I don’t know when I first started dreaming of Africa. It seems like ages ago. My father always had a subscription to National Geographic. I remember being fascinated by all the faraway places, especially Africa. When I first saw Out of Africa that burning desire to travel to Africa was rekindled. My dream was always the Serengeti. The wild and open Serengeti. The magical Serengeti.
“Africa – You can see a sunset and believe you have witnessed the Hand of God. You watch the slope lope of a lioness and forget to breathe. You marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water. In Africa, there are iridescent blues on the wings of birds that you do not see anywhere else in nature. In Africa, in the midday heart, you can see blisters in the atmosphere. When you are in Africa, you feel primordial, rocked in the cradle of the world.”
I can’t believe it’s over! On September 21, 2016, Allan and I left Eric in Amsterdam and met Clifton to continue on to Kilimanjaro and begin our 13 day safari. Clifton, had to cancel Amsterdam, which had him flying time 24 hours flight from LAX. I highly recommend flying business class if possible. It’s a very long flight from the states. Breaking the flight up with a stopover in Amsterdam on the outbound helped.
Upon arrival at JRO we were met by our Extra Mile representative who obtained our Visas and expedited Allan and I through immigration. As Clifton was approaching the window, a wheelchair attendant cut him off. There was really nothing that to do as wheelchairs enjoy the same privilege as Extra Mile. Things went from just a minor inconvenience to a major inconvenience when the traveler, who did not speak the language nor did she have an interpreter, had an expired passport. Clifton finally cleared immigration and our Extra Mile representative handed us off to our private Asilia driver. I highly recommend expedited service. We then made the short drive to the Rivertrees Country Inn, where we spent the rest of the evening.
The next morning after breakfast we were met by Stanford Milinga our Asilia trained guide for private transfer to Little Oliver’s Camp. Standford was an exceptional guide. The quality of your guide is one of the most important factors. For more about Stanford click on the link below.
Africa, I will miss you! Animals, birds, sunsets, sundowners, night skis, new friends. We took thousands of photos, but we also spent hours just being present and watching. A lioness and her cubs feasting on a kill, baby animals playing, leopards lounging in a tree, a cheetah family exploring the Serengeti, giraffes running gracefully while stretching their legs and necks, elephants knocking down tress to get to the leaves are just a few unforgettable memories. Sharing these memories with Clifton and Allan was priceless.
Notes: Non-negotiables when planning your Safari.
- A well trained and experienced guide. Our guide was an Asilia trained guide.
- An established ground operator that has values and ethics compatible with you. We used Asilia as our ground operator. “Asilia takes a leading role in wilderness sustainability and community enrichment.” Asilia is also the recipient of many accolades. We stayed at 2 Asilia properties, Little Oliver’s and Namiri Plains.
- An established tour operator in the states. I spoke with many great operators in Europe and Africa. I chose to use TravelBeyond a US based, family owned company founded in 1975. I highly recommend using them. Marsha Carroll was our personal consultant. I had pretty high expectations and as well as very specific requests and she was able to put together the perfect trip. And she did it in about 45 days!
Accommodations and itinerary are personal preference. I wanted the Serengeti and an authentic “Out of Africa” experience. And that is exactly what I got. The only thing missing was Robert Redford.