Saturday, November 10, 2007

African Travels

I’ve worked out a provisional itinerary for my African travels. Let me know what you think. Jealousy is appreciated, nay treasured! Must-does are in bold. NB some of these are more route hubs than places I particularly want to go to – eg Nairobi, or “Night Robbery” as it’s nicknamed!

Here (Cape Town and the Garden Coast)
Lesotho Highlands near Oxbow
Johannesburg (Soweto tour with Sofia et al.)
Madagasgar Trip (under investigation as we speak)
Kruger – Sabie Sand (Djuma)
Botswana – Gabarone (new passport and Thabiso Nasha!)
Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls / Livingstone
Harare – Lake Malawi / Cape Maclear / Blantyre (Matthew’s home town!)
Mozambique, particularly diving
Tanzania – Dar es Salaam / Zanzibar
Climb Mount Kilimanjaru
Kenya – Nairobi / Mt Kenya?
Ethiopia – Simien Mountains
Addis Ababa
Sudan – Khartoum
Lake Nassar
Jordan – Petra (the last of the Seven Wonders I have to see, woohoo!)
Turkey – Istanbul not Constantinople
France - Aix-en-Provence
Eurostar back to London Town
Waterloo Bridge until I get a job again!!

All of this is subject to change on a day by day basis. Watch this space, my dear readers.


Anonymous said...

Sam, you left out Leptis Magna, which is an outstanding archaeological site in Libya, and not (as you might well think) a sleepy village in West Dorset. Not to be missed, I would suggest....

TTFN, SimonA (*still* doing MS&B)

Sam Crawley said...

The following good advice from Ray Lee, might be useful!

Hey Mr. Sam "the world traveller" Crawley....

enjoyed your SA pics on crackbook.... not sure where you're staying, but Ashanti Lodge in Gardens is fantastic (lived there for over a month). If you're there, or are in the neighbourhood, please be sure say hi to everyone there especially Patrick and Anna. The latter will remember me as the Omelet guy.

Places to go, things to see.

It may be a little out of the way but NAMIBIA is utterly stunning.
Highlights there MUST include Sossusvlei and the Cheetah farm just outside of Swakopmund.

BOTSWANA at all, the Okavango Delta is always amazing; my most memorable African experiences are there!

Unless you're desperate to see the ubber rich living a stone's throw from the poverty of a large township, give JO'BURG a miss. For all it's historical significance SOWETO is very disappointing; with the amt of $$ invested into it the last few years, it's not much of a township anymore and the historic sites are pretty bland.

VICTORIA FALLS is a marvel.... if you're up for it, the white water rafting is some of the best in the world. If you're going to the ZIM side, MAKE SURE you bring US CASH..... NEVER use your C.Card, ATM Trav Chqs! Black market is the ONLY way to go to get local currency; if you want a safe way of doing it in Victoria Falls (the city) go to the ATC office on the main stretch and tell them a tour leader said they could help you out, but be discreet; avoid the asking the boss (only white guy there).

MALAWI is nice, but can be dangerous. The only thing worthwhile there is Lake Malawi and the famed Malawi chairs which will cost you pennies there. I would honestly skip the country if you're going to coastal countries like Mozambique or Zanzibar.

MOZAMBIQUE, Go to Tofo and stay at Bambozi! just trust me on this one.
Fantastic country all round, though north end can be difficult to travel around.

MADAGASCAR, Never been but have heard nothing but great things.. only downside is the cost of getting there. If it's not included on the world ticket of yours, it can be pretty expensive. Last time I looked, the cheapest flight from Jo'Burg was over $500 USD and there aren't any established ferries. Once you're there it's supposed to be quite cheap, though French is the predominant foreign language.

DAR is just a large city, spend as little time as possible there before heading over to ZANZIBAR. Just be sure to use the ATMs in Dar before you leave; the ones in Stone Town are often out of money, and there is only one machine that accepts Cirus-M/C cards. I've been on both, and trust me when I say the extra money for the "fast ferry"
over to Zanzibar is well, well worth it. STONETOWN is a great experience (especially the seafood market at night) but is small and doesn't need more than a day or two. Be sure to check out a spice tour while you're there. The popular area to go is the North and North Western beaches.... there's a reason for this: sandy white beaches, warm salty water, and on beach hour long body massage (not the Thai
kind) for $5! just don't expect any surfing.

SERENGETI & the crater will be the best game viewing of you African travels (with the possible exception of Kenya's Masai Mari); beats Kruger hands down any day. An absolute must, try to time it with the migration if you can.

MT KILI vs MT KENYA. Well, if you want to climb a famous mountain, then Kili it is... but it pales in comparison to the stunning beauty of Mt. Kenya. the later is a climb through some of the most varied and stunning landscape I have ever seen. I honestly think that it is the singular most beautify place on earth (with out an ocean).

NAIROBBERY isn't all that bad (though there where 7 murders, 2 beheadings and 1 bombing the last time I was there). Just have your wits about you and be prepared for some of the poorest air quality around (makes Cario look like a poster city for greenpeace). The accom isn't fantastic, but a good place to stay with very friendly staff is the Nairobi Backpackers. Say hi to "poppa" Ken for me. If you are planing to head northward, Ken can lend some advice as he lived/worked in Ethiopia for years.

Well, not sure if wanted it, but you have my opinions now..... Any way you cut it, you're going to have a blast on the Continent, so enjoy!
If you have any specific question, let me know....