South East Africa (Nov 2014)

Exploring Africa was always at the bottom of my bucket list. However life is full of surprises and I don’t need much of encouragement if it comes to the new adventures. It took me just over two months to sort out my tickets, visas and learn a bit more about the places I was just about to set off to. This time I went on an organised tour with Topdeck Travel. They do budget trips for 18 – 39s around different continents and it turned out to be a good decision.

I started off in Cape Town where two of my friends looked after with me and showed me around the city and the area. Exploring the city’s museums and beautiful landscape I found its diversity very interesting and inspiring. Going to the Cape Point, Table Mountains or Robben Islands were only a few of my highlights there. Of course it was all topped up with an amazing dinner in ‘African’ style where I tried all the delicious regional food, played bongos and watched African dancing.

After 3 amazing days in Cape Town I flew to Johannesburg. The city itself is not that exciting and after hearing a lot of different stories I found it also very dangerous. However, my friend who was looking after with me in the city showed me the beautiful spots and took me to the Museum of Apartheid where I topped up my knowledge about the dark South African history of the 20th Century. I was really happy to catch up with my friends in those two cities and I’m really grateful for all the hospitality. Thanks Wendy, Julie-Anne and Kelly for the amazing experience!

Also in Jo’burg I started my African trip on the organised tour. I thought it would be much easier to do it that way as African countries are not that easy to backpack which is a shame – but safety first. I was also able to see a lot of places in a short period of time. In a month I visited 7 countries (South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya), saw a lot of beautiful landscape and numerous wild animals and met amazing people whom I can’t wait to see again!

Seeing the Big 5 and the Ugly 5 of Africa was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Also walking with baby lions, gorge swinging at the Victoria falls, swimming with massive turtles or sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar definitely added a lot to my experience. Definitely there are a few places that I would like to go back to and spend a bit more time.

I will always remember stopping in the middle of the safari and having dinner by the fire surrounded by wild animals. Every sound around us made me feel very uncomfortable and I was hoping that none of the hungry lions would be interested in paying us a visit!

Also most of tour we spent in tents and I can assure you that camping in Africa is not a 5 star holiday. One night I woke up in my tent to hear a hippo eating grass literally two meters away from me! And the other night elephants walking around it. I’m glad that any of them wasn’t interested in my tent and I didn’t have any food with me at that time. At the end of the day this is Africa so you should expect anything!

If you are asking yourself if you should go and do it I think you should! It’s much different than Europe where you visit cities and admire the architecture. Africa is all about the wilderness and landscape. Definitely it is worth seeing at least once in your lives.

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