He who would travel happily must travel light. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Last summer, I charted a six-week trip to South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and one sizable obstacle in between: Mount Kilimanjaro. It was this last part of my peregrination that presented a unique challenge. How would I pack for -10°F to 90°F temps, including a sleeping bag and high-altitude essentials, and do it all without checking any luggage? Packing for Kili was proving to be more mountain than molehill. That is until Topo Designs overnighted a spacious American-made duffel and a set of instructions: “Don’t get eaten by lions.” I loaded up the clay-colored carry-all and promised to do my best with the advice.
– Andrew Klein
South Africa’s landscapes are full of drama. Two days before we were in the expansive Karoo desert, a day later at stormy Supertubes, and finally here on a wine country climb above sunny Stellenbosch. (c) Klein & Corazón x Reuben Hernandez
Locked and loaded for a day in the Serengeti. (c) Klein & Corazón x Reuben Hernandez
Daybreak on Paje Beach is slow and lonely, while afternoons buzz with activity from kite boarders, Maasai salesmen, and a small crew of surf pioneers exploring the outer reef. (c) Klein & Corazón x Reuben Hernandez
We observed three lions leap onto the back of a large Cape Buffalo attempting to take it down, but to no avail. Clearly, not all of them are so fortunate. (c) Klein & Corazón x Reuben Hernandez
The loaded duffel, taking a load off in Zanzibar. (c) Klein & Corazón x Andrew Klein
Mt. Kilimanjaro isn’t all dust and hardship. The lowland forest is pure magic, especially on the way down. (c) Klein & Corazón x Reuben Hernandez
The Winter Blues
We’ve been traveling through Northern California, Nevada, and Oregon the past two weeks in search of fish on the fly and frozen landscapes. Through rain, sleet, and snow, we found a few azure gems.
In pursuit of steelhead this weekend, we found the winter blues, and couldn’t be happier. (c) Andrew Klein / Klein & Corazón
Road tripping outside the plow zone. (c) Andrew Klein / Klein & Corazón
Only the lonely. (c) Andrew Klein / Klein & Corazón
Down Days Down South
We’re stoked to share Miah Klein’s behind-the-scenes imagery and words from a Vissla excursion south of the border with Cam Richards, Noa Deane, and Julian Klincewicz.
Julian Klincewicz dropping into an old abandoned waterpark in Mexico while Noa Deane watches from afar. 15 minutes later a local guy drove up and told us to leave or he’s calling the police so we left. (c) Miah Klein
Cam Richards sitting pretty on a steep rocky hill. One wrong step of misbalance and you are going 500 feet down to jagged rocks. (c) Miah Klein
Noa Deane getting some sun on his face and soaking up the ocean views in Mexico. (c) Miah Klein
Julian dropped into this transition a bunch of times before sticking the landing. The scariest part was watching him stand on the railing where big semi trucks whizzed by only a few feet away. (c) Miah Klein
The Perfect Travel Sandal
We couldn’t think of better footwear to take on a six-week adventure through Africa than Bedrock Sandals. Super thin for tight packing, secure single strap, and an ultra-durable all-terrain footbed meant we could take them anywhere our journey took us. A few Maasai even asked us where they could get a pair (http://bedrocksandals.com/). Africa tested, Africa approved.
Africa, Part 4 of 4: Zanzibar
How do you wrap days and days of dirt life? With sand life of course. Zanzibar, the colorful cousin of mainland Tanzania, is the spot to wind down from extended, sometimes arduous, travel. Except we didn’t exactly wind down – we found a daily dose of snorkeling, diving, kite boarding, and surfing an unknown reef break to be just the medicine to ease us out.
Karibu sana, Africa. We’ll be back.
Women in Paje, Zanzibar, head out early in the morning to collect seaweed and shellfish left stranded by the fallen tide. Pretty sure the woman on the left is checking the break on the outer reef though. (c) Andrew Klein
Room with a view. (c) Andrew Klein
Kicked back kicks, courtesy of Bedrock Sandals. (c) Andrew Klein
Africa, Part 3 of 4: Serengeti, Tanzania
Africa is a huge, complex continent that couldn’t possibly be drawn into a single conclusion. But if we were to make one recommendation for experiencing Africa’s fauna, it would undoubtedly include the Serengeti. If the wildlife density and broad vistas of savanna aren’t enough to have you booking your flights, consider this…you get to camp in the bush! Unlike other parks we visited, the Serengeti has designated campgrounds that eschew boundary fences and indemnity forms, allowing visitors the opportunity to be trampled or chewed by any number of animals. We had elephants mock charge us at a campfire, hyena calling outside the tent, and herds of zebra trimming the grass as we slept. It’s the sense of freedom and risk that makes for a real sense of safari – a harkening back to boot-strapped survival and exploration in the wilderness.
Over the course of five dusty days driving in open-air vehicles through the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater, and Lake Manyara, we were fortunate to have close encounters with nearly every species of animal living in these diverse environments, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and black rhino.
The Serengeti is a dream-scape in so many ways, with dense wildlife populations, colorful Maasai, and expansive vistas. (c) Andrew Klein
With only a few days left to enjoy Africa, we did our best to mimic this leopard cub we found snoozing after filling up on a gazelle: eat, blend into the shade, and hit the max relax button. (c) Andrew Klein
A baby baboon emerges from the care of his mother in Lake Manyara National Park. Baboons are terrestrial Old World monkeys that live in large troops, often to the age of 30. (c) Andrew Klein
Africa is for lovers. This is Martin and his girlfriend enjoying their first big trip together after two years of dating. Thanks for sharing a setting sun and a touch of corazón. (c) Andrew Klein
Safari originates from an Arabic word meaning “journey.” After days of bone-rattling dirt roads in the Serengeti and camping in the bush, you start to feel the hardship of journey, but never lose the romantic glory of safari. (c) Andrew Klein
Rawr! We observed over 100 big cats, including leopard, cheetah, and serval. We even saw a lion pride take a good crack at a buffalo in the Ngorogoro Crater. (c) Andrew Klein
Brother elephants keep an eye out for each other as a storm approaches over the Serengeti. (c) Andrew Klein
We take a bath to get clean, hippos take a bath to get dirty. Hippo skin is very sensitive and dries out quickly, so they spend most of the day in water and mud. However, they’re hardly sluggish. They can sprint at 19mph, while the average (fast) human might clip along at 16mph. We saw two chasing each other and first thought they were cars racing through the bush. (c) Andrew Klein
A lioness crouches into the nook of a fallen tree as she hunts zebra moving down to a waterhole. We witnessed four separate hunt attempts by lion prides, all unsuccessful, but their ability to ambush was impressive nonetheless. (c) Andrew Klein
We also spent a morning visiting a Maasai village to learn about the Clean Cookstove initiative. Household air pollution through traditional cooking is the fourth biggest health risk in the world. Fortunately, the Planeterra Foundation is training and equipping Maasai women with a clean-burning alternative. Visit planeterra.org to learn more.
This is Joyce, a Maasai woman living near Lake Manyara in Tanzania. Joyce was kind enough to invite us into her home while she built a chimney out of mud for a new cooking stove. (c) Andrew Klein