Safariline's Quarterly Newsletter
July 13, 2007

Dear Shawn,

Greetings from Safariline,

Welcome to our quarterly newsletter, a valuable resource of travel news on Africa only.

The theme of this quarterly newsletter is on First Impressions. For all of you loyal readers who have yet to make their first trip to Africa, we hope this will help enlighten the journey with our Marketing Coordinator, Sheri Ransford's first impression of Africa. For the veteran Africa travelers among us may this be the knowledge that there are so many undiscovered places yet to be seen on a mighty continent.

I recently read an article in one of our local papers which highlighted a poem by Mary Oliver called "The Summer Day". The final lines of the poem left a lasting impression:

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious Life?"

My first impression of Africa was nearly twenty years ago of the roof of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro. That impression haunts my memories to this day and has led me on a life journey of discovery. I guess what they say is true; once a first impression is made it is virtually irreversible. My one wild and precious life has been enriched by not only the sights of Africa but of the sounds of the bush at night while falling asleep to the gentle rumble of the hippos call. By the smells of wild rosemary, morning mists and evening campfires which fill the air. By the taste of the Cape wines, shrimp peri-peri and bush breakfasts. By the feeling that this magical place that I have been so blessed to be a part of will always be a place I return to, for no trip to Africa is ever like the one before.

Africa is not just a travel destination, but a journey of the soul. What will it be for you? Will it be part of your one wild and precious life?

Best Regards,
Sherrie Wenzel
President, Safariline
(Yes, there are two Sherrie or Sheri's in this office)

in this issue
Getting There
First Impressions: Safari
First Impressions: Cape Town
First Impressions: Malawi

First Impressions: Safari
Makweti Elephants

Article by Sheri Ransford, Marketing Coordinator Safariline

In May of this year I took my first trip to Africa. It was an Educational Trip and I was hosted by some really wonderful people at the Makweti Safari Lodge in the Welgevonden Game Reserve. Makweti is an easy three hour drive outside of OR Tambo International Airport Johannesburg in a Malaria free area so it was great place for me to "cut my teeth" on a real African Safari.

I couldn't quite believe the place actually. We drove about a half hour into the bush and came into this beautiful lodge area with decks above the trees, private suites and views to die for. There were six of us signed up to stay these two days, I was the only newbee and it showed. We had a wonderful lunch on the top deck overlooking the amazing bushveld with our instant new friends and hosts. We were shown to our private suites to which I could only say in an elegant American expression "NO WAY"! A huge canopied bed, full bath and a private deck. Unbelievable. We met back at the lower deck where we got ready for our ride into the bush. A real game drive in the cool safari vehicles, I was so excited.

We drove for three hours in the South African bush and I'm afraid I just can't explain how great that was. I really wanted to see a giraffe and our guide said that would be pretty much assured. My new safari friends had all done this many times before, but they too were entranced by the feel of the bush around us. Driving up on a rhino having his dinner, the elephants commanding respect as they cross the road in front of us, the thrill of not seeing the huge hippo in front of us until we shown the light on them after dark.

I got to experience the fun of sundowners (wine and snacks out in the bush as you watch the sun go down), the "all is right with the world" feeling of drinking coffee and eating muffins standing around your safari vehicle in the middle of nowhere. I had dinner in the Boma one night, which is an outside area with grass walls surrounding it to keep out the animals, a huge dinner table lit with candles and outdoor fire pits. We were fed gourmet meals like I've never had on plates with rhinos stenciled in powdered sugar. The company was so much fun and the trip was incredible.
I didn't want to leave and I miss my new friends. A safari is something you must find a way to do. Trust me.

First Impressions: Cape Town

Ahhh Cape Town
We send a lot of people to Cape Town because you just can't match the culture, the wine, the food, the fabulous hotels, the waterfront shopping and views of Table Mountain. Safariline has included all this and more in a sampler itinerary of Cape Town so as part of my Educational, I took the tour too. It was spectacular. I had a wonderfully patient and knowledgeable tour guide who took me all over Cape Town. I enjoyed a private wine tasting, had a two course lunch and a half day guided tour exploring the Winelands and all it has to offer. This certainly makes a day to be remembered.
Then I sampled another tour included in Safariline's Cape Town Sampler, the Full day tour of the Cape Peninsula. I saw the spectacular scenery of Chapmans Peak and Cape Point. Visited the penguins at Boulders Beach enjoyed a scrumptious seafood lunch.
Great fun is a new extra to the peninsula The Baboon Walk. I got up close and personal with these crafty characters as a guide walks you up the hill at the end of the peninsula where the baboons live. I watched as the baboons cheer each other on as they try to out smart the "Monitors" to get across the street. Your entrance fee will help protect their welfare and also introduce you to their unique habits and social culture.

First Impressions: Malawi

Article by Sherrie Wenzel, President of Safariline:

I am an enthusiastic scuba diver, as most divers are, and discovering new dive destinations is a passion, especially in Africa. My original reason for selecting Malawi to do my May trip was for the diving but as usual with Africa, my expectations were exceeded! What an amazing place Malawi! This lovely landlocked country boasts one of the ten largest fresh water lakes in the world, untouched, natural and a people who are its heart and soul. People who are unassuming, gentle and always a smile.

Traveling was easy and comfortable in new 4 x 4 vehicles as we made our way from Blantrye to Mvuu Lodge situated in the much acclaimed, Liwonde National Park. On to Mumbo Island we watched the sun set over the lake from our Kayaks, sundowners in hand. Scuba diving and snorkeling to see the cichlids; 8 of the 10 fresh water tropical fish come from Lake Malawi.

Here you can experience the Malawian culture first hand at the Mua Mission, famous for the quality of the wood carvings produced (and sold) there. Flights across the great lake from the capital Lilongwe to Likoma Island and the sensational Kaya Mawa Lodge which was built entirely by hand, in partnership with the local community, was a perfect ending to a fabulous African journey. Safari, Sand and Sea - what better combination? Safariline has added a Best of Malawi itinerary to our website incorporating this trip which includes an extension to the Nyika Plateau. For information on Malawi see our website: www.safariline.net

Cape of Good Hope

"Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
Author Unknown

Getting There
As you may deduce from other articles in this newsletter, I am not a well seasoned traveller. The thought of 8 flights throughout this trip was my fear factor. A safari in the bush is exciting, missing a connecting flight when travelling alone for the first time is scary.
My trip started at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. My husband dropped me off and I headed for the Delta terminal, it was then I realized I was really on my own. I made it through security taking my shoes off and on, hauling my laptop out of my backpack, stripping off my suit jacket then scooping it all back up trying to maintain a "I've got myself altogether" and "this doesn't phase me in the least" look. Actually, it was amazingly simple to get through security and I walked right to my gate. Now I had an hour and a half to kill at the gate. I fretted about the mayhem that surely awaited me in New York's JFK airport. My flight was on time and rather uneventful but it was at JFK when my whole attitude changed. I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I stepped into a bright, uncrowded hallway and followed the signs. This was going to be easy. I slung my backpack over my shoulder and headed to South African Airways.
Let me tell you, travel light, it's the only way to go. I had a duffel bag that they checked in Chicago straight through to Johannesburg so I didn't have to go to baggage claim in NY. For my carryon, I used a standard Jansport backpack. My laptop, camera, binoculars, sweater, books and other valuables fit nicely in the main compartment and my tickets and travel vouchers fit in the front pocket easily accessible. It fit under the seat in front of me on every flight. A wallet on a string held my passport and money. I was free.
The flight from NY to Johannesburg was 17 and a half hours with a stop in Dakar for refueling. I found if I just surrendered my watch and ate when they gave me food, drank 2 waters whenever offered, and slept when they turned the lights out, you could stay on track. A sleeping pill helps if you are going to try sleeping sitting upright in economy where I was.
All and all, some flights were late, some left you right upclose and personal with the people next to you but I didn't miss any and by the time I made it to my destination I was a new, empowered women on the trip of a lifetime.
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