African Safari Misadventures

African Safari Misadventures

African Safari Misadventures; Unstoppable Bad Luck but Adventure Reigned

By Charles L Harmon

Here is another one of Yolky’s adventures. It started off as almost a missed adventure. But later confirmed itself as the first African safari misadventure of that particular safari.

African Safari Misadventures
Our plane from Amsterdam to Tanzania Africa.

Here is another one of Yolky’s adventures. It’s totally different from most of his adventures because it was an actual adventure. It was not just something he tried.

Sometimes when bad luck occurs it seems like it will never stop. Here is a case in point. I will only mention three of a few more lesser incidents or African safari misadventures I didn’t have time to write about.

In spite of all the seemingly bad luck that occurred it turned out this African safari was the best one I had been on as well as the leader, Safari Kay. Sometimes bad luck can turn out to be good luck. It’s often a matter of perspective.African Safari MisadventuresAn African Safari, have you ever gone on one?

That might be a silly question to ask most people.

That’s because only a small percentage of people have had the great adventure of an African safari.

So let’s put it another way.

African safari misadventures

It’s Always the Little Things that Matter

Have you ever had a great time doing anything? But in the process there were little things that seemed to creep up. Those little things might annoy you or threaten to ruin things at the time? Sure, we all have experienced such situations at one time or another.

Well that’s exactly what happened to us. Little things we had no control over seemed to creep up for our African Safari. Incidents we’d rather not experience, and some annoying little inconveniences.

It was a first for Safari Kay. The first time a confluence of all sorts of unforeseen circumstances seemed to intervene to make our safari one we might regret or even miss out on entirely.

rest stop
This is one of the rest stops during our African safari misadventures

But that’s not what happened. In fact it was the opposite. It’s too long to detail all the wonderful experiences we had, but take a look at the websites mentioned here and you can get an idea of what an African Safari is.

The incidents detailed here are not normal things that happen. They are an aberration that rarely, if ever occur again. In fact, I went on a similar safari two years before and not one of these incidents or anything like them occurred.

We had no problems there or here in the U.S. This 2010 reunion safari in which these annoyances or African safari misadventures was also a first for all of us. We had all been on safari before, except for one person.

African Safari Misadventures
Waiting for the kill.

I Might get in Trouble for Publishing this

Here you are getting an inside look of African Safari misadventures. You will never see such on other travel sites. Not too many people would dare publicize these events if it happened to them. That’s especially true for the safari operator.

In fact, it’s quite likely I will get chewed out by Safari Kay for publishing this article. So if this series of articles and any related articles are suddenly removed you’ll know why. African safari vacationI take big chances and this is one of them.

Remember “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” So I’m skating on thin ice here. In spite of such once in a lifetime mishaps we had to go through, this safari turned out to be a great safari.

It was the best one Safari Kay, myself, and the others in our group had ever experienced.

My wife, who was taking her first African Safari, had a great tie and loved it.

She finally saw the adorable elephants she so admired. She even picked up the nickname Mama Tembo, tembo meaning elephant in Swahili. Swahili is the native language in Tanzania where our safari took place. It seemed like all the little troubles we experienced heightened the real safari adventure.

African Safari Misadventures - Wildebeest in the crater
Wildebeest in the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania Africa

The Incidents that Occurred were out of our Control

On this safari several incidents happened to us that surprised everyone. Not only do they rarely happen, if ever, but all of them were out of our control. In spite of everything, it was a great African Safari adventure. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control our adventure turned into a week plus series of African Safari misadventures.

Several of us had already been on an African safari with Safari Kay of who heads her Destined To Travel agency.

She arranges and accompanies small intimate groups of safari travelers to one of the African countries where safaris are allowed. Those are the safe countries in Africa where there are no wars or war lords ruling over their carved out territories.

African Safari Misadventures
Lots of hippos, but you can only see their backs.

Where Safari Kay has her safaris there are no wars, famines, or people fleeing the country like you hear every so often on TV. No she only goes to stable African countries where safaris are allowed.

Planning our Tanzania Africa Safari

African safari
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, Africa: Click image for credit

When planning a safari, at least an African Safari, planning is started over a year before the actual dates of the safari.

There are so many things that have to be coordinated including arrangements with various camps. There are the safari guides if you want your own guides. Don’t forget lodging accommodations and other vital necessities.

Not only that, no small thing is arranging for the plane trip there. I say trip, but it is not just one trip, but two or more connecting flights. That’s what it often takes to get you to your final destination in Africa where your safari will begin.

African Safari Misadventures - zebras
Lots of zebra

Africa Safari Planning Experience

Kay has done this dozens of times, not only for her safari groups she escorts there. She goes for herself and other travel agents she sometimes travels with. When she goes with other travel agents it is usually with a FAM.

A FAM (familiarization) is group of travel agents going somewhere with the sole purpose of getting familiar with accommodations. For safaris they also want to know the various camps and tours available, and other necessary arrangements. That’s including the very important safari guides if they are necessary.

In many, but not all cases, the different camps and safaris have their own guides. However, in some cases they don’t or you might want to use a guide that you have worked with before. Sometimes there are other reasons.

All this and many other details have to be planned and coordinated to mesh seamlessly together. The casual safari goer probably doesn’t have a clue to all the legwork that has to be done for one to go on a week or two safari.

It’s a lot, and seemingly small details matter. So much of it has to be done in advance sometimes there are unintended changes that need to be made.
african safari misadventures

Arranging and Planning Flights

One of the most important, if not the most important is arranging for the plane flight over there. As most of you are aware of, plane fares change almost daily. So to know the costs of several flights that have to be synchronized with each other a year or so in advance is difficult.

Because of such advance planning exact plane fares are not known until closer to the actual flight time. I was just over Safari Kay’s house yesterday and one of the guests was planning on going on another African Safari.

He was checking various dates of departure and there was almost $100 difference in just two days. Fortunately because of the long lead time prospective goers can often get a lower fare if they act when the fares are near lowest. I should mention that airfares are not included in safari costs. Variable fares are one of the reasons.

space shuttle
We took a shuttle to the airport, but not this one.

Departing for Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

Africa safari misadventure
Away to Africa

Well this time it seemed everything went rather smoothly. Kay was satisfied everything was taken care of well in advance of our safari departure.

We headed over to Safari Kay’s house in Corona where the majority of the group met. We were going to take an airport shuttle to Los Angeles some 70+ miles away. The rest of our group was in Los Angeles at the airport at the Delta check-in location.

All we needed to do was take the shuttle to the airport, which had been arranged a week or two in advance. It seemed so easy. All of us had taken a shuttle to LAX several times in the past.

safari vehicle
One of our safari vehicles

We used it for trips that required us flying from LAX (Los Angeles Airport) instead of Ontario Airport. Ontario Airport is just a few minutes away from Safari Kay’s house. It’s about 45 minutes from my house if I went straight to the airport.

In almost all cases, except international flights, we would take flights from Ontario Airport since it was so close. Ontario had far less traffic, easier parking, and was often cheaper than leaving from LAX. It was easy. Tomorrow we were leaving.

Just meet the shuttle at Kay’s front door at 5:15 am and away we go. We slept overnight at Kay’s house so there would be no unforeseen problem of us getting there so early in the morning. No morning hour rush traffic which would have already started even earlier than we were leaving.

wildebeest in the Ngorongoro crater
Lots of wildebeest and zebra

African Safari Misadventures Begin

But smooth and easy was not to be. The easy shuttle trip we were to take to LAX ended after we all boarded the shuttle van. That’s when the driver said he had one more passenger to pick up.

We were supposed to be the only ones in the shuttle. That had been confirmed many days in advance. It would have been a straight forward drive to the airport.

But now, no. The shuttle driver had to go way out the way to pick up another passenger. With the heavy traffic on Southern California freeways we would now be very lucky to get to the airport in time to get checked-in in time for our flight.

Little did we know this was the start of a safari that all of us would remember for years to come. That’s when the great African Safari misadventure began.

“With age, comes wisdom. With travel, comes understanding.” ~ Sandra Lake  

Continued … African Safari Misadventure #1 Los Angeles Airport Shuttle


Do only wealthy or rich people go on an African Safari?

That’s what I thought. Boy was I wrong! Safari Kay has made it possible for ordinary people to experience what was once only for the rich or wealthy. Regular people, not just the privileged people with money can now experience the adventure of a real African safari.

Understand more about African Safaris.

African Safari Misadventures

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