Hey Mazungu (English)

Hey Mazungu (English)

From Jinja at the Nile River to Kampala with the worst chaotic traffic, continuing over the highlands of Fort Portal with charming crater lakes and further South via Lake Bunyonyi to the Rwandan border. After the last really hot days at Lake Bogoria in Kenia we passed the boarder to Uganda at Malaba on the 23rd of January. We were welcomed by friendly people, rich vegetation and pleasant temperatures. If someone thinks of Africa, he probably imagines a country like Uganda: stunning nature with colorful tropical plants as well as smiling people on the roadside. These were the first impressions we got from Uganda. Our first stop was Jinja. Jinja is situated directly where the Nile drains off Lake Victoria. And right at the Nile river few kilometres down the stream is one of the most beautiful campsites in Africa “The Haven” (GPS Coordinates N0 32.564 E33 05.387). The Haven overlooks the Nile rapids and is run purely by solar energy.  We rather felt like somewhere in Switzerland and not in Africa because it was so clean and tidy there. We spent the next day’s with writing, checking out the area and just relaxing. We had to recover from the exhausting journey.  The peaceful days were only interrupted by a rafting tour. One full day we were speeding down the Nile rapids and at the end we flipped over. That was great fun. WordPress Image Slider Plugin We also used the time to remove the damaged steering damper of our Toyota and to look for replacement. On the third day Dee, James together with their friend Collin, who lives...
Hello Money – English

Hello Money – English

All the way through Ethiopia. From the beautiful hilly North, over Addis Ababa to the Kenyan border.  Over high mountains, fascinating monasteries as well as magnificent landscapes. And the question: Is begging in Ethiopia a national sport? After the last night in Sudan the Ethiopian border welcomed us like a slap in our face. Everyone without any exception was holding out their hands. The customs officers only wanted to do their job for additional money. The helpers, the kids and all the others were asking for money, pens, food, cloths, exercise books, etc. Only few kilometers from the border some kids were throwing the first stones at our car. Just a general explanation: Throwing stones at each other seems to be part of the Ethiopian culture in some areas and is not only meant for tourists who don’t want to donate something.  We saw locals throwing stones at each other when they were angry. Even their animals got the stone punishment when they did something wrong. We were accompanied with the stone throwing almost on all roads until the Omo Valley in the South of Ethiopia. We in our car were pretty safe compared to motor bikers and especially cyclists. [satellite] Initially we were planning to drive all the way through to Lake Tana. However the procedure at the customs took quite long and we decided spontaneously to bush camp together with our biker friends Igor and Johannes in a beautiful hilly area about 30 km before Lake Tana. As soon as we parked our Toyota and the motorbikes more and more children eyes were staring at us silently...
The Patience Test

The Patience Test

We will never forget the ferry crossing experience of the Nasser Lake from Egypt to Sudan, even though we would like to. After we were already waiting for one week, there was just a big mess short time before our departure: The pontoon full of holes was repaired temporarily with wet cement only in the morning of our departure. In addition, all off of a sudden the captain of the pontoon had a week off, except the amount of “bakshish” (tip) could convince him to work. We couldn’t help but collecting some money from our tour members from England, Germany, Italy and Australia and at the end we were successful in convincing him to postpone his vacation. Finally on Monday, 29th of November we drove our Toyota on the Pontoon, hoping that the fresh wet cement will hold. We left our Toyota with a last wave and went on the passenger ferry. The passenger ferry was not really equivalent to a luxury boat, but was rather a rusty old barge endangered to sink shortly. The next twenty hours we had to share the “luxury barge” squeezed in with a countless number of people from Egypt, Sudan, Libya as well as hundreds of bag’s, suitcase’s, TV’s, washmachine’s and all kinds of other strange stuff. This was really a long border crossing from Assuan (Egypt) to Wadi Halfa (Sudan). We received some compensation at the moment we touched Sudanese ground. The Sudanese people were just lovely and welcomed us warmhearted. Our initial distrust was totally wrong because the Sudanese people did not want to sell something or cheating on us like...
Visiting the Pharaoh

Visiting the Pharaoh

In summary we can say that driving in Egypt is like playing „Tetris“ in the street. There are no rules. Everyone drives the way he feels like and the winner is the biggest or the loudest car. A four line street is made to a six line street and vehicles drive only centimeters apart from each other. The traffic is packed with busses (always stopping somewhere), donkey wagons and millions of cars and motorbikes. But now one by one… [satellite] We booked a hotel room at the May Fair Hotel (GPS coordinates N30 03.565 E31 13.261) in Zamalek in located in the middle of the embassy quarter in Cairo. Very early next morning we went confidently and full of energy to the embassies in order to get the visas for Sudan and Ethiopia. When we arrived there the doors were closed and no one was working. Great! Not only Israel seems to have lots of public holidays but also Egypt. Or maybe it is us? Do we attract all the public holidays in the region? Because of the “Feast of Sacrifice” public holidays the Sudan embassy (GPS coordinates N30 02.371 E31 14.050) was closed for the entire week. The Ethiopia embassy (GPS coordinates N30 02.398 E31 12.279) for four days and the German embassy (for our Ethiopian recommendation letter) for two days (GPS coordinates N30 03.301 E31 13.134). What shall we do now? We decided spontaneously to stay in Cairo for four days for the Ethiopia visa and to get the Sudan visa later in Assuan at the consulate. We wanted to discover the city, museums and the surrounding...
Welcome to Middle East

Welcome to Middle East

Getting out of the strict organization, out of security controls and getting into the orient. Bargaining, hawker’s on the highway, men with long robes, women with scarfs, luxury limousines parking next to goats, people living with goats, donkeys, camels and at the same time many luxury hotels and resorts. Hospitable, friendly and honest habitants. Diving into a fascinating country with a vast variety of contrast’s. On the 23rd of October early in the morning we crossed the border to Jordan. The Israel departure was easy, without any troubles. We handed in the custom papers, paid 100 Shekel (approx.. 20 €) and after 15 minutes we already left Israel. [satellite] In Jordan we went through passport controls and got vehicle insurance for one week (24 JHD, approx. 25 €). We couldn’t trust our eyes, after 20 minutes we were in Jordan! That was so relaxing after the challenging arrival at Israel port 10 days earlier. GPS’s are not allowed to bring to Jordan. Therefore we did not have one and asked people to find our way to Aqaba. Because we did not bring maps either. The first thing we did was looking for a petrol station because diesel in Jordan costs only 0,51 JHD (approx.. 0,53 Euro). It is pure pleasure filling up our tanks in Jordan with this price (we have two tanks, altogether 220 liter!). We drove directly to Petra from Aqaba and arrived at the Ammarin Bedouin Camp in the afternoon. The Ammarin Bedouin Camp is beautifully situated in the middle of bizarrely shaped rocks. These present a fascinating landscape (GPS coordinates N30°22.912′ E35°27.032′). We can only...