Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 South African Vacation - Foreword

I truly believe that there are reasons for what we all do.  The choice we make that affect outcomes. Some we have no role in decision making, but most we do. 

Rolling back to December 2013, I was on the hook for taking photographs at the KC Magazines Most Wanted Auction, which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC).  In the years prior to 2013, I was witness to some pretty good auction items.  Some were “reachable” for Kathy and I, but we never took the opportunity to bid on any of the packages.  From a night out on the town, to going to the set of Modern Family, it seemed like a dream that we just could not afford.  You see, I have been a part of this Most Wanted Auction since 2008, so I have seen plenty of money raised by great volunteers that they formerly called ‘Sexy Singles’ and which are now called Most Wanted due to the involvement BBBSKC would like to get out of its namesake in KC.

So back to 2013…  I happened to see that there was a 6 night 7 day photo safari for Zulu Nyala, which is owned by Shaw Diamond, which began back in May of 1981 when Trevor Shaw, the founding member of the Zulu Nyala Group, decided to take a risk and buy a remote 15,500 acre piece of land in the middle of Kwa- Zulu Natal.  The fact that Kathy and I were in a good place and seemingly able to afford such a trip, I devised a plan.  The plan you ask?  Convince Kathy that this is something we should do.  It did not take much, but I did have to set a price for her to bid up to, since I was going to be taking the photos of the event for BBBSKC.  Of course, someone was bidding us up and we went a little over our budget, but that is ok, no one got hurt

I wont reveal the price on how much we spent for the initial package, since I believe they will have these packages again in the future.  Who knows, maybe Kathy and I can be a Most Wanted some year and have this be our auction package.  However, I can say after extending the trip slightly (3 weeks total), investing in flights, tours/excursions, clothing to look cool, and of course, some camera gear - we could buy a pretty nice used car.  Don't ask me if its worth it.  Because I will tell you, without even going and experiencing South Africa towns of Johannesburg, Richards Bay, and Cape Town, as well as Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls, I feel like a kid on Christmas Day at the opportunity and will make this be one of the best experiences that Kathy and I have ever had together.  Oh yeah, and we are celebrating the double nickel birthday for Kathy!

  • Monday, August 31, arrive at Richards Bay, via Johannesburg, rent a car, and travel about 1.5 hours to Zulu Nyala.
  • Spend Monday, August 31 through Sunday, September 6, 2015 at Zulu Nyala.
  • Travel back to Richards Bay for 3 nights on the bay front with no plans.
  • Leave Richards Bay on Wednesday, September 9 and head to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
  • 3 Days and 2 nights at Victoria Falls - sunset river cruise and hiking near the falls.
  • September 11, 2015, we the head to Cape Town for one full week.
  • Head back on Friday, September 18, where we will come back through Jberg to DC to KC.

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