154e desert elephant9

“The driver of our boat waved his arms toward the river’s shoreline.  He had spotted our camp site for the night.  And it is the perfect spot, soft sand surrounded by trees swaying in a gentle breeze.  Feels so serene, so quiet, so safe.    A table is set for dinner and, as if on cue, the stars make their appearance and soon the sky is ablaze.  We open a bottle of wine and all is right with the world.”

I wrote those words in 2006 in Mali, Africa.

Along a similar vein in 2010 I wrote to my family.  “You can’t believe how fascinating this country is and how friendly and hospitable the people are.  I think Aleppo is one of the most beautiful and historic cities I have ever visited, and wandering the streets of old Damascus and shopping in the traditional souks has been a pure delight.”

My point is undoubtedly obvious.  Don’t wait.  Travel now to those remote destinations you have on your bucket list because in this ever changing world, they may not be in a position to welcome you tomorrow.

One of my favorite overall destinations is Africa.  Often, because of a news article, people will ask me “Is it safe? I just read about uprisings in …”

Visiting an African country is not like travelling through the U.S.   We are a big country.  Africa is a HUGE continent comprised of approximately 55 countries. (The number varies depending on the criteria used.)  It is over 3 times the size of the United States and bigger than the U.S., China, India, Europe and Japan combined.

I think this map says it all.

true-size-of-africa

Not surprisingly therefore, violence in one African nation does not mean that travel to other African countries is unsafe.

To date, I have travelled to thirteen African nations and hope to get to many others.  For 2014, I have selected Namibia as the destination for a small group safari.   It’s a very safe country that many Americans are unfamiliar with, thus it is not over-run with tourists like some other safari destinations.   It has amazing animal life – I saw my first leopard there, having never sighted one in trips to Kenya and Tanzania.  It’s topography is incredible – towering red sand dunes in one of the world’s oldest deserts, and a visit to an indigenous Himba tribe is an experience unlike any other.  To learn more, click on http://personalized-odysseys.com/namibia-africa/

Think about joining us.

Sandy