I can remember the sense of wonder I felt when we encountered our first group of elephants. All the exhaustion I felt from the multiple flights and lack of sleep just flew out the window, I think we all felt that way. I wanted to pinch myself so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. Going on an African Safari was definitely something on my bucket list and I knew this was also true for my mother-in-law Betty aka BiBi (her African name). I posted this elephant video I made on Facebook but I know some of you are not on my Facebook page so here it is again. I’m really enjoying playing around on that damn YouTube making slide shows and posting videos.

This next slideshow I did on my computer in a program called I-Movie and then uploaded it to YouTube, thats why it looks a bit different. I really enjoyed playing photographer on my vacation, I secretly envisioned I was on assignment with National Geographic. This is just a montage of some of the animals I saw and snapped pictures of. The slide show was twice as long originally but I had to whittle it down so you would not get too bored.

(Don’t forget to just hit the (X) if you see any Ads pop up in my videos)

I’m sorry that I have been such a “slacker” with writing and showing more photos of my recent Safari Trip, sometimes that damn thing called “life” just sucks up the hours in a day.

We, my group of six, traveled “forever,” well at times it felt like that. Our flight departed Tampa, Florida to JFK, New York to Istanbul, Turkey to Kilmanjaro, Africa. The total time including layovers was 36 hours, can you even begin to imagine that. My God, we were exhausted. We took a van from Kilmanjaro to a hotel in Arusha, Africa (about an hour and a half drive by car), it was the middle of night and I remember the sky was so dark. I could tell we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

We traveled over 800 miles in our Safari Vehicle, stayed at roughly 4 – 5 different hotels, toured 4 different parks and had some really delicious cuisine. Breakfast at each hotel was buffet style, I really miss those little baby bananas and that fresh squeezed passion fruit juice.

Our main hotels were Sopa Lodges (a chain) which blended so well with the natural surroundings. Most were located in the Parks or very near to them. One of the things that was really fun occurred at dinner each night. The restaurant staff would sing and dance throughout the dining room as we were finishing up dinner. Dale’s Mom Betty was so damn cute clapping her hands with a big grin ear to ear. Bi Bi is a nickname for grandmother and she was called that at every place we stayed. We stayed in a Tented Lodge on our last night in Tanzania. It was very rustic but we actually did have electricity. Our tent made me feel like I was on the set of the old TV show Mash, any moment I kept expecting to see Hawkeye or Klinger.

I tried to add some of the music from the CD I brought home from the Sopa Lodge but YouTube wouldn’t let me add it (that whole damn copyright thing). So this is as close as I could find within YouTube’s library, just try to ignore the ad’s (that’s why it’s free to users). Just click on the (X) when you see an Ad pop up.

This video just shows some of the places we stayed. Enjoy…

I’ve finally received all of our combined pictures that we took in Tanzania, so I guess I better get busy blogging.

I’m pretty new at trying to maneuver around on Youtube so bear with me.  Here is my first slide show that I’ve created showing all the beautiful sunsets we saw.  I’m still trying to figure out how to put some of the African Music that I brought home on CD to future slide shows.  What can I say? I’m a work in progress


June 4, 2013

I could taste it in my mouth, feel it on my skin and see it trying to get inside our vehicle as we travelled over eight hundred miles throughout Tanzania.  I was joking around with my other travel companions asking them how many times do you think we’ve opened and closed our windows during our “adventure?” Tanzania did have some paved roads but it seemed like the majority were dirt roads and anytime another vehicle passed a giant dust monster would try to get inside and invade all of our senses.  We almost sounded like an orchestra opening and closing our windows in a rhythmic percussion.

And don’t even get me started on the whole tsetse fly thing! Here I was all worried about the Mosquitos and contracting Malaria, little did I know that these flies would think I had to come to Africa to supply them with some of the finest cuisine America had to offer. These flies are as big as horseflies but with a much bigger bite. They appear in the early morning and evening especially in wooded areas and near water. I had on long pants, long sleeves and bug repellant. Unfortunately I wore short socks and that little bit of skin between my shoes and my pant leg became a feeding frenzy for these mannerless tsetse flies. These bug bites were the itchiest bites I’ve ever had, they would literally wake you up from a sound sleep and no amount of anti-itch cream helped. One of the girls had brought some Benadryl so I took that each night so at least I could sleep and not scratch the skin off my legs. So my advice in a nutshell if you ever go to Africa spend the money on insect repellant clothes, wear long socks and beware of wearing sandals.






June 3, 2013

Waking up was tough this morning! I was so exhausted from the long journey, lack of sleep and not being sure what time zone I was on. Had I even slept at all, I wondered? Our driver Peter had arrived in the lobby downstairs and we were ready to begin our African Safari. We all kind of chose our seats in the vehicle and these would remain our “set places” throughout our journey. Richard, an avid photographer had brought his old camera for me to use on this journey. Last night he gave me a quick lesson on the different modes that would probably work best for taking photos on this trip. I’ve always felt like I had a good eye for photos even though I am very much an amateur. I was excited to chronicle our trip in both photos and as a travel type journal. I love to write and the idea of doing a travel type blog really excited me. At the time I didn’t know that the Internet would be such a problem at all the remote locations we stayed at. I wasn’t able to share the experience with my readers as I was actually living it. But to be honest I was too damn tired at the end of each day to even take pen to paper.


The cast of characters on my travel adventure are:

Peter our driver



Beverly and Barb (sisters)



Richard and Dusty (married)




My mother-in-law Betty (behind the wheel)


And all the animals…








June, 2, 2012

After what seemed like forever our journey to Africa had finally arrived. My mother-in-law Betty was kind enough to allow me to accompany her on this trip. My other travel companions were a married couple Richard and Dusty Namikas along with sisters, Barb and Beverly. Richard had researched meticulously and planned this whole odyssey in which we were about to embark on. My thoughts over the months prior to this journey were how am I going to be able to handle such a long flight, I’m a bit fidgety and go a little crazy sitting for so long. How will I handle over thirty hours of traveling? I was pleasantly surprised that flying internationally seemed almost like traveling first class although the seats were just as cramped as flying domestic. Once we had leveled off the service began by the flight crew passing out hot, moist towels to wipe our hands and add some moisture to our faces, was I at a spa I thought? Each seat had its own tv like monitor in the back of the seat in front of us with an array of movies, television programs, music, games and just about anything else to keep your mind occupied. We were supplied with ear plugs, slippers, warm socks, eye masks, where was I? And this was all free? Why did I ever fly domestic, they never treat you this good. They came through the flight deck passing out little appetizers, all the free alcoholic beverages you wanted, gourmet meals with metal silverware, am I dreaming? And no charge for checked baggage, I felt like a queen! Thirty six hours later and looking a bit frayed and exhausted we had finally arrived in Africa!




Huambo (hello in Swahili)

After traveling for what seemed like weeks the crew and I “finally” reached our destination, Kilimanjaro, Africa. We definitely looked and felt we were “rode hard and put away wet.” We were tired, sweaty, sticky, uncomfortable, our backs hurt, our necks hurt and we couldn’t sleep. I’ve still been racking my brain with how a shaggy rug had attached itself to our teeth during our 36 hour travel ordeal?

Tomorrow we head out for our first day viewing the animals, it’s hard to contain my excitement.




Our itinerary…


01 Jun 2013                                          Kilimanjaro – Arusha

0110hrs – Arrive Kilimanjaro airport by TK673, meet and transfer to Arusha for overnight at Impala Hotel BB


02 Jun 2013                                                    Arusha

Breakfast at the Hotel

A day at leisure with overnight at Impala Hotel BB


03 Jun 2013                                             Arusha – Tarangire
0900hrs – Depart from Impala hotel to Tarangire Park with game viewing on arrival. Lunch at Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Afternoon game viewing in Tarangire Park – Much of the area has an unusual landscape, dotted with Baobab trees giving it an almost pre-historic look. It is also one of the best places in Northern Tanzania to see Elephant, especially along the river in the dry season. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Sopa lodge


04 Jun 2013                                           Tarangire – Ngorongoro
With lunch boxes, early breakfast and a short drive to Ngorongoro Conservation area and enjoy spectacular views down to the floor and several kilometers across to the far wall. Descend into the crater for a day’s game viewing – there are some wonderful varieties of wildlife and Stunning landscape make this one of nature’s most unforgettable spectacles.

Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge


05 Jun 2013                                          Ngorongoro – Serengeti

After breakfast, morning drive to Serengeti National Park for lunch at Serengeti Sopa and then afternoon game viewing in Serengeti Seronera Area. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge

06 Jun 2013                                                    Serengeti

Enjoy full day game drives in Serengeti endless plain – Seronera Area – Look out for Leopard along the riverine forest or marvel at the vast herds of Wildebeest and Zebra out on the plains. While Lion and Cheetah may be spotted lurking around the rocky Kopjes

Meals and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge

07 Jun 2013                                                         Serengeti

Enjoy full day game drives in Serengeti endless plain – Seronera Area –

You may encounter one of the most incredible sights you will ever see. An unending stream of wildebeest pour across the plains, while a parade of hungry predators, lion, leopard and cheetah, anxiously try to prey upon the youngest or weakest members of the herd. Use your binoculars to look closely for topi and impala, grazing with zebra and the beautiful kudu. Other animals to see are giraffes, elephants, hippopotamus and even endangered black rhino.

Meals and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge


08 Jun 2013                                              Serengeti – Lake Manyara

Enjoy an early morning game drive, before breakfast. Return to the lodge for late breakfast. Enjoy a mid morning and then depart to Ngorongoro Highlands – lunch at Gibb’s Farm.


Afternoon visit to the waterfalls


Dinner and overnight at Kirurumu Tented Lodge


09 Jun 2013                                                Serengeti – Lake Manyara

After  breakfast,  you  will  have  a  morning  game  drive  in  Lake  Manyara  National  Park  whose  inhabitants  include hippos,  monkeys,  tree  climbing  lions,  flamingos  and  other  varieties  of  birdlife.  Lunch at Kirurumu Tented Lodge.


After lunch, drive back to Arusha and proceed to Kilimanjaro airport

I have revamped my blog site a bit with a fresher looking theme.  It is set up with more of a newsletter type setup so I’m asking that people please “sign up for the Funny Side. (its right next to this post).

I sent out a mailing list recently but some people never received the notification, so you’ll need to “sign up.”     Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think might be interested in my blog.

I am going on an African Safari in ten days with my mother-in-law Betty and some of her friends.  I really want to bring everyone along on the adventure as its happening.  I’m excited to write, take photos, shoot videos and share it all with everyone.

Lets go to Africa!