Get Ready For Africa With Getting Stamped

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Getting Ready For Africa With Getting Stamped - Adam and Hannah

Getting Ready For Africa With Getting Stamped – Adam and Hannah

Get Ready For Africa With Getting Stamped

By Hannah Lukaszewicz, Editor of Getting Stamped

I am currently on a two-year round the world journey with my husband Adam and we are about to embark on an overland expedition in Africa. Ever since we started to plan the trip we knew we wanted to include Africa and it is certainly one of our most anticipated pit stops.

We never expected to have quite so many choices available to us when it came to an African safari and we were amazed by all the different routes and options, but overlanding really appealed to us. It’s a great way to see a variety of countries in one tour and our list of must see locations was wide ranging – Victoria Falls, Zanzibar and Serengeti National Park in the top three.

Victoria Falls, Zambia. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Victoria Falls, Zambia. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Overland itineraries can range anywhere between 6 and 58 days and since we might not have another chance to take on such a lengthy safari we thought we might as well do it big!

We started by researching the 29-day trips and produced a list of our most highly prized experiences to help us narrow down the choices. In the end we decided on a 43-day expedition in Africa. Covering seven countries, the trip will start in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, then run south taking in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia; the final destination is South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town. An ideal start to the trip, we also found that Nairobi was also the cheapest place to fly into from Asia.

Spitzkoppe, Namibia. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Spitzkoppe, Namibia. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia are just some of the countries ticked off our travel map so far and we will be Tweeting from Chiang Mai in Thailand before heading for the African continent. Adam and I are due to co-host the regular Africhat Tweet Up this April – the topic, “Planning For Africa”. But before we go live on Twitter, here is my take on everything from financial planning to our expectations for Africa.

FINANCIAL PLANNING
Getting ready for the trip financially hasn’t been an easy task as we’ll be flying out to Kenya from Thailand. On most safaris you’d be expected to give a part payment in US dollars on arrival, so our point of departure makes things a little more tricky. We’ve been advised by our tour operator to pay the cost in advance and by credit card. While there are fees involved this is the method that makes the most sense to us in terms of being safe and stress free.

We prefer to carry small amounts of cash (local currency) with us so we can budget for only a few days at a time. Our advice: opt for a bank that has no international transaction fees and one that will refund your ATM fees. Although our credit cards don’t come with an international transaction fee there are still add-ons (within the region of 3-5%) that make them costly. If you don’t want to pay for using your own money we’d say only use them when needed.

Chobe National Park, Botswana. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Chobe National Park, Botswana. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

TECHNOLOGY
With two computers, three cameras (all with multiple lenses and attachments), an unlocked smart phone, iPod and an external hard drive… the list is long!

A DSLR camera allows you to be truly creative with a camera and for those stand out shots we’d certainly suggest bringing one along for the ride. My smartphone is my favourite piece of kit as I can interact instantly across email, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t go for the cheapest version as a good smartphone can really pay extra dividends when the WiFi isn’t great.

We once took over 3,000 photos in seven days so an external hard drive is a must. With countless hot safari locations to cover, from the Okavango Delta to the Serengeti, it’s going to be a life-saver in Africa.

Wildebeest & zebra, Masai Mara, Kenya. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Wildebeest & zebra, Masai Mara, Kenya. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

AFRICA AND OUR EXPECTATIONS
Africa is probably one of our most anticipated pit stops on this round the world trip. We have always been avid National Geographic viewers and we recently tuned into Big Cat Week. The Mara is first up on the safari list and as a year round haunt for these graceful predators the Kenyan reserve is certainly in the top three.

A scenic flight over Victoria Falls is also on my most wanted African adventure hit list. It will be amazing to see this wonder of Mother Nature from another perspective and if we are truly daring we might head for Devils Pool, where you can actually lean over the edge of the world’s largest curtain of falling water!

Malawi, Tanzania and Botswana will also give us genuine opportunities to interact with the African people. Outside of visiting local villages we’re sure the lively markets, like those in Stone Town, will also be buzzing with culture. Based on our travels so far, sometimes they are best places to get acquainted with the heart and soul of a place.

Maasai Tribe, Tanzania & Kenya. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

Maasai Tribe, Tanzania & Kenya. Photo courtesy of Acacia Africa.

RELATIONSHIP PLANNING
Travelling together means seeing each other almost 24/7 – and we’ve just completed 260 days and counting! Don’t forget your alone time. Whether it’s a massage, a pedicure or a day on the beach – take advantage. Pursue your own passions along the way, as it makes for better relationships in the long-term.

I love to chill on the sands and Adam is a keen diver, which means Zanzibar and Lake Malawi will be key locations where we can follow different paths in Africa. I’m definitely looking forward to our three nights of Spice Island bliss!

KEEPING IT CREATIVE OUT ON THE ROAD
As bloggers, developing a routine is incredibly important. We like to plan our travel a few days in advance and we always include a day off as it gives us a chance to catch up on posts. While we’re not sightseeing we often relax in a local coffee shop, catch up on business and happily type away.

Taking time out keeps your mind fresh and focused on blogging. It’s easy to get behind on posts while travelling, but this is an opportunity to get back online and sample the location at your leisure – with the added benefit of being able to taste the local delicacies.

We know that WiFi access in Africa can vary a great deal so we might have to be a bit more creative while we are on the road and make the most of available opportunities.

Join Hannah and Adam of Getting Stamped on their overland journey with Acacia Africa departing 04 May, 2014.

Note: The overland expedition is partly sponsored by Acacia Africa.

 

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2 Responses to Get Ready For Africa With Getting Stamped

  1. LOVE that pic of the Wildebeest getting in front of the zebra! Camera hogs seem to come in all species!

    Doreen Pendgracs 03/25/2014 at 12:17 pm

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