What You Need to Know Before Climbing Kilimanjaro

Second only to Antarctica, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro ate up a big chunk of my overall trip budget. At around $2,000+ USD for a seven-day climb, another $300 for gratuities and a further $100 for the Tanzanian visa, it’s not a cheap trip by any means.

When you compare your $300+ daily spending with what you actually get in return – squat potties, tents, and endless (and I do mean endless) walking – it’s hard to justify throwing away such a large chunk of money without having a good reason to back it up.

Did I have that good reason? No. I climbed a mountain simply to say I had climbed a mountain. I’m that person. But I did persevere and make it back to tell you all the need to know about this climb, so there is some sort of minor accomplishment in that at least.

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A Visit to A Malawian Witch Doctor

Visiting a witch doctor was never on my list when I set off for Africa.

I am a highly skeptical person in general and distrustful of all religions, conventional or otherwise. Yet time and again I find myself giving into whimsy and trying my hand at tarot cards or fortune tellers.

So far, I've gotten the same future prediction for both: married with three kids, two boys and a girl. Not a bad outlook, if only a bit creepy it's been confirmed twice.

So when it was rainy and quiet one afternoon in Malawi and the local guide asked if I wanted to go see the witch doctor in town and have my future told, I admit I was a bit curious to see what he could tell me. We set off in the rain through ankle-deep mud throughout the village in rural Malawi.

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Dangling Over the Edge in the Devils Pool at Victoria Falls

Geographically, Zimbabwe and Zambia share a border that runs through Victoria Falls. Theoretically, every adventure activity (or even any activity in general) that you can do in Zambia you can do in Zimbabwe.

Generally speaking, it tends to be quite a bit cheaper to do the activities on the Zimbabwean side due to their less economically stable currency. However, there is one notable exception: the Devils Pool at Victoria Falls.

You can only reach it from the Zambian side, requiring a day visa at the least if you do not plan to spend more time in the country.

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My First Safari in Africa Was Disappointing

I didn't go to Africa to see the animals. This fact seems to surprise a lot of people who think the only things worth seeing on the continent are the Big 5, but the fact was I was there to meet the people, explore different cultures, and do some adrenaline sports. The animals were a draw, but only a small one.

That being said, I didn't expect my first experience to be quite so, well… boring.

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