Goodbye Africa

Addis Ababa Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 12 › view all entries
I am sad to say that I am currently in the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which means that I am on my way home from Africa. Robin, Kate and I flew out of Lusaka, Zambia this afternoon where we will fly to London together, separate and I will continue my journey back to Vancouver. Before I go into that, I'll finish up with my last couple days in Africa. When I last wrote I was in an internet cafe in an touring company office, updating my blog before I left for an elephant back safari. What I did not know as I took my time writing, was that I was already late for the bus to the elephant camp because the other company that had booked it for me had written down 4:30 instead of 2:30 for the meeting time - luckily, someone at the office realized that a mistake had been made and he sent me running down the street to the bus, during which I managed to break yet another pair of sandals (this is my third pair in two months, in case anyone else is keeping track - just my luck). I missed the bus but was only 10 minutes late so one of the employees from the office drove me in his truck to the camp to meet up with the rest of the group.

The elephant safari was so sweet! We got introduced to our elephant (mine's name was Jake) that we would be riding with our driver/guide for almost an hour through the bush.  We were allowed to touch them and feed them; its a pretty amazing place because its at an elephant camp/refuge center where they take in orphaned calves and elephants that have been injured from poaching snares.  They have 18 elephants there and they have a couple mom/baby groups - its super cute because the babies come out on the walk with you so they get used to elephant and human interaction, as well as being introduced to natural predators and elements of the wild.  We also met some of the local animal gang, some water buck, baboons and resident warthogs named Romeo and Juliet.  The photos are beautiful, I will post them very soon!

The next day we swam and lay in the sun by the pool for it was my last full day in Victoria Falls and with the group, and in the afternoon we walked and actually went into the national park of Victoria Falls and got absolutely drenched! They are such a sight to be seen - from the ground or from the sky.  The mist is so heavy and hard that you come out looking like you just showered with your clothes on - some of the boys in our group actually stripped down to their underwear, got out the shampoo, and showered in the mist at the end of the tour.  After, I finished up some last minute shopping, got ice cream and pizza for the last time and watched the World Cup final in the bar with the group. 

The next morning we had final breakfast and had to say goodbye to my new friends from around the globe, and it was so much harder than I ever anticipated.  So many great people were part of that trip, and it was even harder because realistically, I will probably never see most of them again.  I was so surprised at how quickly relationships formed and how strong the bonds became; in Rwanda it was different because I knew that I would be able to spend more time with most people form the trip, but I've never had to say goodbye's like this before.  I do hope to visit some friends around the globe while travelling again, sometime soon. 

Robin, our English friend Kate and I took taxis across the border and then caught an awful local bus for about 10 hours from Livingstone, Zambia to Lusaka where we would fly out the next day.  Not only were we packed in like sardines, but I also had a baby throwing up next to me, another pulling my hair, another undoing my bra strap every 30 seconds and about 15 others crying the whole way.  What a joy. We arrived in the dark, with no accommodation booked, no one to meet us, and about 50 taxi drivers and locals who wanted our attention/money.  We drove around to a couple different hostels that were all fully booked for the night and finally found an expensive place where we got an extra cot and fit 3 of us in the room. 

This morning we took a taxi to the airport much earlier than we needed to be, caught our flight to Ethiopia and here I am now, wasting time on our 5 hour layover before we fly out at 1:30am local time to London, where I will carry on to Vancouver.  This will be my last blog update, unless anything crazy happens in the next 25 hours (fingers crossed).  Thanks so much to all for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Contact me after the 14th to meet up for tea and more about Africa :)

Love Shannon
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20,987 km (13,041 miles) traveled
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Addis Ababa
photo by: Aopaq