Sunrise over the Serengeti Plains,
Tanzania – Photo by Gig Gwin
A Life of Travel and Adventures
“Drawing on four decades of adventure and
over three million miles of travel, I hope you will
enjoy this anthology of my world explorations.”- Gig
Algeria - Was
stopped at no less than seven checkpoints between the
airport and the city hotel in Algiers; this was an
After clearing customs, was threatened by outlaws, but
with quick thinking and the grace of God, made it to the
Meridian Hotel, found the bar, sat down with shaky legs
and ordered numerous beers.
Deep in the Okavango Delta, sat by a campfire as hippos
grazed on tender grass just a few feet from our chairs.
- In this little-known sub-Saharan country, received a
phone call that my father had passed away.
Walked by the shores of Lake Tanganyika as seven-foot
Watusi herdsmen tended their long-horned cattle.
Egypt - Over
the years, arrived at the Giza Pyramids on foot, atop a
camel and astride a spirited Arabian stallion; entered
into two pyramids and climbed to the top of a third, a
very dangerous adventure; at sunset, sailed down the Nile
in a traditional felucca boat. In the Valley of the Kings,
with desert heat at 110 degrees, watched tourists drop
like flies outside their air-conditioned motor coach. In
an eerie setting, I watched merchant ships from around the
world queue up for the passage through the Suez Canal.
Passed around a bottle of ceremonial liquor with the local
chieftains who were dressed in the brilliant regalia of
Ivory Coast -
Watched hard-working laundry men, waist deep in a river,
wash clothes and sing tribal songs.
Kenya - On
safari, awoke to the sun breaking over the white snows of
Kilimanjaro, backed off from a 20-foot crocodile devouring
an antelope, boarded an aging DC3 propeller aircraft to
the Masi Mara and marveled at all the creatures great and
small; ended the safari by eating domesticated zebra,
camel, and gazelle at a unique restaurant in Nairobi.
With nothing to do, found the local, dilapidated, former
British golf course and played a round with their national
champion, then returned to the hotel in the back bed of a
crowded pick-up truck.
Drove by a large rubber plantation abandoned by the
Firestone Company after years of bitter fighting, then
entered Monrovia to find a modern African city in complete
chaos, with blocks of buildings bombed out or riddled with
Mali - In
Bamako, walked through a mile-long river market and
realized that I was the only white person for miles, yet
never felt threatened.
Was honored to share tea with the blue people of North
Africa; this nomad tent sheltered children and
grandchildren, veiled women and wandering goats.
Morocco - Ate
a Ramadan dinner after sunset with my Moroccan colleagues
in Fez at the Palace Jamai; drove from Marrakech deep into
the Atlas Mountains for lunch in a Berber village.
Sao Tome and Principal
- Watched a misguided airport guard who was removing goats
from the runway, fire a shotgun point blank into the
terminal, shattering glass and scattering passengers in
Stood at the guard house gates on Goree Island where 20
million were enslaved and shipped to the New World.
- Entering customs, found ourselves in the middle of a
scuffle between our tour leader and an unsavory official;
this is truly a dishonest and despicable country.
- Took in the view from the top of Table Mountain in Cape
Town; went on safari with the family near Kruger National
Park and saw the “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, cape
buffalo, leopard and lion) all in one day.
With fellow explorer, flew over the Serengeti, watching
the migration of a million animals; camped at the side of
a river with snorting hippos and tree climbing lions, then
drove the switchback trails into Ngorongoro Crater, famous
for its lake full of pink flamingos; finally began a
five-day climb from base camp to the summit of 19,400 foot
Mount Kilimanjaro, a one-of-a-kind experience.
Togo - Never
will forget the Lome fetish market filled with dead animal
parts used for local worship.
Venda - In
this tribal homeland, heard true stories of modern-day
During a visit to this Arab-African island, dined early at
the only prime hotel as a huge crowd assembled to meet the
Sultan of Oman, then joined what turned out to be a formal
Zimbabwe - At
Victoria Falls, watched son Todd bungee jump into the
gorge of the Zambezi River, then took a group to the edge
of the falls for a complete mist soaking; in a hunting
reserve, dropped my Nikon camera when I was charged by a
cantankerous white rhino.