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Africa Itinerary

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Africa Itinerary

1. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 6y

I am in the infant stages of planning a trip through Africa and into South America beginning Dec 1, 2011. Can you look at the locations and number of days below and give me some feedback? My length of travel is flexible other than I would like to be in Rio for Carnival between Feb 19-22nd 2012

I am unsure of the modes of travel from these places as well, so any advice there would be appreciated. Not afraid of local buses/transit....looking for a cheap way to travel so I can extend my time as long as possible. I am also interested in any budget information for these locations. Hostels or home-stay are fine options for me, not good with camping and huge dorms (I'm a little old for these).

I will have unlimited time (other than I need to be back in the states by May) and a budget of aprox $5K USD My hope is to see/experience as much of Africa and South America as possible during this time. Hopefully, I am being realistic...if not, TELL ME!

I would also love to find an affordable volunteer project. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Aprox 1 Dec to 2 Feb

Egypt,Cairo 3 nights
Egypt ,Luxor 3
Ethiopia (possible central location? and day trip to below)
Ethiopia,Aksum 2
Ethiopia, Gondar 1
Ethiopia, Lalibela 1
Kenya, Organized Trip/safari-Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda 14
Rwanda, Kigali 4
Tanzania, Zanzabar-Kilimanjaro 3
Zambia, Victoria Falls 3
Madagascar , 5
Mozambique, Bazaruto Archipelago 3
South Africa, J'Burg & Cape Town 14
Namimbia 7

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

I think you are underestimating travel times and distances. There is also the African mentality to take into account - you can be sure that nothing ever works out the way you want it to. Buses and trains not running, ferrys operating according to the whim of their master, roads blocked, delays at remote border posts, etc. For every country I would add in 2-3 days "safety margin".

I also think you are underestimating just how big Africa is and how large those countries are that you plan to visit. Egypt in 6 days is impossible to do, I would strongly recommend at least 14 days, 3-5 weeks would be ideal.

And Ethopia - here distances might be 200 miles on a map, but that doesn't mean it will take approx. 3 hours to cover those 200 miles. Taking road conditions, geography and the typical ancient taxis and buses into account travelling 200 miles can actually mean being on the road for 10-12 hours and more.

3. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 6y

Thanks T_Maia. I had a feeling that I might be over-estimating things....

Do you have any suggestions based on my information? Should I stick to Africa and leave SA for another trip? Are there places that I should drop out? Places that I should add? Any advice on transit options or routes?


4. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Just to juggle your plans around a little....
Cairo and Luxor, three days each - yeah thats OK. The Ethiopia part, like t_maia says, allow for the powers that be to cancel buses for no reason at all. Well there will be a reason, but you wont find out what it is.
The Kenya safari.. If its really what you want to do, then fine - go for it. But there are much better and cheaper safaris on offer in Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia.
Rwanda.. That will possibly be one of the highlights of your trip. Its a tough old cookie, but just so rewarding from start to finish. Be a little wary of your possessions.
Tanzania.. A good itinery there. Kilimanjaro is wonderful - and very good safaris on offer everywhere.
Zambia.. Are you suggesting three days at Victoria Falls or three days in Zambia and at The Falls? It's quite a drive from Lusaka to The Falls - and the Zimbabwe side is much nicer. You wont need three days at The Falls. One will be enough. However, if you've time and can do it - I'd suggest a little more time in Zambia. You'll get the best safari there at the best price.
Five days in Madagascar.. Yes thats good.
Mozambique.. Five days? See if you can get a ferry and split it between there and a couple of days in Malawi. There are ferries that go between the two countries across Lake Malawi and the journey time is only a couple of hours or so.
South Africa.. Spend more time in Cape Town than Johannesburg.
Namibia.. Another superb country for a much better and cheaper safari than in Kenya.
Just a quick PS about African road blocks.... Theyre everywhere and can cause substantial delays to worked out travel plans.

5. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 6y

@ Flying Bob

Thanks!! THis is exactly the kind of feedback that I was looking for. Like I said, I am in the 'infant' stages of planning and can use this type of advice.

On the Tanzania/Zambia/Namibia safari, would you recommend that I book this in advance with an outfit like Gap/intrepid/etc or is this something that I can get for a better price booking it locally?

As for Madagascar....I am hoping for this to be a sort of 'refresh and reload' time for me with several days of relaxing beach time.

For Vic Falls, thanks. I wasn't sure where would be the best place to see this from. In addition to the places that I have listed, are there other places that you would add/delete? I would prefer to travel overland as much as possible, knowing that transit times can be long and arduous. Are there any stretches that you feel would be better to take alternate transit (air)?

Other than Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa, I haven't really put down any 'cities' in the other countries. Do you have recommendations? I did some adjustments to the #nights below. I am very flexible and realize that transit and my interests will/can change the arrival times/dates. The schedule that I am putting together is a basic route and is subject to change along the way. I traveled this way through Vietnam and ended up staying longer in some places and less time in others, due to how I felt when I got there. I will be booking accommodation as I go to allow for flexibility.

Egypt Cairo 3 nights
Egypt Luxor 3
Ethiopia Aksum 6
Ethiopia Gondar 0
Ethiopia Lalibela 0
Kenya 5
Rwanda Kigali 4
Tanzania Zanzabar-Kilimanjaro 4
Zambia Safari? 18
Madagascar 5
Mozambique, Bazaruto Archipelago 3
Malawi Malawi 3
South Africa J'Burg 5
South Africa Cape Town 9
Zimbabwe-Vic Falls
Namimbia 7

Any/all input is welcome! THanks....

6. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 6y

I just re-read both of the posed replies and mapped out the cities in Ethiopia.......I get it now! (I am a little slow sometimes).............

I didn't realize the these cities were quite so far from one another and was hoping to day-trip from

I have changed this to the following:
Aksum 3 nights
Gondar 3
Lalibela 3

This will allow for at least 2 nights even with transit delays....


7. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 6y

I am attempting to map from Cairo to Ethiopia and the online maps wont let me map it.....

Is this due to having to go through Sudan? Is this a stretch that I will have to fly?

Oh...found an interesting web-site:

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

Since you are a US citizen and are on a tight schedule I would strongly recommend that you fly. It is possible to travel overland from Egypt to Ethopia, but it would take about a week to do it and getting the visa for Sudan as a single woman from the US would be a royal in the you know where.

9. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

[quote=Khandilee]@ Flying Bob

On the Tanzania/Zambia/Namibia safari, would you recommend that I book this in advance with an outfit like Gap/intrepid/etc or is this something that I can get for a better price booking it locally?

Never - EVER book a safari in advance. They are such a rip-off when booked through agents.
Safaris in Africa (regardless of which country) are available everywhere, just as fast-food outlets are in the West. Yep - they're that numerous. Any reasonably sized town will be advertising them. Just sit and have a beer somewhere and listen to what the locals tell you about good and bad, before you part with your cash. The most important part of your safari is the capability and knowledge of your guide/driver. Again, the locals will know good from bad. Hotels will nearly always have something going on locally at reception.

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