Kilimanjaro or how Africa almost beat me at my own game

When we were planning this trip we had been looking at the possibility to check out the gorilla’s in Rwanda and cross the border into Congo to climb the Nyiragongo volcano. However a new rebellion in the Kivu earlier this year, meant that Congo again became off limit and we had to change our plans. Mount Kilimanjaro (Mt K.) was the obvious back up solution. With 5895m Mt K is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the famous ‘7 summits’.

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The (well) hidden charms of Arusha

“You’re going to Arusha and you’re not interested in a safari” people were asking us in disbelief.  “Are you crazy, there’s nothing to do or see there only a lot of hassle and crime “. Even the (what seemed like hundreds) of local touts and hustlers that descended upon us, as soon as we left the bus,  would not believe we wanted to visit this place out of free will. Continue reading

Checking out the cats in Masai Mara

Baba Lion

So finally I’m back in Africa and I must admit the thought of going to Africa was both exhilarating and intimidating. But at first sight Nairobi did not seem as bad as all the stories would like me to believe. That being said we didn’t really linger around much but instead decided to kick off this trip with the one thing most travellers do here in East  Africa: go on ‘safari’.

“Too bad we have seen so few animals so far”… our safari guide said to me at lunch time on our 1st full safari day. We had seen that morning: a herd of elephants, several giraffes, hundreds of buffalo, thousands of migrating wildebeests (aka gnoes) and zebras, a cheetah with a fresh ‘kill’ and a pride of over 10 lionesses and cubs also with a kill. I don’t know what they are used to there in Masai Mara but we were duly impressed. Continue reading

About preliminaries and pre-departure stress

Here we go again! My third long trip since 2001. I guess you can call me a ‘habitual offender’.  The seed of this trip was actually planted during my last trip. As some of you know, in 2006, I was forced to cut my ‘round the world trip’ short due to serious Illness. As I’m not a fan of unfinished business it was written in the stars that I would someday make another attempt to ‘circumvent our planet’. Continue reading