In honor of our very last day in Africa, and in place of a weekly summary, we are pleased to present the Zhou and Kevin Top Five Lists. These lists were created jointly by Zhou and Kevin, and there was no fighting at all over what made the top fives, no, absolutely none at all.
[Also, for those of you math majors like ourselves, you’ll notice that there are only three things listed under the “Top Five Don’t-Dos.” What I have to say to you is this: It’s our blog, and we do what we want.]
Top Five To-Dos
- Nile white water rafting, Jinja, Uganda
- Gorilla trek, Bwindi Forest, Uganda
- Masai Mara, Kenya
- Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Devil’s Pool, Livingstone, Zambia
Top Five Don’t-Dos
- Lake Bunyonyi village walk, Uganda
- Chobe River cruise, Botswana
- Kruger Park, South Africa
Top Five Non-Itinerary Experiences
- Waking up to see a herd of impalas doing their morning gymnastics
- Watching a small bird fearlessly attack a class 5 rapid on the Nile
- Hanging out with traditional Masai warriors while one created a replacement truck part out of a tree root
- Jumping into the clear, warm, beautiful water of the Indian Ocean just before sunset
- Eating dinner 20 feet away from four large, thirsty elephants
Top Five Things We Learned
- The weather is crazy – it can be blazing hot during the day and then freezing cold that same night. It rains suddenly and without warning. Always bring a jacket.
- Restaurant service ranges from slow to non-existent. If you want to eat at dinnertime, order right after lunch. Bring a flexible appetite, and be prepared to wait.
- It doesn’t matter how tough your vehicle seems, the roads are always tougher. If you plan to drive the continent yourself, build in some time for car repair. Your vehicle will break down.
- Craft/souvenir sellers will start off their negotiating with an absurdly high price. Really absurdly high. Don’t be afraid to offer 1/10th or even less of what they ask. You’ll probably still pay too much but that’s ok.
- In countries with a VAT (value-added tax), tourists can usually reclaim the taxes they paid just by showing their receipts. Unfortunately we’ll never be able to reclaim the 14% of our expenses we paid to the South African government because we (i.e. Kevin) compulsively sort our belongings. With VAT, SAVE your receipts.
Kevin’s Top Five Favorite Pictures
Zhou’s Top Five Favorite Pictures
- Total days: 49
- Days over budget: 10
- Days under budget: 39
- Total dollars under budget: $38.51
- Number of days we pitched our tent: 25
- Kevin showers to new foods ratio: 1:2
- Kevin showers: 21
- Zhou showers: 33
- Kevin pushups per day (average): 30
- Hours spent in Acacia trucks: 134.1
- Liters of water bought: 94.5
- Kevin books read: 1
- Zhou books read: 17
Picture of the Day: Our lunches from Jo-burg airport – guess whose is whose?