|Map via “great cicle mapper”|
I left yesterday for my big summer vacation. I’ve not traveled solo on a big overseas trip in a long time. I’m really looking forward to some quality “me” time in some unique places.
My first stop is Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Reunion is technically a part of France. The island is east of Madagascar and remains a part of the Eurozone. I opted to fly the island’s carrier Air Austral as they have nonstop service from Sydney to St. Denis on the island’s north side.
From St. Denis, I’ll be flying to Antananarivo, Madagascar, also with Air Austral. I plan on exploring the capital as well as the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park just a few hours outside of Tana. Originally, I had planned to volunteer for two weeks on the island. Circumstances out of my control prohibited my adventure, so I will now be going as a tourist during the extremely low cyclone/monsoon season. I’m told roads flood, towns are inundated with flash flooding, and every year lives are lost to Mother Nature. I’ve got an adventurous spirit and a few notches on my travel belt, so, fingers crossed, I’m able to experience the fascinating country.
|AirAustral, Reunion’s carrier Boeing 777-300ER – 442 seats!!|
|Mercure Creolia, Saint Denis Reunion|
From Madagascar I’ll be flying direct to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I’ll be joining a nine-day camping Safari with GAdventures. There are certain parts of the world where I want to be able to experience things without having to figure out too much. I am confident the safari will provide more opportunities to see African wildlife up close than I ever could have arranged on my limited time table. The journey will take me from J’burg to Kruger National Park and up into Botswana, then finishing at Victoria Falls in Zambia. A colleague has advised me to take a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi once in Livingstone, Zambia. I also plan on doing some whitewater rafting if the season still permits.
The timing of my journey is not ideal with the season. Southern Africa is currently in the middle of the rainy season. Bushland is lush, which makes spotting wildlife more difficult. The wet weather also brings with it mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever. I’ve got my yellow fever vaccine, anti-malarial tablets, mossie net, and plenty of repellant. After coming down with a case of dengue fever in Bali a few years ago, I know how ill those pesky mosquitoes can make you feel.
From Livingstone, I’ll fly on South African Airways back to J’burg, where I’ll connect to an Etihad flight back to Sydney via Abu Dhabi (long way around I know, but it was only $650 and I’m looking forward to experiencing a little middle eastern flavor and luxury on my way back to Australia).
I’m not sure how much Internet access I’ll have, nor how reliable connections may be at different stages of my journey. I’ll try to keep my Wednesday posts, but I apologize in advance should I not be able to contribute as per normal. Wishing you all well and happy travels!