Walking Safari Zambia

Sleeping outside while surrounded by lions, elephants, hyenas, and hippos, it was a night to remember.  I was in Zambia in Southern Africa at Norman Carr’s Luwi Bush Camp.  Eralier I had been in a perfectly good room with walls and a real bed, and running water but the chance to go on a walking safari and end the day sleeping in the middle of the bush, on the ground, under a mosquito net proved irrestible.  We built five fires in a big circle around the campsite to discourage the wild animals from coming in and interrupting our sleep.  Also our tracker stood watch all night for added safety.

We know the animals were all there because we saw their footprints the next morning.  We even tried to follow the prints of the lions hoping for a close up eye to eye view.  I was with Geoff Calmeyer of Roar Africa on this advebnture and we talk about our experiences on my radio show National Geographic Weekend.  This video has part of that interview as well as pictures of our river bed campsite, and some of the animals we encountered on our walking safari.

Bob Ballard Undersea Explorer

Bob Ballard, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, has made same amazing undersea discoveries in his career, finding the Titanic, the Bismark, PT 109, and numerous other famous ships once lost to the oceans, but he has never had a summer of exploration like this one.  Using his new ship the Nautilus, a high tech exploration platform, he located a record number of sunken ships in the waters off Turkey.

I visited Bob on the Nautilus to get a tour of the ship he’s been describing to me for two years.  He showed me some of the high definition video of his new discoveries and proudly described the two remote operated vehicles that uncover the secrets 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.  The complete interview with Bob will air on my radio show National Geographic Weekend this week, but this video will give you some of the highlights of our conversation and well as giving you a look at the Nautilus.

Flying the Coupe to Psychic Town

In the 80′s the Today Show let me drive my ’63 red Cadillac Coupe De Ville around the country for a series of stories called, “Flying the Coupe”.  A different kind of interview occurs when your interviewee is riding around in the front seat of a classic caddy convertible.  When the top’s down, people seemed to also let their guard down, giving me a glimpse of the real person.  The people featured in the Coupe series ran the gamet from the most serious to the most outrageous, from Georgia Senator Sam Nunn to gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson.

In the very first, “Flying the Coupe,” story I drove around to visit a variety of psychics, crystal ball gazers, palm readers, and fortune tellers to ask for their insights into the political issues of the day.  The concept was inspired by the revelation that Nancy Reagan had been getting astrological advice on what would be the best dates for Pres. Reagan to hold important meetings.

This is the video of that first story.

Baby Rhino Playdate

I’m watching a white rhino mother and her calf when I think I overhear the mom quote George Bernard Shaw and say, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  The calf, just a few months old, is full of energy and ready to play, racing around in circles and periodically charging our vehicle.  I’ve got a front row seat for this entertaining show while on safari at the Earth Lodge in South Africa’s Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.  It’s just one of many memorable wildlife encounters on my three week trip.  I’ll be posting several videos from the trip and talking about my experiences on my radio show, National Geographic Weekend in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile enjoy this first one which also shows you how a rhino scratches an itch.