Dec 8, 2009
EXPLORE sent a group of intrepid travelers to the Congo Basin in 2007. Even after being attacked by veracious ants while searching for gorillas in Dzangha Sangha, they returned and asked us to design a trip to celebrate their 60th birthdays. They had a few experiences in mind and we did our best to pick places that would keep this fast-paced group moving. Their customized itinerary included: South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar, the Seychelles and Dubai. Here are a few emails from the field…
Awesome trip–seen eles, hippos, crocs, simba, etc. Been swimming in The Zambezi River. Flew microlites over Victoria Falls and went into Zimbabwe for the day – inflation over 2,000,000 % and 90% country unemployed Spent today in nearby village watching local dancers and learning about their farms and conservation efforts – they are no longer allowed to hunt animals. Rick hooked a Tiger Fish. Has been FAB living in the bush and eating under the stars.
Lemurs amazing in Madagascar…heard the famous “call of the Indri” which is ONLY here; also a nocturnal walk in the jungle to see and hear night animals. Been canoeing and hiking in the rainforest avec ring-tailed lemurs, brown and bamboo lemurs. Now in NW Madagascar at Anjajavy, a Relais & Châteaux; went swimming and snorkeling in Mozambique Channel. Flew two hours in a Cessna to the middle of nowhere to get here and land on dirt runway with Zebu at end of runway. Resting and hiking for two days as we have been going tres vite. Marlin fishing tomorrow; it is 100° and very tropical. French is primary language..soo poor due to political unrest. Everyone is well and having a ball.
Hooked a Marlin which got away after a fight but he danced on the water and was so beautiful; boated a 40lb Dorado and had chef cook it for a yummy last night dinner in Madagascar. Awesome flight to the Seychelles in a chartered LearJet; 115 gorgeous islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Turquoise water and fun boating, snorkeling and the whitest beaches we have ever seen under almost full moon. Now in Mahe, Seychelles, waiting for Air Emirates flight to Dubai departing at 1:30AM. Trip has been FAB. Everyone well and no lost passports nor problems – a miracle for sure!!!
-“The Magnificent Seven”
Flew amazing Emirates Airlines from the Seychelles to Dubai. Dubai has 10 cities being built along a “creek” and the Arabian Sea; each is bigger than St. Louis. Simply incredible; 50% of the cranes in the world are here but many with skeleton crew. Business is way off; maybe the bubble has burst here as it did in USA? Been to the Dubai Museum, Gold Souq, Spice Souq, into the Arabian Desert last night for belly dancing, henna painting and camel rides. The first night and cocktails on top of the Burj Al Arab and then dinner under the sea with sharks and a zillion fish in tank; it is supposed to be the only seven-star hotel in the world. Took boat ride today and swam in the Arabian Sea just four hours across from Iraq – amazing. Also to Dubai Mall with 1,300 stores, an aquarium where you can dive with sharks, and a skating rink at other end of the mall. Emirates Mall has a ski village with ski lifts, toboggan runs and 500 stores; it is so beyond anything any of the seven of us has ever seen. There is terrible traffic and smog. Visited a mosque and had the Muslim way of life/religion explained by a very attractive woman. She showed us how to tie her burka and allowed us to take pictures. Cocktails at the Dubai Yacht Club tonight and now at the airport. Sorry contact has been spotty but we have been “out there”; what a way for the four of us to celebrate our 60th B-days. All is well; we fly 15 hours all night to Atlanta then St. Louis by 8:30AM Tuesday.
-Lotsie, Cindy, Cookie, Isabelle, Sheika, Cheryl and Rick