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Trying to stay patient

With the invention of so many apps to help me these days with my travels they offer not only the great ability to stay organised but to also feed my insatiable desire to research and keep a track of how many days I have left until my next adventure. Trip It informs me that I now have 39 days till I leave and I am trying to stay patient.

My next big trip is back to Africa a land that I fell in love with in May of this year when I visited South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. The trip allowed me to experience the magic of a safari and the wonder of the African bush and it's incredible array of animals whilst developing my photography and videoing skills.

My thirst for more of that magic has meant that I am heading back down to visit East Africa to see the gorillas and shoebill stork in Uganda, Nairobi for some one on one time with my "adopted elephant" and some up close and personal time with the giraffes at Giraffe Manor, then down to The Ngorogoro Crater to one of the last intact calderas in the world, the great migration in the Southern Serengeti to hopefully be there for the start of the calving season, then up to the Northern Serengeti to see resident game and to enjoy the wide open landscapes of the area before jumping the border and heading over to The Masai Mara where I will go for a balloon ride and hopefully see The Marsh Pride and the infamous car climbing cheetahs made famous on The Big Cat Diary.

I have managed to pack in plenty of amazing places for an unbelievable 3 week East African odyssey. I have divided my trip into two segments - Uganda and Kenya/Tanzania. I found that outsourcing my requirements to two operators who have lodges in the areas I wanted to visit allowed me to save more money. Both of the TOs were great in letting me book directly with a number of hotels who offered me the opportunity of the same rate but inclusive of transfers/breakfast if booked directly. I also booked transfers myself in Nairobi saving huge amounts of money compared to those provided by the TOs.

I used Sarah Bowman from Sanctuary to book the Sanctuary Gorilla Forrest Camp in Bwindi and Jacqui McNaughton from andBeyond.

My main reason for booking with these companies was that Sanctuary offered lodgings basically on the edge of the forrest which meant I wouldn't have to travel any long distances to start my gorilla trekking and the possibility of the gorillas coming into camp. &Beyond gave me the opportunity of not paying a single supplement which is a personal pet peeve of mine and using them for more than 7 days offered a brilliant discount of 30%. I had stayed with &Beyond in Botswana and the camps/staff/location/safari viewing was amazing. I knew that I would be looked after wonderfully by the &Beyond team and have an all inclusive experience which meant I wouldn't have to pull out the wallet for all the little extras except of course the "obligatory" tip.

I was very impressed with Jacqui who has not only assisted me with great ideas for the trip but also been proactive in listening to some of my questions and trying to help me with possibilities of seeing what I wanted. Jacqui also has been patient with some of my requests concerning my camera equipment, to be with likeminded safari goers who want to head out at the crack of dawn and not sleep in plus my desire to not have anyone sitting next to me. Her help has allowed me to feel confident about all my plans and even more excited about everything.

So now I will continue researching and reading TA over the next 7 weeks to understand what is happening in the places I am going to to understand as much as I can. All I can say is that I need to stay patient and keep busy.

Damn that's tough!

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