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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES REFLECTION POST

Burundi, The DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Seychelles

East African Reflection. This mammoth of a trip has been in the pipeline for almost 18 months and with so much to do and see in this region it was never going to be less than 5 weeks.

IT KILLED TO KNOW THIS SERIES WAS FINALLY COMING TO AN END

There was so much lined up including 2 things that were at the very top of my Bucket List; Gorilla trekking and The Great Migration

WHERE IS EAST AFRICA?

East Africa

KIDS

I had the first 10 days or so to myself before the others arrived and it gave me an opportunity to visit places well beyond the beaten path. In each of the first few countries; Burundi and The DRC, the poverty and the situation that kids found themselves in completely shocked me.

Not only are kids pushed into working to help raise money for their household but the level of responsibility they have is hard to comprehend. There were kids as young at 3 out playing on the roads without supervision and kids at young as 7 or 8 working or attending cattle.

East African Reflection

BURUNDI & THE DRC

Quite often places like these have very little to offer in the way of things to do and see, however Burundi and The DRC has many great highlights. From the incredible drummers of Burundi in the city of Gitega to trekking with Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park these two countries certainly gave enough reason to visit them on their own.

East African Reflection

TRIP STATS…

  • DAYS – 38
  • COUNTRIES – 7
  • NEW COUNTRIES – 7
  • REVISITS – 0
  • HIKES – 3
  • FLIGHTS – 10
  • STEPS – 343,355 steps
  • MILES TRAVELLED – 20,761 miles

RWANDA & UGANDA

Rwanda also has plenty to do but we only came here for one reason; to visit the genocide museum. Out of the others I have visited, such as Aushwitz, Killing Fields etc this place told an incredible story! However that wasn’t the most impressive thing about country number 155. Seeing how far it has come since just blew our minds. Rwanda is a far cry from it’s neighbour; The DRC with only an ounce of it’s resources.

It would turn out that I would complete 3 Gorilla treks during my trip with each of them very very different. Although how ever many times we decided to do it, I don’t think I will ever get used to having a gorilla charge at me! There is nothing quite like sitting amongst these ancestors of ours.

East African Reflection

KENYA

Before it was time for arse on sunbeds we had just over a week of safari action that would take us from Nairobi in Kenya to Arusha in Tanzania. Although we got to watch the great migration, we didn’t see any river crossings but the days was not without its ups and downs. One minute we were sure it was going to happen and then the next minute nothing. But this only means one thing, I will have to return.

East African Reflection

TANZANIA

The Serengeti has always been on my list due to the number of nature docs I have watched but to be honest, it didn’t live up to it’s expectations. Being in a public park means you are restricted to road access only, as opposed to our trip in the Masai Mara where we could venture off road when there was any sign of activity. And although we didn’t see an awful lot in Ngorogoro we did spy the endangered black Rhino, albeit from 400metres away.

East African Reflection

RATINGS….

  • PEOPLE – 8/10 be The local kids were all very friendly!
  • BACKPACKING – 4/10.
  • WEATHER – 6.5/10.
  • THINGS TO DO – 7.5/10. Some places were better than others
  • FOOD – 7/10.
  • VALUE – 6/10. Not cheap
  • PHOTOGRAPHY – 8/10.
  • GETTING ABOUT – 3/10
  • BEACHES – 8/10
  • SAFETY – 7/10. Again some places were better than others

ZANZIBAR & THE SEYCHELLES

As is often the case with the family trips we aim to end it with a few days on the beach. Zanzibar with the family was great, the beaches quiet and beautiful. This was a perfect way to chill and end our mammoth trip around east Africa.

The Seychelles however might have been that little bit better. The hotel, the food, the landscape and believe it or not the beaches were just all that little bit better. Not to mention we would have been able to do our usual catamaran trip to end the trip.

East African Reflection

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – Michael, the Kenyan Guide
  • LVP – The guy looking a bribe in the DRC
  • HIGHLIGHT – Gorilla Trekking, Masai Mara, Serengeti Landscape, Seychelles
  • LOWLIGHT – The roads, At times it was very cold
  • BEST SURPRISE – How cold it was at times
  • VISIT AGAIN – Yes, to see a river crossing!
  • TRIP RATING – 8/10

FINAL THOUGHTS

So that’s it, another 7 countries added to the list along with countless learned experiences. It was good to get off the beaten path for the first time in while and enjoy Africa again. The family didn’t enjoy the early mornings and intense travel days but they know that’s all part of visiting this amazing places. The extended family will be part of the next series at the end of the year when we will be revisiting country number 113, Finland for a tour around Lapland.

NEXT UP

A trip to Lapland to see Santa! Coming soon!

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
159/229

This post is part of The East African Series, for the entire series click here or for episode 1, click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Where would you most like to visit in East Africa?
  • Do you prefer a safari, beach or ski holiday?
  • Off the beaten path or all inclusive?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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STAYING SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING

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