RTW Travel: Four Months In

Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Zambia

I’m nearing the halfway point of my trip. When I take the time to reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve done in four short months, it’s baffling. Sure I’m a little over budget, well maybe more than a little, but purely by choice. Some of the countries I’ve been to I’m certain I’ll revisit, while others on this trip may be my only chance to explore and discover what they have to offer. I’m not about to miss out!

So, what did I do in month 4 you ask?

  1. Volunteered in Monkey Bay, Malawi at the Back to School Foundation. An excellent organization sponsoring orphans to go to secondary school and providing free tutoring for the community.
  2. Took the Ilala Ferry on Lake Malawi for 36 long hours. The most miserable transport to date, I was fortunate to find some really great friends aboard that made up for the seasickness (post coming soon!)
  3. Spent a week of paradise on Likoma and Chizumulu Islands, Lake Malawi, witnessing one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets and mingling with some of the friendliest people in the world.
  4. Was hit by a motorcycle on Likoma Island. Ouch!
  5. Sent a package home from Lilongwe and didn’t realize that the U.S. does not accept sea mail. Try sending 30 lbs. home via air mail. It will rob you! But when I show you what I sent home, you’ll see that it was worth it!
  6. Visited the pounding waters of Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia.
  7. Caught a ride with NY Times journalists and went bush camping with them in Botswana (ie I camped next to a family of elephants).
  8. Took a river cruise in Chobe National Park, Botswana. I saw hippos lying out of the water, which is rare during the day. I also got to see elephants cross the river.
  9. Took a magical overnight mokoro trip in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Definitely one of my favorite travel experiences.
baobab tree malawi
Baobab Tree, Malawi

I have less than one month left in Africa. It’s bittersweet. My desire to travel more on this continent stemmed from a trip to East Africa in 2008. I didn’t think it could get much better but Southern Africa has been full of new experiences. Never having stepped foot in Asia, it will be a great change of pace when I arrive there in August… it’s just difficult to look forward to something when you’re already enjoying yourself here and now!

So, what’s in store for my last month in Africa?

  1. Hoping to make it to Swakopmund in time for my birthday on July 11th for a little birthday present to myself (yes, I’m keeping the details to myself for now, but check back soon to read about it).
  2. Heading on a six-day safari to Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei to see the sand dunes.
  3. Although I can’t afford a trip to Fish River Canyon, and hitchhiking isn’t all that reliable to get to this more remote place, I’m determined to go! How I will get there, I have no idea but one way or another, I’m going to spend an evening overlooking this beautiful canyon.
  4. Then it’s off to Cape Town for about five days of sight seeing in what’s rumored to be a great city!

Tomorrow I am leaving Botswana for Namibia, a country that’s been on my bucket list for a while now. Most likely I will be hitchhiking which sounds crazy but should be yet another adventure. I have had to put running on hold since my motorcycle incident, as my ribs are pretty severely bruised. Sitting up is quite a task, so running will probably not be happening for awhile.  Regardless, Sole Purpose is still going strong, and I hope you can help me to continue to spread the word to support education.

7 thoughts on “RTW Travel: Four Months In

  • Wow, wow, wow…you get a lot accomplished in a month’s time! What an amazing adventure. I’m sorry to hear of your accident though and hope all is well. Have you written about this yet – or did I miss it?

    I know it will be sad to leave Africa, but I honestly can’t wait for you to get to Asia (my favorite continent!) and see what you think. It will def. be a change of culture and pace – but GREAT food!

    Love following your journey!

    • Sadly, I have written several postings but can’t put any of them up as the internet has been awful for the past 6 weeks. It took me two days just to get this article up. I’m hoping in Namibia there will be better internet and I know once I’m in Cape Town, it will be much better!
      I’m looking forward to SE Asia since it will be completely different and as you mentioned, I’m really looking forward to the food! Maize flour and water is just not all that appetizing ;)

    • I think it’s a more recent thing. I tried to send something surface mail from the US last year and they no longer ship that way, but I assumed they would at least accept it. I don’t know why they would get rid of it…

      • Found this on wikipedia: “On May 14, 2007, the United States Postal Service canceled all outgoing international surface mail (sometimes known as “sea mail”) from the United States, citing increased costs and reduced demand due to competition from airmail services such as FedEx and UPS.[64] The decision has been criticized by the Peace Corps and military personnel overseas, as well as independent booksellers and other small businesses who rely on international deliveries.”

        Thanks very much for the warning, but how annoying!

  • Wow what a trip it sounds like you’ve had so far! And will continue to have I am sure! For about as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go to Africa, and so far I’ve “only” made it to Morocco… Reading your post I once again feel I really have to go sooner or later! :)

    • I love Africa. The countries are actually quite different from one another but there’s yet to be a place that I didn’t like. I hope you make it soon!

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