It started at my elementary school in Los Angeles, California. My 6th grade class was studying Egypt and the dream of going there was born. That dream was realized in 1987 when I went on an adventure to Egypt, and included London, Kenya, and Tanzania. I thought my previous solo vacations to the Caribbean were major coups. Oh no, this 6 week vacation changed me. After this vacation, traveling solo was no longer tentative or uncomfortable.
My first stop was London to see the Egyptian artifacts at the British Museum. On the wall of the stairway were brass plaques of Benin warriors. This was my first time seeing these plaques from Benin and they were beautiful. My photo does not capture their beauty. While in London, I decided to see a play. I had to pick the worst one ever produced in the history of the theatre. It was really awful and will not be named here.
Cairo, Egypt was next. We were a group of 3: a father, his son, and me. We were fortunate the trip was not cancelled due to the group size. I loved the Cairo Museum, the temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel, sailing down the Nile in a traditional felucca sailboat, and Luxor. The felucca owner invited me to his home where I met his wife and had some tea. (That was so cool!)
When the Egypt vacation ended I had a few days before the safari vacation would begin, this would take me to Kenya and Tanzania. I flew from Cairo to Nairobi for the safari, checked into my room at the New Stanley Hotel and enjoyed my leisure time. I walked along Kenyatta Avenue and found a souvenir store, African Heritage. Before returning home I would end-up buying a lot of souvenirs from them and others.
I met the six other members of our safari group at the hotel on December 21st. Our group represented the East and West of the US. We visited Sambura, Lake Nakura and Amboseli in Kenya. My favorite locations were in Tanzania, they were the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. I happen to think the name Serengeti is beautiful, but that’s not the reason it was one of my favorite spots. We went for a walk in the Serengeti, our guides had no firearms during that walk. I was not thinking much about any possible dangers that could occur during this walk, it was an amazing experience just to do it. Camping in the Ngorongoro Crater was awesome. It was once a volcano that collapsed leaving a crater that measures about 10 -12 miles across.
Why bring up a vacation that happened 27 years ago? Because a group of us are going to Africa in October 2014! Our adventure will be in South Africa: Johannesburg, a safari, and Cape Town. But, the first stop is Victoria Falls on the Zambia side. I was completely blown away when I first saw Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I have no idea how I will react to seeing Vic Falls, the anticipation is great. Plus, while in Johannesburg we will spend some time with a couple I met in Paris. This is going to be a fabulous trip!