Eyes on Africa
By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate
I am thrilled to be taking the “Ultimate 17-day Safari” with Overseas Adventure Travel. It promises total immersion into the African culture and a close up and personal look at creatures large and small. We will travel to conservation-minded Botswana; less-traveled Zimbabwe where I will partake of an elephant-back safari near Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world; and to Zambia for incredible game viewing while canoeing the mighty Zambezi River.
I have wanted to experience the Okavango Delta in Botswana since meeting a world-traveler in Costa Rica who insisted it was not to be missed. It is home to over 400 species of birds including the vibrant, lilac-breasted roller and striking pygmy goose. If the water level is high enough to float in a dug-out canoe we are likely to see herds of buffalo, kudu, antelope, and elephants stopping by for a drink on the shore. Avoiding hippos lolling in the shallows will be the challenge.
Zimbabwe, once known as Rhodesia, is blessed with beautiful and diverse landscapes and excellent game parks. I am hoping we will visit Mana Pools National Park that I have read offers undisturbed habitat for a vast array of wildlife. The Zambezi River cuts through Zambia on its way to Victoria Falls, or Smoking Thunder, where it forms the border between these two countries. The population of Zambia is 99% African and the religion is mostly tribal rituals making it one of the most authentic African experiences left on the continent. It is a country rich in wildlife, boasting nineteen national parks covering 24,000 square miles. Fees charged by the parks go toward paying the rangers who guard against poachers. Your tourist dollars go a long way to helping the local economy and saving elephants and rhinos from extinction.
Botswana tours are more pricy than those in Kenya or Tanzania because of logistics and restrictions placed upon tour numbers. OAT travel pricing is extremely competitive. They ensure small group sizes and they do not charge a punishing single supplement. Accommodations are comfortable lodges and high-end tent camps.
Full report when I return with stories shared by the campfire.
Linda Ballou says her mission is to experience as many beautiful places on our planet as she can, before they are no more. “Travel tales relating my experiences while kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, birding and hiking about the globe have appeared in numerous national magazines.
I had a great deal of fun collecting travel stories, and profiles of people I have met in “naturally high places” for my book, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, while my latest book, The Cowgirl Who Jumped Over the Moon, deals with horses, World Cup racing, and the beauty of California’s High Sierras.
For a complete bio as well as published on-line clips with photos go to my website www.LindaBallouAuthor.com. Your reward, aside from learning about me and my work, will be to discover the secret to youth! Follow my blog or friend me on Facebook to keep up with my latest adventures.”