African Safari: The final plan

posted in: African Safari 2024 | 6

One of the things that seemed completely remote and unlikely for me as a younger person was the idea of going on a safari. Safaris were exotic, expensive, and beyond my aspirations.

As I’ve made travel a fundamental part of my life, the idea of going on an African safari went from being a dream to a plan to, in two weeks, a reality.

I’ll be traveling with my friend Mary Ann, who has actually been on a safari before, but this one is all new to her. We booked the safari with Wilderness Destinations and added some additional pieces to our itinerary at the beginning and the end.

So here’s the plan.

Wednesday, July 17

Viva Aerobus flight 1065, Guadalajara (GDL) to Mexico City (MEX), depart 15:45, arrive 17:15

Check in to Courtyard by Marriott Mexico City Airport

Thursday, July 18

Turkish Airlines flight 181, Mexico City to Istanbul (IST), depart 09:00

Friday, July 19

Arrive Istanbul 10:10

(Evening tour, 16:00 to 21:30 — this will be Mary Ann’s first time in Istanbul. I’ve been before, but the Blue Mosque was closed for renovation at the time, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.)

Saturday, July 20

Turkish Airlines flight 44, Isttanbul to Cape Town (CPT), depart 01:40, arrive 11:50

Check in to Dolphin Inn Guest House

Sunday, July 21

We booked the Hop On Hop Off bus, so this will be our day to explore Cape Town.

Monday, July 22

Private Tour: Cape of Good Hope & Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

  • Bo-kaap
  • Bantry Bay (pass-by)
  • Clifton (pass-by)
  • Camp’s Bay Beach
  • Twelve Apostles (pass-by)
  • Hout Bay (pass-by)
  • Duiker Island (fur seals)
  • Chapmans Peak Drive
  • Noordhoek Farm Village
  • Cape Point Ostrich Farm
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Old Cape Point Lighthouse
  • Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
  • Simon’s Town
  • Kalk Bay (pass-by)
  • Muizenberg Beach

Tuesday, July 23

Open day in Cape Town to do whatever we missed

Wednesday, July 24

Airlink flight 314, Cape Town to Maun (MUB), depart 10:35, arrive 13:10

Wilderness Air Botswana (charter flight), Maun to Qorokwe Airstrip

Check in to Wilderness Qorokwe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Thursday, July 25

Qorokwe safari activities

Friday, July 26

Qorokwe safari activities

Qorokwe’s private wilderness area borders the renowned Moremi Game Reserve, famous for intense predator-prey encounters. Prepare for thrilling game drives tracking leopards in the wild. Spot a lioness hunting alone, closely watched by a pack of skulking hyenas, as the air vibrates with birdsong. 

Saturday, July 27

Wilderness Air Botswana (charter flight), Qorokwe to Pelo Airstrip

Check in to Wilderness Pelo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Sunday, July 28

Pelo safari activities

Monday, July 29

Pelo safari activities

Pelo is the perfect complement to your land-based Botswana safari. Five elegant tents sit close to the waterway, amplifying the sense of being in the heart of the Delta. Birdlife is exceptional here, with the largest concentration of endangered wattled cranes, and rare antelope species such as the sitatunga and red lechwe.

Tuesday, July 30

Wilderness Air Botswana (charter flight), Pelo to Duma Tau Airstrip

Check in to Wilderness Duma Tau Camp, Linyanti, Botswana

Wednesday, July 31

Duma Tau safari activities

Thursday, August 1

Duma Tau safari activities

Exclusive excursions. Up-close encounters. An exceptional wilderness awaits at DumaTau. Its name means ‘roar of the lion’ in Setswana, but to us it’s also home of the elephants. While lions and other predators like wild dogs thrive here, it’s the elephants that steal the show.  Watch great herds criss-cross ancient wildlife corridors, spraying one another playfully in the Linyanti’s waters and munching on waterlilies.

Friday, August 2

Wilderness Air Botswana, Duma Tau to Kasane (BBK)

Ground transfer to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Check in to Palm River Hotel

The Zambezi Explorer Sunset Cruise

Saturday, August 3

Private tour of Victoria Falls

Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, August 4

Proflight Zambia flight 705, Livingstone (LVI) to Lusaka (LUN), depart 12:20, arrive 13:30

Check in to Marriott Ciela, Lusaka (day use)

RwandAir flight 107, Lusaka to Kigali (KGL), depart 19:00, arrive 21:30

Check in to Heaven Boutique Hotel

Monday, August 5

Kigali City Tour

Transfer to Musanze

Check in to The Bishop’s House

Tuesday, August 6

Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Wednesday, August 7

Golden Monkey Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Thursday, August 8

Transfer to Kigali

RwandAir flight 402, Kigali to Nairobi (NBO), depart 17:30, arrive 20:10

Check in to Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Friday, August 9

Transfer to Nanyuki

Stay with our friend Tom and his daughter Annee

Visit Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy Animal Orphanage

Horseback ride at Mount Kenya Safari Club

Saturday, August 10

Game drive at Ol Pejeta

Sunday, August 11

Transfer to Samburu Reserve

Game drives

Overnight at Elephant Bedroom Camp

Monday, August 12

Return to Nanyuki

Tuesday, August 13

Visit Ngare Ndare

Wednesday, August 14

Explore Nanyuki

Transfer to Nairobi

Emirates flight 722, Nairobi to Dubai (DXB), depart 22:45

Thursday, August 15

Arrive Dubai 04:50

Emirates flight 211, Dubai to Houston (IAH), depart 09:35, arrive 16:50

United flight 6143, Houston to Guadalajara, depart 20:00, arrive 21:31

I have no idea whether what we see on safari will come close to matching some of the photos I’ve posted here. But even if things are more at a distance, even if the animals refuse to pose for clear pictures, I’ll be thrilled to see any and all wildlife. Of course, I hope to see all of the charismatic megafauna that inhabit the regions we’re visiting, as well as lots of birds and smaller critters.

I think I’m going to try something different on this trip. I am not planning to bring my laptop, and so I won’t be blogging. Rather, I’m going to do the thing that got my started with writing about my travels: journaling. I’ll still post photos and updates on Instagram and Facebook (so if you’re not a Facebook friend and want to follow along, follow me here or here).

6 Responses

  1. Ann Marie Romeo

    hae a great trip, and come back safe and sane! JEALOUS

    • Lane

      Thank you Ann! And all the best to you and Ray in your travels across the northern states. I hope Ray continues to be on the mend.

  2. Joy Sherman

    Dear Lane,

    Again, I’m so happy to read your post and keep up with you and your travels. Have a blast on this trip!

    Lots of love,


    • Lane

      Thank you Joy! I’m so glad you are following along on my travels. I know you’re not on Facebook, but I’ll try to remember to send you links to some of my photos.

  3. Tammy

    Lane, you will have a fabulous time! I can’t wait to follow along. Africa has my heart and I hope it captures yours too!

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