African Safari 2010  Header

Gene & Lee's African Safari
South Africa - April 28 to May 24, 2010


Introduction to our African adventure!

April 28 - Edmonton to Calgary

April 29 - Calgary to Frankfurt

April 30 - Frankfurt to Jo'burg

May 01 - Jo'burg

May 02 - Jo'burg to Livingstone

May 03 - Victoria Falls, Zambia

May 04 - Livingstone to Jo'burg

May 05 - Jo'burg to Hazyview

May 06 - Kruger National Park

May 07 - Kruger National Park

May 08 - Kruger to Pongola

May 09 - Pongola to Durban

May 10 - Durban to Cape Town

May 11 - Cape Town to Gordon's Bay

May 12 - Gordon's Bay / Gansbaai

May 13 - Gordon's Bay / Stellenbosch

May 14 - Cape Town to Jo'burg

May 15 - Jo'burg to Lephalale

May 16 - First day of hunting safari

May 17 - Second day of hunting safari

May 18 - Third day of hunting safari

May 19 - Fourth day of hunting safari

May 20 - Fifth day of hunting safari

May 21 - Sixth day of hunting safari

May 22 - Seventh day of hunting safari

May 23 - Jo'burg to Frankfurt

May 24 - Frankfurt to Calgary


Friday, May 14th - Cape Town to Jo'burg

Slept till 7:30, then it was off to breakfast at 8:30. Although it was raining hard this morning, Jo'burg was supposed to be clear. I guess we'll see.

While at breakfast, six Czech gentlemen filed in. They had checked in last night and were here to free dive with the great whites in False Bay. They had done this many times before and one of the fellows has had a book published on the Great Whites. Essie from Shark Adventures showed up shortly after and regretfully informed them they wouldn't be diving today. Conditions were just too rough.

After breakfast we spent the next hour and a half packing as we were being picked up at 10:45 for our transfer to the airport. Meanwhile, the skies opened up and the rain became torrential. Today was our travel day back to Jo'Burg and the Afton Guest House as tomorrow is the day Cruisers picks us up to start our hunting safari.

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When Goose came by at 10:45 to take us to the airport, there was a welcome lull in the morning's downpour. Into the van, big red and all, and off we went. We immediately ran into problems. The high tide and morning downpours had flooded the coastal highway so we had to try and pick our way through the towns and countryside and constantly backed up traffic. Finally Goose was able to work his way back onto the N2 which took us straight to the airport.

We arrived at Departures just at 12 noon. This was a bit tight as our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:45, but it was delayed to 1:00 so no problem. The 737 lifted off twenty minutes late but they made up the time during the two hour flight. We arrived on time in Jo'burg and picked up our luggage which also made it. We walked out into the arrivals lobby to see Maurice, our Afton House driver, and his wife's smiling faces waiting for us.

They had also been waiting for a gentleman flying in from East London (on the east coast of S.A.) who was supposed to have arrived at 1:30 but never showed. And from what I could understand, when he did, his rifle was missing. He was still in with the authorities so Maurice decided to leave his lovely wife to wait at the airport and drive us to Afton House. Enroute, his wife called him to let him know the rifle had been found. Big sigh of relief. It's a very serious offence in South Africa to lose possession of your firearms.

Arriving at Afton House, Harold and Wendy were given our old room #4 and we were put into a new one #6. Again, the accommodation was great. After we settled in I spent a couple of hours catching up on my notes out on the patio. The weather was absolutely fabulous with clear blue skies, which were especially welcome after the rain in Cape Town.

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We opted for the barbecue again at 7:00. For something to do before dinner, we all went out to the patio to have a drink and watch the bbq wood fire burn down to coals. While Ari was busy getting the steaks ready to go on, we struck up a conversation with a father (63) and son (40) who flew over from Texas earlier in the day. They were on their way to Zimbabwe for the son to hunt Cape Buffalo and the dad was along as an observer.

The son was currently working for border patrol and had previously acted as personal security for Dick Cheney and had lived and worked in Moscow for the State Department. Interesting fellows but while we were talking to them, another gentleman came up to us and introduced himself.

He was Pieter Fourie, one of the professional hunters from Cruiser's that would be hunting with us over the next week. Pieter and his wife Magda (Maggie) had driven up to Jo'burg earlier in the day to do some shopping for the lodge and stopped by to introduce themselves. Their plan was to stop back to pick us up in the morning after an airport stop to pick up the two other Canadians that were joining us for the week. Meeting Pieter reassured us our hunt was real and on. When you're making all the arrangements over the net, you're never quite sure how legitimate an offer is or whether it's a scam. So far we've been batting 1000%.

Pieter indicated they would be back between 9 and 10 a.m. tomorrow. After dinner it was back to the room and off to bed at 10.

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