Africa. Oh, Africa. It’s one of the stops on my upcoming round-the-world trip, and it’s the one I’m most nervous about. I’m wondering how a person possibly prepares for Africa. I’ve been to some 35 countries, planned trips to far-off places like Southeast Asia and the Middle East and found myself surprisingly comfortable with what I was getting myself into. I don’t feel that way with Africa – right now I feel like I’m about to leave home for the first time.

Despite all the books, web forums, travel sites and other blogs, I’m still feeling a bit in the dark and a slightly (okay, extremely) intimidated. Some of the thoughts swimming through my head: Is it safe? Will the internet be fast and widespread enough to work from there? Exactly how reliable are malaria pills? Will I be able to get around, or will I end up on a bus full of people and chickens that just ends up getting stuck on a washed out road for days on end with nowhere to sleep and only said chickens to talk to and/or eat? Because that’s the impression I get the more I read about the continent. Then again, everything I read about the continent also says it’s the most amazing place and that, despite any of the challenges, it’s worth it.

The first part of my trip will entail South Africa, possibly Namibia, and a safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. My nerves, however, have more to do with the East Africa part, which will be Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. I’d love to hear any tips or recommendations you might have.

I guess if anything, it will make for some interesting blogging. Stay tuned!

Categories: AfricaTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. You’ll have an amazing time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have (here, or over email). I lived in Botswana for 18 years and traveled all around!

  2. Hey Melissa….I actually lived in kenya when I was doing my masters field work and also camped in tanzania so I actually know the two countries very well and I love both of them. You’ll definitely see a different level of poverty but honestly, I walked around nairobi and was fine (we even had a cab run out of gas and basically had to walk back from the highway…very funny story…and we were fine). Let me know if you want more information….I’ll put a plug in for sweetwaters reserve in kenya….that’s where I did my field work and I love it so much ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Mindy! My concern, though, is that things have gotten worse lately. I was even concerned about it before the mall shooting a couple weeks ago, so that definitely didn’t help ease my mind. I’m also concerned about South Africa – did you spend any time there?

      If you don’t mind, I might be coming back to you later on for more advice. And of course, you’re welcome to join me while I’m there!

  3. Hi Melissa,
    I can recommend for Morocco that you take a day trip to the Cascades D’Ouzoud – they are the second highest waterfall in Africa (behind the Victoria falls) – and suprisingly not teeming with tourists. I started my trip in Morocco in Rabat – again not many tourists there but a great starting point to get a “feel” for Morocco with a relatively easy medina to meander through and beautiful attractions such as Chellah. You will love it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! Have just noted those and will be sure to check them out. Would you recommend any other cities? I’m guessing Marrakesh is a must, but also wondering if it’s worth checking out Fez and/or Tangier. I hear Casablanca isn’t the most interesting place. I’m also wondering how much time I should allocate to Morocco in general. I’d love to be that traveler that just shows up with no plan and wings it, but unfortunately I have to plan ahead or I worry I’ll have to overpay for a flight/train/boat to my next destination.

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