TRAVELBUCKET

Ethiopia

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART III) – ARRIVING AT THE BORDER

You have made it to the border post!  Now you need to keep calm and work through the process.  Remember each country has its own rules. Which border post? In all our years of travel we found that it is much easier to enter/exit at smaller border posts.  At the bigger border posts, the officials are sometimes tired and irritated and will take their time to work through the processes.  Our experience is at the smaller posts they are friendlier and welcome a chat while doing their work. When? Try to avoid peak times, if possible, like month end, late Friday afternoon or popular public holidays like Easter.  Everybody is in a hurry and the queues are longer, the tempers flare quicker and willingness is shorter. Be positive! No matter how frustrated you get, try to smile and be friendly.  They are only doing their job.  A positive attitude goes… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART II) – VEHICLE AND INSURANCE

This is probably the most stressful aspect of any border crossing, with the most variables per country, but if you stick to the following you should be more or less okay.  If your vehicle is still under a finance agreement, you will need to acquire a letter of permission from the applicable financial institution. Each institution has its own requirements and procedures to follow as to how to obtain it.  Allow enough time to obtain the required paperwork.  If you are planning to take a trailer or caravan remember to do the same, if financed. Make sure your ID number matches that used on your vehicle documents. If your registration papers show your RSA ID number, then take it with you.  Rather take too much proof than be in a predicament. Take a colour copy of your vehicle’s registration papers. This is very handy. It is a popular document and… Read more >

THE GOOD OLD PAPER MAP

        Why still a hard copy map?  Yes, yes, yes I know all the modern technology is available – and I do own a GPS and a smart phone with navigational abilities, but I still love a good old map with all those red lines connecting places. You see this is where the practical me jumps in again.  I like it because: There is nothing more rewarding when you are planning a trip than to spread out the map on the table and say that is where I want to go. Yes, yes, I know the GPS shows me where I want to go, but sometimes we get so blinded by tunnel vision  focussing on what the GPS tells us what to do that we do not actually know where we are in the bigger picture. Driving in town that is fine, you can just replace/recharge the… Read more >

ETHIOPIA

To say the least – I was stunned by Ethiopia! The picture I had in my mind of Ethiopia was of famine ravished people as thin as sticks living off parched land.  Sooooo wrong – well at least the parts of the country that I have visited. This was the first of the East African countries that we have entered into per vehicle on our trans African trip that drives on the right-hand side of the road.  This immediately says that there is a whole lot more surprises waiting for you.  When we entered at Moyale on the Ethiopia/Kenya border you immediately notice all the changes in yet a new country.  Suddenly you cannot read the sign boards next to the road as it is in Ahrmeric (only spoken in Ethiopia,) the Samburu women carrying barrels of water in a unique style on their backs with different looking cattle grazing… Read more >

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