Girl alone in east africa - advice please!
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jun 19, 2012 3:41 PM Last Post By: derke1212
Jan 8, 2012 6:00 AM
Girl alone in east africa - advice please!Hi everyone!
I'm a 24 year old med student from the UK and I'm currently planning my elective in East Africa. At the moment my provisional plans are to work for 4 weeks starting in July in Zanzibar, then 2 weeks starting in the middle of August with the Masaii tribe in the Masaii Mara in Kenya. So I've got a couple of weeks to play with in between and then a couple of weeks afterwards. Does anyone have any recommendations of good things to do while I make my way from Zanzibar to the Masaii, ie. north of Tanzania/south of Kenya, and then where would be best to head to afterwards, with a view to where to book my flight back from? I've heard Uganda has a lot of fun backpackery stuff going on.
Also if anyone has any insights into how safe and easy it'll be travelling on my own and how much things'll cost, that'd be good. I've done a fair bit of backpacking before so I'm a bit travel savvy... but I've never been to sub-saharan Africa before so I don't really have any idea what to expect! Would people say it's comparable to India with regards to ease of getting about? Do many people speak English?
Would really appreciate any kind of input at all... thanks so much in advance for your time. Also, if by some mad chance someone's been on the electives I've mentioned then any advice regarding those would be awesome!
Jan 8, 2012 8:24 AM
Jan 8, 2012 9:38 AM
Jan 8, 2012 1:56 PM
3Hi guys, thanks for the response! I'll be doing part of my medical elective, which'll involve me assisting with the running of a local health clinic, conducting lessons to Maasai community groups on the dangers of HIV and how to prevent themselves from getting infected, home visits, counseling and testing services for HIV and Aids. I'm not exactly sure of the location yet. What I'd like to know is where the best places to go are in between Zanzibar and the Masaii, and then where to head to after that?
Jan 8, 2012 1:59 PM
4And ric, thanks for the offer that sounds good... I couldnt find any info on your profile... but where would you suggest to go in Uganda if I've got 2 weeks and I'm coming from the Masaii Mara? Cheers!
Jan 9, 2012 3:25 AM
5i think if you click on my profile you can read through all my previous posts and 90% of them are on Uganda
if you are in the masaii you will probably have to come back to Nairobi and then get the bus (12 hours) to kampala, there may be another way to do it but i dont know heaps about Kenya so maybe look into that, but its so easy from Nairobi, just book the Akamba bus and its safe and comfortable
2 weeks in Uganda, i would...
spend at least a full day (and night) in Kampala as it is a great and bonkers city with an amazing nightlife (travellers, locals, expats) - you can also do a day trip to Jinja for white water rafting and other activities
head to the crater lakes at fort portal (the town is lovely and then you can stay at most of the 52 lakes, if you want to know a good one let me know as I have been here a few times, but by all means read and make your own mind up
from fort portal head to Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi (trust me, you wont be all 'laked out' by the time you see this place, it is stunning
Head to Kisoro (here you can climb the virungas, get lost in epic hills, visit lakes and caves and even pay a visit to Congo for the market once a week)
there is a Kisoro - Kampala bus that would take you back
during this itinerary you can
see chimpanzees in Kibale forest, which is very near to fort portal and the crater lakes ($90 i think)
trek to waterfalls also near the crater lakes (most the guest houses have a few ideas and guides)
see game in queen elizabeth park (on the way from fort portal to Kabale, stop in Kasese and then arrange a driver to take you into the park for lions, leopards and possibly elephants - but you might have seen all these in Kenya and the game is no where near as good). If you dont fancy more game, in Kasese you can arrange to hike in the Rwenzori mountains which have just finished 9th in the National Geographics top 20 treks in the world (the only african finalist)
While in Kisoro you can arrange a gorilla permit in either Mgahinga NP or Bwindi Forest NP. Mgahinga is just 30 minutes but the gorillas are not guaranteed to be in Uganda as they roam around. Bwindi is 3 hours but the gorillas will be there. You might need to book a permit for the Bwindi gorillas as it will be high season, Mgahinga cannot be booked you just turn up at the office in Kisoro, as such these are my personal pick as no tour groups ever see them so you might have them to yourself
I hope this helps! Sorry its a bit brief, i am on my lunchbreak but if you want any details feel free to email me through this site
Jan 9, 2012 7:46 AM
6At this stage it's worth pointing out that the only two places to cross the border between Tanzania and Kenya in the NW/SW of those countries are Namanga (between Nairobi and Arusha) and Isebania (between Kisumu and Mwanza. Unfortunately, the Sand River Gate crossing between the Maasai Mara and Serengeti is closed.
As a starting point idea, I think I'd fly from Zanzibar to Nairobi, then visit some of the Rift Valley Lakes using public transport for a few days (Naivasha, Baringo) before doing a safari in the Maasai Mara. If you could be dropped by the safari company at your elective location in Maasailand, so much the better.
Jun 19, 2012 3:41 PM
7Hey my Friend and I, we have done Asia and west Africa by land before both 26. Hear east Africa is pretty easy and safe. we are starting the other way, from Ethiopia the start of July then we will went up In Zanzibar the 1st week In Aug.
We going by land will keep in touch if you want and trade info.
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