Overlanding Africa: The Pros and Cons

Overlanding Africa: The Pros and Cons

For those of you who did not know, I participated in a 3 week overland trip (commonly referred to as “overlanding  Africa”) from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Johannesburg South Africa, with the company, Africa Travel Co, or ATC for short (website link here).  Overland trips are extremely popular in Africa, due to the extreme rural areas, large distance between national parks/areas of interest and a somewhat undeveloped tourist infrastructure.  Combined with the mainly outdoor/adventure activities and beautiful scenery for camping, they are a good option.  Some other popular companies…

The Dried Up Okavango Delta

The Dried Up Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta in Botswana was was one of the places I was most looking forward to after Victoria Falls.  Unfortunately, the experience fell a bit short due to Mother Nature.  We were lucky (read: unfortunate) to experience both a heat wave, as well as a drought in our 3 days and 2 nights we were in the Delta.  We were able to keep relatively good spirits throughout the experience however, and I hope one day to be able to return with more favorable conditions. The Delta receives its water…

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park

Boat Cruise (Elephant Cruise) Our first activity at Chobe National Park was a cruise on the Chobe River.  The Chobe River acts as a border between Botswana and Namibia.  Our boat was very small, about the size of a pontoon boat, holding 7 people plus the captain.  Because it was mid-afternoon and the hottest part of the day, we didn’t think we’d see too many animals.  How wrong we would turn out to be… The first part of the cruise we did not many animals, mainly a pod of hippos…

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Victoria Falls was one of the more anticipated stops on my trip.  Along with the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef to name a few, it is considered to be one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.  Straddling the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the area offers a wide array of activities and is sometimes referred to as “the Disney Land of Africa”. Our plan for the first day was to go white water rafting on the Zambezi river, the 4th longest river in Africa.  After…

Zanzibar Part 2 and Lake Malawi

Zanzibar Part 2 and Lake Malawi

Zanzibar and Lake Malawi Paje After having a lovely time at Stone Town, as mentioned in my last post, I headed over to the East part of the island, known for its peaceful beaches in contrast with the northern towns of Kendwa and Nungwi. Paje is known foremost as a kite surfer’s paradise, due to the very strong winds that are always present.  Dozens of kites dotted the coast dipping in and out with the wind current.  While I’m usually down to try just about any adventure activity at least…

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town, Zanzibar, had been one of my most anticipated stops on my trip.  I had only heard great things about this island-many comparing it to paradise.  I can gladly say that I do agree with those sentiments, and I had an enjoyable and relaxing 8 days on the island, which easily could have been extended.  Since I had the luxury of spending over a week on the island, I decided to divide my time between the main area of Stone Town (3 nights), Paje on the east coast (2…

Diani Beach

Diani Beach

Diani Beach After Nairobi, I headed to the Kenyan coast, for some much needed relaxation.  The Mombasa area is known for its great beaches, and I decided to spend my time at Diani Beach, about 30 kilometers south.  Diani Beach is known for its turquoise waters and white sands, a truly picturesque coastline. I arrived to Mombasa from Nairobi on a night bus, getting there just after sunrise.  After sharing a taxi with 2 Germans, I arrived at my hostel for the next four days, South Coast Backpackers.  South Coast…

Masai Mara Safari

Masai Mara Safari

Masai Mara While I was in Nairobi, I had the opportunity to go on a safari to the Masai Mara.  The Masai Mara is connected to the Serengeti and is the side of the park that lies within Kenya’s borders.  The animals are able to move freely throughout the two parks.  As I had such a good experience in the Serengeti, and had heard good things about the Mara, I elected to do a 3 day trip to there. It took us about 6 hours to get there from Nairobi,…

Sipi Falls and Nairobi

Sipi Falls and Nairobi

Sipi Falls While not originally in my plans, I had heard only good things about Sipi Falls, a set of 3 waterfalls located in the rural mountains of Uganda, only a few hours away from Jinja.  I decided to head there next. It turned out to be a little more complex to get there than I had originally anticipated, and I had to switch dala-dalas four times until I finally reached the town of Sipi, a population of only a few thousand.  After spending some time recently in bustling cities…

Pope Francis in Uganda and Rafting the Nile

Pope Francis in Uganda and Rafting the Nile

Pope Francis in Uganda While we were travelling through Rwanda, we realized we had the opportunity to see Pope Francis, as he would be coming to Kenya and Uganda in the coming days.   As luck would have it, we had planned to be in Kampala during the same time period, and only had to take an overnight bus from western Uganda to ensure that we arrived in time.  The only event which would be open to the general public would be the mass on Saturday morning at 9:30. We…