African Odyssey Unfolds
We= just wrapped up our field work on Cape Cod working with the Massachusetts White Shark Team as the cold winds of winter start to blow and the leaves are falling. Our boats are now stored for the North American winter. Just in time to launch into our next wild adventure which will take us back to Africa for the 7th time since 2009. And believe it or not, we are barely past scratching the surface in exploring this amazing continent.
Our focus once again is on wild life and wild places, most of which will be new territory. We will plunge into the onset of equatorial summer on our first stop in The Seychelles with a particular interest in diving in the southwestern portion of the archipelago , a world heritage site called Aldabra Atoll. From Wikipedia we learn that Sir David Attenborough called the south western atoll of Aldabra "one of the wonders of the world", and it is also known as one of the "crown jewels" of the Indian Ocean. Aside from its vast population of tortoises, it is also the largest raised coral reef in the world with an elevation of 26 feet (7.9 m); a habitat for the biggest crab, the coconut crab; and habitat for the Indian Ocean's Aldabra rail, the only surviving flightless bird species of its kind in the world. We are particularly excited because Aldabra is uninhabited, extremely isolated, and is virtually untouched by humans. Not many places in the world so fortunate. Quite ironically it has been months since we have actually been in the water so we are looking forward to being a fish again in warm clear water.
Armed with tons of camera gear for above and below the water we hope we can capture the spirit of the place. Here are some beautiful images from other explorers.
Our journey will continue with a visit to Zanzibar where we will begin our first encounters in Tanzania. We are extremely excited to travel all the way west into a remote area on Lake Tanganyika where we will spend time with a wild troop of chimpanzees. This region is where Dr. Jane Goodall did her field work. We will then venture into the Serengeti for our first visit into this savannah to discover the summer activity of the great wildebeest migration. Should be pretty green as it is still part of the rainy season. This region is now being seriously threatened by Government plans to put a major paved road into the area which, according to friends, would destroy the Serengeti as we know it forever. Will hope to better understand what is happening here. Ever since I read Peter Matthiessen's Sand Rivers, I have wanted to see this. From here we will camp (comfortably) in the Ngorogoro Crater before we re-load and proceed to our second home in Cape Town, South Africa to be with many friends and get the chance to view this beautiful country in their summer and yes we be diving with hopes of glimpses of apex predators. So pleased to be spending a warm Christmas among friends there.
After several weeks in the Western Cape of South Africa we will again re-load and venture northeast to the Horn of Africa for some exploration of Djibouti on the Red Sea (back in the water) and finally we will spend nearly three weeks exploring Ethiopia, an area so rich in unique culture and fantastic wildlife I will leave the description to a later post. We will be traveling for 9 weeks. Yikes!! But we are sure the time will pass quickly. It usually does when you are in the wild. And we will try our very best to post reports as internet access allows.