Coming from Europe, it’s difficult to believe the heat and drought in Africa.  Soon ,after a short plane ride, we arrived in Marrakech. After the cool temperatures in Europe it took us a bit of time to get used the heat in Morocco. It got very busy as we started to the middle of town and as soon as we got out of the taxi we felt the swarm of the sellers. I personally liked the crowded streets. It felt almost like Toronto but without a single car going by but motorbikes and normal bikes going a few centimetres away from your foot.

Our first night we were super surprised by the market it had hundreds of food tents and thousands of people we were welcomed by the sellers and the snake charmer’s music. Soon we sat down at a small food tent and had a loud (other people) dinner.

The next day we started a fun treasure hunt app called geocache were wherever you are you search for a box and you sign you’re name and then go find another. In Marrakech if you want something African like a wood mask or bongo you can get it here but if you’re going to the  place that actually invented it don’t buy it in Morocco.

On our last day, we packed up to leave for the Todra gorge as I packed my things I felt the sorrow of leaving Marrakech I got ready for a new adventure. We left Marrakech with our taxi driver Mohamed going for a unexpectedly bumpy 7h drive. As we set of for a new adventure we finally realized how hot it was in the car and soon we were drinking water bottle after water bottle. It was a long drive but worth it so we could go in the pool there.

The next day, while we were eating breakfast, the flies started to come in and they got on your food and sometimes in your mouth. it was super good food and some annoying flies. Soon, we left for the gorge and to see the nomads.as we hiked up the gorge it got hotter as we went higher we reached the top and to the small “village” where the nomads lived. What they wore the man had a robe the boy pink sweater and a Messi shirt the two girls wore small cute dirty dresses.

When we left for the desert we were having a great time we stayed at a small hotel kind of thing and the next day we left for four nights in the dessert we got to ride a atv ,walk the camels, and get sick from a Bulgarian diarrhea dude.

the pool at Mohayut

Our desert suite

After, we went to Ouzazart I pucked all night and then we went to the non mad part of Marrakesh for the last night in Morocco and the next day we left for Tanzania.

Ngorongoro crater

Ngorongoro crater

 

When we flew to Nairobi Kenya we had to sleep in the airport for 4 hours on a ledge by the window.  It was actually pretty comfortable if you thought of it as a bed but you could feel the pressure of everybody watching you.  Soon we left to go to Arusha.  During that 1/2hr flight, it felt like 10min.  At the last part of our flight we flew passed Mount Kilimanjaro.  It was pretty high but WAY COOL.  I think I will come back and do another safari and hike Kilimanjaro.

Up, up and away from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro with the African sun peaking over the horizon.

We met our new driver Nico at the airport and he drove us to see Aunt Karen.  Nico seems funny and crazy and I am excited to go on safari with him.  We met Auntie Karen at a hotel.  I felt happy that she could come and stay with us so I wasn’t alone with crazy mom and dad!  On the drive to our first stop we saw Massai guys along the road side. It was really cool because they had spears.  They used these to protect their cattle.

Auntie Karen and the kids having a last stroll before we send her back to reality…

The crazy Craigholms, while the kids built a fort in the back of the truck. We thank Nico for his patience and understanding with the kids being kids…

Go…

Monkey business.

This was the coolest find for Wilson. Two cheetahs hanging out in the heat of the day. They didn’t seem to care that we were meters away from them.

 

We drove straight to the Tangarine park for my first safari game drive.  We got to raise the roof off of the jeep…I felt like a dog with my head up above the jeep because my hair was flying in the wind.  I liked standing up because it was bumpy and you had to hold on tight.  I was trying to spot a cheetah or a leopard on our first day.  The most annoying part of the safari this day was the sese…??? Flies.  They bite!

My most exciting things from my first game drive were seeing a lot of elephants at a water hole with zebra and one giraffe coming to drink.

 

We went to our first camp (Maramboi).  I was surprised to see this place because I thought we would be in one tent for everybody.  I got to sleep in a three bed “tent” with Karen and Lulu while mom and dad slept just across the hall in their room…all in the same “big tent”.  We  quickly got on our swimsuits because I really really wanted to swim in the pool.  Everyone came with me but they weren’t as excited as I was.  We were the only ones in the pool…it was sort of cold (my mom says COLD!).  Lulu and I got right in to play and swim.  The coolest thing ever happened while we were swimming….  THE BATS came out and dive bombed the water!  They were everywhere…and they managed never to hit us even in the dark…I guess their ecolocation works pretty well!

The food at dinner was really good.

 

From Tangarine we went into the Serengeti.  I expected it to be hot and I was right…not as hot as Morocco though.  At the gate on the way in we went on a little hike and we saw a bunch of colourful iguanas and a long slithery snake.  The snake was beige and had brown spots like a cheetah.  On the first day, right when we got in the park, we saw a cheetah.  She walked right across the road by our Jeep!  Wahoo.  Over the next four days we saw 30 lions, 60 giraffes, hundreds of elephants, 4 leopards, 5 more cheetahs, many many baboons, zebras, wildebeest, antelope (impala, dik dik, tope, eland, gazelles), 10 hyenas, 40 buffalo, hundreds of wart hogs, many ostriches, 15 Nile crocodiles, 50 hippos, millions of birds (small and big), one serval cat, one tree climbling PYTHON and one black rhino (in Ngorongoro Crater)…..with one dad dropping his phone out of the window beside a serval cat…hahahahaha!

 

The highlights of the safari game drives were the big five – LEOPARD, RHINO, ELEPHANT, BUFFALO and LION.  I was most excited to see my favourite, the cheetah.  The thing I think I will remember the most is the lion kill that we saw.  The female lion snuck up on a gazelle when it wasn’t looking and pounced on it.  I was taking a video of it.  I think it is nature.  I will also remember packing our box lunches for our game drives.  My favourite snack in the box lunch was Dairy Milk chocolate ..yeah!  Nico turned out to be the BEST.

 

Another thing I will remember is Moses and the gifts he gave me.  My favourite is a lion tooth necklace.  Moses told me that young men Masaii warriors wear necklaces like this when they hunt.  This proves they have killed a lion and they become great warriors.  Moses was really nice and he gave us bracelets for a lot of our friends.

 

The wildebeest crossing was also cool.  We unfortunately saw a baby wildebeest drown in the river.  The water was flowing quickly.  It was boring waiting for hours for the wildebeest to decide to cross.  I got to play on my iPad waiting for the crossing.  It was funny to see the zebras acting like crossing guards…. This is my joke….”Why do the crossing guard zebras hold the wildebeest back from crossing?”  …answer….”Because there was a line of carcodiles!”

 

We finished our safari and said goodbye to Auntie Karen.  We were all sad.

Right now we are finishing our three weeks in South Africa.  We have travelled by car from Capetown to Port Elizabeth.  We have stayed in many very nice houses, some with pools and some on the beach.

I like South Africa a lot.  I think it is my favourite so far.  The food is good, I love the fish and chips.  People speak English and we have rented a car so we get to drive ourselves.  The weather is hot but not too hot.  My fav things are listed here….

 

1.Dad bungee jumping of the tallest bridge bungee in the world (216m).

 

2.DeHoop Nature Reserve.  I didn’t like the 17km mountain bike ride (DAD) but I did like the tennis, the cold pool, the bocce and bonteboks (BIONICS J)

 

3.Babboon adventure in our cottage in DeHoop….we scared the CRAP out of it!!!!! (literally)

 

4.Table Mountain….the cable car (with the sewage tank underneath it …ewww) was awesome.  I liked the hiking trails and geocaching up on top too.  We were walking in the clouds.

 

5.Lions Head hike because we got to rock climb using the “staples” and ladders and wires!

 

6.Body surfing in Wilderness.  The waves were huge but safe and I body surfed beside dolphins and seals and in the same water as huge whales.

 

7.A fisherman catching a BABY HAMMERHEAD SHARK right beside my dad and I body surfing in Wilderness….freaky!

 

8.Acrobranch high ropes course…I overcame my fear of heights!!!!

 

9.Plett Puzzle Park.  The puzzles on the forest walk were difficult but we had fun.  Dad and I got to beat Lulu and mom through the wood maze at the end.  BOYS RULE!

 

10.The food, the food, the food. I have stuffed myself with cheesecakes and lemon merenge pie.  The fish and chips, the calamari, the shrimp and mussels……seriously amazing!

We finished off South Africa in Port Elizabeth – on a safari in Addo Elephant Park and Schotia Park.  My fav part was the elephant and the rhino coming right up to our open jeep and almost hitting it!