African Overland Tour: Safari-ing The Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater

African Overland Tour: Safari-ing The Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater

After leaving Kigali, we crossed the border into Tanzania, and after a couple of extremely long driving days (when I say long driving days, I mean leaving at 6 AM and arriving at 6 PM for two straight days), we reached a beautiful camp on the shores of Lake Victoria in a town called Mwanza and had a spectacular dinner. These days were some of our least favorite on the entire trip, as we were literally leaving camp in the dark and arriving in the dark. They were long days filled with naps, podcasts, and conversations about what constitutes the difference between a sweeping brush and a broom. These were the days when you really cemented friendships (or rivalries) with others on the truck, and the reality is that when you want to do the amount of things we were able to do for the cost that we’d paid, the long travel days and early wakeup calls are the price you have to pay.  

Being on a truck for twelve-thirteen hours for a few days and paying thousands of dollars less whilst having some of the best experiences of your lives that many people will never get to do and forging lifelong friendships > Paying thousands more and always being air conditioned and entertained all the god damn time. Free wifi on your truck is not worth double the price. Shots fired, GAdventures.

Read More

African Overland Tour: Naivasha And Nakuru

African Overland Tour: Naivasha And Nakuru

Our third stop was the Marina Camp on Lake Naivasha in the Nakuru National Park area, which is actually closer to Nairobi than Ma’asai Mara….why didn’t we do this first and then swing around to the Mara afterwards? Just so we could get used to long days on the truck, maybe? We had a couple of options in the morning while the hippoes grazed on the grass beside us, we could either go for a 12KM cycling trip into Hell’s Gate National Park, which sounded awesome except for the fact that 12KM round trip is actually 24KM, and I can ride a bike about as well as I can write a poem (that is to say, not well). The reviews of that trip from our truckmates were quite good, and the pictures looked unbelievable, similar to Antelope Canyon in the States and there was apparently a rock that looked similar to Pride Rock from The Lion King which led to some nice photo opportunities. Fortunately for us, we were in for some pretty spectacular photo opportunities ourselves when we went on a guided game walk through Crater Lake National Park, where we were able to see giraffes, zebras, impalas, warthogs, and other animals on foot. 

Do you ever wake up early, take a few steps out of your back door with a fresh cup of coffee, ready to face the day, and there is a deer or other wild animal in your backyard? That was kind of like what we were doing, except THEY WERE FUCKING GIRAFFES AND ZEBRAS. We spent three hours walking around the National Park, being led by a knowledgable guide who continually spent time pointing out beautiful trees and flowers, not the animals, because they were right there. We were literally within 30 feet of these majestic (and yes, I realize I keep using the word majestic, and I’ll probably use it at least twice more before we’re done with this post, but there is really no other way to describe them) creatures as they went about their daily activities, grooming each other, eating, and fighting (yes, we actually saw two impalas fighting). 

Read More

African Overland Tour: The Ma'asai Mara

African Overland Tour: The Ma'asai Mara

We were up bright and early (no lion attacks) for the long and bumpy drive to Ma’asai Mara National Reserve. When I say bright and early, I mean we were up at 5 AM pulling down our tents and sipping instant coffee before departing our Nairobi campground before 6 AM. The first four hours were on paved roads, but the last 100km or so were on a dusty and pockmarked road. We remarked that a long drive like that reminds you just how far from civilization you were traveling, many (rich) tourists take the short flight from Nairobi direct to the small airstrip on the National Reserve, which makes the entire park seem like a zoo instead of a 200 hectare grassland in the middle of the African bush. As I mentioned earlier, the animals are everywhere, they aren’t restricted to the national park, and many visitors to Africa (usually the tourists who’ve paid a lot of money for a private Jeep and are dressed in all khaki as if they’ll be out of the air conditioning even once during the day) will forget that these are truly wild animals. They don’t respect the fact that these lions will eat you in a heartbeat, the buffalo will charge if you annoy them, and the monkeys will grab your stupid safari hat right off your stupid head.

Read More