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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Uganda

Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Some Wildlife, Unique Landscapes… And So Gentle People!

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I visited Uganda twice. In August 2011, during 2 weeks, I discovered the string of National Parks in western Uganda, starting with Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Kibale Rain Forest, Semliki National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and last but not least Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The 3rd week, I used Jinja as a base to discover the area. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Rwanda

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans

“The Switzerland Of Africa”

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye) and Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Colombia

South America’s Most Diverse Country?

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In summer 2009, I spent 7 weeks in Colombia and discovered Salento & the Zona Cafetera; Popayan, San Agustin, Tierradentro & the Desierto de Tatacoa; Bogota; Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara & Bucaramanga; Medellin (during the Feria de las Flores); Santa Marta, Taganga & Tayrona National Park; Rioacha & La Guajira (up to Punta Gallinas) and last but not least Cartagena de Indias. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Ethiopia

The Most Diverse African Experience?

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I visited Ethiopia 3 times over the last 5 years and spent approx. 2 months there. Nonetheless, I still have the impression that I haven’t seen it all:

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Introduction

Heidi & Gilles - Pure wilderness, Chilojo Cliffs Campsite 1, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

Heidi & Gilles – Pure wilderness, Chilojo Cliffs Campsite 1, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

Naturally, on a Long Term Trip, you will not only visit more places, but also completely different ones than on a two to three week vacation. You will also enjoy a higher flexibility and hence will have the opportunity to stay longer in each place. Consequently your travel experiences will be utterly different.

From our experience, on a short trip, we usually focused on the “highlights” and quickly move from one attraction to the other. With much more time at hand, we were able to truly discover the countries we were visiting, and travel Off The Beaten Track. Not very surprising, though… Continue Reading →

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Itinerary

Choosing An Itinerary – Do Less & Experience More!

Dance of the Masks, Dogon Country, Mali, Africa

Dance of the Masks, Dogon Country, Mali, Africa

The usual mistake most travelers make when planning a Round The World Trip (and believe us, we did the same!) is trying to pack too much into their itinerary. You will never see it all, even if you travel for 10 years. There is simply too much to see out there.

Most people see a Long Term Trip as a unique experience, the first and probably only such trip, and worry that they will miss places that they might never be able to visit again. For us it was the Easter Island and the “South Seas” in the Pacific, or South Patagonia in South America. And we are glad we went there, actually. Continue Reading →

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Preparations

Preparing A Round The World / Long Term Trip – So Many Things To Think About?

Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

In our opinion, mainly two aspects are important when planning Long Term Travel:

  • Take the decision – This is the only real tough part in the whole process. But be sure of one thing: once the decision is taken, you have accomplished the most difficult part!
  • Stick to this decision – You will experience a lot of headwind while preparing such a trip: people warning you that it is dangerous, the anxiety about your job or your company offering you new possibilities to keep you (we have been through this), your family being not really being amused about this project… All this obstacles are best avoided by communicating your plans widely, so that there is no turning back. That done, when doubt comes up (and it will happen, sooner or later), you will feel compelled to stick to your plans. And you will be happy about it in the end!!!

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Budget for a Round The World Trip

Malawean Kwachas - Approx. 280 €

Malawean Kwachas – Approx. 280 €

The most frequently asked question when we traveled for a year in 2007 – 2008 was “How much does / did it cost?

Here is the answer: in total we spent 20.700 Euros per person for an entire year. That’s a lot more than most people spend. People we met usually had a budget between 12.000 to 15.000 Euros per person. Once we talked to a couple that lived on 10.000 Euros for 2 years, between the two of them! On the other hand we met people who burned 45.000 Euros per person in 15 months. Obviously the sky is the limit… Continue Reading →

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Money Matters – Cash @ Low Cost!

Ugandan Shillings (approx. 700 Euros)

Ugandan Shillings (approx. 700 Euros)

Fees to access local currencies can turn into an expensive affair. These costs can be as low as 3% to 5% of your total expenditures, but also reach a mind-blowing 10 to 12% if you are not well prepared, like us in Malawi in 2014! We did not bring enough cash and we had all kinds of cards but not a VISA.

So have a very close look at this aspect, as we are talking about serious money there. For example, take a budget of 15.000 €: it can mean as little as 450 to 750 € in total or as much as… 1.800 €! Continue Reading →

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Travel Gears – The Less The Better!

Heavily loaded bike, near the Red Fort, Agra, Rajasthan, IndiaBasically, the less you take the better you will feel while traveling. Do not forget that you will have to carry all that stuff, sometimes for quite a while. Besides, you will have to pack and unpack your backpack many, many times! So each piece of “stuff” that you take – no matter if it is clothes, shoes, medicine, electronics, books or whatever…will cost you time, energy and nerves! Continue Reading →

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