Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buenos Aires: Don't Cry for Me Argentina

I cannot believe it has been over two months since my last entry. I've started stories several times, but the sheer overload of experiences that have made up the trip thus far have led me to: (1) become distracted and actually live life as opposed to writing about it; or (2) panic, write, re-write, panic again, take down the post, and post a pithy Facebook status update instead. In addition, do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to plan and fill one's day when one is not working and not fluent in the language.

I hope to get my act together and post some pictures/stories here in the upcoming weeks. But for now, I am using this as a forum to show off the next leg of my trip: The 20-day Dunes, Deltas, and Falls Explorer with GAP Adventures. After a week in Capetown, South Africa with Addie Lane, I will join a group to explore the absolute best of Africa:

Day 1 Arrive Cape Town

Day 2 Lambert's Bay (B)

Travel to the picturesque Lambert's Bay area, on the west coast of South Africa. Enjoy an optional visit to the well known “Bird Island” where you can find more than 25,000 Blue-eyed Gannets.

Day 3 Gariep River (B)

Travel north through this dry and remote portion of South Africa. Cross into Namibia into a more arid region, and we stop at scenic Gariep River for the evening. Take a walk in the nearby village, have a swim, relax, or take a ride down the river in a canoe.

Day 4 Fish River Canyon/Aus (B)

Journey to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, and take in the majestic beauty of the canyon, arguably the second largest in the world. Enjoy lunch in the area, and continue through the vast landscape north to Aus for the evening.

Day 5-6 Namib Desert (2B)

Head towards the incomparable Sossusvlei, a clay pan enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes. En route, we'll make a stop to visit the unique and educational Wild Cat Project near the village of Hammerstein. In the Namib Desert, spend a full day exploring the dunes, and the natural wonders of this bizarre environment. Here you will really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere, or even on another planet!

Day 7-8 Swakopmund (2B)

Today you will really get a feeling for the Namib Desert, as you spend hours crossing this void region en route to the west coast of Namibia. We will spend two nights in the area, where you can explore this historical town, the surrounding lunar landscape, or try some of the numerous activities available, such as dune boarding or a dolphin cruise.

Day 9 Damaraland (B)

Look out over the beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see as we begin moving north into the stony desert landscapes of Damarland. From our base near the town of Khorixas, take a unique donkey cart ride through the village to learn about culture and local traditions.

Day 10-11 Etosha National Park (2B)

Etosha in waMbo means "the great white place of dry water". As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty. Explore the pans and the park on game drives, with excellent opportunities to spot lion, giraffe, elephant, rhino, and antelope. Spend your nights at a scenic lodge on the outskirts of the park.

Day 12 Windhoek (B)

Travel south through varying landscapes to the capital of Namibia. Take the afternoon to our the historic city or visit one of Windhoek's many handicraft markets.

Day 13 Greater Kalahari (Gobabis) (B,D)

After a morning tour of Windhoek, begin your journey, travelling to the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Visit a San Bushman village to learn about the local desert people, and embark on an included game drive to the Kalahari Forest area in search of kudu, blue wildebeest, and small antelope.

Day 14 Maun (B)

Today we cross the border into Botswana, travelling along the northern portions of the Kalahari Desert throughout the day - this is a severely arid, barren, though awesome landscape. After arrival in Maun, the biggest town in the Okavango Delta area, you can pick up any supplies and prepare for your journey into Moremi.

Day 15-16 Moremi Wildlife Reserve/Okavango Delta (2B,2L,2D)

The Moremi area and Okavango Delta Excursion is an experience not to be missed. On our camping safari adjacent to the world's largest inland delta, enjoy game drives and a sunset river cruise, marveling at the wide variety of wildlife that call this area their home. This is truly an African experience!

Day 17 Makgadikgadi Area (B)

Wake up to the African sun rising over the beauty of the Delta. Today we travel back to Maun, and continue to one of the villages near the Makgadikgadi Pans, where we take the late afternoon tour to explore the fascinating flat landscape of the salt pans.

Day 18 Kasane/Chobe National Park (B)

Today we journey to Kasane, your base for a visit to Chobe National Park, home to one of the largest elephant populations in Southern Africa. The best way to appreciate Botswana's largest national park and its thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles, and hippos, is on the included afternoon sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River.

Day 19-20 Livingstone, Zambia (2B)

With time for an early morning game drive before departing, today we cross the mighty Zambezi River by ferry as we enter into Zambia. Spend the next day exploring the breathtaking Victoria Falls, or try some adventure activities - go white-water rafting or canoeing on Zambezi, take an elephant-back safari, or even fly over the falls for some fantastic views in a "microlight", a motorized hand-glider.

The tour concludes December 5th. Then? We'll let the next chapter unfold from there.


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