We’re back!! And they’re back, too!…Final expenses for Zambia and Botswana…Playful Chobe kudu video…

Our most recent bag of pellets contained a lot of dust.  As Tom began to sweep the dust from the pellets off the veranda’s edge these four kudus took a spot to begin licking off the dust

“Sighting of the Day on the Veranda”

This young male’s horns have started to sprout.  He was mature and experienced enough to know that looking into our eyes would reap some rewards.  How right, he is!

We’d intended to post more Zambia and Chobe National Park (Botswana) photos today but have decided to do so over these next several days instead.  We wanted to focus on the expenses today but something magical occurred this morning…we had a record-breaking 19 kudus come to call including moms and their offspring of varying ages.

There were more out of view of the camera for a total of 19 in our garden this morning, more than our prior record of 17.

There aren’t words in the English language that can describe the elation we felt as one-by-one they approached the veranda making direct eye contact with us.  Our hearts were pounding with sheer delight.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.

Sixteen kudus in this photo with more on the sidelines.

It was great to be back at the bush house in Marloth Park.  Louise had arranged a deep “spring” cleaning as she’d done last time we were gone and the house was dust free and spotless.  They’d even rearranged and tidied the kitchen drawers I have a tendency to make messy from time to time.  We couldn’t have appreciated it more.

Kudus are smart.  They sure know how to grab our heartstrings.

No more than seconds after we pulled into the driveway, we had visitors waiting for us…Mr. Bushbuck and Ms. Bushbuck, Baby Bushbuck and Friend, who must have been waiting for our return.  Imagine their curiosity as to where we were for seven days and nights.  As I write this now, the three bushbucks are here, content to see we’re still here.

Shortly after their visit, Josiah came to thoroughly wash the veranda floor, preventing the spread of disease among the kudus.

We’d planned to go out for dinner after our arrival but neither of us felt like eating out again.  Instead, we stopped at the Spar Supermarket in Melalane while Tom stayed in the car with our luggage while I shopped, buying enough to last until well into next week.  This way we wouldn’t have to leave right away.

They each picked a spot, licking to their heart’s content.

By 1900 hours, 7:00 pm, we were pulling the steaks off the braai, the salad and vegetables were prepared and we were both completely unpacked, sorting piles of laundry to get done today.  (As it’s turned out, it’s a cloudy drizzly day and we’ve had to hang all the wet clothes on hangers throughout the house, after we had to bring them inside when it started raining).

Last night, as always, we set up the veranda for the evening and set the table for dinner.  We weren’t disappointed when several warthogs, a few kudus, our usual male duiker and the usual bushbuck family hung around while we dined.  (We never feed them any of the animals our leftover food.  They get pellets, fresh raw vegetables, and apples at this location), all fit for their consumption.

A few determined kudus, anxious for some greenery, began chomping on the “house” plants of the veranda.

As for the immigration situation, we’ll share the details in tomorrow’s post after we’d had an opportunity to do some research today.  The news is both good and not-so-good.  Somehow, we’ll figure it all out.

I’m back to feeling like myself again since the side effects of the malaria pills have finally worn off after stopping them two days ago.  After reading about the possibility of long-term side effects after stopping the pills, I’m relieved to feel great once again.

This kudu particularly liked the lemongrass plant.

I was a little queasy and dizzy on the return flight especially when it became turbulent for a while but once we landed, I felt better.  South African Airways is a good airline and we feel safe and comfortable flying with them overall.  

They offered a complimentary lunch but we both declined.  We’d have our last (included) breakfast at the hotel and had no problem waiting to eat again until dinner.

A determined oxpecker held on tight while this kudu participated in dining on the pellets.

We’re looking forward to seeing Louise and Danie later today when they mentioned they’ll be stopping by to say hello. Tomorrow night, we’re meeting up with Kathy and Don and friends for dinner at Jabula.  As usual, it will be another social weekend with both humans and animals.

We couldn’t be happier, nor could we be more grateful for this wonderful life we live.  Sure, it has its ups and downs as you’ve read as they occur and, in tomorrow’s post we’ll share a realistic down we must face going forward.  

This happened so quickly we barely had time to set the camera to video. It was fun to see this Big Daddy having a good time.

But, there’s always the joy of living in the moment, remembering the joys of what transpired in the past and the excitement of the treasures the future holds.

Here are the expenses we incurred for the seven-night trip to Zambia and Botswana as we continue to strive to extend our time in South Africa:

 Expense   US Dollar   South African Rand (ZAR) 
 Hotel & Flights (rt) 7 nights   $                  2,730.22  $                 39,073.66      
 Tours   $                     968.35  $                13,858,58        
 Taxi   $                       78.90  $                   1,129.18       
 Dining Out   $                     235.07  $                   3,364.21     
 Tip  $                       69.04  $                       988.07
 Visa (Zambia Immigration)   $                     160.00  $                    2,289.85
 Pharmacy & Misc.   $                       41.90  $                        599.65
 Total   $                 4,283.48  $                   61,303.20
 Avg Daily Cost    $                    611.93  $                      8,757.66

If you’d like to review our expenses for our last seven-night stay in Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, please click here.  These visa extension trips are pricey as shown.

May your day bring you joy!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2017:

We had the opportunity for numerous iguana sightings at the rescue center in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

We’re in Chobe…What an adventure!…Fun facts about Chobe!…

“What the muck have I gotten myself into?” says Mr. Cape Buffalo (one of the Big Five).

“Sighting of the Day in Botswana”

“Why are all these humans staring at me?” says Ms. Baboon.

While we’re in Chobe (Botswana) we didn’t have ample free time to upload our hundreds of photos to get to work on them.  Yesterday morning Steve, our driver with Chris Tours, picked us up at 7:00 am and we didn’t get to our hotel room at the Chobe Safari Lodge until after 4:00 pm after a full day of game viewing.

The entrance gate to Chobe National Park.  Our guide enters the building to be given a route for our game drive.  Luckily, Samson was able to negotiate a route close to the river where wildlife congregates during the dry season.

With a dinner reservation for 1830 hrs (6:30 pm), with both of us desperately needing to shower before dinner, we knew we’d have little time to prepare the type of post we’d like to in order to best represent our full day’s experiences on a game drive in Chobe National Park and an afternoon cruise on the Chobe River.


Cape buffalo are safe around this young crocodile.  But, according to our guide Samson, once this croc is fully grown and a buffalo is floating in the water with hooves not touching the river bottom, they would be in grave danger.

No doubt, my expectations were high after the experiences we had three months ago engaged in these same activities.  Tom, on the other hand, kept his expectations in check.  But, like visiting Kruger National Park once a week as we do, one needs to temper expectations and go with the flow.  

Elephants have their own built-in snorkel.

There were a few stunning moments we’ll share in photos over the next week but for today, we’ll only be adding a few of the less exciting photos in order to save time including the gems from yesterday and today with the accompanying stories to go with them.

Luckily, as you see this post today, we have another full day of the same activities and hopefully, we’ll be back with some serious adventures in tomorrow’s post when we back in Livingstone, Zambia.

This elephant crossed the Chobe River with ease.  Elephants are great swimmers.

We stayed with the same group of six other people on the first day during both the land game drive, the buffet lunch at the resort and the boat safari in the afternoon.  


Today, we’ll meet an entirely new group of people.  The people we met yesterday were fantastic and we all shared wonderful stories of our world travels and love of wildlife. 

Man and boy canoeing in a channel of the Chobe River.

One couple from Switzerland and Germany had actually just come from a stay in a lodge in Marloth Park.  What a coincidence!  We chatted with a pair of traveling friends working together in Dubai with one of the two from Minnesota.  Another coincidence.  

Tom is right at home while on safari.  We’ve learned so much over these years, it’s all the more exciting.

The third couple is from Nice, France and although there was somewhat of a language barrier, we managed to engage in lively conversation.  Meeting these friendly people was an interesting and enjoyable experience.  


Of course, we handed out business cards and look forward to seeing them online, hopefully visiting us here on our site and saying hello on Messenger from time to time.

Warthogs, outside Chobe National Park, running from dogs chasing them as shown in the photo below.

The room at the Chobe Safari Lodge was excellent with views of the Chobe River.  Of course, early in the morning, we heard the magical sounds of hippos gurgling in the river…music to our ears…reminiscent of our time in the Maasai Mara in 2013 when we slept in a luxury tent on the Mara River awakening to the sounds of the hippos before sunrise.  See that link here.

Dogs chasing warthogs, outside the perimeter of the park.

After checking a few online resources we found these fun facts about Chobe we’re sharing today.  Please check below for details.


From this site:
1. Chobe National Park is divided into four different areas, each with distinctly unique geographical landscapes. They are as follows; the Savuti channel, Linyati wetlands, Serondella and Nogatsaa.
2. In 1888, the Savuti channel dried up completely and only flowed again in 1957, 70 years later. It is changeable and sporadic, but exceptionally diverse and beautiful.
3. The roads in Savuti are notoriously difficult to drive through due to the wet black cotton soil in the area.
4. Savute and Linyati have no internet and no mobile network coverage
All the more reason to take a digital detox and enjoy the simple pleasures of a Botswana safari
5. Before it was a national park, this area was used as trophy-hunting grounds and as a source of teak wood for the blooming timbre industry (both of which have been outlawed).
6. In the 1940’s, Chobe National Park fell under a major tsetse fly infestation. This has a great impact on the decision to declare the area a national park.
7. Gobabis Hill in Savuti has ancient San rock paintings that are estimated to be about 4000 years old.
8. Chobe National Park has the most elephants in all of Africa and you can literally feel the ground shake as a large herd moves by.
9. To celebrate their second wedding, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married in secret at the Chobe National Park in 1975.
10. Victoria Falls is only a short drive away from the park. Don’t miss the chance to visit this magnificent feat of nature on your Botswana safari.
11. Rhino is the only Big Five animal that is not found easily in the park.  (At current speculation, there are only 13 rhinos in this massive national park).

Tonight, we’ll be back to our hotel in Livingstone, Zambia by dinnertime.  For ease, we’ll dine at the hotel which will be Tuesday evening and then, on Wednesday we’ll dine out once again.  

Our lovely room at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Chobe National Park in Botswana.

On Thursday morning, we’ll head to the airport in Livingstone to return to the Kruger/Nelspruit/Mpumalanga Airport which is a seven-hour turnaround.  At some point during the day on Thursday, we’ll upload a new post.  Most assuredly, we won’t be missing any day’s post during this trip but the times we upload them may vary.

Hopefully, all goes well with immigration when we re-enter South Africa on Thursday afternoon.  Either way, we’ll be sharing the details here.

Have a superb day and evening!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2017:

This plant in the garden in Costa Rica had an interesting leaf pattern.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Chobe National Park safari and Chobe River cruise…Interesting geography, culture and much more…

A small but substantially packed ferry arriving in Zambia from Botswana while we waited.  This reminded us of the ferry boat when we arrive in Mombasa, Kenya in September 2013.  Click here for that post.

Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark it requires removing one’s shoes and walking in the water.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A kingfisher and his catch-of-the-day.  Not a perfect shot but we were thrilled to get this while on the move.

At the moment, as I begin today’s post, I’m sitting alone outdoors at the hotel restaurant while Tom has gone with Matthew, our regular taxi driver, to the bank where one of our debit cards was swallowed by the ATM on Saturday.

This is where we stood and waited for the little boat to take us across the Zambezi River.  A bridge is being built to accommodate the crossing which could be completed by the end of 2019.

Yesterday our free day, Matthew drove us to the bank only to find the bank manager, the only person who can release the card, was out and none of the staff knew when he’d return.  We couldn’t wait around all day for him to return.  We returned to the hotel.

Alec told us this truck broke down on the cement ramp on the river bank.  It was shoved off into the river two years ago to get it out of the way and still remains in this spot.

Matthew and the hotel concierge got to work to try and reach the bank manager and a few minutes ago, Tom left to head back to the bank where the manager was finally available.  There’s no guaranty he’ll return the card to Tom as explained by a bank official.  It’s entirely up to the manager’s discretion.

These locals, situated on the side of the road were selling cold beverages.

Humm…what about Tom will determine whether or not he is credible enough to get his card back?  He’s wearing a nice shirt and shorts but then again, so are all the locals and tourists we see.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough when he returns which, when he does, I’ll include the result here as I continue to work on today’s post.

Alfred, our BushTracks guide from Botswana.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, we don’t hold this against Zambia in any manner.  We’re in Africa and like many other parts of the world, there are clean-cut appearing scammers coming up with the most unbelievable means of scamming people and institutions.  I suppose they’re just following protocol.

Locals walking on the road from Zambia to the ferry to head to Botswana.

Yes, we know, we can order a new card from our bank in the US but the inconvenience of collecting the card by snail mail is frustrating and time-consuming. We’ll see how it goes soon enough.

Anyway, on to today’s photos and stories which include a variety of scenes from the trip to Botswana.  First, Alec, our trusty driver and tour guide inside of Zambian border (with Chris Tours) picked us up at the hotel at 7:00 am for the 45-minute drive to the Zambia immigration office near a busy pier on the Zambezi River where four countries intersect as follows:

“There is a place called Kazungula, at the intersection of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers, where four countries meet. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and a tiny strip of Namibia all come together in one spot.” 
 

These women around this table all looked up at me and smiled and gave the thumbs up.  What this meant, I’m not certain but I responded with a big smile and thumbs up as well

That’s interesting,” we both commented simultaneously.  In reviewing the map below, we started out in Zambia and crossed the Zambezi River.  Once we were on the other side we were in Botswana.  Here’s a map showing these points:

“African “Quadripoint” Only Place on the Earth, Where Four Distinct Territories’ are Touched.” 

(Tom just returned from the bank. He got the card back! Matthew went inside the bank with Tom as his local advocate and a short time later he and Tom walked out of the bank with Tom’s debit card safely back in his wallet. Whew! Tom generously “thanked” Matthew when they returned to the hotel).

At every border, vendors promote their wares by asking for purchases multiple times.  We say, “No, thank you.”

Once of passports were stamped indicating we were leaving Zambia, Alec walked us to a makeshift pier area where we’d have to walk over piles of pier-related construction materials toward the cement ramp where we’d board a little boat to cross the river. 

A very large hornbill, one of our favorite birds in South Africa.

Alec stayed behind in Zambia for the entire day awaiting our return at 4:10 pm.  We felt empathetic about his long day of waiting but he said he manages to busy himself while he waits for his customers to return after the Chobe day trip.

A troop of baboons in a tree.

Crossing from Zambia into Botswana isn’t as easy as showing a passport while crossing the border in a vehicle. Alec took our passports when exiting and again when returning, to the Zambian immigration office to get them stamped.

Albert, our guide with Bush Tracks Safari company, who drove us in the safari vehicle through the Chobe National Park and later drove the boat on the Chobe River, handled our passport stamps at the Botswana immigration office.

We saw no less a dozen crocodiles during our busy day.

When we were finally leaving Botswana at the end of the day we had to make a personal appearance at immigration.  Back in Zambia, as mentioned above, Alec again handled our passport stamps as he’d done upon entry. 

All of this takes time but somehow we breezed through most of it, while we were in the good hands of our guides.  Our four safari mates were interesting to talk to and we easily entertained ourselves while we waited.

Friend Louise in Kauai, Hawaii identified this bird as an African Darter.  Thanks, Louise!

Once on the Botswana side of the Zambezi River, Albert greeted us and told us a great story (while we waited for the four other guests) of how, when he was 12 years old, he became lost in the bush in Botswana. 

Female giraffes have hair at the top of their ossicones (horns).  Males have worn off the hair from fighting for dominance.  “The ossicones are what distinguishes the male and female from one another. Stereotypically, the female giraffe has tufts of hair on the top of her horns, while the males are bald on top. Some males develop calcium deposits on top of their heads, which creates the illusion of the animal having more than two horns.”

His grandfather had taught him valuable bush survival skills which came into use during his three-day ordeal when he was finally found by his family and a search party. He translated this experience into his masterful skills as a safari guide, both on land and on the river.  He provided an exceptional experience for all of us.



Another beautiful bird that is actually included in the “Ugly 5.”  It didn’t look so ugly to us.  Thanks to friend Louise in Kauai, Hawaii and niece Kari for identifying this bird.

Once the four others arrived we all jumped into the safari vehicle and began the short drive toward Chobe National Park.  Shortly before we entered the park, Alfred stopped the vehicle and set up “tea time” with coffee,  a variety of teas and homemade muffins.  I sipped on Rooisbos tea, the caffeine-free popular local tea, while Tom had coffee and a muffin. 

Albert prepared our “tea time” before we entered the Chobe National Park.

This pleasant tea time reminded us of when we had breakfast in the Masai Mara when our guide Anderson, set up breakfast in the savannah where the animals roamed around us. 

The photo from our breakfast in the savannah in the Masai Mara on October 2013.  See the post from that date, here. 

We can’t believe we’ll be back in the Masai Mara in February, this time with a new guide since Anderson now works in Uganda with the gorilla tours.  We’ll see him when we do that tour in the future.

Check out the muscles on the front quarters of this giraffe.

After tea and coffee, we headed directly into Chobe National Park to begin our land safari which would last less than three hours.  Our expectations were low during such a short period. 

A pair of giraffes at a distance.

Giraffes seldom bend down other than to drink water.  This position makes them vulnerable to attack by predators.
As typical during most safaris, the dirt roads were uneven and passengers must expect to bounce around as if on a ride at an amusement park.  But, this is way more exciting than a man-made ride.  This was nature at its finest.

Monitor Lizard on the shore of the river.

During the first 45 minutes we didn’t see much more than we were used to seeing in Marloth Park; impalas, warthogs and some pretty birds.  Then, the magic began as safari luck kicked in, as usual.  When we hadn’t seen much I was tempted to tell our safari-mates, “No worries.  We have safari luck.  We’ll see something soon!”  But, I kept quiet, not wanting to disappoint anyone if it didn’t happen.

An elderly group of four were stuck in the sand in their rental car.  There is no way they’d have extricated themselves from this situation.  Alfred used a tow strap/rope from another vehicle stuck behind this car and towed them out.  They insisted on trying to go through the sand again but Alfred discouraged them, telling them to turn around and go back. We don’t know what ultimately transpired for this group of four seniors. Can you imagine being stuck in such a location overnight, stranded in a vehicle?

And safari luck indeed transpired as hoped as we had a spectacular morning in Chobe National Park.  Over the next several days, we’ll continue to share photos from both the land and Chobe River safaris.

Elephant skull on the side of the dirt road.

Today at 3:30 pm, we’ll be picked up by yet another tour company to take us on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River on the beautiful, newer “Lion King” catamaran where drinks and appetizers will be served.  It will be fun to meet more travelers while we all share the remarkable stories of our time in this special part of the world.

Please check back for more and more and more…

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Photo from one year ago today, May 16, 2017:
Vancouver is comparable to many cities with lots of skyscrapers and business centers but is impeccably clean and friendly.  We boarded the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska later in the day.  Please click here for details.

Part 1…Chobe National Park safari and Chobe River cruise…Short breathtaking videos… Please watch for the magic!

None of the six of us or our guide Alfred could believe our eyes as we watched this male elephant build his mud pool in Chobe National Park.  We’ve seen a lot of elephants in Africa but this was a rare sighting for us.

 “Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

While on safari in Chobe National Park we spotted this male impala with only one antler, most likely lost in a fight for dominance during the mating season.

Yesterday will be emblazoned into our hearts and minds as one of the most special days in our five years and seven months of world travel.  Only a few prior experiences are held in such high esteem.

This is when he started digging his mud hole for the mud bath.

After he dug a decent sized mud hole, he decided to try to lay on his side.  Digging the hole must have been exhausting for this big fellow in the heat of the sun.
For me, my top five events include; Petra, Jordan; Masai Mara, Kenya; Marloth Park, South Africa, Antarctica cruise and now Chobe safari and Chobe River cruise in a small boat.

Finally, he was lying sideways in his mud hole.  We couldn’t stop laughing and smiling.  It was if he was putting on a show for us.  But, the best part was yet to begin.


For Tom, his top five events include Panama Canal cruise; Animals of Africa (including Chobe); lava flow on Big Island, Hawaii; Antarctica cruise and like Tom always says, “Everything upcoming in the future.


Video #1
Video #2

Video #3
Video #4

Sure, its easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of a most recent experience.  You know, kind of comparable to “love the one you’re with” mentality.  However, yesterday was truly one of those special times, we couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces.

Upon arising from his mud bath, he decided to clean up in the river, so we thought.


As we’ve often mentioned, the endorphin rush from seeing and engaging in wildlife is indescribable, especially to those who have little interest in nature and wildlife.  They just may not get it.  And we understand.  We may not become excited about certain adventures others find life-changing.  Its all a matter of personal preferences and interests. 

He turned and headed out into the river. Alfred maneuvered the boat to ensure we were in a good position for taking photos.


I could go into lengthy descriptions of the three hours we spent in the morning in Chobe National Park, the borders we crossed, the immigration processes that incurred, the lovely four others travelers with whom we spent the day in the safari vehicle, at lunch at the resort, and in the small boat on the Chobe River in the afternoon.

At one point, he appeared to want to head back to the shore.


For now, our intent is to share our photos and videos and later, we’ll go into more detail about the experiences.  Most of the sighting that transpired is forefront in our minds which will be clearly illustrated in our photos, videos, and captions below them.

But then, he marched full on into the river in a determined stride.


We’re grateful we have this time off today, to begin working on the hundreds of photos, and multiple videos uploaded on YouTube.  The Wi-Fi is slow at the hotel today so we apologize for it taking so long to upload today’s post.

Nothing was stopping him now.

Last night, when we returned to the hotel, after a very long and fruitful day, we changed out of our typical “safari clothing tan and khaki “Bugs Away” shirts, pants and hats and showered and dressed for the evening.

We were so close we barely used any zoom to get these shots.  However, Albert was mindful of ensuring we didn’t get too close and disturb his swim.

If you “gotta go, you gotta go.”  Tom took this photo not aware of what was transpiring.  Notice him using his trunk like a snorkel.

As we relaxed at the hotel’s inviting lounge, we toasted one another (as always) making intense eye contact while giggling over Tom’s repeated phrase on today’s included videos he’d made on the Chobe River, “Who would have thunk it?”

After his potty break, he was back on the move, getting into deeper and deeper water.

How did this happen to us?  How did we ever end up having traveled to eight African countries (a paltry amount compared to the 54 countries on the continent) which now include:  Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.  We’ve visited some of these countries on multiple occasions. 

Soon, his huge feet were no longer touching the river bottom and he was buoyant.

At this point, the playful swimming commenced which can be seen in more detail in the above short videos.
We wonder how many more African countries we’ll have the opportunity to visit during our continuing travels.  In reviewing a map of Africa we realize there are many countries we’ll never visit due to a high safety and security risks for tourists.  We’re not foolhardy.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when he was totally submerged, then rising for a breath.
After 10 to 15 minutes, he decided he’d had enough and headed for shore.
Then again, we’re definitely not on a particular mission to see a certain number of countries in the world.  We’re simply in awe of how many we’ve visited and how many more we’d love to see in the future.

As he approached his mud hole, he checked it out wondering if he should play a little more.
He dug around in the mud hole a little.
There’s so much more to share then that which we’ve posted here today.  Over the next week or so, we’ll continue with more details and an endless stream of stunning photos of our week in Zambia.

And, he couldn’t resist a little more play.  Thank you, Mr. Elephant, for a wonderful show!
Thanks to all of our readers for your patience in our oft-odd upload times.  Once we return to South Africa we’ll be back to our usual more consistent posting times.

Tom’s getting great at taking photos.  Luckily, we now have two cameras.  This ensures we don’t miss a shot.  Wait until you see what’s coming up tomorrow!
Tom took this candid shot of me in my funny BugsAway safari hat.
Today, we’re dealing with our photos, deciding where we’ll dine tonight and looking forward to tomorrow’s Zambezi River sunset cruise.  Since we came to Africa in 2013, I’ve longed to cruise on the Zambezi River for reasons I cannot explain.  By Thursday, we’ll be able to share “the why.”  Please stay tuned.
Happy day to all!
                         ______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 15, 2017:
Tom and I in Vancouver, British Columbia with our friend /reader Sheila, a Vancouver resident.  For more on this story, please click here.