SOJOURNERS’ STORIES

Why I keep going back

Erin West

I took my first trip to Africa in the 1990s. I will make my seventeenth journey there this September. Why do I keep going back when there are so many places to see in the world? The short answer is Africa, to me, feels like home. I had that sense the second I walked off the plane on my first trip there. It’s pretty inexplicable. At that point nothing had happened. I hadn’t met any people, hadn’t seen my first gorgeous sunset, hadn’t seen any of the amazing animals. But a strong sense took over my body and told me I had come home. I’m getting choked up just thinking about it.  

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For Photo Enthusiasts…

I normally shoot with my tried and true Canon 70-200mm lens but after getting the opportunity to use the Canon 100-400mm lens last week in Botswana, I have a new love!
WOW! I was so impressed with the sharpness of this lens. My only complaint is that… when the leopard, the lion and hyena came close to the vehicle, I couldn’t get clear shots as they were too close for the lens!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Our dependable sources for photos supplies: B&H Photo and Amazon

Gorillas in the Wild

A Lifelong Dream Come True for Shawna

Perched on a freshly cleared pile of vines on the side of a mountain in Uganda, I peered down into a small hollow and made my first eye contact with the Mountain Gorilla. At 35 years of age, she was the oldest female in the family group, and was feeding a short distance away from the rest of her family. Her face was soft and gentle, and her eyes seemed to reveal a cautious tolerance of our presence. She ate slowly, clearly choosing her favorites and seeming to savor each bite of vine, leaf, or twig. Occasionally she spit out a small lump of chewed plant matter, having been unsatisfied with some aspect of the bite. Looking into her eyes, I felt that she was wise, and had a sense that she had lived through many difficult and beautiful moments in her 35 years of life in the jungle.

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Conservation- Great news from Botswana

At a time when news is all too often about shrinking habitats and decreasing wildlife numbers, we are thrilled to share news of areas opening up and providing greater movement for wildlife. In and around the Makgadikgadi National Park in Botswana, fences are coming down and old migration routes are being rejuvenated. This is a gorgeous area and with the wildlife increasing, it’s one to put on your list.

Kuddos to all of those behind this project!

Featured Camps – Botswana

We’ve visited 19 camps in Botswana in the past few months- checking out new ones and seeing refurbishments at some favorites. Here are some of our findings:
Sandibe: Modern Luxury + Fantastic Concession + Outstanding Guiding = Wow!
Sandibe offers all the modern comforts (spa, fitness room, wifi, espresso) while retaining a high quality bush experience with their game rich concession and quality guides and tracker system. Outstanding food, service and great wines top off the experience!

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Kidepo National Park

uganda_mapIf you seek wildlife viewing in remote and untrodden locales, add Kidepo to your list! Why we love it:
  • Expansive vistas
  • Gorgeous landscape
  • Untrodden- one feels like you’re in a private park
  • Large herds (elephant, Cape buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, giraffe and more…)
  • Apoka- wonderful lodge- wildlife at your doorstep, peaceful, great service

Madagascar Adventuring

Sq_Madagascar_img_0302Madagascar is remote, rugged and untrodden. It’s like no place else on earth. In fact, it barely qualifies as part of Africa: the two are separated by hundreds of kilometers of sea and 165 million years of evolution – long enough for Madagascar’s plants and animals to evolve into some of the most unusual forms on the planet. Together we visited some of the most interesting and off the beaten path places in this unique destination… Continue reading “Madagascar Adventuring”

Gorilla Trekking…What to bring?

Blog_3_mg_1260jpg_35233311432_oThe biggest question for a Gorilla Trekking trip is … What do I bring? While much of what you’ll want to have with you is on our Packing List_2018, there are some special considerations that we have included here when preparing for your gorilla trek. Here’s our list of what to bring and a little bit about what to expect. From there, you’ll be able to determine what is important to you to keep you comfortable. Continue reading “Gorilla Trekking…What to bring?”

Plastic Sucks

gsgc-trip-16-164-2_40593320872_oThis is a picture of elephant dung that I came upon during a recent walk in the bush.  Ah, the sad woes of plastic bags in wildlife areas. The damage that plastic can cause is life threatening to animals.

Plastic refuse has become so common around wildlife areas. We are so encouraged by those areas/countries that have taken action to reduce it. Rwanda and Kenya now ban plastic bags from being brought into their countries! It is a step in the right direction.

If you would like to make a difference, please leave the plastic bags at home – pack with durable travel bags that go home with you.