02 February 2009

Africa Safari

 

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The Ultimate Family:  Tarzan, Jane, Boy, and Cheeta

 

I grew up watching television when it was only on in black and white and there were just four channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS.  Hard to imagine that today, when there are hundreds of stations and still, there is never anything good to watch.  But, back in those days, there always seemed to be great TV on, perhaps we just weren’t picky then.   Each Saturday morning, after cartoons, there would be a Tarzan movie that starred the Olympic medal winner, swimmer Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, more famous today for being Mia Farrow’s mother.  To be sure, there were lots of other actors that played Tarzan besides Weissmuller and there were other Janes than O’Sullivan, but to me and most of the other children of the 50s, this duo was only one that mattered.

Watching those Tarzan movies, over and over again, romanticized Africa for me – although they weren’t even filmed there.  Instead, the Tarzan movies were shot on the back lots of Hollywood, with some additional stock footage of African jungles thrown in.  Most absurd was the fact that the movies were even set in the jungle, because, in reality, Africa’s exotic animals that Tarzan interacted with lived mostly on the plains and not in the woods.  Regardless of the location,  the Weissmuller/O’Sullivan Tarzan movies were beyond wonderful.  They were romantic and mysterious:  the handsome, simple Tarzan and his beautiful, cultured Jane frolicking in the wild and living in their tree house along with their adopted son, Boy, and their pet chimpanzee - almost like a regular  all-American family.   The earliest Tarzan movies, pre Hollywood censorship, were steamy, to say the least.  Jane’s loin cloth was very scant and an infamous sequence of a nude Jane, swimming with Tarzan, was edited out of the movie because it was deemed obscene.  Thanks to You-Tube, and Ted Turner who reinserted the scene in the move, one can see that original swimming scene, here,  which begs the question:   why did this lusty couple even have to adopt a son????   And despite the fact that O’Sullivan was half dressed throughout the movie,  the nude Jane is played a female Olympic swimmer who, it was claimed, was more adept and graceful in the water.

 

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Pre censorship, Jane’s costume was almost lewd.  The exotically beautiful couple,  Weissmuller and O’Sullivan, are pictured here in their first Tarzan movie, Tarzan the Ape Man.   Weissmuller was the sixth person to play Tarzan, aka Lord Greystoke, a character taken from the series of books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.   But for most people, Weissmuller was the only true Tarzan. 

 

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Treetop living for the jungle family.

 

For me, much of the appeal of the Tarzan movies wasn’t about the undercurrents of their adult relationship, but their lifestyle itself.   I was fascinated with their home, the tree house where they lived and I loved those domesticated scenes the most.   Their house, all woven rattan and bamboo, was hopelessly romantic to a little girl and helped fuel a lifetime fascination with Africa and tents and safaris.

 

 

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Born Free – the story of Elsa, the lion.

The blockbuster movie Born Free released in 1966 brought safaris and African bush living to the forefront.  The adorable story of the the cub Elsa raised in Kenya by Joy Adamson and her husband George melted the hearts of everyone who saw it.   I probably watched the movie 10 times and cried at each viewing.  A major tear-jerker, the stirring sound tract helped to turn on the waterworks.  I even learned to play “Born Free” on the piano – oy!   Hold your ears!    As a 12 year old,  Born Free made an impact on me in the same way the Tarzan movies had - the exotic beauty and mystery of Africa stayed with me, long after the movie was forgotten.

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The actors with the actress Elsa.  The Adamsons had their jeep’s top reinforced in order to support the grown Elsa who liked to ride there. 

 

 

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Born Free’s impact on the world was enormous.  Even President Obama, who said it was the first movie he ever saw, claims it had a lasting impact on his life.  Several worldwide foundations and trusts for wildlife preservation were started after the movie and many are still active today.  The area in Kenya were the Adamsons lived is a tourist attraction and several safari camps with ties to the Adamsons are available to stay at. 

 

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Meryl Streep, playing author Karen Blixen, stands with her soon to be divorced husband.

 

Another movie that instilled a yearning in many to go on safari, is the love story, Out of Africa, starring Meryl Strep and Robert  Redford.   Based on the true story of author Karen Blixen and her romance with big game-hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, the movie won an Oscar for Best Film in 1985.   Like Born Free, Out of Africa was filmed where it took place, in Kenya and thus, unlike the Tarzan movies, it accurately depicts the terrain of the grassy plains and distant hills.   Set in approximately the same time period as the Tarzan movies, the proper, upper crust Colonial era adds to the romance – the period costumes and the lavish sets are as beautiful as the magnificent scenery.   The movie spawned a sudden interest in everything Blixen and African for scores of romance-seeking movie goers, myself included. 

 

 

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The outfits alone are enough to spark a desire to go on safari:  look at that gorgeous linen!

 

 

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Considered one of the most romantic male gestures on film,  Denis washes Blixen’s hair.   Uh……I’ll stick with the hair salon, thank you very much!

 

 

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Blixen’s house in Kenya is now a museum.  The entire Nairobi neighborhood is called Karen, after Blixen.  You can go on tours of the house, though many are disappointed because this is not the house where the movie was filmed.

 

 

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The interiors are filled with Blixen’s original furniture and some things that actually were used in the movie.  Look at that skin!

 

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Nearby on the Masai Mara Game Reserve, is a safari camp called the Karen Blixen Camp, where you can stay in tents.  There is also a swimming pool, restaurant and bar at the camp.  In Nairobi, you will find the Karen Camp, a Karen Coffeehouse, a Karen Golf Course, and more lodges and inns with “Karen” in the name.

 

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The Karen Blixen Camp, decidedly more romantic looking at night!

 

 

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The interior of the tent.  Information on the Karen Blixen Camp (not to be confused with the less posh Karen Camp) is here.     While going on safari is nothing new, Out of Africa helped make it even more popular.   Safari’s can be taken at every price point, but it’s the more expensive camps that cause the most daydreaming.   Who can resist a vacation where a lifetime of fantasies come true?   

 

Here are a few safari camps that can make you feel like Jane, Blixen, and Ralph Lauren – all rolled into one:

 

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Sabi Sabi is a private game preserve located within the wildlife oasis of Kruger Park, South Africa.  Within Sabi Sabi are four distinct camps, each are rated 5-Star.   The camps are the height of luxury and today’s version of the English Gentleman’s safari.  

 

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The Bush Lodge is the most well known of the four Sabi Sabi camps and features 25 thatched air conditioned cabins.  Meals are taken outside, weather permitting.

 

 

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The main lobby at Bush Lodge is located next to the swimming pool, and has an elevated viewing deck to watch the animals from.

 

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The Presidential  Suite has it’s own private pool.  

 

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The view from a Bush Lodge room.  Since the reserve is unfenced, the animals roam close by. 

 

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The bathrooms are all luxurious, and most include outdoor showers.

 

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The standard Bush Lodge room.

 

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The pool and deck at Bush Lodge.

 

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The Selati Camp is fashioned in Colonial style, or, as advertised an “Out of Africa” safari camp.   The experience at this camp is that of a safari from long ago.    Here, dinner is set at the Selati Camp.

 

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At the Selati Camp, the rooms have a more Colonial style atmosphere.

 

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There are just 8 cabins in the Selati Camp which provides an intimate safari experience. 

 

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The historical indoor kitchen at the Selati Camp.

 

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Eating on the lunch deck at Selati Camp.

 

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The Little Bush Camp is the newest camp on the Sabi Sabi property.  With just six rooms, it is very intimate and is considered the most luxurious of the four camps.

 

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Dinner at Little Bush Camp.

 

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The thatched roof cabins are furnished with ethnic African textiles and mosquito netting canopies.  All rooms are air conditioned.

 

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The main lodge at  Little Bush Camp.

 

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All rooms have outdoor showers at Little Bush Camp.

 

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Lions at the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.  I love how the lion on the left is casually grooming himself while the people are just sitting nearby.   The lions must not be too hungry.

 

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Gorgeous zebras at Sabi Sabi.  Makes me feel so guilty about my rug!

 

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Elephants at Sabi Sabi.  This terrain is nothing like the jungles of the Tarzan movies where elephants were supposedly plentiful. 

 

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Singita, a Relais and Chateaux awarded company,  has safari camps in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.  Any Relais and Chateaux hotel is considered the best in the world and Singita is no exception.  At the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa, Ebony Lodge has 12 suites overlooking the Sand river. 

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  Outdoor dining at Ebony Lodge.     The deck is perched high above the river for the best animal watching.

 

 

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  The decor at Ebony Lodge is wonderful:  I love the plaid fabric, the leather wing chairs, the caned furniture, the zebra rugs and the oversized brass chandelier.

                             

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   The rooms at Ebony Lodge are first class – though they need to iron their sheets!!!!   I love the flowered fabric mixed with the mosquito netting and rattan furniture. 

                                                                               

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The rooms’ swimming pool overlooks the river below – a better and safer way to view the unfenced animals.

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The Singita - Boulders Lodge is the sister lodge to Ebony, also overlooking the Sand River.  Here, the bathroom is open to the private pool.   The vanities have trendy vessel sinks and plumbing fixtures.

 

 

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Another  Singita lodge, the Lebombo Lodge is located in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, bordering on Mozambique.  The suites are all raised on stilts allowing for safe viewing of the unfenced nearby lions.     

   

  

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Just 15 suites, Lebombo is more contemporary than typical safari camps.

 

                                                                                                             

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The Lebombo suites are all open concept – areas are closed off with linen curtains.  The ceilings are reeded, yet the design is quite contemporary.   

 

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White slipped banquettes and modern chairs and tables are a wonderful mix in the Lebombo suites.

 

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This Singita property, the Sweni Lodge is also located in the Kruger National Park.  Only six suites, it is secluded and contemporary in design.

 

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The rooms at the Sweni Lodge are large with reeded ceilings and lime green accents and contemporary styled mosquito curtains.  

 

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The bathtubs, inset in wood, overlook the river.

 

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The viewing deck at Sweni Lodge.  The tree appears to be growing right up through the wood floors.

 

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Sasakwa Lodge,  located in Tanzania, is one of only three Singita lodges in its privately owned reserve of 340,000 acres.  This reserve,  the Grumeti, is in the famed Serengeti, where over a million wildebeest migrate annually.   The lodge is fashioned in pure Ralph Lauren safari style with its linen covered Knole sofa, campaign chests, leather wing chairs, zebra accents, seagrass matting, and white slipcovers – just gorgeous!!! 

  

 

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The main indoor dining room at Sasakwa Lodge is set for a formal dinner.  With only six suites and one villa at the Lodge – the maximum capacity is just 28 guests.  Each room has its own infinity pool, fireplace, and telescope. 

 

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This picnic looks like it was styled for a Polo advertisement.

 

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The bedrooms are impeccably designed with large, white curtained canopies, carpets, grasscloth walls, gallery lights, and skirted night table.

 

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At Sasakwa Lodge, the bathrooms have claw foot tubs and overlook the famous Serengeti. 

 

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Lunch overlooking the Serengeti Plains where millions of wildebeest migrate yearly.

 

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In the same Grumeti reserve, the second Singita camp, the Sabora Tented Camp, is comprised of six tents – each complete with antique mahogany travel chests, Persian rugs and silk curtains.  Could it get any more romantic than this?   I think this is my favorite of all the camps!

 

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Inside another tent at Sabora.  The height of safari tent living – it doesn’t get any better!!!

 

 

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A clay tennis court - shades of Wimbledon and English high society.

 

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Front row viewing of the wildlife outside the tents at the Sabora camp.

 

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A famous safari “sundowner” set up under the stars at Sabora Tented Camp.

 

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Zebras gather outside the Sabora Tented Camp on the Serengeti plains.

 

 

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The Faru Faru Lodge in Tanzania – the third Singita camp located in the private Grumeti Reserve- is more contemporary in design than the other two camps.  Six tents make up this camp.

 

 

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Each tent has either an outdoor shower or bath.

 

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Dinner at Faru Faru Lodge with classic safari chairs and white tablecloths.

 

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The two infinity edged pools at Faru Faru Lodge overlook the watering hole just below.

 

 

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Located in the Glen Rose valley in Africa – actually no, this is really Texas!  Fossil Rim is a Texas safari camp and species conservation organization, it is perfect for people who want to go on safari but don’t want to leave the United States.   An esteemed facility for the breeding of wild animals, visitors can come for the day, the night, or longer.  

 

 

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Fossil Rim in the fall. 

 

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There is a lodge on the property and safari tents.   Fossil Rim is definitely NOT a 5-Star resort, but it’s as close to an Africa safari as it comes in the United States.

 

 

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One of my daughter’s earliest memories is of a  huge ostrich that poked it’s head into our car as we drove along the safari route at Fossil Rim.  The ostrich scared me to death and I screamed bloody murder, which is probably why she still remembers it!

 

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The natural swimming pool at Fossil Rim - typical of the Texas Hill Country where swimming pools are made by damning a stream.

 

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A Fossil Rim zebra and giraffe.   Why do I see fabric when I look at this picture?

 

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Wonder why it’s called Fossil Rim?  Glen Rose, Texas, where the safari camp is located,  has the most and best preserved dinosaur fossil tracts found in the world.    The Dinosaur Valley State Park, in Glen Rose, has life sized models of the animals (above) that left their tracts in the Paluxy River.   There is also a Creation Museum where creationists try to explain their biblical theories versus the 113 million old tracts.  The creationist claim there is evidence of humans coexisting with these dinosaurs, all those years ago. 

 

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Actual dinosaur tracts embedded in the Paluxy river at Glen Rose, Texas.  

 

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The closest I’ll ever get to Africa!   My niece’s grandmother is a veteran Safari goer, and after many, many trips to Africa with her husband and children, she now takes her grandchildren.  This trip my nephew Philip (on the far left) got to go, along with his wife’s two cousins (on the far right.)  The trip lasted two weeks and they stayed at four different camps throughout Africa.  “Nonnie” celebrated her 81st birthday in Africa!!!!  I hope I have her stamina at that age.  What am I saying -  I hope I live that long! 

 

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They stayed at Joy’s Camp, where Joy Adamson and Elsa from the movie Born Free once lived!

 

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And they stayed at this camp.

 

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One night, they came home to this hot bubble bath waiting for them after a long drive.

 

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They ate breakfast outside by the river.

 

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And had fancy dinners on Fortuny-covered chairs at this camp.

 

 

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They had sundowners in the plains.

 

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And the Masai honored Nonnie for her love of Africa.  Isn’t she the coolest woman in the world?

 

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They saw lots of animals – including this flock of real pink flamingos!

 

 

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And they went to a party with giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and crocodiles. 

 

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They were just in time to see the magnificent wildebeests migrate across the Serengeti. 

 

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And they saw a mamma and her cute baby Dumbo.

 

 

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They caught this pair trying to make a baby.

 

 

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And lastly, they saw this one, for once, NOT trying to make one!!!!

 

While I will have to live vicariously through my nephew’s trip, I hope this post has inspired you to think about a taking a safari to Africa,or Texas one day!

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A note to Texans:  The Urban Market will held this Sunday,  February 8.   For information on where, what, when, and how, please read here.

103 comments:

  1. Joni... that was just incredible. Your posts are so comprehensive. I always learn something!

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  2. I love all things African. I was fortunate to visit Karen Blixen's home in Nairobi many moons ago when I was in Kenya on a safari trip. Your pictures have brought back many fond memories.

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  3. Thanks for the virtual tour! Belgium and now Africa! Can't wait to see where next.

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  4. Toni,

    That is a beautiful post. Just beautiful. Thank you.

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  5. Wow - this was beautiful ! Two posts today about Africa and it excites me - I leave at the end of August. Thank you for the incites

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  6. Makes me want to run away with Nonnie. Roaring goodness Joni! Boy oh boy.

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  8. What a tremendous post. I've never seriously thought about a safari and this has inspired me. I've been to Morocco but not any other parts of Africa. Fun!

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  9. Ahhh. It has ALWAYS been on my long list! Your post was soo full of detail and enticement.

    Now I feel that much closer to going!!

    Thanks, girl!

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  10. My favorites the Sabora Tents and the outdoor bathing and showers.......oooohh lala

    thank you for adding me to your fasvs...i'm honored

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  11. Wow amazing! I really have no words to describe how beautiful all the images are. I've been wanting to go to Africa for a long time and go on safari and this just made me want to go even more! It looks like your relatives had a lot of fun. I love where they stayed, but the Sasakwa Lodge that you featured is my favorite. The living room area is unbelievable the white sofa, the seagrass the little touches of zebra. Ah all touches that I love and use in my own home.

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  12. OMG...those outdoor bathrooms/bathtubs are to die for!

    Your posts are so great...I always look forward to seeing a new one in my sidebar!

    Your Nonnni is so cool...

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  13. Tarzan wasn't on my radar, but how well I remember Born Free, and how much I wanted a lion of my very own!
    And, of course, Out of Africa! While everyone else was swooning over Redford, I just wanted the house!! Do you know, on my first large decorating project, I did a room in the wonderful floral linen that is on the upholstery in Karen's movie drawing room. It was so much fun to use it, and it made such an incredibly beautiful room!
    And, you are correct about those Lauren-esque safaris. My best friend went on one a couple of summers ago, and the pictures are to die for!! I know I should branch out a bit, but I just keep going back to the Scottish Highlands!!

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  14. The pictures are all just incredible. Thanks for the wonderful cyber vacation. I wish I could go too. Hugs, Marty

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  15. Ok, this is absolutely GORGEOUS! I can definately see myself organizing my next vacation as a safari.

    THANKS so much for posting on these amazing places.....it's gives me something to dream about :)

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  16. Ok, now you've done it! This is fantastic. My Mom has always wanted to go to Africa, I will send her the link to this post and I am sure she will be delighted! Nonnie is one great woman!

    Going back for another peek!

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  17. Another incredible post, Joni, this could literally be a book! The Bush Lodge and Selati Camp are spectacular. Just beautiful images; the photo of the bathtub overlooking the river, and the bubble bath sprinkled with rose petals, so personal and inviting. And that image of the pink flamingos is mesmerizing.
    These images bring to mind Angelina Jolie's love of Africa. Oh...and your Nonnie is FABULOUS!

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  18. A most extraordinary post, Joni! Ever since my cousin and her internationanl pilot husband went on a four week safari for their honeymoon, I've been envious. I wouldn't know which camp to pick as they all have an extraordinary vibe. I have, however, taken my children and now my grandchildren to our beautiful Fossil Rim near our home. Last year I wanted to go for Mother's Day and it was the first time for our three grandchildren. The ostriches still make us scream! Thank you for a most intriguing and beautiful post and hope of going to Africa one day.

    ~~ Victoria

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  19. What a great travel post for my files! Thank you.

    I am now inspired to buy several wicker Ikea chaise lounges and make white slip-covered banquette-style pillows for around my swimming pool and fire pit this spring. It ain't Lebombo... but after a few glasses of wine... maybe it will feel like it!!!

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  20. Aside from this being another one of your amazing posts, tell the truth, Joni! If Robert Redford wanted to wash your hair, wouldn't you do it?

    Beautiful and informative post. I'm so jealous of your nephew! I want to go to Africa with Nonnie too!

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  21. Joni, this was a wonderful post! I loved every word. I was a faithful Tarzan watcher, too, as my father had been a big game hunter in Africa during the 1920's. (He's actually old enough to be my grandfather!)

    Sometime I will share his pictures. He was very young when he went on safari with Mr. Cottar (whose family safari business is still in existence and is run by his grandsons). I have some great pics of Daddy with Mr. Cottar in Africa, but better than that, an article Daddy wrote that sounds like scenes from "Out of Africa." It was published in the rotagravure (sp) section of the paper complete with pictures. He was there at the same time Denys Finch-Hatton and Karin Blixen were. On a side note, I grew up in a house with African heads and skins mixed with antique Empire pieces and limoge. LOL! ;-)

    Mr. Cottar invited Daddy to stay and be a safari guide, but he declined. Wall Street crashed while he was there, and all he could think of was getting home and not getting stuck there for good.

    I loved the pictures of your family, and I want to be your aunt when I grow up. How cool is she!
    I cannot believe the camp with the Fortuny fabric on the chairs... amazing. I would love to visit Africa at some time, but I think I will be forced to live vicariouslly through other people's trips, too.

    Thanks for this, Joni. It brought to mind some very happy memories. "Out of Africa" is one of my favorite movies. Oh, and when Mr. Magpie was a little boy, he saw Johnny Weissmuller at an autograph signing and said that he was shocked because "Tarzan" was an old man! LOL!

    Sheila

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  22. I have had the privilege of going to Kenya on 4 mission trips...although we always had nice accomodations on safari, we never stayed anywhere as nice as these places! Africa has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the people are wonderful, too. Beautiful pictures...thank you for sharing them with us.

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  23. Lovely!! I am so in love with Africa and this was a perfectly-executed post! I have stayed in the Sabi Sand (which your pics accurately displayed) at the Leadwood Lodge and also in KwaZulu-Natal at Phinda Vlei---the design was tdf! What a treat! I enjoyed seeing the interiors in other lodges---hope to go back again someday to explore more.

    I just got back from a birthday trip to Morocco... I think you should do a post on this too! Very heavy French influence here, as well as Spanish and Arabic---very exotic flavors! The traditional homes, called riads or dars, can be rented out and are quite fantastic inside with the brilliant tile.

    Great post!

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  24. P.S. Was that Bill Clinton popping out of the top of that safari vehicle in your last picture??? With the caption, "they saw this one, for once, NOT trying to make one (baby)!!"?????

    LOL!!!

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  25. Ha! Yes, Clinton does look as if he is hunting for something to mount! lol!

    And where may we please sign up to go on safari with Nonnie????

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  26. mom....

    1. your post are so GD long, i tried reading it then i gave up
    2. your very interesting

    ha J k!

    love ya

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  27. An absolutely amazing and beautiful array of photographs. Makes me want to visit Africa!
    Victoria (one half of DesignTies)

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  28. That is the closest I've ever been on a Safari, loved the trip. . . thank you so much! Beautiful images you found Joni.

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  29. I was just watching a programme about "safari" hotels in Africa, and made a scribbled note about "Sangita" to check up about it in more detail on the internet. Of course I had misspelled it, so am relieved to see you have photos of Singita, which looks fantastic. If I ever return to Africa, this is where I'd like to stay. My previous visit was to Kenya, but it was about 25 years ago, and these you have shown look truly fabulous. What a happy coincidence!

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  30. Unbelievably beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it all with us.

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  31. Fabulous post. My husband used to see Johnny Weissmuller swimming at The Shamrock. I'm so happy to see that the Urban Market is still going strong. My friend Peggy Hull and I used to have a booth there when it first started. I think I have some pictures. Do you mind if I put the Tarzan video on my blog. The underwater swimming scenes were beautiful.

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  32. What a magnificent post! We were drooling over each photo. We love that you leave them in large size for optimum viewing. :)

    Joy and Janet

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  33. What an amazing post! I'm in Houston, and I'm going to check out our local Texas safari.

    Nonnie rocks! She looks more like 51.

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  34. The post on Africa is amazing and the photos absolutely stunning, but my favorite thing I have read all morning is the comment by Lizzy Webb! I can hear that tone of voice so clearly when she says "Mom"......at least she realizes that you are very interesting!!!

    Also, baahhhhh to you too! I'm tellin' ya, we do think alike in many ways and had life turned out differently, we would have been dangerous together!! I have a thing for sheep and you have inspired me to do a post just on the sheep around my house. Thanks for the visit!

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  35. My husband asked me if I would like to go on safari and I said "No." (My first experience with Africa was Egypt and I ended up in intensive care with salmonella.) I am rethinking this. If the fabulous Nonnie can do it, I should too. But I want to stay in one of the resorts you mentioned.
    Playing the 6 degrees of seperation game, my husband's stepmother and his stepbrothers are all Weissmuellers. Johnny was their great uncle. There is no better Tarzan yell than Johnny's in my opinon. :)

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  36. Wonderful post! I,too,was privledged to Kenya and Tanzania in 2002,what a great experience. Your pictures bring me back!Thank you.

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  37. A Safari trip is going to the top of my visit lists. Favorite movies and music CD's are Out of Africa. Thank you so much for sharing

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  38. Oh Joni, that Sasakwa Lodge is so amazing, isn't it! I'm going to save that picture to my faves if you don't mind! All of these are great, the artful photos of the rugs outside in the grass, on small decks under trees, the outdoor tubs, and the intimate formal dining rooms. OH! Take me away from this SNOW HELL! LOL! Only thing I didn't like was the rug with teeth. Sorry, something about heads on rugs that stick up, I'd be forever tripping, and the dogs - well, the dogs would NOT.BE.HAPPY! Happy Tuesday!

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  39. The lodge decor survey is very interesting, and lovely eye candy. The "modern" one most recalled what photos I've seen of african homes. There are too many moral issues around these safari camps for me to want to stay in one, although some-perhaps many of them do give back to the conservation issues and communities in which they function. I just can't enjoy cake knowing others can't buy an egg next door. But the whole fantasy of a tent/tree house has always been a big one for me. Recently as I was driving by a (closed) RV park that people spend their summers in (often escaping from their regular house not 10 miles away) I wondered how happy we all really are in our "real" houses, when clearly a 10 by 20 RV with communal washing and dining areas satisfies many people more. NOT that I'd want to live in an RV, but the escape to smaller, airier, communal seems something we all want. Loved seeing the younger Wiesmuller photos. He never made sense to me as a middleaged sex symbol in a rag.

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  40. wow, wow, wow! Out of Africa is one my very favorite movies, and I watch it for the clothes and the peeks inside the homes and club as much if not more than for the story.

    This post is insanely wonderful, Joni. As I go through the camps - I keep saying, oooo this is my favorite, and then I'd see the next camp - and the next - in the end, Sabora is where I would pack up and head to right now if I could - that sundowner is my kind of heaven!! My parents went on several safaris and their photos may be as close as I'll realisically get. Maybe one day - one can always dream. :)

    The photo of your niece's Nonnie in native dress is really moving, and the shot of the flamingos is amazing. It's all amazing. Thanks for such a fabulous and gorgeous adventure!
    xo Isa

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  42. I love this post!!! As good, maybe better, as your library post. I haven't read it all yet but I'll come back again and again. one thing though - I'd let Robert Redford wash my hair anytime.
    Janet

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  43. Oh, how I want to go to Africa now!
    Thank you for the gorgeous photos and all the information!

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  44. A fellow Texan~cool! I will be exploring your blog again soon...

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  45. Now this is what I'm talking about!!!
    This is the perfect Joni post!
    Movie stills (really archival quality ones - I know because I worked in MOMA's Stills Archive), and travel, and decor eye candy, and a slice of your family life, and a cool place to visit in Texas hill country!!!
    Love you!!!
    xo xo

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  46. Joni, I'm with you.. I never understood the appeal of having a man wash my hair??? Are we supposed to be into that?

    Regarding the lions... the female's eyes are closed. I hope she is all for it and not closing her eyes hoping to get it over with...

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  47. What a beautiful, beautiful post! All of those places are so amazing, I hope one day to be able to go with my boyfriend it would be such a fabulous trip!!

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  48. Joni -- - Once again, you leave me speechless! Every image, every word - just perfect. Love the plaid and that black mosquito netting: but, most of all LOVED the pic of Noni.
    You go, girl!
    .. .. . Judith

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  49. Joni, you are too funny! (They really spotted Bill Clinton?) LOL

    What a fun post and tour. I love, love, love the movie, "Out of Africa." Maybe you can do a post just on it and disect the decor. I think it's absolutely timeless.

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  50. Joni,
    What a fun tour! I did a similar post in the summer called "Playing in Tents" where I highlighted several other camps. All of them are so beautiful!
    xx-Gina

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  51. Hi Joni-
    My husband and I were lucky enough to safari at the Sabi Sabi about 8 or 9 years ago. We've traveled all over the world but this ranks among our top 5 vacations of all time. We stayed at what was called at the time the River Lodge. I believe that is what is now called the Little Bush Lodge.
    After having dinner every night in the open air boma we were always accompanied back to our lodge by an armed ranger. Since we were so close to the river and animals feed down by the river at night it was considered unsafe to be out by yourself! One morning as we were walking out to breakfast we saw hippopotamus prints right next to our front door!
    It was truly a magical place and we look forward to taking our children back some day!

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  52. Joni, what beautiful pics! I've never really wanted to visit Africa, but your pics really bring it alive. Great stories. I'm with you on the old Tarzan movies, grew up watching those & loved them. Ahhh, the good old days!

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  53. These pictures make this Lazy Mom think I could move to Africa tomorrow! Just gorgeous, thanks for sharing!
    http://www.lazymoms.com

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  54. I think this is my favorite post ever....this is right up my decorating style alley. And like you, as soon as I saw the picture of the zebra and giraffe, I thought, "fabric!"

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  55. I don't need to go to Africa now..I fell as though I just did. BUT I AM going to the Urban market and I cannot wait!!!!!

    Kim

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  56. Fantastic post, Joni! Wasn't sure where you were going there at first...Tarzan? Very clever. And those lodges, especially Singita, look like my idea of roughing it! I'm an indoor girl :)

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  57. THANK YOU for making my AM! My husband and I were lucky enough to spend part of our honeymoon at Singita Boulders and Singita Lebombo, and to me they will forever be two of the most beautiful, magical, and special places on Earth, so getting a little reminder in my RSS reader was a treat! (Did like Boulders better FWIW - can't beat watching a giraffe from your private pool ...) We're hoping to make it back for either his 40th our our 5th, but we'll see - blasted economic meltdown!

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  58. "I had a farm in Africa." Karen Blixen's opening for her book and the movie Out of Africa. I would have been sitting right next to you wide-eyed and watching those Tarzan movies -- oh how I loved Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O'Sullivan, Boy and Cheetah too! I looked forward to those movies each Sunday! And I remember how moved I was with Elsa and the Joy Adamson movie and Out of Africa. I love, love, loved this post! Thank you for taking me away, however briefly, to Africa!!

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  59. I loved the movie Out of Africa (and the soundtrack was equally beautiful) and well remember Karen Blixen's gorgeous home. The pictures you shared of the safari camps make me want to sign up! It's funny, though, as I was perusing this post, I thought, "Some of this reminds me of Rough Creek Lodge," which is in Glen Rose, and then lo and behold, you had pictures of Fossil Rim! Have you ever been to Rough Creek Lodge? It is quite beautiful and has great food. It feels like much further away from Dallas than it really is (an hour and a half or so).

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  60. i have wanted to go to africa since i was little.
    and it probably was those tarzan movies.
    the swimming, and alot of the jungle scenes were filmed in silver springs florida.
    the water is amazing.

    but certainly not as amazing as this post !
    i wanna go !!!

    and YES, she IS THE COOLEST woman .

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  61. I have always wanted to go to Africa, but being a home body it has always been a bit beyond my comfort level.
    You may have finally convinced me to jump.
    Want to go ? It would be so much fun!!!

    xo
    Brooke

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  62. Wow! What an absolutely amazing post! That's my idea of a safari for sure!

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  63. good LORD woman!! did it take you 8 years to compile that post? i think i would have given up on it halfway through, and just hopped on a plane with my safari hat, mosquito netting and lots of sunscreen.

    the outdoor dining areas are killin' me. i need a vacation!

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  64. How interesting! I learned so much by reading this and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you!

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  65. thank you for that post . it\was a real journey . need to come back with more time and apreciat it ALL ... it's glamour , it's inviting , it's romantic

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  66. thank you for that post . it\was a real journey . need to come back with more time and apreciat it ALL ... it's glamour , it's inviting , it's romantic

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  67. I have also always loved the "style" of Africa though unfortunately I've never visited. Two of my favorite movies for the visuals alone are John Wayne's Hatari!(1962) and I Dreamed of Africa with Kim Basinger. You may have seen both. If not, please check them out--especially Hatari! Even the 1960's capris and shirt dresses worn by the leading lady are wonderful. And the tiled bathroom--amazing.

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  68. When I worked for Spiegel in the 80s we did a specialty fashion catalog based entirely on the "Out of Africa" look and won some awards. It was so beautiful and so un-Spiegel-like.

    I'd forgotten about that and just how much I love this aesthetic which is funny because I don't even like to camp.

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  69. Oh my gosh Joni. You're amazing. I feel like I need to save each & every post you do for a reference.

    You really brought us there & to be totally honest, I'd never really had the urge to go to Africa, even after having ppl tell me how amazing it is. Now I do.

    Maybe it was the Ralph Lauren African styled rooms or the tubs overlookng the wilderness, but I want to be there. I love how you opened with all the info about Tarzan & it's going on the netflix queue because I've never seen any of them.

    Thanks for this. beautiful post. xoxo,
    Lauren

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  70. Another breathtaking and brillant posting!! Just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful start to my day! Yes -- Ralph Lauren really did the best of Colonial Style! And your Nonnie is simply sensational -- what an incredible soul and spirit!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  71. A masterful accomplishment! Simply intoxicating and evocative in its reach. I have experienced so many reveries in this brief span of time.
    An added note on a cherished favorite:
    Karen Blixen's book "Out of Africa" on
    which the movie was based.

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  72. Darn my computer! It takes way too long for it to download all the fabulous photos! But this post takes me back! I loved Tarzan too. And Out of Africa remains one of my all time favorite movies. Honestly....I think I would take that shampoo from Robert over a salon any day. Glorious post as usual. I look forward to this weekend when I can relax and really get to see all of those uploading photos.

    Thanks!!!
    K

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  73. Love it, Joni!

    I learned to play Born Free on the piano too! Africa has never interested me...until today.

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  74. Gorgeous and inspiring post Joni!! Where do you find the time? I assume you'll put it all in a book someday.

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  75. Amazing pics, wonderful post. So inspiring. I'm ready for adventure!!

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  76. Joni,

    I'm going to disagree with my earlier post. I realized thinking about it that I had a kneejerk reaction that really doesn't make sense when I think it through. Sorry.

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  77. For those of us in the midwest who will never get to Africa....Lula Belles (a B&B) in Hannibal MO has a hidden room in town called the Safari Room and it is indeed furnished all in Ralph Lauren...and is as romantic as can be.

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  78. I have been singing and humming 'Born Free' since I read this post Joni - I don't think this is something I can thank you for! Although I can say that I loved this African' trip' of yours and it is one of my favourite posts so far.

    Long live Tarzan and all that macho behaviour, xv.

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  79. Joni.. You may find this interesting...The Tarzan movies were filmed down here in Silver Springs Florida right next to Ocala where I live. Your post was fabulous.. I can look at those picture all day...xoxoxo Laura

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  80. Joni: I should have known you shared my love of all things Colonial African design. The Karen Blixen home, real and on screen are my ideals. Out of Africa is my favorite movie of all time and the soundtrack is too. "YOU WANT IT ALL!" says Streep to Redford".

    This post is sinfully beautiful and I plant to pore over it many times. A soaking tub with a view of the savannah? It doesn't get better than this.

    And the bedroom with the grasscloth? You've just provided my bedroom decor. Excellent post.
    Thank you.

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  81. HEY! I'm back up and running! Finally, had to come back and peek at these pictures again. STUNNING! I tried my hand at lightening up the living room - let me know what you think. :)

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  82. My Mom and I JUST watched Out of Africa (my first time, her 20th)...loved your post...I'm going to direct Momma Bear here now!

    :-)
    Layla
    The Lettered Cottage

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  83. I bow down to you joni, the queen of blogworld , this was incredable! You're the reason, I decided to give blogging a try.

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  84. Wow! Through you and your nephew, I have now vicariously gone to Africa as well. Thank you!

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  85. Makes me want to go to a safari . I love lodges . Tarzan made me think about Acapulco and the hotel Weismuller had , I love to go there , there is still something in the air

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  86. Thanks Joni for another beautiful post. It's great to see new and exotic places. Never thought Africa would really appeal, but it does now.
    Another funny thing. "Nonnie" is the name I chose for my seven-month old grandson to call me!

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  87. Love! Another great book in the vein of Out of Africa is West With the Night by Beryl Markham. I think Colonial Safari might be my all time favorite. Beautiful post.

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  88. Hmmm, thank you, it is such a pleasant time to watch these photos during this murky winter in our country!

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  89. Mike used to travel to Angola for business - even had an apartment in Luanda (when we lived in London) but I don't think he was treated to any vistas (or accommodations) as sweet as these! In fact, due to the landmines during the ever-so-long civil war, he had to be escorted everywhere. I tried not to think about it too much or I'd go mad!

    You might be interested in a show that is coming out (HBO I think) in March - The Ladies First Detective Agency based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith. I've loved that series for years and was THRILLED to find out a 6 or 8 episode series was coming out. It's filmed on location in Botswana I believe so should have some beautiful scenery. Mma Romatswe is quite fond of her native land and I have high hopes that the series will be faithful to the books.

    Lovely post, Joni.

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  90. You did it again! You never cease to amaze me with your finely tuned design sense and your boundless energy for producing blockbuster posts. I crown you "Queen" of fabulous content.

    Jermaine

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  91. Joni,

    I haven't been online for a few days, so what a treat to read and see on a Saturday. I keep hoping my husband will break down and take us on safari, but until he does, I can come back to this post time and time again. Beautiful! Thank you,

    Kristin

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  92. Joni - Thanks for taking me back to Africa. I feel so fortunate to have spent 30 days in Africa on safari. When my husband first announced to me that we were going to Africa and would be spending 30 days in the bush, I was at first saying, "hold on there partner... I'm not sure about this bush stuff." I had no idea the beauty of it all. And when I when I say beauty, this is in the camps (the gorgeous thatch-roofed chalets), the land, AND the people - the beautiful, beautiful men and women that live in the bush. No matter how deep in the bush we would be on a given day - and sometimes still miles from camp - we would have high tea at 4:00 come hell or high water. There's just something about a white linen table cloth spread over the tailgate of a Land Cruiser that is just so romantic and so very British.

    Anyway, it was a trip of a lifetime and I would go back in a nano-second! Thanks again for taking me back - I need to post some pictures sometime...

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  93. Wonderful post! I am obsessed with the idea of going on safari...not just for the animals and the country but the decor and design of the camps and the colonial inspiration.

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  94. I had forgotten how fabulous this post was...so stylish!

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