Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Route

I have started the route for our trip in Zambia and included the last few stops and visits we plan to make prior to leaving the country we have spent the past 18 months in. These stops will include Kaufe National Park which we haven’t yet seen, a return trip south to Livingstone and beautiful Victoria Falls and then our route out via Chipata and South Luangwa National Park.

Our route once we leave Zambia is:

Malawi via the capital Lilongwe hoping to catch up with an Aussie VSO volunteer before heading to Lake Malawi spots, Senga and Cape Maclear. From there we will swing by the city Blantyre before our first test at “mountaineering”, climbing Mount Mulanje. 

Mozambique will be spent mostly relaxing on the northern beaches soaking up the sun, enjoying the waves and (hopefully) eating peri-peri prawns by the load. In Mozambique we have a long drive from the border with Malawi to the coast and the island just off it, Ihda de Mocambique. We’ll spend a bit of time in this area, including relaxing on the beach of Chocas Mar. Heading north we will stop in Pemba, a launch point for the Archipelago das Quirimbas and the Island of Ibo. 

Tanzania including Zanzibar; we will spend the longest amount of time in Tanzania as there are so many places we want to see. Aside from Zanzibar we will makes tops in Dar es Salam, Morogoro to visit another Aussie VSO volunteer, some of the southern beaches and the northern port of Tanga. We plan to truly test ourselves and climb Mount Kilimanjaro (nervous pause), see the Serengeti including the world famous Ngorongoro Crater before cruising around Lake Victoria as we head to the Rwanda border

Rwanda will begin in the capital Kilgali, exploring the city and no doubt learning more about the 1990s Rwandan Genocide. From there it’s off to see our cousins, the chimpanzees in Parc National de Nyungwe before heading to the north-west of the country to the very famous Parc National des Volcans to come face to face with the beautiful mountain gorillas.

Uganda starts by heading through more scenic mountain areas and past lakes, on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park . We will stop at Fort Portal, a base and central location for exploring the surrounding crater lakes, forest areas and wildlife reserves.  Then on to the bustling capital city Kampala for a short stop before moving onto Jinja, famous for being the source of the White Nile River and an adrenaline capital.

Kenya has three key stops. The first the world famous Masai Mara National Park, essentially an extension of the Serengeti National Park and equally famous for its wildlife; here we are hoping to get a view of the annual wildebeest migration, although a lot depends on the timing. Our second main stop is Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and frankly a tad daunting. Here we plan to set up a convoy for later in our trip between Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as see what all the fuss is about. Then on to our third main stop, the East Africa portal city of Mombasa; a base to explore Kenya’s wider coastal area and enjoy the various cultural qualities or this African/ Indian/ Moroccan influenced city.

Ethiopia will commence with a long convoy from Nairobi in Kenya to the Southern region of Ethiopia. In South Ethiopia we will visit the Omo Valley before heading north to the capital Addis Ababa. After spending some time in Addis we will travel further north to Gonder and the Simien Mountains famous for their Geleda Baboons. Then we head south-east to Lalibela, the site of the famous rock-hewn churches before looping back to Addis

In Addis we plan to sell “Ruth” our Toyota Prado before flying across to Accra in Ghana where we’ll spend another week or two before returning to Australia.

Countries previously visited in Southern Africa and included on my Postcards from Zambia blog are:
·         Botswana
·         Namibia
·         South Africa
·         Zimbabwe

And finally, below is a high level timetable and plan for our route. It is a rough guide to where we are going and when, but certainly not set in stone (with the exception of the Gorillas in Rwanda and our Mount Kilimanjaro climb, both which we’ve had to book). For the first time since we’ve been in Africa we have the freedom to be a bit more flexible with practically nothing booked, meaning that is we like a place we can stay a bit longer and if we don’t, we can leave whenever we like!

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