Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kristina is off to Africa again

Kristina is visiting Tanzania, arriving on Oct 13 into Arusha. I will stay for 2 nights at the Serena Mountain Village lodge. On the 14th, I will deliver a suitcase (plus more stuff) full of clothing and school supplies to St. Marks Children's Home in Kwa Ugoro Village 35km outside of Arusha. I'm looking forward to see the children there.

On the 15th, I start an agents' familiarization trip the Mbali Mbali camps in TZ arranged by Kamili Safaris in the UK. We will be 3 agents from the US, 2 from the UK, 1 from Holland and 1 from Australia. These are the Tarangire River Camp, Soroi Serengeti Lodge, Katuma Bush Lodge in Katavi NP, Kungwe Beach Lodge in Mahale NP and Gombe Forest Lodge in Gombe Stream NP. This is the 50th anniversary of Jane Goodall's work there.

After one night at the Kempinski Dare es Salaam, I fly to Johannesburg to meet Tom and we're off to Zambia for 2 weeks. We'll spend the entire time around Mfuwe in the South Luangwa National Park. Our first stop is at Kuyenda. We will spend 4 nights here with Phil Berry. this is a Traditional Zambian Bushcamp; A charming and rustic camp that offers a true taste of the African bush with one of the Luangwa’s premier guides at its helm. Then we spend 3 nights at Zungulila, a Rustic Tented Camp; Perfect for small private groups, this isolated, rustic bushcamp delivers an authentic walking safari experience. Then just one night at Kapamba, a Stylish Riverside Camp; A remote and romantic camp situated in a prime location on the Kapamba River, and the only bushcamp to be open from May to January.

We will spend 8 nights at Mfuwe Lodge, an award winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa. The perfect place to enjoy excellent game viewing, recharge your batteries, or to start and finish your journey to our bushcamps. Here we're guided by Jonathan Scott of BBC's Big Cat Diary fame. It will be an intense week of lectures and safari. The draw is of course Ms Wonky Tusk and her family walking through the lobby to reach the ripe mangoes in the garden on the other side.

Watch them in this video here: Enjoy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back from Stockholm

I’m just back from Stockholm, which was a quick visit with family and friends. I enjoyed my birth city very much. However the return flight was something else. I flew Delta Airlines from Seattle via JFK to Stockholm, since SAS pulled out of here last summer. Couldn’t be easier. Right? Icelandair works great too, but the price was much higher and being MVP Gold with Alaska, I get better seats on Delta and the miles count towards my MVP status. Going over on Aug 18 went like clockwork and I had 5½ hours to kill at JFK. We arrived early! Going home was another matter though.

I was supposed to fly on Monday Aug 30. All seemed well when I checked in online. I arrived at ARN 3 hours early as requested. They are very thorough there with security at check-in, so it can take awhile. By 9am I was ready to go through; departure was scheduled for 11:05am, but we were informed that the plane would be 5 hours late arriving from JFK, due to some mechanical problem. I decided to just wait it out at ARN instead of going back with my sister. They live about an hour away and gas is expensive there and she had work to do.

I got a voucher for 85 kronor to eat lunch. How very generous of them!!! Hahaha!!! Mind you there’s NOTHING at ARN that cost 85 kronor except a bottle of water which was 39. You get 7 kronor to the dollar (about the same as the South African rand). Around 11am I got a shrimp salad for 139 kronor, a bottle of water and then I discovered Starbucks (opened on Feb 18, 2010 in Terminal 5, gate area 1-10). I just had to have it! About $100 lighter, I walked away with a double-tall wet-capp. Hmmmm … good!! I also taught the barista how to make a “Why Bother”.

Our plane arrived on-time (4.5 hours late) at the gate. Boarding was to be at 2:30pm, but they didn’t start boarding until 3:35, so there was no way we could leave at 3:40 as promised. Oh well, I would miss my 4:20pm Seattle flight anyway. There was another at 8:20pm that I was hoping to make, but it was looking tight. Stockholm is 6 hours ahead of NYC and the flight takes about 8-9 hours depending on the winds. Then there’s immigration and customs at JFK. We were all aboard at 4pm, it was a full flight, but I had secured an exit aisle seat that reclines. My status with Alaska Airlines allowed this as partners. I was also allowed to check 2 free bags. Others get to take only 1 free bag to Europe, so there were loads of carry-on bags and shopping bags. This was an old, formerly NWA 727 plane with very small luggage bins. Here we sat: there was another small matter to be fixed, which took maybe 20 minutes, but then we had to wait for a new clearance from ATL. There was confusion as to who owned the plane now that Delta took over NWA, etc… ad nauseum. That took another hour. And we sat there. 2 young kids were escorted off the plane. They were supposedly drunk, but the real reason was (I think) that the flight attendants were uncomfortable with their looks. They had green, red and blue hair, lots of tattoos, body piercing and various size rings in weird places, but they were nice and courteous. That they apologized and admitted that they had saved and looked forward to this trip for over a year didn’t matter. They offered to take a breathalyzer test. It didn’t matter; other drunks were sound asleep in their seats. The plane had that certain odor. These punks had to go and it was a bad omen.

Finally the required documentation arrived via fax from Atlanta and we took off. The movie system was the old kind with the TV sets hanging above the aisle; there was no sound. Half an hour out of Stockholm, the co-pilot lost his computer. The captain told us that FAA does not allow them to cross without 2 working computers even though it’s perfectly safe with just one, so we had to return to ARN. We dumped fuel for about an hour and a half, flying with the landing gears and flaps down. This shakes the plane a little, but too much for some! We got a drink and some peanuts, but no food. We landed again around 8pm with an extra 15 tons of fuel which required that all other traffic was stopped and all the fire-trucks at Arlanda lined up on both sides of the runway to meet us. The captain was very skilled and there was no emergency. Most likely the brakes were now shot and had to be replaced.

Delta offered to put us up at a hotel or pay for taxis for those who lived close by. Our departure time tomorrow would be 12:30pm – an hour and a half behind the regular scheduled time. OK, what to do? I decided to not bother my sister as they were out on Monday nights bowling. She’s the captain of the team and her husband bowls too. After collecting my bags, I proceeded to the Arrivals Hall as explained by the Delta attendant over the PA system on the plane before we disembarked. The Arrivals Hall is outside of customs. Once out there, I didn’t see the Delta help desk as described. Another couple also was helplessly lost. Where is everybody? I ran to the general information, but in typical Swedish hospitality, they were clueless and not helpful: “it’s not my table” kinda’ attitude. Not many people on the plane came out, just a few who were going home. The line is INSIDE customs in baggage claim. That is not the Arrivals Hall. How do I get back in? I have no place to go and no way to call my sister. I chanced it. The next time the door opened to let people out, I went back inside the holding room, blocked by another door that could only be opened from the other/customs side. I’m in no-man’s land here, alone and worried. OK, someone’s coming out now; I take my chances, backing in with my luggage cart, passing people going out as if I was doing the same!!! I feel like a genius passing the inspectors backwards. One of them looked at my sideways, so I asked him where the Delta help desk is and he told me. I was back inside!

I ended up pretty close to the end of the line. At 10:30pm they run out of hotel rooms in Stockholm! There was a big heart surgeons’ convention going on with 40,000 people attending. There were maybe 10 more rooms needed for us. Delta gave us food vouchers to eat dinner at the airport while we waited to find out if she could get any more rooms anywhere around Stockholm. At this point my sister was home again, I was able to call from the Delta phone, I got taxi vouchers and ended up with Britten and Hasse overnight again. She was so happy I couldn’t believe it. I even got dinner! Then late to bed at 1am.

The next morning (Tuesday Aug 31), the taxi came to get me at 8:30 as scheduled. Now the checkin line was twice as long as yesterday. There were 2 full flights to load today. The regular flight was on-time. The funny-haired, body-pierced couple looked rested and somewhat less colorful today as they left with this plane. They were the lucky ones as it turns out. They got to JFK before we did!!!!

Delta had flown in the required parts from Amsterdam overnight and worked on the plane all morning. They fixed the sound system too or so they thought. The movie started and there was sound alright at my seat and in front of me, but the back apparently had no sound. The flight attendants decided to stop the movie and reboot the system. Now we all got sound, but it’s in French, so they rebooted it again; this time the actors are speaking Spanish; the third time we’re treated to Italian! They decided to change the movie, but we still got French again. It was like Christmas Eve … we were guessing and looking forward what it would be next with great anticipation. “What do you in German”, I asked the attendant who looked a bit - not-so-amused! Another movie in French came on. Have you ever heard Morgan Freeman speak French as Nelson Mandela in Invictus? It was funny and people were laughing. Twice more they tried and both time we got the safety movie again … twice. Then they turned the system off. Nobody seemed to care anymore. There was no compensation offered for this inconvenience. However, we all got a $50 certificate yesterday good towards another purchase only good at of another airline ticket on Delta, non-transferable. Thank YOU, Delta for your super generosity: that’s about the average daily wage in America, I suppose. Maybe the captain makes a little more, I hope.

Normal arriving time if you leave at 11:05 is 1:55pm at JFK; our arrival time was scheduled for 2:02pm – how can that be if we leave 1.5 hours later? Everyone was therefore rebooked on their same connections as yesterday, which wouldn’t work for most people. Would I make a flight departing JFK at 4:20pm? It was recently moved back from 3:40pm, which was tight even with the 11am departure time. Some people had connections booked at 3pm!!! They wouldn’t rebook us in Stockholm. So, the only option presented to us was to get in line (for another 3 hours??) at JFK to be re-booked there after we arrived. By that time, most will miss the next flight too. I was prepared mentally to have to overnight at JFK. Why worry now as there’s nothing you can do anyway. I used to get tied in knots (to the point of feeling ill), but have learned to relax in these situations. It’s not easy, but it feels so much better. My friend Kennedy in Nairobi told me: "I've chosen not to be petty; it keeps me in good form"; this keeps me calm too. 

I had a great book to read “Blue-Eyed in Luhya-Land”. An old friend of mine Gunilla Fagerholm (the author) and her husband decided at 50 years old, after their kids were gone to sell all their belongings and move to Kenya. They settled right outside the Kakamega Rain Forest. I’m not done with the book, but it’s incredible what they went through. I must see her next time I go. Her brother Per-Erik is also an old friend and I did meet him that first night at the re-union and he told me about her and gave me the book. He’d been down there several times and filmed certain subjects. I got his DVD on the Kakamega Rain Forest. What interesting friends I have!

We took off at 12:45 and were airborne by 1pm. We have a good tailwind today: scheduled flying time 8:03 hours. This puts us at JFK around 3:05pm! Oh my God, maybe I can make that flight to SEA after all? I was sitting fairly close to the door, so I deplaned quickly; immigration was a breeze and my luggage was marked priority, so it came out first at JFK. Sure enough my SEA flight was delayed about half an hour at JFK and I got home!

The lesson learned here is: always leave early, like 3 days, if you have a boat to catch!

To top if off: I've been denied my miles on Alaska Airlines for the flight from Stockholm to New York because Delta gave my flight an ineligible flight number that won't accrue any mileage. Mind you, I'm GOLD MVP and accrue double miles with Alaska. That is what really ticks me off the most!!! SIGH!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Transfrontier Parks Destinations

Shortly after my Iceland visit, the neighboring volcano struck with a vengeance and disrupted air traffic across Europe for more than a week. Shortly thereafter, I left for Johannesburg, but not before rearranging my air schedule in the last minute. On April 27, I found myself on a non-stop 17 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. Was I ever glad to finally get off that plane and inhale the smells of Afreeekah again.
After a few days around Johannesburg, I joined a group of travel agents on an educational safari to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, in Mozambique, bordering Kruger Park in South Africa. We stayed at the beautiful Machampane Wilderness Camp.

The highlight here was a visit to the local village and school at Massingir Vehlo. The classroom consists of a teacher with a blackboard under the shade of a tree. The kids are so happy and well behaved. It was such a pleasure to be their guest for an hour.

Just look at these smiling faces! Some are shy, some full of miss-chief and some just adorable.

From Mozambique, we travelled back via Johannesburg to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, bordering Namibia & Botswana. Here we stayed at !Xaus Lodge, located above a salt pan.
Here we met Timone, a most adorable little meerkat. The local bushmen found her abandoned in the desert and brought her to the lodge, where she is thriving and delighting the guests. She has a great sense of humor and talks up a storm!

The sunset in the desert are to die for!
especially through a glass of wine. Enjoy your sun-downer!

You too can enjoy a sundowner in Africa.
Sign up for my next safari!!!
I'll guarantee you a gorgeous African Sunset.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fire and Ice, Volcanic Eruptions, Waterfalls and Rainbows, Evil Lava and Delicate Moss

We're back from Iceland and what an experience it was.
Iceland is a land of contrasts: Fire and Ice, Waterfalls and Rainbows, Evil Lava and Delicate Moss, Violent Eruptions and Jagged Lava Flows, Smooth Glaciers and Deep Crevasses, Gentle Rivers and Big Rapids, Fissures and Lagoons opening up inside your house, Mid-Atlantic Rift, NO TREES! Icelandic horses, Iceland Lobsters are the best I ever tasted - small, soft, sweet and delicious!!! Hmmm GOOD!!

We really lucked out with the weather in Iceland, especially since the forecast was awful. But it turned 180 degrees and we had cool sunny weather with clear skies for 3 full days. We were able to drive up to the volcano (take a look at some of Tom’s videos) and we saw the Northern Lights 2 nights in a row.

I’ve posted my highlight pictures with a few comments on Facebook here:

Tom has posted all our pictures and videos here:

Here are some of the highlights:

The Aurora Borealis

The Blue Lagoon with silica mud

Geysir going off

Gullfoss Waterfall

Mount Hekla, the entrance to HELL!!

Mid-Atlantic Rift, dividing Europe and America.
In Iceland you can walk through it! Amazing.

Skogar Waterfall with rainbow

Walk-on glacier

Volcanic eruption steam cloud

Searching for the eruption in specially equipped Land Rover

Lava on the glacier from the eruption

The eruption

Hot Lava

Building a new mountain

Driving back across the glacier

Islandic Lobster dinner at the Seafood Cellar

Aurora Borealis


Monday, March 29, 2010

3 new words: Fimmvörduháls, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull

I'm taking Tom to Iceland for 5 days from April 1-5, 2010. Not sure if we’ll be able to see the eruption. Tom sure wants to though. I'm not sure I want to hike 6 hours each way in the cold to where you can see it. The weather forecast calls for snow this Easter weekend. Fimmvörduháls is a passage between two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. This is where the eruption is taking place.

Here's our itinerary.
04/01/2010 depart Seattle to Keflavik on FI 680 4:30 PM - 6:45 AM
The FlyBus waits for each incoming flight at the curb outside the Arrivals Hall.
3 nights at Icelandair Hótel Loftleiðir in Reykjavik
Icelandair Hotel Loftleiðir guarantees early checkin from 9am, plus you’ll enjoy a breakfast upon arrival.

Icelandair Hotel Loftleidir is centrally located at the domestic airport in a peaceful seacoast area in Reykjavik just west of restaurant Perlan, on the beautiful Oskjuhlid Hill.
The Icelandair Hotel Loftleiðir offers four-star accommodation in beautifully renovated surroundings. The hotel features 220 rooms and a Presidential suite. The rooms all encompass warm and inviting décors with rich colours and fine linens. The hotel has five different room types including Standard, Superior, Poet, Deluxe and Gimli Suite. All rooms are equipped with a phone, TV and refrigerator. On the ground floor there is an excellent restaurant and bar. The Loftleiðir also has a large indoor swimming pool, Chinese foot massage parlour (discount for guests), hairdresser, souvenir shop and a bank. A free shuttle bus takes visitors to the Old Town Reykjavík area five times a day. For those who like to walk, an easy path can bring you to the Old Town area in about 20 -25 minutes. Hotel Loftleiðir is found near one of Reykjavík's main beauty spots, at Öskjuhlíð Hill, with striking landscapes carved by the last ice age. The Pearl, located on the hill, offers stunning views of the city. Wooded pathways are an ideal way to enjoy the scenery or a morning walk or jog.

12:00 pm Depart Hotel for Golden Circle Express Tour for 5,5 hours
A motorcoach picks you up directly from the hotel and departs for the Golden Circle Tour which presents some of Iceland’s “must see” sights such as the world-famous Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss. In one afternoon you encounter a spectacular cross-section of Iceland's natural wonders and geological phenomena. The Geysir geothermal area has spouting springs, bubbling pools of mud, hot water and exploding geysers with the famous Strokkur shooting water 100 feet into the air every ten minutes.
Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfall) queen of Icelandic waterfalls is Iceland's most famous waterfall, and one of the natural wonders of the world. On a sunlit day, the mist clouds surrounding the hammering falls are filled with dozens of rainbows, providing an unparalleled spectacle of colour and motion.

Saturday April 3rd - is Pamper Day at a five star health & spa resort in Reykjavík
The health & spa resort opened January 2004 is situated in a valley known as Laugardalur, “Hot Spring Valley”, a beautiful leisure area blessed with hot springs, complete with botanical gardens, a family zoo and an activity park. Laugar, an 18,000-square-metre health and swimming resort, has a full-sized outdoor pool and an Olympic-sized indoor pool, seven Jacuzzis and a big thermal pool for family fun. Other facilities at Laugar include a gym, spa, beauty- and a massage salon, restaurant, hairdressing salon and a sports shop. In the spa you enter an aquatic heaven where you can indulge both body and soul. Indulge yourself in six different saunas and steam rooms, each with its own aromatherapy experience. Enjoy the Jacuzzis with hot and cold subterranean sea water and the massage jet showers. End your stay in the relaxation room equipped with comfortable chairs and a cozy fireplace.

This evening we'll embark on the Northern Lights & Lobster - Jeep Tour: We head for the south coast into the dark night away from the lights of the city. Once we are outside of the city, we'll begin our hunt for the beautiful Aurora Borealis, while the guide tells us stories about this striking phenomenon, often seen dancing around in fantastic colors across the Arctic sky. The Northern lights originate from the sun, where large explosions and electronic storms throw flares and solar particles deep into space. These clouds of solar particles are caught by the Earth's magnetic field on the south and north poles. The solar particles collide with the atmospheric gases and create this wonderful light effect, known as the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. Next we will visit the black sand beaches of the south coast for a little taste of Icelandic delicacies! As we continue our quest for the northern lights we drive to one of Iceland's most renowned seafood restaurants for an unforgettable lobster feast. And, after this delicious dinner we drive into the night and look out for the mysterious lights once again as we head back to Reykjavík.
• Guided Super truck tour
• Lobster feast and Icelandic schnapps
Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed. Please wear warm clothing as winter nights in Iceland can get quite cold.

Sunday April 4th - is a full day tour: 8:30am Depart for the South Shore Adventure Guided Tour for 10 hours. The coach picks you up directly from the hotel and departs for the South Shore Adventure which is ideal for nature lovers of all kinds. There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland and during this excursion you will experience up close and personal two of the country’s most stunning falls: Seljalandsfoss where visitors can walk behind the waterfall, and the thundering Skógarfoss where you can walk up to the falls and feel the refreshing spray of water on your face. From there the route follows along the South Coast of Iceland as far east as Vík in Mýrdal, a charming village surrounded by striking bird cliffs. Highlights of the day are stunning views of glaciers, black sand beaches and bizarre lava formations.

Monday April 5th - Departure for Seattle, but with a Blue Lagoon Twist

11AM:Morning departure by motorcoach to the amazing Blue Lagoon - renowned for its restorative and healing powers. Get pampered with a relaxing massage in the lagoon itself, using treatments made from the unique, active Blue Lagoon silica salts. Your confirmation information will show you the time reserved for your 10 minute massage. After your swim, you might opt for a light lunch at the excellent Lava Restaurant offering a view over the lagoon and its spectacular surroundings.
Afternoon transfer via coach to Keflavík International Airport for your departure flight (Blue Lagoon is 15 minutes from airport.)
04/05/2010 Depart Keflavik to Seattle on FI 681 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Geese of Skagit Valley

This is not in Africa. This is an hour's drive north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley, also known for its tulip fields. Those will bloom in about a month when the snow geese head north again. Right now the fields are yellow with daffodils.

Snow geese spend their summers in Alaska, but in winter they flock by the thousands to the warmer climate of the Skagit Valley.

Nowadays, after the January duck hunting season, they have been seen in big gaggles of many thousands of birds together feeding, like what I saw.

Local farmers plant winter wheat, which is just what the snow geese needs to fill up on and get fat before they fly back north.

The swans were fewer in numbers and all spread out pretty far away. Bald eagles and other raptors are also commonly seen. Here are some pictures from Sunday, February 21, 2010:
What a gorgeous day in Seattle! WOW! Never mind the Olympics going on just 2 hours away in Vancouver. Today I went just 1 hour north, half-way, to see the snow geese in the Skagit Valley with Mt. Baker in the background.
Yes, Mount Baker is in Washington state, USA. People in British Columbia think they have a better view of it and sometimes they do, but not today.
I have posted an album on Facebook here or cut and paste this link into your browser:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Join Wonky Tusk on Safari with Jonathan Scott & Phil Berry

A Safari with Jonathan Scott & Phil Berry in conjunction with WinWin Vacations & Kristina Trowbridge,  are your expert guides for this one of a kind unique week in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. this truly is "A once in a life-time opportunity". Please inquire about availability ASAP as this opportunity will not last long. Space is extremely limited.

Oct 31-Nov 3rd: Arrive early and spend 3 incredible days in the Lower Zambezi with Jonathan Scott and Kristina Trowbridge as your guide and escort. Jonathan Scott is a famous wildlife photographer and author. He can be seen on the Animal Channel presenting from the BBC fame: The Big Cat Diary and Elephant Diaries. Chongwe River Camp have won the Zambia Tourism Award for the "Best Retreat in Africa" as well as the "Best Safari Accommodation" for 2009. 

Chongwe River House as been especially chosen for its size so that a maximum of 6 guests, plus Jonathan can enjoy a private safari. The house stands on the banks of the magical Chongwe River, close to the Zambezi, with a sensational view of the dramatic mountainous escarpment beyond. Many animals come to the Chongwe River to drink and from the deck the game viewing can be as good as any safari activity. On both the mornings and the afternoons of Nov 1 & 2, you will head off in search of game. The Lower Zambezi is famed for its water-based activities and so, as well as game drives there will be opportunities to get out onto the Zambezi and photograph from a different vantage point - or perhaps go fishing. You will have the House & guide to yourselves and so will be able to make it home.

The main event happens from November 3-10:
After making your own way to Lusaka International Airport, you will be met and assisted through immigration and onto your connecting flight to Mfuwe. A representative from the Bushcamp Company will meet you upon arrival at Mfuwe Airport, where you will be transferred to Mfuwe Lodge by road – the journey takes approx. 45 mins on mainly tar roads, through local villages and into the park.

Wonky Tusk is demanding service by ringing the bell on the concierge desk. She can't find her key, which she left right here last year when she checked out!
Can you find your key?
Having settled in, you will have the opportunity to meet the other guests, hosts and guides for a welcome talk and introduction to the park. After tea will be your first outing with Jonathan & Phil and a sundowner will be followed by a night drive.

Every morning you will be woken early by the dawn chorus. Mornings are cooler and the game is more active, the light perfect for photography. Following a light breakfast you will head off into the park with Phil or Jonathan in search of photographic opportunities and interesting wildlife. Each day will be different with meals in the bush, picnics or lunch back at the lodge. During siesta you will have a chance to unwind, enjoy the Bush Spa, relax by the pool, share stories with fellow travelers or enjoy the view from your deck.

Most days Jonathan will also be available to give one-to-one photographic advice. Another highlight will be before tea each day when Jonathan, Phil & representatives from local conservation organizations (African Wild Dog Conservation Zambia - AWDC & the South Luangwa Conservation Society—SLCS) will be giving talks & presentations. Then, after tea, you will head out once more with either Jonathan or Phil in search of game and night drive back to the lodge in time for drinks & dinner.

Every year in the beginning of November, when the mangos are ripe, Wonky Tusk brings her family right through the lobby of the Mfuwe Lodge to get at the fruit on the mango tree on the other side. Nothing will stop her. This tree was here before the lodge was built and her mother and grandmother came here too. Elephants don't forget.

November 10-16: Add on another week with the legendary Phil Berry at the Africa House & Fruit Bat Extension. Stay 3 nights at Shiwa Ng'andu and 3 nights at Kasanka. Phil Berry is one of Zambia's most prominent naturalists & guides. Having grown up in remote areas of Southern Africa, he always planned to spend his life involved with wildlife. In 1960 he joined the Northern Rhodesia Game Department and spent many years based in the South Luangwa. In 1973 he left the Game Department to establish the Zambia National Tourist Board's walking safari camps in Luangwa, but was later seconded to run the anti-poaching field operations for Save the Rhino Trust. Since 2000, Phil, along with his partner, Babette Alfieri, has run the long established Kuyenda Bushcamp (which Phil founded in 1991) from where he leads walking safaris. For the last 40+ years Phil has been at the forefront of shaping various aspects of conservation in Luangwa. His specialities are the endemic Thornicroft's giraffe, found only in Luangwa, & leopard. He has been documenting the behavior of both species for the past 35 years on which he is a recognized authority and has published scientific papers and an article in BBC Wildlife Magazine on the giraffe.
You will be taken to Mfuwe Airport to join Phil (& his partner Babette) for a scenic flight up to Shiwa Ng’andu, where you will be hosted by Charlie & Jo Harvey. For 2 days, you will have the run of the house and Sir Stewart’s library. Outdoors you can go game viewing, boating, fishing, bird watching, horse riding, on river walks, historical tours of the estate or to the Kapishya Hot Springs. On Nov 13, you leave Shiwa for Kasanka. Your charter flight will stop over enroute at Bangweulu, where you will have the chance to drive amongst massive herds of thousands of Black Lechwe, then fly on to Kasanka for 3 nights. Kasanka hosts a unique wildlife spectacle every year, when millions of Straw-colored Fruit bats assemble to roost in an area of forest there. Join Phil at twilight to watch the bats fill the sky, as they leave their roost site to feed. During the day you will go in search of a variety of unusual Zambian wildlife including sitatunga, Bohm’s bee-eaters & Ross’s Louries.