The Vincents in Africa via Ireland travel blog

Serena 'Airport' at Masai Mara

Aerial of Our hotel in Masai Mara, Kenya

Tony & Alison Cleg-Butt's home/tea farm

Tea grwoing at the Clegg-Butts

Our hosts - Tony & Alison

African Princess sunset cruise - Zambis

sunset cruise on the Zambezie River

Victoria Falls - Zambia/Zimbabwe

Royal Livingstone Hotel - Zambia

Royal Livingstone Hotel


Kenya – Zambia Nov. 2 – 5, 2015 On the Road Again…..

We decided to fly, as opposed to a 6-hour drive, from the Masai Mara back to Nairobi – the latter on pitted roads for 7 hours….. that would shake your fillings loose. …..even the crowns…….Been there, done that.

Our Serena hotel, in the Mara, was camouflaged in the hills of the national park, disguised to look like the Masai huts – as you can see from the aerial shot. Hotel was recently redesigned and was an art deco animal house….really wild. The airstrip was only 5 minutes from our hotel – we did not spend too much time in the duty free shop there – lol.

We arrived back in Nairobi and as luck would have it our pre-arranged driver had a ‘clunker’ and had a flat so we had to stop at the gas station to fix the tire. Was fun and exasperating watching the fix. We have not had luck re; transportation in Nairobi – traffic jams, shitty cars, marathons being run with road closures when we are trying to get to the airport etc.

But finally we get to our rendez-vous point to meet Tony Clegg-Butt. Tony is a Skal friend, a past president of Skal International, and he invited us to stay at their home/tea plantation/farm for a couple of days.

We arrived at the house, an idyllic location, quiet, in the middle of a tea farm, with cats, dogs, and cows to greet us. Alison, Tony’s wife, was very gracious to have two complete strangers come to stay and also prepare a wonderful home-cooked meal.

Their home is beautiful, spacious and very welcoming. It was a relaxing two days: trading stories and lies, eating, drinking and getting to know the Clegg-Butts better as well as hearing about their 3 daughters (19, 18, and 13 y.o.), all of whom are abroad – at school in Scotland. Tony had worked in Canada for a number of years and it was amazing how many friends that Thom and Tony had in common….you know that 6 degrees thing.

Wednesday arrives and it is time to head back to the Nairobi airport – different driver and an uneventful trip with relatively few traffic snarls. Off we go to Zambia to see Victoria Falls.

We were unfortunately in Zambia for only 24 hours – because of flight times and our need to be in Pretoria for Friday Nov. 6th. We arrived at the gorgeous – Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia, with a giraffe escort - SERIOUSLY. There are wild animals on the property – not the dangerous kind though. We arrived just in time to make our sunset cruise on the Zambezie River – lovely 2 hours on the water. Thom made tons of Chinese friends on the cruise, even though they couldn’t talk to one another. They all wanted their pic with Mr. Thom. We returned to the hotel for a fabulous dinner and saw 4 zebras walk calmly along past the pool and outdoor dining terrace. Quite something!! And the Livingston Hotel was absolutely marvellous….broke the bank too.

This whole stop in Zambia was to see Victoria Falls – one of the wonders of the world. And we did – by helicopter, which was outstanding. Helicopter was the only way on our limited time schedule – the falls are dried up (low water time of year) on the Zambian side where we were staying. The Zimbabwe side is still running and gorgeous, so we did see that, by air. Now we’ve seen the Iguasu Falls, Victoria Falls and of course ‘Thom falls’, and Niagara Falls.

A fast and furious trip through Zambia and then catch a flight to South Africa.

We stayed in Pretoria one night at a 5 Star Guest House owned by a Skalleague of Thom’s….called Angel’s Place, and are on our way today Friday (Nov.6) on a quick tour of Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, and then to board the Rovos Rail train and arriving in Capetown on Sunday.

The Rovos Rail is a modern day equivalent to the Orient Express.

More about that later….

Thom and Kari

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