THE AFRICAN LAND/SEA EXPEDITION
is truly the adventure of a lifetime! We'll mix the excitement of
canoe-safaris, river rafting, walking safari's and incredible diving in
one expedition, covering the most awesome sights and experiences the southern
African Continent can offer while learning about this magnificent ecosystem.
We begin by flying via Atlanta to Johannesburg. From there, we'll
fly to Durban, South Africa to meet up with Andy Cobb, our guide. Andy
has been diving Africa's east coast for over 30 years and has taught thousands
of divers from all over the world. Besides instructing SCUBA and
Shark Biology, Andy is a certified field guide. With Andy at the
wheel of his specially equipped, open roof Land Rover, we'll experience
some of Zululand's finest game viewing, diving and cultural history.
Andy is one of South Africa's most outspoken marine conservationists.
His experience ranges from the historic battles between the Zulu and the
European Settlers, to the mating behavior of the incredible wildlife
of Africa. But his true love is the Africa below the waves, and
his knowledge of the Indian Ocean's marine life and habitat will amaze
you. You may not forget the sounds of the African bush at night, or the
thrill of seeing a giraffe towering over your head, but you won't forget
the good humor and extensive knowledge of Andy Cobb.
After a visit to the world famous Natal Shark's Board, we'll drive to
a comfortable game camp overlooking the Hlulhuwe River in the center of
the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe game reserve. The Umfolozi game preserve is famous
as having the largest population of black rhino in the world and is one
of the largest in South Africa.
Cradled between the Ubombo Mountains in the West and the azure sweep in
the Indian Ocean to the east, Umfolozi is located in Zululand, One of
Africa's most ecology diverse regions with an extraordinary range of ecosystems
and wildlife. Also the home of the Zulu people, it is and area rich
in history and culture.
The world's largest vegetated sand dunes overlook pristine beaches, which
have been the breeding ground for giant leatherback and loggerhead turtles
for millions of years, alongside reefs which rival the biodiversity of
the great Barrier Reef in Australia. Here, we'll learn how different habitats
contribute to the diversity of wildlife. Freshwater lakes, rivers and
floodplanes are the domain of prehistoric crocodiles and hippos, pelicans
and flamingo -- while the dense bushveld is the home of endangered rhino,
as well as Africa's great land predators.
After a night game ride and open campfire, we'll fall asleep to the sound
of elephant trumpets, lion roars and jackal's bark as we lay in our well
appointed cabins in the bush far from civilization. Gamehikes , during
the day, not only offer the opportunity to track wild animals but also
to learn to determine species, size, age and behavior from the trail.
While Andy introduces us to the magic of the "bush," the camp's
chef will cook fresh meals featuring local game. This Mintulu bush
camp is as comfortable as most bed and breakfast.
After 2 days of watching rhinos, giraffes, warthogs, elephants, lions
and other wild animals, we depart through the heart of Zululand for Mozambique.
As we leave the rough, but well built roads of South Africa at the boarder,
the road turns to a mere sand track drivable only by four wheeled vehicles.
Towns and access to both is by dirt road, recommended for 4X4's only.
The civil war that ravages the country for17 years has proved to be of
great advantage to snorklers and divers. Acting as a deterrent the tourism
for so many years, it served to protect the reefs and the exploitation
and plunder that so many reefs around the world have suffered for so many
years. The pristine reefs extend all the way north from here to Maputo.
Mozambique's reefs and beaches remain as they were hundreds of years ago.
We'll dive the pristine reefs at Punta Malongone and Punto del Ouro, photograph
lion fish, huge cod, and an incredible variety of tropicals. Staying in
a resort that, for a while, was used as a guerrilla training camp, we
launch from the beach and dive alongside whale sharks, mantas and literally
thousand of species of corals, fish, and invertebrates. At night, loggerhead
turtles lay eggs along the deserted, unspoiled beach. We can almost guarantee
friends have never visited such a remote, pristine and beautiful seaside
resort. It's not unheard of to see bull sharks, white sharks, marlin
and even sailfish on a dive. For those that don't dive, the snorkeling,
hiking and beaches are beautiful.
After our adventure in Mozambique, we'll drive back into South Africa
and visit Sodwana Bay National Park. Sodwana Bay is within the St. Lucia
wetland Park and is famous for it's sport fishing, diving and snorkeling.
Staying in the cozy cabins of the Mseni lodge, we'll dive the extensive
reef system in the warm waters of the Agullas current and hike an almost
prehistoric looking trail. These waters abound with a stunning variety
of sea life. From whale sharks to nudibranchs, this is a photographers
dream. After sampling Africa's east coast diving, we'll see a Zulu village
and learn about the rich and fascinating Zulu culture. From there we'll
return to Durban to visit the old spice market and to depart for Victoria
From Durban, we will fly to Jo-burg and connect to our 2 hr. flight north
to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is one of the world's largest
and most breathtaking falls.Long considered one of the "wonders of
the world," they plunge over 400 feet along a chasm more than a mile
long. This immense volume of falling water creates a plume of mist a thousand
feet into the air and gives rise to the local name "Mosi Oa Tunya"
(smoke the thunders).
First we'll do a 2 day Zambezi River canoe safari above the falls. Floating
along the Zambezi over rapids and past hippo's, crocs, and remote villages,
you'll come to appreciate why Zambezi National Park is so important as
a cultural and wildlife preserve. We'll camp along the river banks in
comfortable tents. (Since it's fall in Africa, the days are warm and the
nights are cool.) Cooks accompany the team and provide wonderfully cooked
meals. This is how early British explorers camped, with someone to make
camp and serve the wine as the sun sets over the river. They even
construct a private hot water shower in the camp. First, we'll walk into
the bush to learn about local plants, wildlife and customs on a guided
walking safari. After visiting the falls and canoeing the Zambezi River,
we'll spend a day white water rafting the spectacular Zambezi River
gorge just below the falls. The Zambezi is one of the mightiest
rivers in the world and from a raft, you can really feel the immense power
of these raging fresh water source. This is world class river rafting.
One night we'll eat at the "Boma" or "place of eating"
where we'll sample wildebeast, kudu, lamb, warthhog (my favorite)
and even mopani worms (in a delightful garlic sauce). We'll watch
Matabele tribal dances and experience the real essence of Africa.
From the beauty and majesty of Victoria Falls, we head back south to cooler
weather and one of the most inspiring sights a diver can witness.
Eye to eye with the Great White Sharks.
After returning again to Johannesburg, we fly 2 hours south to the tip
of the African Continent and Capetown. We'll spend several days
learning about the rich history of this area. At the tip of Africa. For
two days we'll stay in Gansbaii and dive in cages with up to 16 foot Great
White Sharks. We'll learn about their behavior and habitat, and hopefully
even get to touch their sleek, powerful bodies. Even if you don't want
to get in the water, just viewing these magnificent beasts from the boat
is awe inspiring.
After a visit to the Agullas Shipwreck museum, where we'll learn about
the history of the treacherous coastline, you can walk to the tip of the
African Continent where the Indian
and Atlantic Oceans meet. We'll visit the Two Oceans Aquarium in
Capetown to learn about the exotic sealife of the area. A hike up
Table Mountain or to the Cape of Good Hope and a day of sightseeing will
round out our look at Capetown, one of the oldest seaports in the world.
We return to Johannesburg and visit "Sun City" one of the largest
shopping malls in the world and home to some great values. From there
we return to Atlanta with memories to last a lifetime.
Cost: $6,890.00 (air from Atlanta to Johanesburg and return
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