Backpacking for older people

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Africa
1. Posted by Joshua Saunders (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi! I'm really keen on backpacking for two weeks with my wife. But we're not too young anymore, and honestly don't know where is safe and easy enough. Does anyone have suggestions? Preferably in Africa, but it can be somewhere else!

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5654 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

There are tourists who call themselves "backpackers" even when staying in expensive hotels and using taxis to get around. And there are people using suitcases, duffel bags and wheelies going to the same places that "backpackers" go to.

Are you expecting some sort of safari type trek walking with bearers carrying equipment and supplies?

I have been to Mombasa, Kenya a long time ago. I had a good time. Took in a tour from Mombasa to Tsavo National Park. (Amusing warning signs - "Do not go past this sign!" and when you do go past the sign the next sign says "If you go past this sign something will eat you!" We hustled back to camp!

So, look into Mombasa.

  • * I hope you don't really think 50 is old! I sure wish I were 50 again!

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5654 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Since you live in Africa perhaps a trip to Southeast Asia will be something different and interesting. For a first visit Thailand is a good break-in country to visit. (Lots of posts on this forum for Thailand.)

Good luck.

4. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 227 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

  1. Morocco: safe and easy to get around

  1. Benin & Togo: just returned - safe and easy to get around

  1. Senegal & The Gambia: safe, easy enough to get around (I only been in Gambia)

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I'm with Karazyal on this.
IMO South East Asia is the easiest area to do independent travel, so I've always recommended it for someones first taste, although Europe/USA(I'm told) is also easy but a bit more expensive.
Once you've experienced travelling this way then you understand what you need to research to do it elsewhere.

6. Posted by MilesTX (Budding Member 40 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToddP

  1. Benin & Togo: just returned - safe and easy to get around

Togo may be considered safe, but I would do some research before visiting...particularly the northern part of the nation.

7. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 1112 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Central America and Mexico are great for backpacking. Although no budget is mentioned, these areas are cheap and ripe for backpacking.

There is a well-trodden path, following cultural sights, nature pursuits and party spots, like SE Asia. A backpacker can follow this path or blaze their own.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1629 posts) 5y 2 Star this if you like it!

Suggest you consider Rwanda, which likely will meet your needs. There's lots to see and do in a country that is considered safer and easier to travel than others in Africa. If you like hiking, suggest a visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park. The latter is home to endangered mountain gorillas; but a permit to see them is costly. Rwanda also is excellent for bird watching. I did so on the shores of Lake Kivu.

If you're planning to visit Volcanoes National Park stop by Virunga Lodge for stunning views of the Virunga mountains (a string of volcanoes) and lakes Burera and Ruhondo. I didn't stay at the lodge, but relaxed on its patio.

I traveled independently in Rwanda, hiring a car and driver.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-May-2019, at 15:19 by berner256 ]

9. Posted by jeanie99 (Full Member 165 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

You are really keen on back packing for two weeks with wife, preferably Africa!

Do you understand what backpacking is?

You travel independently without assistance and plan your own trip including everything that goes with it.
It doesn't matter if you use a suitcase or backpack.
We traveled for 12 months round the world in our 60s, the main thing is you need to be reasonably fit and healthy, age really doesn't have anything to do with it.
You would need to arrange Visas, these are based on Nationality, for all the countries you are visiting.
Injections, medication for malaria, see your healthcare professional for advice.
Arrangement for cash and funding.
Accommodation, transport it goes on and on.
It can be done it's not rocket science but you need to plan long trips, two weeks is a walk in the park.
Research the countries you are interested in travel to, get advice and ideas from people but at the end of the day it's what you and wife are interested in seeing. It's your trip and even if it is only two weeks you want a really good memorably time.
I can recommend a place we stayed at in Africa in Watamu Kenya, the accommodation is directly on the beach which is amazingly beautiful.

This is a christian conservation group who rent out accommodation to help the local community by providing education opportunities for students. It's a place where people from all over the world come to stay and volunteer.
You would just have to fly into Mombasa and the centre would arrange a taxi from the airport.
You can take the local buses and travel around, snorkel, sail, go on walks, do some bird ringing, the people are lovely.
To travel independently you need to do your research of a country well before you travel, find all the places you would like to see, check out the weather forecasts, and transport available.
People are just like us in all countries they just want to make their way in life, have a family and a roof over their head and generally lead a happy life.
Best of luck

10. Posted by jeanie99 (Full Member 165 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!


These countries are very easy to travel in independently.

Vietnam, total set up for tourist.
Thailand, totally set up for tourist.
The above countries have good coach travel for independent travel although can be long waiting time.
India, travel on the trains is an experience.
Nepal, mountainous beautiful country.
Sri lanka, you can pick up group tours of the country when you get there.
China, some language problems but the young people will help and are very friendly.
Russia, travel is easy but getting a Visa is dependent on Nationality can be difficult.
South America, do your research for this continent, some countries can be dangerous.

All the western countries
Europe is an amazing place if you are interested in history.
Australia East coast is well traveled by independent travelers, good train services and interesting communities.
West coast, more difficult, long distances without garages if you need petrol.
South, very European climate, beautiful travel area.

Lots of islands throughout the world are wonderful if you are interested in snorkeling sailing and hiking, island tend to be mountainous.
That's all I can think of for now.