20 Highlights Of My Solo Trip Around 15 Countries in Africa
Empowering and humbling-- that’s how I would describe my trip to Africa. I have been on a solo backpacking for 2 months (without my husband), but not once did I feel alone. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people on the road and that was one of the best parts, aside from visiting such wonderful and beautiful places. :)
I am a Philippine passport holder, so it’s pretty hard for me to go around with it. Most of the countries are requiring me to have a visa, and often with exorbitant fees and an endless list of requirements!! So for this trip, I only went to African Countries which allows me to enter Visa Free or with a Visa on Arrival. It’s such a shame but one day, I’m going to finish my list of exploring each and every country in the world!! ❤
Anyway, I have been on the road for 2 months. I started my journey with a quick day trip in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, then headed on to Kenya (Nairobi, & Maasai Mara), off to Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam & Zanzibar), then Seychelles (Mahe, Praslin & Island Hopping), after which I flew to Zimbabwe (Harare & Victoria Falls), then Mozambique (Maputo), off to Madagascar (Antananarivo), explored Mauritius (North, East, and South West), then I went to Zambia (Lusaka & Border Town), crossed the border to Malawi (Lilongwe and Lake Malawi) where I spent my birthday, I headed on after to Rwanda (Kigali) which is my favorite, I then crossed the border to Uganda (Bwindi National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Kampala), then Comoros (Moroni), flew to Djibouti and to wrap up my trip, I crossed the border to Somaliland (Hargeisa).
I just can’t contain the overwhelming happiness that I have felt all throughout my journey. I have traveled around 15 African Countries and I’m going to share with you 20 crazy and wonderful highlights of my trip! ❤
1) Day Trip around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Jet lag?? What jet lag?? I am always hyper! Even after a long flight to reach Ethiopia, I managed to squeeze in a quick day tour! Did you know that one of the best coffees in the world are produced here? :)
2) Exploring The Maasai Mara Safari, Kenya
This is one of the best wildlife safaris in the world! I really felt like I worked for National Geographic Channel the entire time I was here. I love elephants! They are my favorite aside from penguins! So seeing them around walking/running freely without having to do any tricks is just mesmerizing! Saw birds, lions, and a lot of fascinating animals too!
3) Relaxing Stay in Zanzibar, Tanzania
After a jam packed itinerary in Kenya, Me and my friend Arione had a relaxing stay in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We stayed in Essque Zalu Zanzibar, a beautiful hotel with a nice pool! We did a Swahili Cooking Lesson, a Maasai inspired massage and a relaxing spa treatment.
4) Private Boat Island Hopping in Seychelles and Seeing the Giant Tortoise
Arione and I had a good time at Beau Vallon Beach (one of the most beautiful beaches in Seychelles) and had a lot of good food. Seychelles is composed of 115 beautiful islands so visiting a few of it is always a good idea. I saw a Giant Tortoise too. And not only that, I saw them mating!!! It’s a crazy experience to see it!! Do you have any idea how they do their deed? Check out my facebook video here: Tortoise Mating :)
5) Visiting the Victoria Falls aka Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: The Smoke That Thunders) in Zimbabwe
It definitely seems like The Smoke That Thunders! The powerful current from the waterfalls produces mist that is almost smoke like. Arione and I were drenched from it! Haha. Victoria Falls is made up of five different falls, one is located in Zambia which is the Eastern Cataract while other four can be found in Zimbabwe. So technically, I saw two countries from there! It is just one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have seen my entire life and it’s reallyyyyyy beautiful! I saw a lot of rainbows but not the pot of gold at the end of it haha. It was really amazing to see this beauty in person!
6) Jumping off the george in Victoria Falls, Zanzibar
My adrenaline really spiked up so I was crazy enough to jump off the Victoria Falls’ george! Admiring her majestic beauty from afar isn’t just enough ❤
7) Joining a Historical Tour around Mozambique
There’s a lot to do around Mozambique, but my favorite will always be the historical tour. It’s lovely to know its history to understand their way of life. I went to The Fortress of Maputo, Mercado Central, Saint Antonio Catholic Church, Maputo Natural History Museum, The Casa do Ferro Avenida Samora Marcel or the Iron House, and Tunduru Gardens, among many others. Their history is very enticing!
8) Seeing the Lemurs in Madagascar
Have you seen Madagascar the movie? Remember King Julien? He’s a lemur!! These animals can only be found in Madagascar and they are primates that look something like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog. It’s really hard to explain! But seeing them in person is just fascinating!
9) Scuba Diving in Mauritius
Mauritius have A LOT of beautiful beaches with fine sands and pristine blue waters. It is really inviting that I had to dive!! The underwater beauty is just as wonderful as it is from the shore ❤
10) Walking with Cheetahs in Zambia
Walking alongside these powerful yet friendly creatures is just humbling. I never imagined myself doing this. But really, seeing these animals like this made me think even more that the earth isn’t ours alone.
11) Crossing the Border by Land from Lusaka, Zambia to Lilongwe, Malawi
One of the many reasons why I love crossing borders by land is that it’s very cheap! I took the bus and traveled from Lusaka, Zambia to Lilongwe, Malawi for only $28! I thought it's only going to be between 9 and 10 hours ride but it turned out to be almost 14 hours of fun! I paid only 28$ for the bus ticket. The people in Malawi are really friendly. I’ve met a lot of good people along the way. They are really beautiful too!
12) Visiting Lake Malawi
Here, I visited the Fishing Village and I saw their way of life. They are really genuine people and it’s amazing how to see these people work hard to earn a living. I met a lot of locals while I was strolling around and the children are just very happy to see a foreigner. They are just following me around and playing with me!
13) Trying The Organic Mice In Malawi
On our way to Lake Malawi, some kids on the street are selling the Grilled Organic Mice which are freshly caught from the farm. For 1USD, you’ll get a whole stick of it. I think it’s about 20 of them in one stick and I just took two, one for me and one for my driver hahaha. I can say that it doesn’t taste awful, but it’s something I wouldn’t eat every now and then. Haha. What an experience!
14) Tracking the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
Seeing even one of the Mountain Gorillas is in my bucket list. So when I set foot in Uganda, I said there’s no way I’m not going to do it! We tracked them at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-- it is the sanctuary of more or less 340 Mountain Gorillas which makes up almost half of their population in the world. Read more about the details and tips here: Mountain Gorilla Tracking In Uganda
15) Celebrating my birthday in Crater Lodge
Crater Lodge in Uganda, but this is the first time that I’m celebrating it away from Jonathan. Looking back on all those years, I still can’t believe how far we’ve come and I’ll forever be grateful to all of you guys! I celebrated my birthday last 2016 in London, 2015 in Brazil, 2014 in Peru, 2013 in Vietnam! I woke up to the chirping of the birds, As I opened my eyes, I saw the most beautiful and serene view of the Crater Lake. It was ecstatic! This is my 5th year celebrating my birthday since I started my long-term travel— 2013 in Uganda and I couldn’t be any happier with them!
16) Riding Motorbikes in Kigali, Rwanda
Rwanda is probably one of my most favorite countries in Africa. I never felt this safe just riding around motorbikes. The streets are so clean, the people are very nice and all of them are just very disciplined!
17) Face To Face with the Cheetahs in Rwanda
The cheetahs in Rwanda are protected and never abused! I was completely in awe to see them face to face!
18) Hitchhiking in Comoros
The people from Comoros is very friendly, so hitchhiking is no problem at all! I met this American Lady who is traveling around the world and I taught her how to hitchhike. Haha!
19) Seeing the Red Sea in Djibouti
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. We went to City Called Arta which is the highest point in Djibouti to get a glimpse of the Red Sea. Diving is really wonderful here, visit from November to February and you’ll see the beautiful underwater creatures and whale sharks on their natural state. No feeding or whatsoever!
20) Crossing the Border to Somaliland which Marks My 95th Country!
I am on a quest to see every country in the world and I’m very happy to end up my 95th on Somaliland! Somaliland is an unrecognized state. This means that no country or international organization thinks that Somaliland is a real country. Instead, they include Somaliland as an Autonomous Region of Somalia, together with Puntland. It was such a tough, remarkable, and exciting journey! Read about the danger, the process, and useful tips here:
I know you’re wondering how I managed to finance all of these!! Here’s the answer: some are being paid by sponsors while some are from my own pocket that I earned thru professional travel blogging! I get a lot of my hotels and some of my airfares for free! I know it’s crazy but it’s not impossible. If I can do it, I’m sure you can too! Click here to know how we make money by blogging and traveling ❤
How I wish I could visit more places but you know you can't do everything at once. I’ll make time for it one day for sure! What’s your favorite activity in this post? What else would you love to do? ❤
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