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Brandon and Matt’s African Safari

An unforgettable journey through Egypt, Somalia, and Swaziland. Brandon and Matt’s African Safari . Epilogue - June 22, 2010 . We departed Tuesday, June 22, 2010 from JFK Int. Airport on EgyptAir flight 777 at 10:30 AM, one stop in London at 5:00 PM. From London we take EgyptAir flight 9315

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Brandon and Matt’s African Safari

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  1. An unforgettable journey through Egypt, Somalia, and Swaziland Brandon and Matt’s African Safari

  2. Epilogue - June 22, 2010 • We departed Tuesday, June 22, 2010 from JFK Int. Airport on EgyptAir flight 777 at 10:30 AM, one stop in London at 5:00 PM. From London we take EgyptAir flight 9315 • At approximately 8:30 PM, our flight, EgyptAir 9315 crashes in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 20 miles away from shore. • Matt awoke from his unconsciousness, floating in the sea with debris all around. About 20 yards away was Brandon who was also somehow alive. We were able to regroup and managed to swim through the debris. We tried to search for survivors, but found no one. Most of the Luggage was saved thanks to Matt’s water proof trunk that weighed about 300 lbs. It was worth it. • After about 3 hours of swimming we made it to the Egyptian shoreline exhausted. We probably would have died had it not been for Fadil and Bahiti, a young Egyptian couple who kindly to drove us to Cairo. We declined the offer to go to Cairo Medical Center. • We traveled to the Sonesta Hotel and Casino. There was some trouble at first, they did not believe that we survived the plane crash; it took nearly 2 hours to convince the Egyptian National Guard to not escort us to customs and be deported back to the U.S. • We finally persuaded the National Guard to let us go and we checked into our room, had a drink, and took a well-deserved rest around 3:00 a.m. What a way to begin our vacation.

  3. Pictures of the Crash Above: the Wreckage of flight 9315 Right: The U.S.S. WASP Our Plane going down in flames minutes before crashing in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo captured by the USS

  4. Egypt Restaurant – mata'am Airport – matar Café – ahwa Police station – al-bolis Museum – mathaf Help me – Ilha’ouni / Sa'adini Yes-iwa No-La'a Please - Minfadlak Thank you - Shockran You're Welcome - Afwan Here-Hena There-Henak Water-Mayya Food-Akl Sea-Bahr. 1 US Dollar = 5.51854 Egyptian Pound Hello – Ahlanwasahlan Goodbye – Salam Peace be with you – Salam alekum And upon you be peace – Waalekumessalam Thank you very much – ShukranGidann Do you speak English? – BititkalimyEnglizee? I don’t speak Arabic – Ma batkalemshArabi Enough/stop – Bass Don’t – Balashs Go away– Imshi I want to go to Ayez (male) / Ayza (female) arouh….. Hotel – fondoq

  5. Day 1- June 23, 2010 • After waking up around 10:00 A.M We ate a very satisfying breakfast of bacon and ostrich eggs, and then we decided to go to the first destination in our adventure. At noon we take a tour of the Giza Pyramids. • Later that day we ate an express lunch at Chili's around 10:30 and took a cab so we could see the iconic sphinx in Memphis, Egypt. We also went to Sakkara, Egypt • Then we called it a day and left Sakkara for our hotel in Cairo and stopped to eat at a revered Italian restaurant called Cortigiano. We order a giant plate of smoked salmon, which Matt ate almost all of it, and then we headed back to our hotel and turned in for the night around 11:30.

  6. We ate this huge plate of Salmon at Cortigiano but Matt didn’t share much. The Giza Pyramids Sphinx at Sakkara They had a Chili’s T.G.I. Friday’s and Applebee's Sonesta Hotel: $110.00 per night, $660.00 total

  7. Day 2- June 24, 2010 • The second day started just as the first, we got up and ate breakfast at about the same time as yesterday, and took a tour of the Cairo Museum, oldest Museum in Africa, around 10:00 A.M. We saw many cool and interesting things including ancient jewelry, the mummies of Ramses I and the famous King Tutankhamen , and more. • After visiting the museum we went back to Cairo and ate lunch at a TGI Fridays at 12:00 P.M. and returned to the hotel then ate supper at about 6:00 P.M at a place called Chicken Tikka. We both ordered chicken Tikka of course, then went back to the hotel where we remained the rest of the night.

  8. All at the Cairo Museum Taxis were our main form of transportation in Cairo Delicious Chicken Tikka

  9. Day 3- June 25, 2010 • Today we woke up at the same time and ate breakfast at the hotel then departed at 10 A.M for another tour, this time of the Valley of the Kings. It was an amazing tour; we felt as if the kings of millennia past were watching us as we toured the valley. • After our tour we ate lunch at a place called La Chesa at 12 P.M. then headed out to Cairo for a "Sunday Drive" just looking around, then ate dinner at the a local and revered eatery called Al-Nil Fish. And returned to the hotel and stayed there for the rest of the evening.

  10. Above: Valley of the Kings Tour Right: Fellow tourists, Chris and Rachael, and us trying to ride a camel. They stayed at our hotel We toured Cairo. I love this city. Its like the “Big Apple of Africa”

  11. Day 4- June 26, 2010 • Today got up around 10 A.M today because we decided to mellow out today and take a cab to Dahab, Egypt to do some shopping. We bought some really cool souvenirs like clothes, swords, and Egyptian relics. We spent about $350.00. • Then we took a cab back to Cairo and had lunch at Applebee's around 12 P.M and had supper at a well known restaurant called Studio Misv at 6 P.M and retired early back to the hotel.

  12. Day 5- June 27, 2010 • Today we got up at 9 A.M. and headed to the Nile River for a special Nile River Cruise we had tickets for, where we hung out for a long portion of the day, once we got back from our cruise, we ate lunch in Cairo at Roy's Country Kitchen for lunch at 1 P.M. then took a River Boat and had dinner on that around 6 P.M. • Wouldn’t you know it, we met the couple that rescued us. Well actually their whole family. We still keep in touch. We paid for their meal and then headed to the hotel for the night.

  13. The pool aboard the Sonesta Nile Cruise ship Fadil and Bahiti and family. They saved our lives. We repaid them by buying them dinner Belly dancer aboard the ship. Should’ve got her number. Brandon Scuba diving at the beginning of the Nile Delta Our Cruise Ship

  14. Day 6- June 28, 2010 • Today was our last day in Egypt and Cairo; we got up from our hotel around 7 A.M and ate lunch at a place called Omar's then around 12 P.M we ate and a place down the street called Grilloh. Then we went to Cairo int. Airport so we could catch our flight to Somalia for the next leg of our Adventure.

  15. Video of flying over Pyramids •

  16. Somalia hello--hallo or just say asalaamaacalaykumhow are you--See they tahaaythank you- waamaahaat-sun tahaaygoodbye- salaam aacalykum 1500 US Dollars = about 1.1 Somali Shillings (SOS) or about 1100 centeshillings

  17. Day 7- June 29, 2010 • Our plane lands and we arrived and checked in our hotel in Mogadishu where we ate breakfast and took a tour of the Independence Monument until about 1 P.M. then we ate lunch at the local markets at 1:30 P.M. • Then we decided to go tour the most anticipated tour of our whole trip, the black hawk down memorial from 2 to 3 P.M., and we thought what better way than to go to it by flying in via a black hawk helicopter and storming in wearing full gear and the works. And it was great. The locals were a bit scared though. Then we went to the Mogadishu markets to sample the local foods at 3 P.M. and took a cab to Hargeisa. Mogadishu was full of crime and poverty, pirates and soldiers, open war in the streets. One night we heard a fire fight. Matt had his wallet stolen and almost got beat up for looking at a pirate the wrong way. It was a scary place. Once we were familiarized with the city, we returned to the hotel, had supper at 7 P.M. and went to bed.

  18. Mogadishu: Peace Left to Right: Peace Hotel, $37 a night. Independence Memorial. Somali War memorial. Black Hawk helicopter tour. Mogadishu Port. Bottom: Crime in the Streets Militants kill civilians. A Young Militant. Arrrgh. Pirates.

  19. Day 8- June 30, 2010 • We awoke that morning and got an early start getting up at 6:30, we then ate breakfast and then traveled to Hargeisa, and in Hargeisa we visited a wildlife preserve called Daloh Heritage where we observed many animals and wildlife around 4 P.M • There we at lunch at the food court there at 3 P.M and left. Upon returning from the wildlife reserve, we ate dinner at our hotel around 7 P.M. and went to bed.

  20. Day 9- July 1, 2010 • Being that it was Saturday, the Muslim day of worship, we thought it would be cool to partake in the local religious traditions of the area so we got up early from the hotel, ate breakfast, and went to the earliest worship service of the day, only to observe the religion of the Muslims, which occupy 98% of Somalia population. It was a very culturally binding experience that Brandon and I will never forget. After the service we wanted to see some more locals. We attended a wedding that we were eagerly invited too by the Somalis. We traveled mostly by bus. • Then we visited a shelter for orphans. We wrote a check for the shelter. It was so sad to see the children, but they were glad to see us. One child in particular loved us. His name was Asante (‘Thank You’). We took his picture. Then he showed us his brothers and sisters. They were all so cute. • After saying goodbye, we decided to get something quick and original at the local market at around 4:00 p.m. We had an amazing stew and a breast of chicken, it was to die for. Then we went for a relaxing drive and returned to the hotel for a late dinner and went to bed.

  21. Mosque in Hargeisa . The Somali wedding we attended. Married was Sayid and Salaam Ashanti and his family. Good at soccer. They all loved us.

  22. Day 10- July 2, 2010 • We got up early and had breakfast then left early to catch our flight departing from Mogadishu int. Airport at 8:30 A.M, so we quickly checked out and left.

  23. Video of Somali Pirates •

  24. Swaziland Sanibonani! "Good day!"Yebo! "Yes good day!"Ninjani? "How are you?"Sikhona, ninjani nine? "We are well how are you?"Natsisikhona! "We also are well"likuphilihovisiletivakashi? "Where is the tourist office?"Siyabonga "We thank you"Ngiyabonga "I thank you"Salakahle "Stay well"Hambakahle "Go well" 1 US Dollar = 7.76300 Swaziland Lilangeni

  25. Day 11- July 3, 2010 • After arriving at the beautiful Lugogo Sun Hotel in Ezulwini around 1:30 P.M. We met a group of missionaries from the U.S. at the hotel. Then we went to climb the treacherous Execution Rock where it is said that people accused of high crimes such as treason were sentenced to plunge to their death for punishment. Is looked so cool. • In order for us to get around, we rented a Mercedes for $510.00 total for the 4 days we were there. So once we were done climbing Execution Rock, we took our Mercedes to The Manterga Expo which is a bunch of tribes and shops around 2:30 P.M, I was no really impressed but Brandon was ecstatic and was amazed with all of the pottery and other accessories. We then ate lunch at The Calabash Seafood bar Restaurant and had a platter of seafood. Then we returned for the hotel and prepared for Day 2.

  26. Above: Ezulwini, Swaziland and Execution Rock. Left to Right: Missionaries Steve and family and our Mercedes Bottom: Lugogo Sun Hotel. $197 a night

  27. Day 12 July 4, 2010 • We awoke and ate breakfast at our hotel around 7:30 A.M. and drove our Mercedes to the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary. After spending our whole day at the Sanctuary, we returned to our hotel for dinner as well in Ezulwini and prepared for the real fun of Day 3.

  28. Animals

  29. Day 13- July 5, 2010 • The most fun day of the entire trip began today; last night we arranged to be taken on an exotic private (somewhat dangerous) hunt and a guide had been assigned to us for today. We awoke from our hotel at 6 A.M. to meet our guide, an Australian named Talon, at a nearby restaurant where he took us on the outskirts of Ezulwini to begin our hunt. It was fun. We decided to go after Kudu which is a type of Antelope. Early on in the hunt, Brandon and I discovered tracks and found a herd of Kudu by a waterhole. Easy pickings. We took aim steadied ourselves, and fired, we each hit our targets and bagged em’, unfortunately we startled the herd which then startled a herd of rhinos which of course triggered an Elephant stampede and ended up turning all of the species I have mentioned into a big stampede. Our guide shouted "Crickey!!!" really loud and ran away only to be pounced on by a Lion and dragged into the shrubs, screaming for help. We can only assume the worst. Brandon and I just shrugged and hid in a tree until it was over. • After being rescued by a team of trained professionals, we decided to go river rafting on the Swaziland River for the rest of the afternoon. Our rafting adventure started at precisely noon and lasted until about 5 P.M Brandon and I were so sore we couldn't do anything else the rest of the day, so we returned to the hotel and prepared to venture home.

  30. Top left: Running from Stampede Bottom Left: We hunted for these Kudu. Right: Our hunting guide, an Australian named Talon and former Aussie Special Forces, was dragged away by a lion. We can only assume the worst Hunting for Kudu

  31. Day 14- July 6, 2010 • That morning we awoke around 9:30 and ate breakfast at our hotel and returned for the river, not for the rafting, but for the restaurant at the river called the Swaziland River Cafe. It was delicious, I got a Kudu burger, and Brandon got a chef salad, after eating lunch which ended at about 11 A.M we went back to the hotel to pack and get ready to leave. So many adventures, so many people, so many things to do and see, and so little time. We stayed at the hotel until 5 P.M then checked out and left for the Airport to catch our 7 P.M. flight back to D.C then to Pittsburgh and finally home, thus ending Brandon and Matt’s African Adventure.

  32. Conclusion • Matt was not killed on the airplane. He was only wounded. We were so glad to get back to Pittsburgh and then back home. Hope you enjoyed our adventure, because we sure did. Join us next time when we tour Europe.

  33. THE END

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