My friend, and Vision 2000 colleague, Ms. Alex Yates, is guest blogging for me today.
I’m thrilled that Alex is sharing her excitement and passion about the upcoming African “cruise on land” she’s arranging with the Shongololo Express next September. So sit back, grab a coffee, enjoy the tale she spins and the images she paints with her photos…. and then pick up the phone, and call her, so you can join her on tour. (Her contact details are at the end. Not only was Alex born in Africa, and is passionate about sharing the magic of that land with you, she is a travel expert and a very knowledgeable professional. I trust her to take excellent care of you!)
I was born in Kenya and spent the first 20 years of my life following my parents around Africa, (Kenya, Uganda, 2 tours in Nigeria, and Botswana), during this time I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to many different places in Africa. My heart truly belongs in the red red earth of Africa.
I was lucky enough to somehow get the reputation of being an instinctive Game –finder and as a result was often “borrowed” to accompany groups looking for opportunities to see Lions, Cheetahs, Elephant, The Fabled White Rhino’s , Springbok, and all sorts of other animals in the Game Reserves of East and Southern Africa. I have driven into the Rift Valley of East Africa and seen Lake Nakuru, pink from shore to shore with Flamingoes, I have camped in Chobe Game Reserve and come within 5 feet of a Rhino walking through our tent site (and lived to tell the tale!).
My Parents were best Friends with Terrance Adamson, the brother of George Adamson of Born Free Fame and we spent many a happy holiday with “Uncle Terrence” on Kora Game Reserve in Northern Kenya. We saw Gorilla’s in Uganda, Parachuted over the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, and took dugout Canoes through the Fabled Deltas of the Okavango.
What a privileged Childhood!
The last time I was in Africa was over 25 years ago and I have always wanted to go back. In September 2012, I will be doing just that!
I am escorting a group from Victoria Falls to Dar Es Salaam on an 11 day Train Experience that is referred to as “Cruising but on Land”.
The Shogololo Express (Shongololo is an African word for Centipede ) has been operating in Southern Africa for many Years. The Train is a vintage Train that has been restored, and travels through the night, with 12-passenger Vans on Flatbeds at the Back of the Train, so on each day, passengers can choose a day activity and drive off to take an interesting tour or Safari along the Train’s route.
On September 3rd 2012, The Shongololo Express begins its 11 day inaugural tour “In The Traces of Dr. Livingstone”, and the train Travels through Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, with a day at the beginning of the trip over the Border into the Chobe Game reserve in Botswana.
I chose this Itinerary because it is very “Game Reserve Intensive” , and for most of us, Africa is about Animals in the wild… so this tour, Beginning at the Spectacular Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe side, (known also as “The Smoke that Thunders”) the World’s Largest Waterfall and one of the 7 Wonders of the World; takes in:
- A day tour through Chobe Game reserve
- A flight from Lusaka to South Luagwa with 2 full days and a Night in the Reserve, known for the 60 different Animal Species and over 400 different Bird Species
- A visit to The Livingstone Memorial and The Kundalila Falls
- Makambako to see the Isimila Stone Age Site, an important area for the study of Human Evolution; and a stop in the town of Iringa.
- Selous Game Reserve, the Largest Game reserve in Africa, 4 times the size of The Serengeti and almost 6% of Tanzania’s Game surface. Selous is famous for its Elephant, Rhino, Hippopotamus, and Africa’s largest population of Buffalo. Staying overnight in The Reserve in one of the Many game lodges, it allows for a second day of Game viewing before returning to the Train.
- Finally the train reaches Dar Es Salaam, the Capital of Tanzania on a rich coastal port with centuries of history.
There are 2 full days on the train as well.
The Train has a number of different Cabin Options including single cabins and the Train Journey includes all Breakfasts and Dinners in a beautiful restored Dining Car, the Excursions listed above, (Most days there are a choice of excursions that you choose from the previous night). There are 2 lounges, one with a bar where everyone gathers to socialize and discuss the Day’s experiences.
The Shongololo offers optional extras, including Walking with Lions, a few days in Zanzibar, a visit to Serengeti and to Mt Kilimanjaro to name just a few. For some of the people already signed up, the Train Journey is just one part of their Bucket List trip to Africa, for some, the Train Ride is a Stand Alone tour, the choice is yours!
To find out more about this exciting trip, contact myself or Sheila, check out the Video on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohav2WujK4k&feature=share
Like Shongololo Express on Facebook ( A lot of Awesome pictures)
Crafting Custom Travel Experiences
Vision 2000 Travel Group
web page: www.vision2000.ca/alexyates
Specialist in assisting travellers with extra support needs.