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Back to Zambia

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The drive back
Our return trip to Zambia was always meant to be a quick one and I thought we did well to get back to Lusaka in around 3.5 days, although our days were very long!

From Diani Beach we headed south back into Tanzania, a very quick border and the Tanzanian customs officials were great giving us a…

Mombasa and Kenya’s coast

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The road between Nairobi and Mombasa is long and scary! Only 500km away, we expected a good steady drive, nothing like what we encountered.

The number and the condition of the trucks on this road make any travel for cars extremely long and frustrating. Add that to Kenyan driver mentality and you have quite a dangerous drive ahead of you.…

A visit to Kenya’s capital

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The road up to Nairobi once again started out pretty bumpy. In fact we found it easier to use “side roads” instead of the road as it was quicker and had less impact on Ruth (the side roads are just tracks resulting from vehicle use overtime). As we got closer to Nairobi (from Narok Road) the road did improve significantly.…

Walking with Maasai

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From the Maasai Mara to “Walking with Maasai”!

Earlier in our trip we had been told about a project being run in Southern Kenya, not too far from the Maasai Mara called “Walking with Maasai”. It got a great review and after looking up their website/ Facebook page we decided to check it out too.

“Walking with Maasai” is actually…

Maasai Mara

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Our entry into Kenya was pretty straight forward, paying $50 for a visa and a quick “health check” (a couple of quick questions) by the authorities there due to the Ebola virus outbreak in Uganda. All in all a quick border crossing. Unfortunately the same probably couldn’t be said for the many, many trucks lined up to cross the border…

Kenya: Quick facts

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Population in 2011: 41.6 million (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
Capital city: Nairobi
Official language/s: Kiswahili, English (Source: Lonely Planet)
Currency: Kenya Shilling (KES) (Source: www.xe.com/ucc/)
Famous for: The Maasai Mara and Mount Kenya (Source: Various)
HDI ranking 2011: 143 of 187 (Source:UN Human Development Report 2011)
GDP per capita (PPP$) 2009: 1573 (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
HIV prevalence rate (15-49 years): 6.3% (Source: www.avert.org)
Population living in poverty…

A week in Uganda

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During planning we had been looking forward to visiting Uganda with its big green forests and position on Lake Victoria. However as Uganda came closer our thoughts and plans changed and we opted to spend only a week or so there. We decided this for a few reasons: 1) Uganda had increased its National Park prices quite dramatically to the…

Eastern Rwanda: A land of a thousand hills

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From Kigali we headed west to Nyungwe National Park, a high altitude, mountainous rainforest that is about a 5 hour drive from the capital. Monika and Martin who had left for the park a day earlier had had issues finding camping there (the parks board apparently were charging $30pppn for a site with no water or facilities!) and had kindly organised our…

Uganda: Quick facts

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Population in 2011: 34.5 million (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
Capital city: Kampala
Official language/s: English, Luganda (Source: Lonely Planet)
Currency: Uganda Shilling (UWS) (Source: www.xe.com/ucc/)
Famous for: Source of the White Nile and gorillas (Source: Various)
HDI ranking 2011: 161 of 187 (Source:UN Human Development Report 2011)
GDP per capita (PPP$) 2009: 1217 (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
HIV prevalence rate (15-49 years): 6.5% (Source: www.avert.org)
Population living in…

Remarkable Rwanda: Africa’s cleanest capital city and visiting Rwanda’s past

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Back in Kigali we returned to the Step-Town Motel. Located very central and at a bargain price with clean rooms, a good hot shower, beautiful views from the balcony and by far, the loveliest staff we’ve come across, this place was a winner. So much in fact that we stayed in Kigali for a week; it was the perfect place…

Visiting the “rellies”: The Rwandan Mountain Gorillas

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Entry into Rwanda was pretty quick, despite the fact that we had a bit of an issue with our visas. We did do a quick check a while back on what the requirements were for a Rwandan visa, but should have followed up further*. If we had done that we would have known that we were supposed to have arranged…

Rwanda: Quick facts

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Population in 2011: 10.9 million (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
Capital city: Kigali
Official language/s: Kinyarwanda, French, English (Source: Lonely Planet)
Currency: Rwanda Franc (RWF) (Source: www.xe.com/ucc/)
Famous for: The Mountain Gorrillas and (sadly) the 1994 Rwandan genocide (Source: Various)
HDI ranking 2011: 166 of 187 (Source:UN Human Development Report 2011)
GDP per capita (PPP$) 2009: 1136 (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
HIV prevalence rate (15-49 years): 2.9% (Source: www.avert.org)…

Mwanza and heading out of Tanzania

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After nearly six weeks in Tanzania we made it to our final stop, Mwanza.

Mwanza is located on Lake Victoria and I would have loved to have spent a few days there, however due to time constraints resulting from holding permits for the Gorillas in Rwanda, we could only spend two nights there and most of our time was spent…

Self Drive Safari Part II: Serengeti National Park

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Finally we arrived in the world famous Serengeti National Park, the park that all other parks seem to get measured against. We were definitely curious to see what all of the fuss was about.

As we arrived quite late we headed straight to our campsite in Seronera; we stayed in Pimbi. I’d read really bad things about the camp sites…

Self Drive Safari Part I: Ngorongoro Crater

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After a few days rest in Arusha, post Kilimanjaro, we set off to do some safari, first in the Ngorongoro Crater and then Serengeti National Park. We had high expectations of both and knew with these expectations we would be paying a high price to see them.

We received a lot of different bits of information on park entry, the…

Hints & Tips for climbers and safari: Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

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Don’t do laundry at your hotel if you can avoid it; try “Virgin Dry Cleaners and Laundry” located in the “Shoprite” shopping area, hidden in the left corner near Barclay’s Bank. We paid 4,000Tsh (approx. $2.50) per kilogram of washing as opposed to the per item system that the hotels have. It saved us a ton of money and time…

Arusha and Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

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We arrived in Arusha almost a week before our climb was due to start. The drive from Morogoro to Arusha was surprisingly relaxed with only one hassle from the police which we managed to wrangle our way out of J

Crazy traffic…..glad Mike was driving here :-)

Heading off the main road in Arusha the roads were not so good……

A visit to Morogoro

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From Dar es Salaam we headed to Morogoro, around a 200km drive west. Theoretically this should have been a fairly easy drive but instead it took us many, many hours to get there, firstly because of the traffic getting out of Dar and then due to the 50km speed limit at the many towns along the way.

Tanzanian Police “efficiency”…

Beautiful Zanzibar

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We were lucky to be able to leave “Ruth” safely at the house of Zully’s sister for the week we planned to stay in Zanzibar, although I believe there are a couple of carparks in Dar for overlander’s to leave their vehicles protected.

From there we caught the Kilimanjaro Ferry across to Stone Town, Zanzibar, a quick two hour trip…

Southern Tanzania and Dar es Salaam

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On the other side of the Unity Bridge we spent nearly two hours completing all of the necessary paperwork to get into Tanzania with our cars. Our visas which cost only $50 for three months were processed quite fast and the guys were friendly, making jokes, etc. It was the car guy that was the big hold up. First we…

Tanzania : Quick facts

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Population in 2011: 46.2 million (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
Capital city: Dar es Salaam
Official language/s: English, Swahili (Source: Lonely Planet)
Currency: Tanzania Shilling (TZS) (Source: www.xe.com/ucc/)
Famous for: The Serengetti, Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar (Source: Various)
HDI ranking 2011: 152 of 187 (Source:UN Human Development Report 2011)
GDP per capita (PPP$) 2009: 1362 (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
HIV prevalence rate (15-49 years): 5.6% (Source: www.avert.org)
Population living…

Northern Mozambique: Final thoughts

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After another night in Pemba where we stayed in a chalet instead of camping to get a hot shower, the four of us, Mike and I and Monika and Martin, headed north to Mueda, basically a transit stop. It was a pretty painless drive with more Chinese roads in progress and an overpriced guesthouse at the end offering cold bucket…

Archipelago das Quirimbas: Ilha do Ibo

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Access to the Archipelago das Quirimbas is difficult by dhow and can only be accessed at high tide. So, as I learnt, everything we did, activities, as well as getting to Ibo Island, was highly dependent on tide times.

The road to Tandanhangue was pretty good; there are two routes, the shorter of which is apparently impassable during wet season,…

Continuing north in Mozambique: Chocas Mar & Pemba

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As we sadly left Ilha de Mosambique the rain started to tumble down. Perhaps it was a sign to try and get us to stay another day, but we were beach bound, and despite the rain were keen to get on the road and head back to the mainland to see Chocas Mar.

Chocas Mar

Chocas Mar is a stretch…

A change of scenery: Ilha de Mocambique

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In Mozambique finally, after nearly a year and a half of anticipation and talk of beaches and perri-perri prawns! Unfortunately we were only unable to see northern Mozambique given the time we had but from all reports and what we had read, we were in for a real treat!
Our first destination was Ilha de Mocambique, an island off the…

Things turn sour: Mount Mulanje and exiting Malawi

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After around a week on Lake Malawi at a couple of different resorts we headed to Mount Mulanje to spend a few days hiking and climbing the mountain.

We went via Blantyre, Malawi’s other major city, with the intention of stocking up on a few key items and spending the night, leaving only a small trip of one hour to…

Lilongwe and Lake Malawi

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After 19 months in Zambia, we headed to the border of Malawi, making a quick stop in Chipata along the way to stock up on supplies.

The highlight of my day (sadly) was this awesome fruit salad. It
really was good though!

I had expected this border to be one of our easiest, however with the car, this was not…

Malawi: Quick facts

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Population in 2011: 15.4 million (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
Capital city: Lilongwe
Official language/s: English, Chichewa (Source: Lonely Planet)
Currency: Malawi Kwacha (MK) (Source: www.xe.com/ucc/)
Famous for: Lake Malawi (Source: Various)
HDI ranking 2011: 171 of 187 (Source:UN Human Development Report 2011)
GDP per capita (PPP$) 2009: 794 (Source: UN Human Development Report 2011)
HIV prevalence rate (15-49 years): 11% (Source: www.avert.org)
Population living in poverty or less than $ 1.25 a day: 74% (Source: UN…

South Luangwa National Park

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After a year and a half of living in Zambia, FINALLY I was able to visit South Luangwa National Park, in the East of Zambia.

I had pretty high expectations for South Luangwa having heard such great things about the park and animal viewing and I can now gladly say that I wasn’t disappointed! I loved, loved, loved this park.…

Back to Lusaka

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Our trip back to Lusaka didn’t start off quite as planned; to be blunt it was slow and painful. Ruth had a small radiator issue and so our 5-6 hour trip turned into a 9 hour one.  Fortunately we had our friends Brett and Claire with us for the ride who helped to keep our sense of humour along the…