I would be urging you towards South America also. You can still make your money really stretch down there and have an amazing time.
I could gush for hours about what a truly magnificant continent it is to travel in, but I have to get back to work here
If it's a wealth of culture and a change of pace from home that you seek, then go to South America - you wont regret it.
i guess it will come as no surprise when i put my pitch in here for an African jaunt. there are so many different options for travel and with your budget in british pounds, you should be able to do a lot, go very far and fit in a little private game reserve luxery if you so choose. You could start in east africa and then work your way down towards south africa and combine a little east and west, or you could just target southern africa. If you're up for super cheap and immersion...hit mozambique, malawi, zimbabwe and zambia. South Africa, Botswana & Namibia will be more expensive, but to be honest...there are so many options for travel here, you can pick your budget on the ground. Plus, you'll get the added benefit of traveling as a complete minority on the continent! always a bonus! Although I've never been there, i'll put a little pitch in now for ethiopia as its a destination i dream of...could fit this in if you go the east african way. anyway, the hearts are big in africa, the smiles will light up your life, and you will encounter so much goodwill, your heart will be full for years to come. don't think, my friend, just go!
ethiopia appeals. much of east africa seems too 'easy'. Too many big overland trucks barrelling south from nairobi to the cape.
I do love africa though.
I drove from the uk to gambia recently, and have spent time in kenya, uganda and rwanda.
namibia and botswana appeal but... i dunno, will think about it.
its true about the overland trucks, however, apparently the industry is getting hit hard by the economy and there have been massive cancellations starting with the smaller operators working their way up to the bigger ones. I have heard that they can no longer run trips up and then down but one way only. The routes are easy to avoid, however, as they pretty much follow the same circuit and I was under the impression that you would be either training it, busing it, or taking local taxis (you can't get more immersed than that). If you're really up for a challenge, then you could just do cape to cairo following the coast. Sudan would probably be an experience never to forget. You could show your girlfriend the pyramids, still hit up Ethiopia, hit up Zanzibar, and avoid the tourist route along the Tanzania Coast into Mozambique. North to South in Mozambique would certainly be a challenge, plus there are some beaches there you might not want to leave. Oh and on the other side, Angola is pretty much untapped.
have you thought about Central America? Just hit it all from Mexico City, across through the Yucatan, and then into Belize and zig zag back and forth. Nicaragua and Honduras are supposed to be amazing and I have big dreams to hit the Corn Islands this winter if I can find a way to swing it? I would think four months would be good for this. My first pitch is still for Africa though! And my dream is to drive the whole continent, western route. Why'd you stop at Gambia?
I had considered central america... still not dismissed the idea. We stopped in Gambia becuase we only had 3 weeks off work and we were sponsoring gambian charities and didnt have time to go further. maybe one day?
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Feb-2009, at 10:03 by joey22 ]
did you do the plymouth-dakar challenge? i would love to do that. this year there was a new one to uzbekistan. i think that would be a good challenge. oh, so which trip is your girlfriend leaning towards?
we followed the same route but did it on our own a month or so before the plymouth-dakar guys left. it was great!!
there were 7 of us in 3 vehicles including an old RAF ambulance. we raised over £5000 pounds for charity and donated the 3 vehicles at the end.
good fun, i recommend you do it fo sure!
my gf is def leaning towards south america and i am slightly too. although africa gets under your skin so i would still not rule out the cairo to cape idea.
we shall see
It's amazing that I manage to find such dialog... I almost wanted to put up a same topic (exactly as yours!).
I'm currently reside in the UK and have travelled quite abit (not to your extend)... I'm basically very much a shoestring backpacker and always wanted to do something crazy as long it's cheap.
I've never had a chance to travel more than 4 weeks, it's mainly due to my boring routine job, career, salve to money to pay rent, bills, and TAXES!!! Whenever I go travel I want more freedom, I want more space and time. I'm tired of having time limitation where there're so much to see yet I don't have sufficient time to enjoy it. Me and my wife (both in our late 20's) decided to leave the UK for good, to escape from the high taxes, and try to get back some quality life. We're planning to take a career break and wanted to do a 6 months backpacking cum voluntary work, and we've targeted South America.
I've been to Peru, and have done the usual, Inca trails, Machu Pichu, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Tequila Island, Juliaca, Arequipa... I somehow just fall in love with Latin America. I'm planning to depart after Dec 2009, and I'm trying to get some advice here on planning my routes. My budget is a max £5k (include flights, moving from X - Y, eating, sleeping, drinking etc. ) I'm thinking of flying in to Santiago, Chile and do an overland from Chile - Argentina - Uruguay - Brazil.
I managed to get an ITINERARY from a local travel agent KUMUKA which do something similar and it takes 51days to cover the overland journey (with their own tour operator)... now I'm thinking whether it's worth and cheaper to do it with my own pace and would it be a huge problem getting the local public transport eg. booking, price, connection, etc.
This is what KUMUKA recommended:
Week 1 Santiago, Pucon, Bariloche
Week 2 El Chalten, Los Glaciares NP, El Calafate, Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine NP
Week 3 Torres del Paine NP, Punta Arenas, Magellan Straits, Beagle Channel, Ushuaia
Week 4 Valdes Peninsula, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires
Week 5 Buenos Aires, Colonia, Montevideo, Salto, San Ignacio, Jesuit Ruins
Week 6 Iguazu, Bonito
Week 7 Pantanal Wetlands, Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro
From Rio, I will be flying off to Havana, Cuba and plan to spend about 3 weeks there. I'm now abit curious on what's the best way to boat over to Miami from Havana which I know it's impossible as we know the conflicts between USA & Cuba. I might boat over to Bahamas, and use Bahamas as the point of transit, not sure whether doable & I will need some good advice here.
Well I think I better stop at this point, coz' there's still a journey to do in States.