Hello All,

Welcome to the Africa Study Abroad Blog Page! Haley Tasiemski and Alyssa Jacobs will be posting updates, pictures and project info along the entire duration of the trip. We will be visiting four Southern African countries : South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Most of the trip will be out on safari, getting right out there with the wildlife. It's going to be an amazing trip!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Currently we are chatting with another drifters guest, who did the botswana tour. He is an environmental scientist from Australia. Next. Trip maybe.? :) 

Nata and Maun

 We stayed at Maun and Nata in Botswana for a while. At Nata we visited a peace core volunteer, Anna Lise, who gave us a ton of info about the program. We might have a few new volunteers in the future. We also lost our second soccer game, to some neighborhood kids in Nata after we gave our books and crafts supplies to Anna Lise. 


Botswana has been interesting. We camped out In the delta for two days, roughing it. To get to the island we stayed at we trucked down a dirt road, hopped in a motorboat downriver for two hours, jumped in another open air truck for an hour and finally loaded into the native Wooden makoros, with polers who took us across the swampy portion of the delta to our little island. We visited a few other little islands and cruised around in makoros for our two days, with hippos and elephants walking through our camp at night. It was definitely an experience. 


We have officially been to four countries now! After an amazing game drive through Chobe National Park, where we saw lions, elephants, impala, puku, sable, waterbuck, giraffes, hippos, and tons more. Our cameras were going crazy! 
     After Chobe, we crossed over into Zimbabwe, where we are excited to see Victoria Falls later today. The market is going to be under invasion as well- many of us are bartering away clothing and other extras! 

Monday, May 19, 2014


 We visited Wharvis Bay and saw the flamingo population, both lesser and greater. Bottlenose dolphins were also jumping out of the water, full breach! 

At Swakopmund, we visited the Mondesa Youth Trust, where we played soccer against the kids. We lost, 6-8. Those kids were good, and also sneaky. The area we visited was very poor, and was quite a reality shock for all of us. The MYO facility is very nice, and they appreciated the school items and soccer balls we brought them. 

The next morning we went on a marine tour, where we saw cape fur seal colonies, pelicans, and jellyfish. The guide worked at a marine rehabilitation center, so she called a pelican and seal she worked with onto the boat. All of us have pet a pelican, and high fived a seal! A a cultural tour followed the marine one, which was very impacting to our idea of Africa. The people on the outskirts of town live in shantys, and hold menial jobs with next to nothing. The people were all very happy to see us, and we visited a native Herero woman who runs the only orphanage in town. She explained the customs and traditional ideas of the area. Another woman showed us the craft store of handmade products by the the native peoples. ( later we also met the Himba people ) . The whole experience was very eye opening, and we are thrilled that we were able to do something for the MYO kids at least. 

Orange River

Hi Everyone, Our trip has taken us 22 miles down the Orange River in Namibia. Felix Unite River Adventures provided us with canoes and a river guide, so we set off downriver! We camped out one night on the beach, under only the stars, after a hard afternoon of paddling. Dinner was cottage pie in a Dutch oven over a campfire, with Brie and crackers. We definitely are doing this camping thing right! The wildlife is mainly birds, such as African Fish Eagles, African Darters, and numerous heron species. The river winds through a mountain range, so the view was always gorgeous. The river does have a few areas of rapids, of pretty decent size, but with the help of our guide only one pair tipped into the river. Lilja and Jacob bumped a rock on a smaller rapids and got to go for a swim! Everyone came out happy and healthy, just a bit damp. Upon our return to Felix Lodge, we once again set up camp under the stars. We can't quite decide if our group is really just too lazy to put up tents, or if we just enjoy the sky at night! However, we have learned to rise with the sun, which might prove beneficial once we are back home and have re adjusted to the six hour time change. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Big Daddy- The now officially tallest sand dune in the world

We left Drifter's to drive to Soussvlei, home of the beautiful red sand dunes in the Namib Desert. We embarked on 368 meter journey up Big Daddy. Although it was EXTREMELY hot out and the hike through sand was difficult, our whole crew preserved and made it to the top of what we thought was the tallest sand dune in the world (we later found out it wasn't, but decided that since we climbed it we could say it was the tallest). We then ran down the side of the sand dune, which was quite a sight to watch/do. A few people flew down the dune while others (Chris, our chaperone) face planted; we all laughed including Chris. Afterwards we walked through deadvlei, and area that once had water flowing through it but now is desolate and has remains of Camel Thorn trees strewn about. We all trucked back on to the truck, exhausted, and drove to the Agama campsite. Dinner was delicious, lamb stew with dumplings and cheesy veggies on the side. We camped under the stars and enjoyed our last night in the desert.