Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: African Contrasts 2015


"I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills ..."

So begins Karen Blixen's novel Out of Africa, conjuring up images of plantations, lush countryside, wild animals and local people with colourful traditions. Our ambitions with regard to immersing ourselves in East African culture were somewhat more modest. We only had a little over a week to play with, but still hoped to gain a reasonable level of exposure to captivating cities, natural beauty, historical and present-day human interest, and even some limited experience of the wildlife (although the latter was not a primary focus on this occasion). Bruce pointed out that, despite the time constraints, the trip could be said to be an 'A to Z of East Africa', with 'A' referring to the Ethiopian capital (Addis Ababa) and 'Z' meaning the Tanzanian 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar.

Structurally, the trip was built around two main components. Bruce used a two-for-one voucher from American Express to secure first-class outbound flights with British Airways at effectively half the usual air-miles cost per person. (It'll be my turn next time!) Although BA has developed something of a hit-and-miss reputation of late, this turned out to be a really enjoyable start to the trip. Much of the remainder of the flying was done on a low-cost, business-class single fare offered by Ethiopian Airlines from Zanzibar to London, which included a stopover in Addis Ababa and a cheap, add-on side trip from the Ethiopian capital.

TOP ROW: Stone Town; Red Colobus monkey; Kae Beach (all Zanzibar)
BOTTOM ROW: Lalibela street scene; Church of St George, Lalibela; Yilma restaurant, Addis Ababa (all Ethiopia)

Use the black menu bar above or continue directly to Day 1