“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa,” declared American author John Hemingway.
And we couldn’t have agreed more!When we took the plunge to embark upon a road trip that would take us through eight countries, covering a distance of 10,000 km within the ‘Mother Continent’ over the course of 45 days, we were not fully aware of the intense effect Africa was to have upon us.
We embarked on this epic journey from Mombasa towards the amazing Tsavo National Park where we spent the night at the Man Eater’s Lodge. This famous spot was featured in the hit Hollywood flick The Ghost and The Darkness. In the park, Large elephant herds can be spotted roaming the vast scrubland plains that make up most of the terrain. After a one day transit in Nairobi, we headed towards the celebrated Maasai Mara National Reserve. Home to the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion & rhino), Maasai Mara is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa and is regarded as the crowning jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing zones.
Next up on the road ahead for us was the country of Tanzania. This Swahili paradise is where you can get up, close and personal with lions, giraffes and zebras.Wildlife viewing in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park was a fantastic experiencemainly because we were fortunate enough to witness the wildebeest migration. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to seethousands of wildebeest crossing the great Mara River – an event that was so dramatic and thrilling that it left us searching for words to describe it.
As we exited Tanzania to make way into Malawi, what surprised us were the smooth roadways and the clean and hygienic surroundings of this tiny African nation.Popularly known as the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, Malawi is delightfully welcoming of visitors and boasts of extremely well-mannered residents. Along with being culturally rich, it is also home to the third-largest lake in Africa, which makes it a lovely place to spend some quality time in.
We exited Malawi and entered Zambia. With comparatively low population than its neighbouring countries, Zambia is known for its’ utter vastness and diversity. Zambia is also home to the stunning Victoria Falls. This breathtakingly beautiful natural wonder on the Zambezi River is also the world’s only waterfall with a length of over a kilometre and a height of over 100 metres.
Botswana via Zimbabwe
Having had our fill of exciting safaris, we were in for a treat as we entered Botswana via Zimbabwe. This is where we flew in a Cessna 207 to visit the world’s largest inland delta, Okavango in northern Botswana.Flying at a height of 500 feet above ground level, with gorgeous scenery below us, we got to view the vast and varied landscape of the delta from a great aerial perspective. We even spotted a couple of lions napping!
After spending three days at Maun in Botswana, we crossed the Mamuno Border Post and reached Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.The winding Trans Kalahari Highway (A2), which is around 1300 km long and passes through three countries – South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia – was a dream to drive on. Over thenext few days, we went dune bashing in the Sandwich Harbour near Swakopmund, climbed the largest dune in the world known as “Big Daddy” in Sossusvlei located in the Namib Desert,often referred to as the world’s oldest desert.
We made a grand entrance into the 8th and final country of Africa Expedition 2019, South Africa. We drove through the Garden Route which is an approximately 200 kilometre stretch of remarkable seascapes and makes for one of the best routes for a self-drive road trip. The shoreline is full of pristine beaches and bays, while pretty lagoons and lakes offer wonderful sights as you move inland.Our convoy headed to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent where the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet.
Finally, we made our way to Cape Town but not before a detour to the gorgeous vineyards of Stellenbosch. Often referred to as the ‘World in One Country’, South Africa was unarguably the perfect destination for concluding our epic trip.
Africa has so much to offer and that too with a soul so pure that it binds you in her magical spell. The time was upon us to bid goodbye to our companions of many days, but not beforewe shared ardent promises to meet again and get together to explore another mesmerising destination on this never-ending journey called life.