Friday, July 16, 2010

Zoo Treks - A Hippo in the Garden?

By Mary Healy, Zoo Director

“Excuse me for interrupting your dinner, but there is a hippo in the garden.” Thankfully I was not at home when my dinner partners and I were given this message. We were in Botswana in the middle of our 16-day African excursion that started in Cape Town and ended at Victoria Falls in Zambia.

The Sacramento Zoo offers a variety of trips from time to time. Previous venues have included Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands. The itinerary for this trip was developed by Classic Escapes and I served as the tour leader. Starting in Cape Town was especially exciting this year as the whole country geared up for the World Cup. Who knew that those silly horns sold in every airport gift shop would prove to be so obnoxious?

Highlights in Cape Town were the Black foot penguins at Boulders Beach and driving the beautiful highway along the Cape of Good Hope. We left Cape Town for the wilds of Botswana where we stayed in luxury tented camps. It is hard to single out the top animal experience but being in a small motor boat sharing the river with elephant and hippos is pretty near the top of the list.

From Botswana we flew to Namibia for two nights before finishing up in Zambia. Our last camp was a glorious finale. We awakened in the morning seeing the mist from the Zambezi River before embarking on a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls.


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