Everything about the Itinerary

Our dream to travel for a long time existed because of our desire to see all those beautiful and interesting places on earth. So one of the first things we did is to see if our wishes were the same. From that we made a preliminary itinerary. Of course we knew that it might have changed already after half a year. Therefore it was not more than a guideline. Our motto was: absolute freedom. Coincidences were more than welcome during our travels. In the 3rd column you can find our real itinerary e.g. the number of weeks we really spent in a country.

Number of weeks planned Country Number of weeks really travelled
4 Tanzania (incl. Zanzibar) 7
1 Kenia 1
2 Uganda 9
1 West-Tanzania 1
4 Zambia 32
1 Botswana 2
3 Namibia 7
4 South-Africa 17
0 Lesotho 0,5
0 Swaziland 0,5
1 Mozambique 3
1 Zimbabwe 4
1 South-Zambia 3
0 Netherlands 2,5
4 Nepal/Tibet 0
4 India 0
3 Myanmar 0
2 Thailand 0
3 Laos 0
2 Cambodia 0
2 Thailand 0
4 Malaysia (Sabah/Sarawak) 0
0 Australia 1
4 New-Zeeland 4
2 Cook Islands/Tahiti 2
7 Canada (Vancouver)/Alaska 9,5+5
0 Cuba 3
3 Mexico 2
2 Guatemala 2,5
0 Belize 1
2 Honduras 1
1 Nicaragua 2,5
4 Costa Rica 3
0 Panama 2
0 Colombia 0,5
3 Ecuador 4
1 Galapagos 2,5
4 Peru 4,5
3 Bolivia 4,5
? Venezuela/Caribbean??????? 0

We knew that Africa would have a major part in our travels. Not only did we meet each other in Africa, but we both have a weak spot for Africa. They say: if you've been once to Africa you will always come back. It's a confrontation between living and surviving. In the beginning we thought of driving down from Amsterdam to Cape Town. Unfortunately did the political situation in many countries (Tsjaad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, Central-African Republic) not allow us to do so.
Eventually we chose for South East Africa despite the fact we had been there before. However, this time we would have our own wheels which meant we could take as much time as we wanted, wherever whatever. Especially the National Parks would be our main focus. We flew to Zanzibar to have a well-deserved break on the beach after the hectic time in Holland. In Dar es Salaam we picked our car up from the harbour and drove north to Kilimanjaro. We didn't climb it however, but chose to do Mt Elgon in Uganda instead. Of course we visited the Ngorongoro-crater and Serengeti NP.

We tried to get to Kenya from the Serengeti to Masai Mara NP but the border post was closed. Instead we drove via Lake Victoria. In Kenya we only visited the south west because of previous visits. We did however spent a lot of time in Uganda where we visited the gorillas en chimpanzees and did voluntary work for the Jane Goodall Institute.

Via the east side of Lake Victoria we entered Tanzania for the second time. West-Tanzania was very remote, we couldn't find any information on the internet. And tough it was! From Tanzania we drove south to Zambia. We spent time in Kafue National Park and managed Mukambi Safari Lodge for almost 2 months.

Via the Caprivi strip we entered Namibia (after brief visits to Botswana and Zimbabwe). Of course we did visit the Okavango Delta again, this time the pan handle in Botswana. Namibia was very very special for the time we spent in Kaoaland with the Himba tribe-stam and Etosha NP. Of course we did not skip the sand dunes of Sossusvlei including the sandboarding.

South-Africa was very different (again). We didn't expect too much since it doesn't answer to what we expect from the "real Africa". However, we found it a very beautiful country and we made many many friends. Of course we did go to the Drakens Mountains and visited the small countries of Lesotho and Swaziland. In Mozambique we dove with many manta rays.

Of all South East Asia plans nothing eventually happened because after 2 years of travelling we returned to Africa, which continent we never really left until the day of today (although we did some travelling in India, Thailand and Cambodia since then).

After Africa we flew via The Netherlands to Canada in North America where we spent some time with Marieke's sister who lives their with her family. From Calgary we headed for the Rocky Mountains and eventually followed the Alaskan Highway to Alaska, USA. We also travelled down the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean at Inuvik in Yukon and the North West Territories. In Alaska we were struck by nature's beauty and very annoying Americans. Via British Colombia we came back to Canada and saw fishing Grizzly's. Of course we enjoyed Vancouver Island and saw killer whales in the ocean.

After Canada we flew to Rick's sister Mariska in Quito, Ecuador. From here we came to one of the highlights of our trip and a hearts desire of Rick: the Galapagos Islands. We also spent some time in southern Colombia, after which we continued to Peru and Bolivia, where we explored the Amazone.

Next was Central America: New Year celebrations in Panama, the jungle of Costa Rica, the beaches of Nicaragua and diving in Honduras and Belize. Guatemala was another highlight and via Mexico we enjoyed Cuba.

After a short break in Canada we flew to the Cook Islands in the Pacific and saw the most beautiful Bounty Beach ever on Aitutaki. We spent about a month in New Zealand and in Sydney we ended our 2nd year of travelling. After Oceania we flew back to Africa where we first helped again in Mukambi Safari Lodge in Zambia, secondly guided an overland tour through RSA, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. After that tour we accepted an offer to manage Mukambi Safari Lodge in Zambia on a more permanent basis. Only in January 2005 we returned to Holland to officially finish our Around-The-World travels.

Do we still have a lot of desire to Travel after all this? Oh yes! Some countries which were initially on the list but we never made it, we still would like to go to. Think about Ethiopia, Jemen, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Antarctica, Brazil, Mongolia and Iran. And of course Asia. Just keep track on news on this website. We are sure these countries will be on it some day!

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