Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Night in Petoria

Watching the Soccer with some locals at the Shearton Towers Pretoria, enjoying a bottle of Thelma or two!
Will be a long night!

Qantas Update

Finally advised that I have a seat on Monday night! Probably go via Bombay!May get home by Christmas.
They cannot fly to Sydney due to fog but can travel during the night.

Masi Mara

The start of the Migration

Farewell see you in 2010

Well guys time to sign off and thanks for joining me in this blog and I look forward in continuing this venture in 2010.

The photos and comments are only a snap shot of what happened and I have some great memories.

My Guide at Amboselli Camp

Masi Mara

The guy standing next to the drivers door was once sponsored by World Vision

Masi Mara

Camp Life

If you read the start of my blog you will have an understanding of what the camps would be like.

The days started at 6am with coffee being brought to your tent and you would then have a quick breakfast and at 6.30 you be off on a games drive.

As I was travelling by myself, I had my own private vehicle, driver and spotter which was great. We would have a picnic lunch, sundowners in the afternoon and return to camp at about 7 pm. After a quick shower- only allowed 20 litres of water, would head to the camp fire and have a few drinks followed by dinner. After dinner would then go out on a evening drive for a few hours. So it was full on.

You would then come back to camp, escorted to your tent, given a whistle to blow if you had any issues ion the night and wanted assistance and off to sleep which the Masai Mara People patrolled the grounds to make sure the animals stayed away from us. It is un real lying in bed hearing a lion roar, monkeys running over your tent or woken up hearing an elephant.

The next morning you wake up, venture off to have breakfast and see animal droppings around the camp.

The food at all camps was great and you had plenty of wine to wash it down with. Never got a hangover!

Some of the ventures I experienced were:
getting bogged, sighting a pride of lions and cubs, cheetahs and cubs, Hippos,elephants, start of the wild beast migration, monkeys trying to get into my shower water and lots more

Safari Photos - From the three camps

Travelling from camp to camp was done in a single prop Cessna, which was a bit of a concern as some of the trips took over one hour and you had a number of stops picking up and dropping off

Friday, June 19, 2009


Having a few problems with Internet over here as it takes 10 minutes to upload a photo, so trust what you see you can relate to my adventure.

I was planning not to come back next year but it is so hard to say no when they appreciate your visit and you can see so much good being done.

During the safari trip which I will write about in the next few days, one of my guides use to be a person who was sponsored by World Vision. He is a Masai Mara person and he can now drive a car, has a wife, two children,attends university with the tips he makes and plans to start up his own safari business.So there is life and a future for these people. I will post his photo later.

World Vision Photos 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Safari

Arrived at Kenya on time - not like Qantas. Still no word about my flights home.

The road from the airport to Amboselli Camp was unreal, massive holes in the road, trucks overturn, zig zag your way.They drive, left, centre and right on the roads. At one stage they had to place wood over the gaps so we could get through and the dust was unreal.

Anyway we made it and was it hot and I needed a few reds to recover from the trip.

Strange this red wine give no hangovers

I will continue this part with photos etc once the Internet improves. I had a great time at each park and got some great photos.

It has been suggested by the Camp Managers I look at selling them, so plan to follow that up. They reckon the photos of leopards matting which I took on my first trip would be something that publishers want.

Time to have dinner now guys- keep those phones on!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Hi John,

Hope all is well and your African adventure is panning out as planned. What's the wild life like? Have you had a chance to listen to any groovy tunes over there?

87mm of rain over two days last week here, hot and dusty in the south west!

Don't forget to put that pallet of Thelma on route to Victoria before leaving!


Monday, June 15, 2009

15th June - hello from the Appleby's

Hi John

You must be well and truly into your trip by now. How has everything gone with your sponsor family? How's you health? What happening - you have not filled in your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!

Appleby's are all sick with the flu - hopefully not the swine flu! Tom defended his Top Gun swim last week - 1500m race. Phoebe completed her 3 km race and came third. Matilda is going well and Lachlan is just glad the exams are over!

Caught up with Jen & Ray on Friday as I was in Bendigo for business - Ray was delighted with the ticket and is looking forward to the golf day.

Gerry is moving into Harold Street Ascot Vale tomorrow!

We look forward to hearing from you Johno.



Monday, June 8, 2009


My bags were searched again and not fined> I know how to work the system now.

The weather has been crap however still nice and warm and all my aches and pains are fading away.

Today I had a tour of Maputo in a Tutt and cost me $50 for the day and was great fun. Since my last visit there has been alot of development in Maputo in hotels and shopping centres. You still have the large holes on the walkway which were caused by the bombs during the civil war so one never walks out tonight. Just get a cab $4.50 per hour.

Only seen a few armed guards this time.

Went to the Fish market, market and railway station >that was a concern.

Bought sponsor child a few more Tshirts, toothpaste and brushes.

Last night went out and enjoyed a cray with a few red and tonight I plan to enjoy a cray with a few whites.

Bill, as P of A you need to come here next time > we could have a Ball!Not like Indy.

Well, must go now as off to enjoy some food, wine beers etc etc.

Tomorrow I fly to Tete and the World Vision Venture contines and my case becomes empty again!

Hope all well

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hi John

Dear John,

We hope you managed to get to South Africa safetly. Looking forward to reading about your trip on the blog. How's the hip after the long flight?



Friday, June 5, 2009

Arrived Pretoria

After sitting like sardines for 14 hours finally made it to South Africa and the fun now begins.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

News Flash

Just had the quickest International trip!

6am flight cancelled due to Fog in Sydney.

Qantas decided to put all three flights on one flight and we finally left Melbourne at 8.30m and arrived in Sydney at 10.15am.

Off we go to International transfer and told all okay.Go through customs, fill out the forms etc and arrive at gate 34. We note the plane is there and we are told that we are too late, we had been delisted.

Ten people delisted not happy!

We then go back to Customs, pick up our luggage, put in a bus and taken to the Mecure Hotel at 1pm and told to wait, you may be going to Hong Kong!

Then we get told no planes to Hong Kong, you will have to stay here for the night and we will try and get you on a plane tomorrow!

The word TRY went over like a ton of bricks!

So at the moment I am in Sydney at a 4 star hotel in the industrial area of Mascot. All I can say Qantas will pay for this and I plan to draft my letter over a few reds tonight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Kenya Safari

Well, this is the safari and should be very exciting as during this time I will be out of communication with the outside world.

I am not worried about what will happen in this time as George Bush is no longer in charge and BO seems to be doing a good job.

Anyway enough of politics as there is more to life and I am looking forward to this new adventure.

The safari I have picked is small in number, they use open top vehicles and is during the animal migration period.

The only concern I have is the air transfers-seeing they are not Qantas should have no problems.

Friday, 12th June 2009 Amboseli Poroni Camp

Upon your arrival off flight KQ 765 at 05h45am. You will be met at Jomo Kenyatta Airport from your international flights by a Rhino Africa representative and transferred to Amboseli National Park for your stay 2 night stay at Amboseli Porini Camp.

You will a game drive in the conservancy followed by a sundowner at a scenic spot
overlooking Kilimanjaro. Night game drive and return to camp
The Selenkay Conservacy lies a few miles north of Amboseli National Park and is an important dispersal area and rangeland for wildlife migrating out of Amboseli. In May 1997, a Kenyan organisation called Porini Ecotourism agreed with the local Maasai community to set aside the area for a reserve for wildlife, so that the habitat could be protected and wildlife conserved.

The community are receiving a rent for the lease of the area by Porini Ecotourism,
plus an entry fee for each tourist visitor. All roads have been constructed using local labour so that the members of the community gain employment from the Conservation area. In addition to the road maintenance team, Game Scouts have been employed to carry out patrols to see that the wildlife is protected. And is supporting the conservation of wildlife through the community at Selenkay, and is operating daily safaris from Nairobi each week staying at their Porini Camp. Selenkay Conservation Area is well off the beaten track and has not been visited by
tourists until now. It lies in the heart of Maasailand and the animals are truly wild and not yet habituated to the presence of vehicles. The number of tourist visitors staying at the Amboseli Porini Camp within Selenkay Conservancy is limited to a maximum of eighteen per day to retain the wild and unspoilt nature of the area and to minimize the impact on the environment. Within the conservation area the following animals have been seen recently: elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, Thompson's and Grant's gazelles, gerenuk, impala, oryx, lesser kudu,
zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, striped hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox, caracal, African wild cat, serval cat, genet cat, honey badger, mongoose and ostrich. Birdlife is prolific, especially birds of prey. Accommodation while on safari is at Porini Camp, within the conservation area. The facilities include 9 spacious guest tents, comfortably furnished and with en suite bathrooms including shower, wash basin and flush toilet. Tents have solar-powered electric lighting.
The camp is small and is on the lines of the traditional luxury safari camp, but with more comfortable bathroom arrangements than were available to the big game hunters of earlier years! The camp provides an exclusive experience catering to a maximum of 18 guests at a time. All transport on this safari is in a specially designed opensided Landrover 4 wheel drive safari vehicle. Going on safari in a 'proper' safari vehicle gives a far better safari experience than traveling in the minibus vans with window seats used by other tour operators! And as Selenkay Conservation Area is a private game reserve you will not see any other vehicles or minibuses.
Ensure you tent is kept locked each day as you may find an unwelcome visitor.
Do not leave your tent unescorted.

Sunday, 14th June 2009 Porini Rhino Camp

Early breakfast and then drive through Amboseli park to the airstrip fo r the 09h55 Safarilink
flight to Wilson, connecting onto the 10h20 flight to Nanyuki, arriving at 12h40. You will be met at the airstrip and transferred to Porini Rhino Camp, located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Lunch and afternoon tea in camp and then head off to look for rhino with your driver-guide in the camp’s 4x4 safari vehicle.
Porini Rhino Camp is located in Ol Pejeta Conservancy a 90,000 acre wildlife conservancy situated between the foot hills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snowcapped Mount Kenya. Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals including all the “Big Five” (the endangered black rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion) as well a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees and also incorporates the smaller Sweetwaters Game Reserve. The
combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views across the open plains of Ol Pejeta guarantees an unforgettable safari experience. Ol Pejeta Conservancy has a large area of over 60,000 acres reserved exclusively for 4x4 safari vehicles and small exclusive eco-camps. Porini Rhino Camp is hidden in a secluded valley and set amongst shady acacia trees on the banks of a seasonal river. The camp consists of six spacious guest tents, each comfortably
furnished with en suite bathrooms. The camp is very environmentally-friendly with solar powered lighting and no generator. Game drives are taken in the camp’s 4x4 safari vehicles with qualified safari guides. Guided walks are taken on the open plains escorted by Maasai warriors. Night drives are also taken to see the nocturnal animals. All the Big Five have been seen on game drives from the camp.

Tuesday, 16th June 2009 Porini Lion Camp

Depart Porini Rhino Camp and fly from Nanyuki on the 09h45 Safarilink flight to Mara arriving at 11h00. You will be met and transferred to Porini Lion Camp. Lunch and afternoon tea in camp and then go on a game drive or escorted walk followed by a sundowner and night drive with
Porini Lion Camp is located in the exclusive 20,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy.

This expansive conservancy, which borders the Masai Mara Game Reserve, is home to an abundance of animals including the Big Cats for which the Mara is famous. Lion Porini Camp location. The Camp is situated along the banks of the Ntiakatiak River, a seasonal river with some permanent hippo pools near the camp. With 10 luxury guest tents the camp is very exclusive, giving you a real ‘in the bush’ experience.

The tents are very spacious and have private verandahs along
the length of the tent, providing a secluded and private 'space' for you to relax and enjoy the beauty of this African wilderness. Each tent has en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Food is excellent with fresh baked bread and high quality meals prepared by the camp Chef. At camp guests enjoy morning, evening and night game drives in custom built 4x4's. Sundowners at scenic viewing points, from where you can enjoy a drink watching the
sun set over the Mara. And escorted bush walks with Maasai warriors and safari guide, where you can get an insight into the Maasai people, their way of life and also learn more about the animals, birds and plants of the Mara.

Thursday, 18th June 2009 Depart Porini Lion Camp
Today after breakfast you will make your way to the airstrip for your flight with Safari Link at departs Mara in the afternoon at 16h00 to arrive at 17h30 at Wilson Airport where you will be transfers to JKIA Airport for flight back to Joburg departing at 20h40

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Well the trip is on again and it will be exactly one year since my last visit.
Last year I visited Tete it was Pedrito's birthday and I gave him and his family a bike and after the visit I sent $100 for a bike helmet, shoes for Pedrito and with the balance of money they built a toilet - So I have the Williams loo in Tete! I wonder if there will be a offical flushing when I visit!!!

Unfortunately Aaron Baddley did not play in the Master last year as his wife had a baby so I do not have the extra money to spend- however I had a few wins on the sharemarket market during the year and that has given me some more spending power.
I also like to acknowledge Kevin 747, Gillard and Swan who kindly donated $900, no questions asked. This will stimulated the Mozambique economy!

This year I am travelling frequent flyer's so seat availability was limited and my trip will only be for two and a half weeks and exciting.

I am visiting the World Vision Family I sponsor and looking forward to seeing the advances in the village and hearing about the inter village soccer match and talking about ongoing sponsorship of the competition. Don't worry it will not be as much as the AFL! naming rights - Johno's Cup or The Pinnacle Cup, I am thinking of!

After the World Vision visit I fly back to Joburg and onto Kenya and have eight days in the wild with no communication with the outside world.

As you would expect my cases are packed with gifts and the clothes I wear on the plane are just about it. On this journey I am taking for the sponsor family and village - two solar torches, two hooded tops, two set of soccerroos outfits, three soccer balls, two basket balls, four skipping ropes, six tshirts, dozen tennis balls, North Melbourne football scarf, set of track pants, two aussie sweaters, two shirts, 12 caps, two Australia caps, one bushman hat, three Frisbee, four hundred biros, three kolas, one kangaroo and three wallets. When I get to Tete I plan to buy some maize, more clothing, 50 m of dress material for the school, 300 exercise books, mosquito nets, cooking oil, a sack of salt, toothpaste and brushes, soap, some goats and if possible a cow. One thing that has grown over the last year is medication- unfortunately as one gets older one relies on this and that and I have alot of this and that, plus a fold up walking stick
I do plan to buy some clothes at the Joburg airport.

I will also be taking some Relenza in case Swine Flu eventuates. Oink Oink- Larry!

So I leave Eltham at 4am on Thursday 4 June.

I was suppose to fly to Perth however, Qantas decided that I should take a longer route and I now travel to Sydney and then to Joburg.

Upon arrive in Joburg I will be going to Pretoria and hope to met my friends who work for the Bank Note Company in South Africa.
On the weekend I arrive they will be expecting another member to their family so it may be a very wet weekend, great timing!! It will not be an Anchorage celebration - it will be alot cheaper!

On the Sunday I fly up to Mozambique and say hello to the Customs Officials again. When I left Mozambique last year they were upset I was taking too much money out of their country - I think it was $100!

Mozambique is unreal for seafood - crayfish and prawns, wine etc $12 - no cover charge! So keep you mobile phones on and I can talk to you about what I am doing when you are trying to sleep!

So keep tune for my updates.
I will try and make a update at Mozambique and also when I am visiting my sponsor family