incredible learning trip to Africa. I flew into Nairobi on NW non-stop to Amsterdam then non-stop to NBO. This was the not-so-fun part, but the best schedule from Seattle, even though it takes 24 hours! There's no way around that. All flights are full these days and there's no legroom at all in coach. I think it borders on "criminal" with respect to how little space is allocated per person. I think almost everyone is willing to pay a little more for more space in coach. Upgrading to business class in not an option for me because of the cost. I'm talking $5,000.00 more and up!

Once, you get there it's worth it. The smell of Africa is fantastic. I feel like I'm home. Nairobi is a vibrant city and offers much to do. I always book an extra first night here to catch my breath and explore the city.

My favorite is a visit to the David Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage. I always enjoy watching the baby ellies play:

I joined 5 other agents to visit Porini and Heritage camps and lodges with one night in each camp. This is exhausting and not recommended. I feel three nights in fewer places is the best way to discover Africa.

Then I flew to Zambia to join another group of agents and to visit all of the new Sanctuary camps just opened there. Sanctuary is owned by A&K. These camps are extra-ordinary.
I especially like the wildlife in South Luangwa NP where you will see Crawshay zebra and Thornicroft giraffe, not seen anywhere else. Of course, there are lots of hippos and crocs in the river and elephants can be seen swimming across in the early mornings after raiding the farmers' fields outside the park during the night: those naughty ellies!

I'm off to Kenya, escorting a group, on August 26, back on Sept 11. Come and see me at the Adventure Travel Expo in Seattle on Saturday Sept 13. I will be in the APTA booth education the visitors and promoting travel to Africa:

Some news from the TSA: Starting Aug 16, 2008, U.S. airline passengers will not have to remove their laptops for airport security screening if they’re using an approved “checkpoint-friendly” laptop case. These new bags – which are on sale now – were designed to allow airport X-ray machines to see through them easily. Federal officials have issued guidelines for bag manufacturers to follow, but there’s no official seal that goes on approved bags, so you should ask questions you buy these bags to insure that they’re truly ready to go through airport X-ray machines. See for more information.