As you probably know, our most favorite thing to do, besides scuba dive, is to travel to fun and exotic places around the world. We have had the opportunity to travel to places like Africa and Japan where we were able to experience very different cultures.
Africa - February/March 2004
Africa has been the most amazing place we have been to visit. We had the opportunity to spend one week on a Serengeti adventure in Tanzania, then we were able to spend a week on Pemba Island. We were able to scuba dive from this island, which is off the east coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.
The tribes and people in Tanzania were amazing! Everyone was very friendly. First we spent a few nights in the middle of the Serengeti National Park with no other lodge or services within 40 km. We spent 3 full days driving in the park and looking at animals. We saw just about everything, including zebra, elephants, cape buffalo, wildabeast, giraffe, crocodile, male and female lions and all the cubs since we were there during the birthing season. We were also fortunate enough to see a female cheetah and her 2 cubs and a leopard very close up. You can view the pictures here.
Next we stayed near the Lake Manyara National Park. This park is known for elephants, flamingo and, the VERY rare and almost never seen Tree Climbing Lion. You know you are seeing something exceptional when the guides actually get excited. Most of them have never even seen the tree climbing lions, We had the opportunity to see 2 female lions and 2 cubs in a tree not 50 yards away. It was incredible!!! Later, we checked the park guest book and there had not been an entry of anyone seeing the tree climbing lions in at least 7 years.
Next it was time for our scuba diving part of the trip. We boarded a plane and headed to Pemba Island. Pemba was equally amazing. Pemba island is part of Zanzibar, and Zanzibar is part of Tanzania. It is about 80% Muslum and receive about 1000 tourists visit per year. Our lodge we stayed at only has about 400 guests per year. We also have never met anyone who has been to Pemba so we felt very priviliged. Things however started out a little interesting. Like I stated before, the island has a high population of Muslum so when we first left the airport, we split into three groups in three different vans. About 15 minutes into the ride, our driver pulls into a gas station, jumps out, leaves the door open, and an entirely different guy jumps in (with a bottle of wine) and starts driving. We have no idea what just happened and he doesn't speak English. To be perfectly honest we had some concerns that we were being kidnapped, because after all we have never met anyone who has been to Pemba Island. This remained a concern for about 30 to 45 minute until we finally caught up with the other two vans. However, we got to the hotel in one piece ;-).
While on Pemba we did a lot of diving, relaxing and eating. We even got to spend one night on a 90' sail boat for no extra charge and were able to two five dives from it, including a night dive.. Check out some of our pictures here (yes, there are actually more than the ones we have posted).
Last year we had the great opportunity to go to Japan. Troy had to go to Japan for work for the second time. About 3 days before he was leaving, he decided to ask Shelly to go. Shelly, thinking there would be no flights that could use our frequent flyer points, said "sure". Well, as luck would have it, with Troy's super double secret United status, Shelly was able to come (business class no less). So, Troy went out 24 hours earlier to work. Then Shelly came out, and we had an almost free vacation in Japan. The only bad thing was we both had to fly by ourselves because Troy ended up having to spend a few extra days. Anyway, you can view some of the pictures here.