The Dahomey Kingdom & Ouidah

Today was another very educational and emotionally charged day.  A one hour drive from our hotel in Cotonou  lies Ouidah (wee dah) the voodoo capital of the world.  Benin is the only country in the world that recognizes it as an official religion.  Ouidah is known  for its central role in the Slave trade during the 17th, 18th and 19th  centuries during which time nearly 1 million individuals boarded onto ships from the beach and were transported across the Atlantic.

Our first stop was the Temple of the Pythons, where a few of us held one. Yes, I know, kind of creepy.   We later learned about the Dahomey Amazons. The Dahomey Kingdom was located in Southern Benin  which is where Ouidah is now. The Dahomey Amazons — the only documented all-female official front line arms military unit in modern history. They fought off the French and kicked ass at every turn. One of their mottos was “If soldiers go to war they should conquer or die”.

We traveled the 4 kilometers by bus down the “Slave Road”. The very same road thousands of men and women walked shackled and chained in the night leaving behind their villages, their families and their freedom.  There is now a statue instead of the Tree of Oblivion where rituals took place to disorient, erase their memory and remove their spirit. The entire ordeal actually took place in 5 stages, finally ending at the beach where the monument now stands, “ La  Porte de Non Retour” – The Door of No Return. The concrete and bronze arch is a memorial to the enslaved Africans who were taken from the Slave Port of Ouidah to the Americas.

Again, it was a very full day, a couple hours rest and we were on our way to our farewell dinner and another opportunity to chat and chop it up with our fellow travelers   Tomorrow evening we will be on our way to the airport.  It’s been an awesome travel experience and I hope you enjoyed the ride. Next month will be our annual Stroll Through  Black Paris Tour.  I may not blog about it because you all should be tired of hearing about that one but Vietnam is in April and a definite one to blog about.


Togo to Benin

It was a 3 hour drive which included another border crossing. Again, I had to get off the bus and accompany our Guide to the Immigration Police to have all of our passports stamped. It’s a very lengthy process but again All was in order and we were on our way.     After checking in to our hotel, we had a nice buffet lunch and then we were en route to visit GANVIE (the village on the water) commonly known as the “Venice of West Africa “ where over 30,000 people live on stilts.  As we made our way,  we passed tons of motor bikes zipping in and out of traffic. There are over 250,000 moto taxi drivers or “Zem” in Benin.    It was about a 30 minute ride to get to the jetty where the group boarded 2 motorized canoes to take us 8 km to the village.  We passed women and children paddling their canoes as they went about their daily business of survival.  Ganvie is a 300 year old village that began as a place of refuge to be protected from warring tribes who would capture and sell to the slave traders.  We passed churches, a beauty shop, a couple of bars, a community center, a high school, and water stations where they go to fill their water buckets.  We made a stop at Auberge Carrefour Ganvie Chez M, a souvenir shop and our shoppers quickly went to work making their purchases. Ms “no shopper” ( that would be me) was a little envious after seeing some of the very unique items they picked up.

Upon our return to the hotel, I invited the group to my suite for sips and bites; a few bottles of red and white, and some music.  It turned out to be a beautiful time for bonding and professional sisters exchanging thoughts and ideas on work and family life.  KATTRAX is more than a tour business.  It’s a family and our travels become a reunion of sorts when folks can go back as far as 10 years recognizing and remembering when they traveled together to other parts of the world. I cannot tell you how much I love to hear some of the stories that date back to 1998 when my young travelers were turning it up in Paris.  Yvonne Smith McIntyre  was on hand to tell those stories.   Wow!  and now they are still traveling with me.

Today, we visit OUIDAH, the cradle of African Traditional Religion.  Stay tuned…..


The Journey Continues

It was a 4 hour bus ride for us traveling from Accra, Ghana to Lomé, Togo but nothing compared to the sometimes 700 miles our ancestors journeyed by foot. Those that know me well, know if it’s more than 2 hours drop me off at the nearest airport but in this case, I thugged it out.  We had two more countries to cross borders of which we had to have in our possession a Visa for each.  When we reached the border between Ghana and Togo, we all had to get off the bus and physically wait in line in the heat  to present our documents to the authorities.  After crossing, our Ghana guide, Elvis said goodbye, we kept our same driver, Francis and met our new French speaking Guide, Alex.  Now in Togo, I as the leader had to present myself with Alex inside the Togolese Immigration Office.  What a time consuming ordeal but thank God, we were all in compliance, no hassles, no hang ups.  School was out and tons of Togolese school children rushed over the border from Ghana.  They prefer to learn English in Ghana in order to further their school work.  Being here gave me an opportunity to use my 6 years of scooby-doo French.  I am currently studying Arabic and it seems so much easier. Perhaps it’s because in another life I’m told I was of Egyptian royalty, possibly a Queen in the 17th century.

It was getting late, so our schedule was thrown off.  We saw what we could see before checking in to our Hotel 2 Fevrier.  The purpose for the Lomé  stop to overnight was merely to break up the long bus ride.  Remember we still have to reach Benin, also French speaking and with the same currency used in Togo (CFA). Ghana used Cedi (GHS).  Before we crossed over, our designated money- changer, Innocent, (yes that’s his name) came on the bus and handled the business.  Yes, more love for the group.

The population of Togo is about 8 million and 50% practice voodoo. No, we would only be here a hot minute.  Our hotel is the only 5 star hotel in Lome’ and it is quite lovely. My suite was on the 26th floor equipped with a washer, dryer, stove, microwave, full size fridge, dishwasher…..all quite lovely but only for 1 night.

My party folks made their way to the top floor where there was live music and then a DJ doing his thing.  They partied. I understand they showed these folks what they were working with on the dance floor and were told these folks ain’t never seen nothin like it at this hotel.   I missed it.  I needed to relax and get my inspiration from somewhere to bring you this blog.   It’s now 6am and I’m just waking up with some inspiration to complete this blog.

After breakfast….on the road again headed to Ganvie, the village on the water, commonly referred to as the Venice of West Africa.

Say My Name, Say My Name

After breakfast we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us. We would be the honored guests at the Torgorme (tor gor may) Village for a naming ceremony.  Upon our arrival, there was dancing, drumming and singing,  It was quite a welcome.  The Chief began the ceremony with libations and prayer, giving thanks for our group safely  returning “home” to Africa and to their village. Each one in the group was called up and given their African name (based on the day of the week they were born), their local name and the meaning.  They were presented with a bracelet and a beautiful hand made pot with both names inscribed upon it.

They saved my turn for last.  The Village Chief and the Queen Mother personally presented mine.  Incidentally, this was the second time in 2 days where I was one on one interacting with a Chief and a Queen Mother.  I was honored beyond words. My African name is  Akosya (a female born on Sunday) and my last name, Sevram meaning “God bless me”.  There was more dancing and  drumming and we were  also given a demonstration by their best pottery maker on how the pots are made.

Before saying our goodbyes;   on behalf of the group, I thanked the Chief, Queen Mother and the villagers for their warm and most welcoming hospitality.  As we departed, we blessed the Village with donations.  Gail Kelly, a resident of Griffin, Georgia; saw a need and will make 100 of her pillowcase dresses for next year. I guess I will be the designated courier when I return.  Today at the village, Gail discovered that the University of Georgia is a sponsor of this Village. What a coincidence! This Village experience made us all feel so at home and one we won’t soon forget.

Our lunch reservation was a 45 minute drive from the village in Akosombo at the lovely  SENCHI HOTEL AND RESORT situated in one of the most beautiful locations in Ghana, on the banks of the famous VOLTA RIVER in the Eastern region.

Our guide, Elvis, made the return drive fun.  He made himself Chief Examiner and quizzed each of us on what our new names are and the meaning.  Mostly everyone did a great job. Here, yet another  guide (like all my guides)  wrapped around the groups fingers.  They talked him into stopping at the ACCRA MALL so they could pay a visit to the fabric store.  Picture me shaking my head.  Okay, so I gave in to that but then somebody wanted to stop off and purchase chocolates……REALLY???? FOR REAL??? FOR REAL FOR REAL???  No y’all, not tonight!  Try that tomorrow after we check out and begin our 3 hour drive to TOGO.  Some of the party people would be hitting one of Accra’s nightclubs tonight and I cannot wait to hear about it.

Tomorrow….the journey continues.


A Painful Tale of Two Castles

We knew this would be a very long day that would begin at 7am.  The drive alone from Accra to the Elmina Castle would be 3 1/2 hours.  After Elmina we would see Cape Coast Castle.   As we drove over the fairly decent highway, we saw the daily life of Ghanians happening  with school children going to school and men and women  setting up shop and selling their wares.  We drove through a congested place called Big Town with tons of people up and down the roads.

So that it’s clear to you, please understand that both of these horrible places used to hold, punish captives before boarding the slave ships have a “Door of No Return; essentially the very last place they would be before being shipped off to the Americas and the Caribbean.  Elmina was built by the Portuguese and Cape Coast was built by the Swedes and was later taken over by the British.  There is no way I can recreate the experience for you but I will try.  Remember, they were captives first before becoming slaves.  The pain our ancestors felt so long ago can still be felt today by you and I.  We were actually inside the dungeons for only minutes.  We were 22 deep and it was tight but some of these cramped areas would hold over a hundred chained and shackled together by 5. Imagine 3 or more months waiting for the ships to come from England, being subjected to everybody’s bodily wastes.  Over 30,000 were traded every year in Elmina until slave trading was abolished.  The more robust and seemingly fit would be traded. The weaker would be designated as domestics to clean the cells daily.  The captors would pit tribes against each other; thus “divide and conquer”  and another cliche’ of only the “ strong survive”.  #1 to survive the dungeons, and #2 to survive the lengthy, arduous journey to the Americas.

While all this human misery and abuse was going on, above the dungeons there was a church and the Europeans were having religious services.  I had to ask myself, “What God were these people serving”.  There was even a peep hole so they could look down into the dungeons. I won’t say there was a stench but there was definitely a distinct odor about the place.

Cape Coast Castle is about 15 minutes from Elmina.  Cape Coast is where President Obama and Michelle visited and there is a placque commemorating their visit.  There were 5 rooms that housed 1,000  male captives crammed together, urinating, defecating and sleeping in the same place. Those that died were thrown in the ocean. The female dungeons held 300 at a time. Some were sexually assaulted by the Europeans. If they became pregnant they were freed. If they were found to be pregnant while on the slave ship, they were thrown overboard.  Then there was the “Condemned Cell”. Men who attempted to escape or attack the Europeans were beaten and sent there and locked behind 2 doors without light, ventilation, food or water. They stayed there in chains and shackles and the bodies were left until the last man died then all thrown into the ocean.

The bright spot in today’s events was the Coconut Grove Beach Resort where we had lunch with a lovely ocean view to enjoy.  While there I was introduced to the Queen Mother of the Elmina area and a Chief who personally invited me to come back in July.  Unfortunately I had to decline the invitation but assured them both that I would return next year; possibly in March.

Tomorrow we go to Torgorme, a beautiful village on the lower course of the Volta River.  We will participate in a naming ceremony, where we will be given a traditional African name.







It’s been an incredible journey thus far and it’s only been day 2.  2019 is the “Year of Return” to Ghana as it marks 400 years of the slave trade. Actor Boris Kudjoe of Ghanaian descent stormed Ghana with 40 celebrities to enjoy the rich culture and heritage of this country. Tour Guide   Kat St Thomas, that would be me; stormed Ghana with 21 KATTRAX celebrities  to not only enjoy the rich culture but to learn as well as be reminded of those that fought to make this country what it is today,

My subject, “Forward Ever, Backward Never” was a quote of Ghana’s 1st Prime Minister and President, Kwame Nkrumah.  After clearing Immigration and Customs, we were met by our guide, Elvis.  Again, I’ve been so blessed to have such a knowledgeable guide who is clearly passionate about what he does.  Once settled on our very nice and spacious air conditioned bus; he immediately began to tell us of the horror our ancestors faced being captives, then eventually smeared with Shea butter and branded with a sizzling branding iron and how the only ones that knew water to shower off the urine, feces, menses were the women that faced being raped by their captors.    Yes, tears welled up in his eyes and we felt his pain.  It was quite sobering to hear such an account.  As we rode in silence to our hotel, we intently paid attention to the narrative.  We drove past a statue called the BIG SIX. They were 6 leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention; the leading political party in the British Colony of the Gold Coast. They were detained by the Colonial authorities in 1948 following  disturbances that led to the killing of 3  WW II veterans.  They are pictured on Ghana’s currency.

As we arrived at the hotel, drummers and dancers welcomed us and then we were taken to a meeting room and given a brief orientation.  We felt the love.  They even arranged for a banker to come to us to exchange our U.S. dollars for GHS Cedis.  Who gets that kind of treatment?   The hotel is 5 star and  WOW – with out words!

The next morning after breakfast was our city tour.  The first stop was the W.E.B. Dubois Center for Pan African Culture where Dr. Dubois (an academic and civil rights champion) spent two years working on a Pan African encyclopedia under the invitation of Kwame Nkrumah.  We had a guided tour through the center and saw the FBI file they had on him because he was suspected of having communist ties.  We  also stopped by the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and visited his resting place.

Quite a  full day, a short time to chill at the hotel and then reservations at one of the hottest clubs in town, +233 ( Ghana’s area code). It was an outdoor setting, the weather was perfect, and the jazz was on point. They feature some of the best musicians in Accra.  A sister, Sandra Houston, joined the band on stage. She is sensational, belting out jazz standards like “How High the Moon” and some Anita Baker tunes, “Been So Long” and “Good Enough”.  A dear friend from JOBURG, by way of Pittsburgh a Gemologist, Brenda Joyce, who was invited to South Africa years ago by Nelson Mandela to teach  cutting and polishing diamonds now a citizen of Ghana met us at the club.  She too, a vocalist in her own right, joined the band on stage. Brenda was instrumental in connecting our Gail Kelly with a rep from an orphanage to present 30 childrens dresses she made from pillow cases.  It’s been a fantastic time and I’m feeling and lovin’ the vibe.

Tomorrow will be an emotionally charged day as we make our way to the infamous Forts, Castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana.


Winelands Tour – One For The Road

Our day began with a trip up to Table Mountain. Because of the high winds, it had been closed for 2 days so you can imagine how long the line was.  It was crazy!  Wine   Tasting and lunch was in Stellenbosch at TOKARA. This wine estate offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines, brandy and olive oils, a gallery of fine art and a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs.

As we wind down this tour, it couldn’t have been capped off in a better way. It was a most delightful afternoon.  The wine lovers seemed to enjoy the tastings as I saw several order forms floating around to have wines shipped home.

The chef and his team showed us what they were working with From starter to dessert. Each course was perfectly paired with one of their wines.  My taste buds still seem to remember my starter of tempura fish with sticky rice, avocado with a slight hint of wasabi.  My main was roasted pork belly —- yummy.  The dessert I chose was the yuzu parfait. Yuzu is a small fruit mainly cultivated in Japan.  What Chef did with it was amazing. As we departed, the chef and his team made an appearance and allowed us to thank them for an exceptional dining experience.

En route back to Cape Town, we stopped in Paarl at the prison where Nelson Mandela was under house arrest for 17 months, where he and Winnie walked the Long Walk to Freedom.  In past years our group has been invited twice inside Madiba House by correctional officer, Edgar, who worked there when Mandela was there.  Sadly, our friend passed away last year.  He was escorting an inmate to another facility.  The vehicle had a blow out and rolled over.  Edgar died a few days later.  Thank you Edgar for showing us what most never see.

This evening we fly home with wonderful, unforgettable memories.  Next year, we will return. The tour is about sold out, however We may  be able to add a few more rooms if there is more interest.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Chi Town or Cape Town?

11 straight years in Cape Town this same time of year and I’ve never experienced such high, gusty winds.  It really felt like we were in the “Windy City” , feeling the effects of the almighty hawk.

Upon our arrival, our cheerful, knowledgeable guide, Desmond De La Cruz was standing by to meet and greet us. Just like our Joburg guide, Joe; I knew they all would love him.  It was almost time for our welcome dinner in the Atlantic Restaurant so we had to hurry. We didn’t have far to go.  It is located in our hotel, the fabulous TABLE BAY.   Upon entering the dining room,   The table was impeccably set and I couldn’t be happier. Rveryone seemed happy with their selections from the menu and the wines I chose: a Cabernet, a Riesling and a Chardonnay seemed to make them happy as well.

The next morning would be an early start for the Cape Peninsula tour along the Atlantic seaboard past Camps Bay then over Chapman’s Peak Drive.  As we entered the Cape of Good Hope they all had a chance to see ostrich and baboons.  It was so very windy, I imagined what Vasco de Gamma and those other  explorers experienced sailing through this ferocious  Atlantic Ocean not in the spring but in the dead of winter.

Since we changed our itinerary slightly by flying to Kruger, this group missed our diamond shopping in Joburg but got a surprise stop at Shimansky here in Cape Town.  By the time they got to Green Market Square, ready to barter and make some deals;  it was even windier. The vendors were packing up.   I know they  were saying, “to hell with this…. we are outta here”.

I’ve seen it half this gusty when the ferry to Robben Island would not operate so I was worried the weather would not permit it the next day. So sadly, that’s what happened but  They made the best of it.    They were itching to do more shopping on Long Street anyway so that was it and then a chance to interact with the local residents of Langa Township tour afterwards.    Tonight some are going to enjoy some Cape Town jazz and others going to the multi level Gold’s Restaurant to enjoy a true African evening.

Tomorrow: The Winelands Tour — lunch and wine tasting followed by our farewell dinner.

In closing, you all know I’m about uplifting and promoting my sisters and brothers.  Joyce Crum’s college room mate, Gwen Tabb and her husband Willie of Michigan are on this tour.      Shout out to Joyce, “Thank you”!!   Gwen is a very talented and awesomely gifted jewelry designer.  I’ve posted some of her DST, AKA & OMEGA bracelets.  They are absolutely gorgeous. She’s got tons of designs and she will even customize.    I can’t wait to get my signature “White & Silver Kat” bracelet and my specially designed bracelet for  F1 race car driver, Lewis Hamilton ( who is racing in the Singapore Grand Prix tomorrow).  Go, Hamilton!!!!  Whatever your heart desires,    If you need that bracelet,   drop me an email and I will hook you up.


Good bye Joburg, Hello Kruger

It was time to say farewell to Joburg until next year as we prepared for a new and exciting adventure.  Before leaving,  the group spent the day at Lesedi Cultural Village where they learned all about tribal life as it once was and then were treated to a bountiful feast.  Some remember Joey and Susie Smith of San Francisco, who were on the Greek Isle cruise 2013 he led the group in all the new line dances, then 2015 on the Montreux/North Sea Jazz tour; I don’t remember what he did but I know he cut up, and then 2016 Australia/New Zealand he did that remarkable dive off the yacht; well somehow he managed to get in the chief’s chair at Lesedi and his new name is “Chief   Dahbazee”.   Joey is quite a guy, a stranger to no one!!   After the Lesedi visit, a few wanted to visit the Lion Park to get up close and personal and pet a few.  I love to see individuals venture out on their own

The next morning, we prepared for Kruger beginning with our  1 hr flight to  Hoedsprit.  They all had been briefed that there was a strict 20kg (44 lbs) weight limit on the 1 checked bag and a carry on not to exceed 7kg (15 lbs) but we said 11 just to make  sure all would be  in compliance. This was no joke.  In 7 years my “World Traveler” carryon had never been separated from me on any flight but I knew I would be forced to give her up on this small aircraft at “sky check”.  That’s when they take your carry on at the aircraft to store in the baggage compartment.  I sucked it up  and got through the separation,  After all it was a short flight.

Another “no joke’ was the damn airport. It’s not big as a minute and the collection of luggage, well another no joke.  We waited outside in the hot sun waiting for a tractor to bring it to us and then we identified ours and it was loaded onto the 3 vehicles that would transport us — another freaking hour to the camp. I was beginning to feel a little “Jim Jones-ish”. No, not my boy the rapper but the Rev. (With tractor on the air strip and the Kool aid ).      You all already know, this was not my cup of kool aid  and most definitely not the Kat’s Meow.  Our driver, wanted to stop so we could take pictures as we passed all kinds of animals.  That was cool but I had to tell him,  ““look, let’s keep it moving, we have some place to be”.  Plus I was thinking about my hot stone massage appointment I went through so much trouble to make.  I sure did not want to miss that.

After arriving at the camp, we were given an orientation and then served a very delicious lunch. I quickly cut and headed for the spa. It was truly what the doctor ordered.  Later we met our Rangers and Trackers. Wow! What a team we had. Bradley and our Tracker was Orlando, a brother who was amazing.  At one point he left us, set out on foot to find the leopard we had briefly sighted, He didn’t find that one but he did find one.  Nice job!!! Then we saw a pride of Lions —- about 8, the king and his boys on the prowl in search for food.  Who would it be???

Tonight dinner would be at a “Boma”, around an open camp fire.  Boma-  dates back to pre-colonial Africa when native groups such as Zulu & Xhosa used wooden fences to enclose livestock and fortify family homesteads.  A few of us watched workers set up the buffet and Mama Africa, an elderly woman was unbelievable doing her normal routine with at least 5 bowls on top of her head.  Dinner was amazing:  salads, soup, grilled veggies, beef fillet with this mild creamy horseradish, sausage, chicken skewers all from the grill with chef Brotha Man doing his thing.

You already know, I had a date with the outdoor shower under the midnight African sky.  Trina from Boston  wanted to experience it but was apprehensive because she heard monkeys and baboons on her roof earlier in the day.   I tried to convince her to go for it but I knew a little monkey business would not stop this Kat.

After my wonderfully, hot shower I put on the warm velour robe provided and then realized  Ole scaridy Kat was in this huge family suite by myself.  Damn, usually I have a room mate…..It would not be “lights out” tonight  but definitely “lights on”; every last one of them.  One day my prince will come along to enjoy this game reserve experience with me.   He knows who he is.  I’m patient.

This morning, while the group went on the early morning drive, I watched the African sunrise from my bed.  In a few hours, after breakfast, back to the spa for me for the Jewel of Africa treatment —- crystals and warm oils for 90 mins.   After lunch and before the evening drive, there will be Congo Bridge (bid whist) and champagne on my deck.

Needless to say, all are having the time of their lives.  Tomorrow morning, after the Game Drive and breakfast, we fly to my beloved CAPE TOWN.


Joburg, City of Gold and Diamonds

We flew one of the best airlines to Johannesburg.  The routing is a bit longer but the experience is so well worth it.  Some flew from Chicago, some from San Francisco, some economy, some Business Class but whatever the case, they all enjoyed the experience. Flying on  Emirates’ A-380 is one experience not to miss.

Our flight landed at 5:10am and as we walked off the plane there was an airport rep with a KATTRAX GROUP sign.  Our group had airside “meet and greet”.  The rep ushered us through Immigration, stayed with us to collect all luggage and handed us off to our guide, Joe Motsogi who was patiently waiting for us in the arrivals hall.  Joe has been my Joburg guide for several years.  He is a soft spoken, very knowledgeable, most humble gentleman who was part of the peaceful protest in Soweto back in 1976 when the racist police opened fire on the young students. Killing, injuring, abducting and even burying some alive.  Every time I think about the cruelty I get emotional

Most hotels don’t start check ins until 3p but we had favor this day.  Before 830a we were all in our rooms at the fabulous 5 star Michelangelo.  This is my 11 straight year coming to South Africa and The Michelangelo has always been my hotel.  It’s the perfect location; adjacent to Nelson Mandela Square and one of the largest malls, Sandton City.  It is truly a city within a city where high end shops abound as well as restaurants with fine dining.  Our welcome dinner was at Pigalle –   A 5 minute walk from the hotel within the mall.  All wines and the menu selections were selected by yours truly.  There was a choice of a  huge seafood platter filled with giant Mozambique prawns and other goodies, or duck with orange sauce, or salmon teriyaki or beef filet.  The amuse bouche, the appetizers and the decadent desserts were all on point.

The next morning we were picked up for our city tour, a stop by President Mandela’s home, then on to Soweto, the very emotional Apartheid Museum, the famous Vilikazi Street where the 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu once lived.  Our lunch was in a private room at Sukhumzi, also on Vilikazi Street and just for our group we were treated to a tribal performance of singing and dancing.

Since last year, I’ve been thinking about Wangthai Restaurant and their succulent grilled KingKlip fish with the spicy cilantro sauce so that’s where my second dining experience would be.  I was joined by Deborah, Sonya and Gloria. I can’t speak for them but I was quite satisfied,  Several others took a taxi to Moyo’s in the Melrose Arch. It’s a 7 level restaurant where all kinds of fun things pop off — face painting, cigar Lounge, and music to name a few.

Today, our last day would be spent at LESEDI CULTURAL VILLAGE.  I will be certain to share some of their photos later.   I stayed behind, took a private car to Harley Davidson for DeeDee,  picked up a few things for the kids at nearby store and do what I do…. work on future travel.  So far so good… the group loves the  Michelangelo and they are blown away by the bountiful breakfast. Just wait til they get to Cape Town at The Table Bay Hotel where they have over 243 items on the breakfast buffet. They will be totally blown away.   In the past,  the fabulous Table Bay hotel has been home to our beloved Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and Mary J.  It’s straight fabulosity, also adjacent to one of the largest malls at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Early tomorrow morning we fly 1 hr to Hoedsprit to be guests at Thornybush Game Lodge for 2 nights, 3 days where we will search for The Big Five at KRUGER. Because of this flight , the group was cautioned on the 44 lb baggage limit and 1 carry on 11 lbs.  This group wins the prize!  There are 32 in the group and This is the first time all were in compliance.  They listened, they showed up and they showed out —– some with weights of 26 lbs.  Husbands were giving me props for instructing their wives on what they did not need to pack.  As Gwen Tabb of Michigan said, “Kat you put it where the goats could get it”.  Yes….. it’s a great group.