My plan was to travel to India from Sweden through eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan India, then north to Nepal and then south again to the southern parts of India. My plan was to go with 4x4expedition.se but since Ronnie got sick they had to postpone the expedition to 2014 instead. So now I’m stranded with 4 months of vacation and no where to go.
Well, that is not entirely true, I will speak with my boss next week and tell him I’ll stay home this fall with a few small exceptions. I have plans on taking a weekend to Kiev, Ukraine and take a peek at Pripyat. Also, a bit later on I might go to Zanzibar and visit a friend who lives and works there. A couple of weeks in the sun is never wrong.
I know I have said that life is too short to visit the same place twice but I might make an exception or two every now and then.
Anyway, there’s nothing bad that it doesn’t come anything good out of, with the expedition cancelled I get to spend more time with my girlfriend which is good and I get more time to plan my next long trip which will only take me through 4 countries but together they cover probably one fourth of the worlds landmass. More about this later this year!
When we had passed the South African border the roads was getting more and more road like instead of the sand roads we had been driving on for the past week or so. The weather also became colder and colder. We stopped in some town somewhere and I bought a blanket since my sleeping bag (summer edition) couldn’t stand the cold anymore. In the morning of June 6, the Swedish National Day the temperature crawled below 0 degrees Celsius. Lucky for us the rising sun soon made the day a lot warmer. It’s kind of a big change when it’s about 20-25 degrees plus in the day and almost below 0 in the night.
We started to move towards Cederberg on quite boring roads but the closer we got to Cederberg the more interesting the nature grew. We ended up in a landscape with fantastic mountains and beautiful valleys. That would end one late afternoon though. The sky was darkened by rain clouds and the rain began pouring down. The road became slippery and soon we decided to stop for the night. We tried to cook some food in the rain but with no luck. We ended up sitting inside the cars eating bread and what we could find that didn’t require cooking.
The next day the sun greeted us again and we continued towards Cape Town. We reached Stellenbosh in two days I think and made a few stops at wine yards. Specially notable was Marianne Estate and Diemersfontein. Then we hit a supermarket, bought some food and proceeded to Duncan’s Camping (the end of our tour). We ended the trip with a taco feast and wine bought on the wine yards. The next coming days we spent with cleaning the cars and packing our stuff preparing for the trip home. But first, we felt we needed one more night together in Gordon’s Bay and what a party it became. Started like a dinner, ended like a full scale party in downtown Gordon’s Bay.
This kind of marked the official end of the Africa tour. At least for me. Everyone was going home, some of us were going back in a couple of months and continue the adventure. I’m not one of them, sadly enough. But you can read about it here: 4x4expedition.se and click on the blog (it’s in Swedish though).
A huge thank you to Ronnie & Lena for this trip. It was great! Also, I’d like to thank the following people for this time as well: Henke, Madde, Stoffe, Cajsa, Martin, Berndt-Eric and Frasse.
First time I ever heard of Zanzibar was on a TV-show when I was a kid. It sounded exotic then, it still sounds exotic. On the 20th of February was the official starting date for the trip with 4x4expedition.se. Some of us who were going to go with them decided we wanted a warm up. For me who should be away for almost 4 months, what’s another week in the long run? So, me and two of fellow passengers on the trip rented a house on Zanzibar.
Getting there is easy, surviving the heat shock is worse. Flying from a -19ºC Sweden and landing in a +30ºC hot Dar Es-Salaam (Tanzania) is a shock, but it’s a nice shock at least. Getting to the jetty and take the ferry to Zanzibar proved to be a bit of a challenge, finding a cab in the middle of the night was not that easy. And when we got to the jetty the ticket offices hadn’t opened yet so we had to wait for a while. Bought our ferry tickets and found out that we had overpaid since all tickets are the same. Bummer!
The ferry ride took about 3 hours but it was pretty nice sitting there in the early morning sun. When we got of the ferry in Stone Town we had to fill in some forms and then we proceeded to the tourist information to find out where our hotel where. We took a short ride in a taxi (500 meters) and checked in at the hotel. Changed some clothes and rested for an hour or so and then we proceeded to explore Stone Town for a while. Saw a monument over the slave trade that took place some hundred years ago for example.
We also found some nice restaurants, tried the local food which have made Zanzibar famous. Zanzibar is also called the spicy island because of the rich flavors or the food. I don’t know about that really, I wasn’t that impressed but maybe I tried the wrong stuff. The next day we rented a car and went south on the island. Most people who go to Zanzibar probably go to the northern parts where all the large hotels/resorts are located but we went south to a village called Jambiani and to Villa Biba (the house we had rented).
I’m not going write so much about that since it’s was mostly relaxing stuff. But some things you can do around Jambiani is going on diving/snorkeling tours, if you take an hours drive south from Jambiani to Kizimkazi you can swim with dolphins.
One day we took the car to explore Zanzibar a bit and we had gotten directions from some people we met while being on the diving tour to a place called “The Rock Restaurant“. It turned out to be a restaurant situated on a huge rock on the beach. When it was tide you could walk out to the restaurant on dry land but when it was flood you would have to wade to it. Really nice food, good service and decent prices. Having that in mind, Zanzibar is probably the most expensive place in Tanzania in general. I guess some of the lodges around the great national parks in northern Tanzania can be quite pricey as well.
On the 18th of February we headed back to Stone Town, dropped of the car and took the ferry back to Dar Es-Salaam. We choose to stay one night in Dar Es-Salaam to get the “feel” of this African metropolis. Loud, dusty, milling, chaotic, African. The next day we took a taxi to the camping where we would meet up with Ronnie & Lena from 4x4expedition.se and the other participants.
Gallery updated with pictures from Zanzibar!
In the winter of 2012 I went on a expedition trip through 10 African countries during 4 months. I left Sweden on the 12th of February and arrived back home again on the 16th of June. I went with a company called 4x4expedition.se whose concept is going by car by a loosly planned route where the participants can make decisions on where to go and how long to stay. The cars are equiped with tents on the roof so that we can camp, there’s also small gas stoves and other equipment needed for camping. So the concept is also not so much hotels and resturants (which makes traveling pretty cheap since we buy most food from local stores/markets).
The trip was divided into 3 legs.
The first leg started 20th of February in Dar Es-Salaam, Tanzania and went through Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and ended in Cape Town, South Africa on the 14th of April.
The second leg started in Cape Town on the 20th of April and went through South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and ended in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19th of May.
The third leg started on the 20th of May and went from Harare to Victoria Falls and then to Botswana through the Kalahari back to South Africa and ended on the 10th of June in Cape Town.
I stayed a couple of extra days in Cape Town before flying home. Also, the dates mentioned here might differ a bit, I don’t remember entierly but they should be somewhat accurate. I should have done this when I got home 5 months ago, not now. Oh well. Enjoy anyway!
This video is 20 minutes long and require some loading time, please be patient!
[stream base=x:/www.ixploretheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/ flv=2012Africa.flv img=2012Africa.flv embed=true share=true width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=bottom bandwidth=high autostart=false /]