Monday, August 27, 2007

Road Runner

check out the look on the red head in the back ground....classic!
This one's for all you animal rights activists...not only did I ride the Ostrich, but we ate it for dinner as well. OK, we didn't really eat Ostrich, but I would have had it not been the most expensive thing on the menu.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cape Town & Cape Point

Well, here we are, The Cape of Good Hope. Which, if we want to get technical, isn't really the southern most point in Africa. You would need to go another 150 Km down the coast to the unspectacular Cape Agulhas, but that's not where the infamous Jackass Penguins lurk about. So I took head to the words of wisdom that my friend Steve Dugan always lives by, "No Penguins, No Dice". The Cape of Good Hope does take the most Southwesterly point in Africa which, after roughly 12000 km (or 7,456 miles), is good enough for me.

I off on the garden route up the coast of South Africa through Port Elizabeth and eventually to Jo'burg where I'll meet up w/my brother, Ryan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

View From Table Mountain

Wouldn't you know's clear as day when you start hiking and when you finally reach the top and you can't see shit:) At least I didn't get mugged, which seems to be the unfortunate liklihood for tourist hiking Table Mountain these days.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adventure Brandon in Namibia

Even though I will spend the next week picking misc. chucks of sand from every imaginable part of my body, sandboarding the dunes of swakopmund, Namibia at 71KM / hour (while your face rests inches away from the sand) was well worth it.


I pulled out all the stops (note the cheesey smile and propped up elbow-as though I were taking my senior class photo's all over again:) with this momentous photo opp in front of Vic Falls. Seeing as though I've been in Africa for a good 3 months I felt compelled to at least pretend like I've gained some form of worldly knowledge so I opted to use the locals term for the falls...Mosi-Oa-Tunya, "The Smoke That Thunders". Aren't you impressed:)

Friday, August 17, 2007


I couldn't have imagined a better place to spend my 30th then the island Zanzibar. The lunar cycle played a helping hand in aiding the party atmosphere as there was a big Full Moon party the w/e of my birthday.
Some of the lovely youth of Zanzibar. But also sometimes the overwhelming youth - i.e. doing running leaps on your back hoping for piggy back rides. Cute, I admit, but after the 10th time uncle brandon gets a little worn out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Road Safety in Rwanda

Although Rwanda may be known for the horrific tragedies that took place in 1994, they certainly have done a lot to pay homage to those who were lost in the genocide (it is tough to find words to describe the magnitude of the Kigali Memorial Museum) while also attempting to move on. In fact, Kigali as well as the Rwandan countryside was some, if not the most, scenic and beautiful areas I passed through on my travels.

They are still working out a few kinks like allowing tourist access to $. I know sounds a bit basic, but it can be rather frustrating when you are in the most technologically advanced city in East Africa (with exception to maybe Nairobi) and their banking system doesn't allow for foreign ATM cards therefore leaving most travelers stranded with no access to $. Besides that Rwanda was fantastic!

Bon Appetite - Uganda sytle

Yummy yummy in the tummy. The one good thing about the ghetto style of travel (i.e. basing your menu selections of the cheapest item of the lot) I've been forced to employ is that you get quite a sampling of local foods....yeah!

And take note to the always present orange did come as a nice surprise that the orange/red dirt of East Africa (which is everywhere and thus embedded in every orifice of your body and luggage) finally allowed me some sort of justification for bringing so much orange shit with me to wear.

Mzungu in the Mist

One of the many highlights while on my lap of Lake Victoria was to visit the Mountain Gorilla's in Congo (and Mom and Dad - sorry for not mentioning we did this in Congo:) The deal is that you drop some serious coin for an hour visit with the gorilla's in their natural habitat of Virunga National Park (just over the border from Rwanda). After passing up on previous safari's (Kenya's Masi Mara, Tanzania's Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, as well as several scuba sessions) and other expensive adventures in Africa, I decided to cash in my extra pennies as well as my unborn child's college savings (oh yeah, and my parents 30th birthday gift that covered all expenses also helped:).

I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but when I saw that 500lb silver back drop a deuce within 3 feet of me I knew that it would be a moment I would never forget.

Upon leaving the DRC myself and the other guys I had been traveling with discussed the huge upside Congo has with Gorilla tracking and tourism industry as a whole. Sure enough 2 weeks later (and many of you may be aware of this) 1 silver back, 1 pregnant female and 2 other females were all shot to death (for no apparent reason). The Gorilla's that were murdered ended up being from a different family than the one we visited, but it was still a shock to see the pictures on the cover of Newsweek.

The articles and pictures are mind numbing....

The good news is that the community seems to be rallying around a massive campaign to put an end to these meaningless attacks.

And a thanks to my traveling buddy Dave Johnson for this great pic of the Gorilla's...what are the chances that my damn camera battery would have taken a shit on me 15 minutes into visiting the Gorilla's.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lapping Lake Victoria

(A big thanks to my sister, Robyn, who took the time to highlight my route on the picture above)

Seeing as though I have already disgraced all of blog nation with my lack of posting I've decided to do one massive update and bring you all up to speed as to what the hell I've been up to (which, if I'm understanding this concept correctly, is sort of the idea of a blog anyway).

I have spent the past 1 1/2 months running (as opposed to swimming mainly due to the parasitic madness - i.e. Bilharzia, and Guinea worms that call Lake Vic their home) around Africa's largest body of fresh water, Lake Victoria while passing through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and Tanzania. Last week I took a train from the the coastal city of Dar Es Salam, Tanzania to Malawi in order to adopt a child...j/k, but you would be shocked at how many locals were asking about that ordeal with Madonna. ("hey mister, you here to get baby like Madonna?"). I then spent the past couple days on the road from Malawi to Zambia and am currently in the capital of Lusaka. Plans are to keep heading south to Vic Falls tomorrow and then pass through Namibia for a couple days while in route to Cape Town.

After finishing the press conference, parade and ceremonial dinners in honor of my Cairo to Capetown journey j/k, I've decided to take some "time off" from living the hard life over the past 4 months:) and "leisurely cruise" up the Southern coast of South Africa. I'll finish my Africa journey by flying around Southern Africa with my brother, Ryan while attempting as many death defying stunts we can pack into one week (j/k Kari). If I make it out of that week alive I should get back to Chicago the first week of September (that is taking into consideration that I don't have anymore PR gigs to hit up prior to leaving:)

So there it is, the big update. I apologize those few dedicated fans for my few and far between updates. I hope to add some details (i.e. what I was actually doing while traveling through those countries) in my next post (which at this rate might not be until late September:). All the best!