Archive | January, 2014

A Mini-Safari in St. Louis, MO

28 Jan

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On Sunday afternoon St. Louis enjoyed beautiful weather, light jacket weather, and a reprieve from this month’s icy polar vortex and snow. I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and noticed that one of my friends had visited Lone Elk Park in the southwest corridor outside the city. I had never been there and I had some free time. I decided to pay a visit. A short drive out I-44 and 15 minutes later I had entered the park, which is home to bison and elk. They enjoy a carefree life among heavily wooded hills. Many other people had the same idea that afternoon because there was a traffic tie-up wherever the animals were sighted. This beautiful bison posed nicely for me as he took a break from grazing along the road. Here is another member of the herd.

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Lone Elk Park is home to more than one elk.

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Canada geese were resting in the half frozen pond in the late afternoon sun.

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A nice home, but there are many signs cautioning about an infestation of ticks and chiggers, not so much in this season.

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Just across the road from the park is the World Bird Sanctuary that houses and rehabilitates wild birds that have been injured. Here are owls, hawks, eagles, and others.

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This is one of two wild eagles that make this area their home.

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I loved photographing these birds up close. Their eyes are intense. More good photography practice for my upcoming African safari.

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How to End a Safari

13 Jan

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Well, I haven’t even left yet. My safari is five months away, but it is all planned out. I’ve already posted links to my hotel in Cape Town and to the safari in Botswana, everything arranged by Africa Adventure Consultants. I will be ten days out in the bush and in the Okavango Delta in camps. Roughing it with bucket showers. I am looking forward to the experience, but when those ten days are over, I’m going to want some pampering. I usually look for simple, utilitarian accommodations when I travel, but I will make an exception after the safari. I want luxury, and I will get it at the beautiful River Club situated along the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls in Zambia. Every room there overlooks the river…mmmm. I look forward to a river cruise and photographing the falls from every possible perspective, then returning to my comfortable and opulent room by the river. Here is a link to The River Club website.

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/camps/the-river-club

Same Website, New Title

6 Jan

Just a quick heads up to anyone to has been following my blog “Europe and After 2013”. I have changed the name to reflect past posts and new ones being added as I make preparations to go on my once in a lifetime African safari in Botswana summer of 2014.

My Little Home in Cape Town

6 Jan

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Now that 2014 is here I am six months away from my departure to Africa. My first time ever to set foot on the “Dark Continent”. The centerpiece of my trip will be a 10-day safari in Botswana, but I will begin my adventure in Cape Town, South Africa. I have been reading over my itinerary, and know that I will be a long time in the air the day I depart. I have a 2 1/2 hour flight from St. Louis to Atlanta, then a 15-hour international flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then an additional 2 hour flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town for a total of 19 1/2 hours in the air. And I thought that 8 hours to Europe last summer was a trial. This will test my patience, endurance, and my muscles and joints. I feel the stiffness and discomfort just thinking about those cramped airplane seats. So…you can imagine my delight in knowing that this lovely bed and breakfast will be waiting for me at the end of my flights…Welgelegen. I’ve even found it on Google Maps and I’ve stood in front of it and looked all around 360 degrees.

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Here is their website in case you wish to see more.

http://www.welgelegen.co.za/