We’ve had a lot of people asking us what our plans are for the year that we’re away, so I figured I would do a general outline. I say general outline because at the moment we don’t have a plan for most of it, but we’ll definitely keep you updated as we go!
Rich and I have talked a lot about when the best month to set off is, and there has been more than one argument over this. The original plan was to head off in early April; however, after deciding we wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro as our starting point we did some research and realised that climbing in April is not the best. So we had to revise.
The best time to climb seems to be between June and September, and then again in January to March. We didn’t want to push our trip back until June, so we decided to bring it forward instead (such a hardship, I know). It was then a matter of finding out what dates and flights were going to give us what we wanted at the best deal.
Many of you that know both myself and Rich will know that when it comes to plans I’m more of a ‘close my eyes, pick, and hope for the best’ kind of girl. Rich most definitely is not. My kind of planning gives Rich night sweats and panic attacks because he doesn’t have a complete, up to date itinerary and cost break down. This posed a problem as I was more then happy to go with the first decent package we came across, whilst Rich required more (hours and days and weeks) time to go through the options and put them onto a spreadsheet. After much eye rolling and telling him to pick one from me, he finally did. We ended up going with the well known company STA Travel. I have to say, the one he’s gone for is much better then the one we would have ended up with had I been the one doing the booking. As much as he frustrates me with his need to go over everything with a fine tooth comb, I can admit that it always ends up turning out amazing. So I’ll let him keep booking things as long as he let’s me continue to make fun of him for it.
As some of you may have spotted, I added a countdown clock to the side of the blog the other day. Yes, that means we officially have a leaving date! After the deliberation about what company to use for climbing and finally booking that, it took us a few days to realise that we probably needed to sort out actually getting there as well. Cue more deliberations and spreadsheets and we were able to find an awesome deal on flights through STA as well, so we’ve stuck with them. Our flight leaves at 5pm on January 23rd from Heathrow and goes direct to Nairobi, where we have an hours layover before a short flight to Kilimanjaro International airport. We end up landing on the 24th and will make our way to Moshi that afternoon to join our group.
We spend one night in Moshi before starting our climb on the 25th. We have opted to go for an 8 day climb that uses the Machame route, also know as the ‘Whiskey Route’ due to it being a harder climb then it’s aptly named counterpart the ‘Coca-Cola Route.
If you’re interested in a better breakdown of the 8 days, you can see the itinerary here:
We arrive back to Moshi on the 31st, and after a good night’s rest we’ve got a bus booked to take us into Nairobi on the 1st. We’re planning on spending about 2 days in Nairobi as there are a few things we’d like to see whilst we’re there. From there we will join a 8 or 9 day safari tour that will take us through the Masai Mara, into the Serengeti, around Lake Nakuru (Flamingo Lake), and lots of places inbetween.
We end up back in Nairobi, where we’ve got a flight via Ethiopia (cause going north to go south makes sense) to Cape Town, South Africa. We’re thinking about 10 days in and around Cape Town to explore all it has to offer. We’d like to climb Table Mountain, although after our Kili hike we might just be done with mountains at that point!
Something we’ve also setting our sights on is a vineyard tour around Cape Town. Since deciding where to go on this trip we’ve been basing our wine selections on places we’ll be travelling and South Africa has some good wine. To say our wine consumption hasn’t gone up in preparation would be a lie!
Once we finish in Cape Town we’ll be done our African leg of our adventures (for now 😉) and heading over to Oz. We haven’t booked anything yet, but it’s looking like the best flights over are into Perth so that’s where we’re anticipating starting from. We’ve got loads of ideas for Australia and New Zealand, so once we’ve got a bit farther in planning I’ll do another post on that.
That’s where we’re at now, and we’re both so excited. Since booking flights last week it’s started to become more real, and with a start date we’ve been able to figure out when each of us will have to give notice at work. I still can’t quite believe that it’s actually happening, but it is!
Have any of you climbed Kilimanjaro, gone on safari, or have been to Cape Town? What were the best and worst bits if you have? We’d also love some recommendations for places to stay, eat, or things to do once we’re in Cape Town as there is so much to choose from! We’d appreciate any thoughts, tips, or hints being left in the comments below.