African Safari Details

Alek & Wendy are going on an 18-day African Safari ... for those that don't know, Wendy works in the erotic (oops, exotic!) travel business and this is actually "work" for her to check out these camps and meet some of the suppliers - nice fringe benefit, eh?!? ;-)

We are staying at a number of small (8-16 people) tented (fairly upscale) camps in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and Hwange & Mana Pools Parks in Zimbabwe. We'll typically do game drives at sunrise, during the day, and at sunset (I'm told that the night drives are cool). We will see LOTS of animals up close. We also have a few nights in Victoria Falls (will meet up with Bryan & Julie who have been BIKING from Turkey the last several months) and a day or two in Johannesurg & Cape Town in South Africa on the way in-n-out. Here is the current weather and forecast for Johannesburg, South Africa and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Photography trivia:

As you can imagine, there should be ample opportunities for some once-in-a-lifetime picture taking. Wendy will be bringing a camera with print film and a camera with slide film; the later to shoot pictures of the camps for work. My friend Jon has set me up with a snazzy digital camera - complete with ~3:1 Optical Zoom (Update: he just got me a 2X tele-convertor, so we are effectively 35-230mm) so I don't have to get too close to the Lions. He's also provided me with 3 FlashCard Cartridges that will store almost 100 MBytes of images. I hope to have some neat pictures at this web site soon after our return.

Air travel trivia:

As you can imagine, we spend a LOT of time in airplanes: we go from 104West to 29.5East Longitude and 40North to 33South Latitude. Our routing is Denver -> Miami -> Cape Town -> Johannesburg -> Maun (on Air Botswana!) -> Misc. charter flights between camps -> Victoria Falls -> Johannesburg -> Cape Town -> Miami -> Dallas -> Denver ... that's 22,250 miles via a Great Circle routing - WOW! ;-)
Here is a picture of the DEN-MIA-CPT-JNB-MUB-VFA-Bush Camp-VFA-JNB-CPT-MIA-DFW-DEN routing on a globe

My research shows that the Miami-Cape Town non-stop is one of the longest scheduled flights in the world:
    7,960 miles   New York-Johannesburg
    7,797 miles   Chicago-Hong Kong
    7,645 miles   Miami-Cape Town
    7,405 miles   San Fran-Sydney
Note that the return leg of JFK-JNB makes a refueling stop in Isle d'Sal islands off the NW coast of Africa because of the headwinds. And I've read that ORD-HKG has the airplane TOWED to the end of the runway so that fuel isn't used on the taxi-out! For the Miami->Cape Town leg, we have seats 23AC for the 13 hour, 40 minute flight. For the 14 hour, 30 minute Cape Town->Miami leg, we have ... seats 23AC. So we'll get to know those pretty well!

What about our one-year old son Dirk?!?

Last but not least, what are we doing with Dirk, our one year old son? He'll be staying in Salt Lake City with his Uncle Kris, Aunt Katherine, and 18 month old Cousin Nick. My brother Myke (who is staying at our house) is going to fly up to SLC leaving at 0920 ... we leave for MIA at 0950; so there might be a few tears shed at the airport. When I originally asked Myke if he could "courier" something up to SLC for me, he asked how if it might fit on his motorcycle ... I said this particular package "squirmed" and Dirk might not stay strapped to the back of the motorcycle even with lots of bungee cords! ;-)

Get live Email Updates from A&W's African Safari

If you would like to be on the "African Safari Email List" (and get actual Email from our safari! ;-), pls Email me and once we are on our trip, you MAY be able to reach us at my Yahoo Address.

If the technology all works right, you will also be able to click here for an archive of the Email updates