In my efforts to live life to the fullest, I aim to do as many things on my 30 before 30 bucket list, one of the items on my list was to go backpacking on horseback. During my recent trip to Ethiopia I had a chance to cross it of my list.
My trip to Ethiopia wasn’t all work and no play. I had plenty of free time to explore and partake in all the wonderful things Harar had to offer.
As many people know, I just finished my first global trip with Habitat for Humanity in Ethiopia. I chose to go to Ethiopia because I currently live in Kenya and while I live here I would like to travel East Africa. So it was a no-brainer to decide to volunteer in Ethiopia.
I have an amazing opportunity to travel to Ethiopia from April 11-20 with Habitat for Humanity. Help me help in Ethiopia with your donation. All donations are appreciated and thank to everyone for their support!
Check it out: http://share.habitat.org/samantha-rowland-gv14128
Here are some fun basic tricks and tips for navigating your travels in Kenya:
1) The menus are never accurate at local hotelis, always ask
2) Don’t drink the water unless it is bottled
3) Be wary of raw foods
4) You’ll get charged a mizungu price but you can always get a better deal if you know how to barter
5) Matatus are the best method of local transportation followed by pikipiki(motorcycle)
6) Major city markets include Naivas, Tusky’s, & Nakumatt (essentially like Target)
7) Always carry hand sanitizer and toilet paper with you
8) Disperse money on your person, do not keep it all in one place
9) The three major cities are Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombassa
10) All major cities have international airports, and you can travel to Mombassa via train from Nairobi
11) Travel around Kenya is cheapest and most comfortable using a matatu shuttle, but a bus like EasyCoach is the next best thing
12) All American money should be exchanged in Nairobi using bills newer than 2005, outside of the cities and major venues, transactions are cash only
13) To enter other African countries, like Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia you have to purchase a tourist visa
14) Some people prefer to rent their own car for safari to reduce cost
15) Typically the best safari season is between August and November
16) The hottest season is from January to May, June to August is winter, and you get mild weather the rest of the year
17) Mt Kenya and Mt Elgon are cheap alternatives to climbing Kilimanjaro and still breathtaking
18) Kiswahili is the primary spoken language, but in rural areas tribal languages are most common
19) Visit “Little Italy” when you go to the coast, a town called Malindi
20) When planning your trip, figure out what you want to do, then create a road map of it, that way as you travel, you can stop and explore all the sites you want to see and more