Safe to say, there’s nowhere else in the world like Africa. Seriously.
Before I embarked on the 11 Day Highlights of Tanzania trip with Topdeck Travel I was inundated with colleagues and friends promising me that ‘Africa will change my life’.
Sure, I was expecting to enjoy the safari-esque adventure. But life-changing? Unforgettable? Well, turns out they were right.
As for the definition of life changing, let’s just take a second to clarify – I’m not just referring to the #YOLO-quit-your-job-and-pack-up-your-bedroom type of change. I’m talking ALL types of change, from the life altering to the minute.
From developing a more open mind or building a daring attitude, to sampling new cuisines or spending less time glued to your smartphone (guilty!): it all counts.
Without a doubt, a trip to Africa will stay with you forever.
Read on for a few take-outs from my recent journey through Kenya and Tanzania.
You’ll learn the meaning of ‘Digital Detox’
To be honest, in most parts of Africa you don’t really have a choice but to switch off and detox. Yes, Wi-Fi is readily available, but you’ll spend more time trying to connect, only to discover your Whatsapp notifications won’t actually load. Dayumm, Africa.
Save yourself the tech-frustration and just switch off. Easy. No reception, no problems. Because, really, who has time for Snapchat and Instagram anyway?
You’ll see ALL the animals
In one word: breathtaking! You’ll never forget your first time spotting a pride of lions, a tower of giraffes or a dazzle of zebras. Then, really amp your wildlife game (geddit?) by sleeping under the stars in the Serengeti National Park. The best part? Falling asleep listening to hyenas and wildebeest nearby. Seriously, unbelievable!
Your taste buds will encounter new flavours
Food = the single most important reason to travel, am I right?! From traditional Kenyan stew cooked over a campfire to the food markets in Tanzania, there’s always something for the foodies. Think: Ugali, east African-style samosas and Pilau Rice infused with Zanzibar-style spices. Talk about authentic!
You’ll fall in love with the people
This one is a no-brainer. Across Africa, the people you meet will welcome you with open arms and a huge smile. Simple as that. TOP TIP: Learn the lingo and you’ll instantly be rewarded with life-long local friends. Across East Africa be sure to listen out for “karibu,” meaning ‘welcome’ or “asante sana” meaning ‘thank you very much’.
You’ll uncover a new way to travel
Once you go overland, you might never go back. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone but it sure is a hell of a journey. Picture this: a twin-cab truck (not a bus, coach, or van) and 22 seats in the back. Team that with all of your camping gear underneath, lockers at the back of the truck and off you go, safari style! Adding to the mix: the friendships! All those hours spent rolling through the plains of the Serengeti savannah = prime bonding time with your new safari-buds.
This hands on adventure will teach all travellers, from the first timers to the seasoned pros, how to pitch a tent, cook over a camp fire, and most importantly – squat behind the truck if nature calls (even if it involves a 12 ft. giraffe staring you down). This crazy, adventurous and inspiring way to travel may leave you craving a hot shower – but it will also leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
If you’re looking for an adventure to excite you, make your jaw-drop and ultimately change the way you travel forever, Africa is IT.