Sunday June 25, 2017

You probably think we’re swanning around on holiday over here in Africa – right? Well, think again! This is work … hard work! I’m talking early mornings … fast-paced days … tiring drives … and never a dull moment. Plus, each night over dinner, we’ve got to listen in to the latest America’s Cup racing. It’s tough, I tell you. And I’m having great difficulty finding time to squeeze out more blog posts.

Anyway, enough complaining. Here, for your enjoyment, is another belated update about where we’ve got to on our wild Mad Midlife Safari … plus more selected images of Africa and the amazing wildlife we’ve been privileged to meet.


We celebrated our second day in the Masai Mara wildlife reserve by going airborne in a hot-air balloon … taking off just before sunrise … enjoying magnificent views of antelopes, buffalos, elephants and giraffes from way-up-high … then landing in the open grasslands for a classy champagne breakfast.

04-01 balloon safari (1024x768)

Thursday: KIRAWIRA

Today, after crossing the Kenya-Tanzania border at Isebania, we enjoyed a two-night taste of Africa in the old tradition – at Kirawira: another luxury tented campsite, this time perched on a hill with uninterrupted views of the Western Serengeti Plains.

The Serengeti, with its wide open spaces, is the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world. The lush vegetation around Kirawira is home to heaps of animals and abundant birdlife. And we drifted off to sleep each evening with the night-time grunting of wildebeest and yipping of zebras that were gathering in their countless thousands on the sunburnt vastness below us, preparing for their annual migration. When the rains start in Kenya, they will stream northward – obeying an instinct so strong that no drought, gorge, charging lion or crocodile-infested river can hold them back.

04-02 Kirawira Tented Camp (1024x637)


The Serengeti is everyone’s dream of Africa … and one of the last places on earth where the Big Five is out in force, and such large numbers of animals can still be seen at-home in their natural habitat.

Last night we slept in individual thatched ‘rondavels’ (domed huts) – another true ‘out of Africa’ experience we’re unlikely to forget in a hurry, thanks in no small measure to visitors the resort had throughout the evening: zebras stealing a drink from the swimming pool, and several large, aggressive cape buffalos making a nuisance of themselves right outside our huts! (As has happened already on previous nights, we needed armed escorts with powerful torches to accompany us to and from our rooms. Exciting …)

04-03 Serengeti Serena (1024x640)


We arrived here late this afternoon, after a lengthy, bouncy, dusty, teeth-rattling romp across the endless Serengeti. Our lodge-for-two-nights is clad in river-boulders, cloaked in creepers, and set high up on the rim of the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera: the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, identified as a World Heritage Site, and rated the Eighth Wonder of the Natural World.

04-04 Ngorongoro Serena (1024x638)

Bright and early tomorrow morning, we’re going down onto the crater floor to meet some of the thousands of animals, large and small, that have made themselves at home in this remarkable location. Tell you more soon.

In the meantime, don’t forget to click on the pix below for some extra comment:

COMING UP: We meet the Big Cats, in a very big and exciting way! You won’t want to miss this …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to receive future Mad Midlife Travel Blogs in your INBOX, just sign-up (top-right) for your free Email Subscription! And if you’d like to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this entry, and add your comments! (Keep it brief – and be sure to say who it’s for and who it’s from.)

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About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. A big hello to Sherrol from Gini. It all sounds just too fabulous and a must I do it if John will take me next time. Love to you and safe travels❤️

  2. Hi Coons …
    Oh man … it is soooooo cool following your journey. Brings back all our wonderful memories.
    Yes I can see we have it totally wrong. We did think you are swanning around having fun while the rest of us are working hard out. Only one positive for us back here in NZ is the excellent coverage of the AB’s Test matches and the brilliant America’s Cup racing. Beyond fantastic 🙂
    Much love us xx

  3. For Denise..just wish I could be there..I think our safari was just a taster for this amazing event-wow, wow and wow. Miss talking to you! Glad you are checking out the Americas Cup…just one race to win it back… take care much love xxxm

  4. hello to lyn and jim peacock, my foot is ok new plaster and checkup on thurs, bridgees 21st went without a hitch. cant wait to share pics with you. sounds like you are having a blast. take care. all our love. Jo ,stu , blair, lilly and charlie. xx

  5. Message for Alison from her son Antony.
    Hi mum the trip looks incredible. I’m so so jealous right now as I get ready for work. Hope you’re having the time of your life. Can’t wait to hear all about it .
    Lots and lots of love.
    Ant xx
    Ps John. Keep up the good work with the blog. It’s much appreciated. Thanks 😀

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