Our journey through Africa began the end of November and lasted until mid March. It was both amazing and rewarding. We started with a flight from Milan to Casablanca and ended with a flight from Addis Ababa to Rome. I’m trying to catch up to our stay in Romania.
During December of 2015 in Morocco, we finalized which countries we planned to visit based on ease of entry and visas. We settled on Kenya Airways route of DKR-NBO-JNB-ADD (via NBO), or Dakar (with a stop in Abidjan) to Nairobi to Johannesburg to Addis Ababa changing planes in Nairobi. We booked five weeks between arriving in Johannesburg and leaving for Addis Ababa. Later we filled that segment with our journeys to Namibia and Botswana.
In Casablanca, we both got our Yellow Fever inoculations and more importantly our Yellow Fever certificates. We also went to the American Embassy to get extra pages in our passports in case South Africa wanted to use two pages every time we entered.
I really cannot say enough nice things about Kenya Airways. The flights were timely, we made our one connection in Nairobi (and so did our bags), they were friendly, the ground staff was efficient, the food was as good as any airline food and we were able to get a couple of daytime flights.
We had a two day stopover in Addis Ababa before heading off to Rome on Ethiopian Airlines. Our hotel was in a commercial area near the Bole Airport. After arriving around 10 am we were able to check into our room and orient ourselves. On our day of exploring we walked all over the city. Then took a taxi to the Holy Trinity Cathedral and down to Meskel Square. I just have a few pictures to capture this amazing experience. The Cathedral grounds were packed as a Lenten Mass was taking place so did not take photos of the resting place of Emperor Haile Selassi.
We prefer to travel overland when possible. Due to the distances, differing bureaucratic visa requirements, and questionable roads and rail, we opted for flying for most of our travel in Africa. As much as possible, we booked daytime flights in hopes of seeing as much terrain as possible. Part of the excitement of Africa is flying on a clear day viewing the vastness of the land. I captured the following landscapes through airplane windows using iPad and iPhone. During January to March 2016 we started in Casablanca flying to Dakar (via Madrid). Then we flew on to Nairobi, Johannesburg, Capetown, Windhoek, finally back to Johannesburg. We visited Pretoria by train. Then, we took a bus to Gaborone returning by air. Then, we continued up to Addis Ababa (via Nairobi). The austere red earth highlighted by mountains, dappled with shadows of clouds, cut by the occasional river fascinates me. The lonely yearning in each of these photos of the distant expanses resonates with me.
We flew from Casablanca to Dakar, Senegal with Iberia Air, first flying to Madrid, then turning around and retracing the west Africa coast down to Dakar. Although it made a bit of a long day, this was the cheapest ticket and we arrived around 22:00. All the direct flights arrive way after midnight, not my favorite experience in a new country.
Our apartment looked out over the Place Independence and the Port. It was fun to be in the heart of the city and experience how it worked and how it stumbled. We walked many parts of the city in the blistering sun. It was hot compared to the cooler temperatures of Casablanca. We took a taxi one day out to the Pointe des Almides, the most western tip of the African continent.
Here are some photo impressions of Dakar.
On to Nairobi.
We left Dakar in the afternoon. The first leg took us to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. After an hour stopover, we flew all night arriving at 06:00 in Nairobi, crossing four time zones.
We walked everywhere with a few rides on the local Matatu minibuses. The National Museum was a very wonderful experience (the link should open to Trip Advisor where you might find my review). The displays are well organized and quite well explained. Even areas we were not so interested in yielded some new insights.