March 4, 2016 – We set off at the start of December with one-way tickets to Cairo, our backpacks, and a stack of (very heavy) guidebooks. And a bunch of malaria pills and US dollars. We didn’t have return tickets or – God forbid – an itinerary, or even a definite plan as to where we’d fly back from – just the idea that after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, we’d head south and see if we could make it all the way to Cape Town. The thought of travelling down the length of Africa like that really appealed to us both.
We’re back home now, after three months on the road doing just that; followed by a 24 hour trip from Cape Town via Johannesburg to Dubai. Back to work, back to the cold, back to our house and our habits and our friends. It feels a bit unreal, and we think that’s because we’ve experienced so much in this valuable time.
Trying to process it all, it’s hard to make comparisons or pick favourites. We saw and did things and met people we’ll never forget.
But some highlights do come to mind.
Meeting my sister in Cairo was pretty fantastic. We loved traveling together with her and exploring Egypt’s amazing history:
She and I have always been interested in ancient Egypt. Dad was too, and there were a couple of books on the subject lying around our house. I really love that we got to visit the Valley of the Kings and King Tut’s tomb, together.
Then there was the long trip by bus and boat to finally arrive in Sudan, not at all sure what to expect but excited to find out what awaited us in this unknown country.
We keep talking about all the friendly and kind people living along the Nile Valley, who we met as we travelled the length of Sudan. Which, despite there being almost no infrastructure for travelers, was possible to do partly because the locals were so helpful.
I loved trekking and camping in Ethiopia’s cold and beautiful mountains. Oyv would have loved it more if he hadn’t been suffering from food poisoning at the time…
There were peaceful moments, like these ones at Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches:
And these, drifting on the Nile or on the Indian Ocean:
There were some not-so-peaceful moments too. Frenetic crowds in stations and streets. Some crazy bus trips; some scary bus trips; some insanely overcrowded vehicles; some weird incidents; and yes – even one or two fights. Not just fights between the two of us but on one memorable occasion, with a bus driver as well.
And let’s not forget the trains, taxis, boats, tuk tuks – or Noor, the friendly, talkative guy who picked us up hitchhiking in Sudan, in his transport truck.
There were some nights so hot we could hardly sleep, stifling under our mosquito net. And some chilly nights too.
We had some really lovely rooms…
…but mostly a lot of…more basic ones.
We saw the sheer magnitude of Victoria Falls, from two country’s perspectives. It’s unforgettable.
We lived the laid-back life on Mozambique’s stunning beaches:
And we finished it up with a road trip in South Africa. Astonishingly beautiful landscapes, wild animals, gorgeous vineyards:
We even swung by Swaziland:
And finally, those few days we spent enjoying the best of both worlds – nature and city life – in Cape Town.
Thanks for reading! I hope you saw a bit of Africa through our eyes. Next trip: Cape Town and all the way back up the other side…