Awesome Southern African cities you should visit in 2023 (Part 2)

The last time I filled you in on which cities you shouldn’t leave Southern Africa without seeing, I did mention that it’s good I have had to learn about my bucket listed cities via blog posts, TV and the like and that without them, I would not even know about certain parts of the world I desire to travel to. Today I am so geared to share with you the other cities around Southern Africa you should visit in 2023 or later. I was happy to have shared on why you should visit cities like Livingstone, Walvis Bay, Cape Town, Dar es salaam and Swakopmund. If this list didn’t make you start your travel plans, I hope to do a good job making you try out the following towns:

1) Mombasa (Kenya)

I once mentioned how Kenya is like literally the epitome of Africa.Very few humans could actually not have coastal cities as their ideal hide out or hangout place. Both the areas in and near Mombasa have a touristic touch but if not a tourist, you will still love Mombasa anyways. This city is known for its history and you could enjoy going down the history lane whilst admiring the Old Town which was the center for trade between the Africans and the Arabs.

Do stop over at Fort Jesus as well on your history tour and learn more there. It is tradition to take pictures of landmarks, so Pembe Za Ndovu should never be left behind without showing some love because this is like the face of Mombasa!

2) Stone Town (Zanzibar)

It’s good to be old school sometimes and seek the things of old. Stone Town is just perfect for this kind of vibe, l mean the place screams ‘history!’ The town has old structures rich in history. Visit the Old Fort of Zanzibar sometimes called The Arab Fort which is right in the heart of Stone Town close to lots of accomodation choices ranging from hostels to 5 star hotels. You will find some local entertainment going on there to keep your spirits up.

Stone Town is the starting point for the refreshing day trips to Prison Island, Nakupenda Island and indeed many other places I did not see. If you happen to be a food lover (especially one in love with seafood and Indian food), Stone Town will just do it for you! I found lots of restaurants and certainly enjoyed the ones I picked.

3) Lusaka (Zambia)

Not that the town is not that touristic but i have met many a traveller that aren’t that into touristic stuff yet travelling. Some travellers like this could enjoy many places in Lusaka like Trotover Farms for those into horses and enjoy some horse riding .

Lusaka boasts some game reserves and you don’t have to go so far off to have a safari experience and the perfect place for this would be Chaminuka Game Reserve which is close to the main airport and do enjoy watching animals.

Restaurants are also an ideal fun place especially for your taste buds. We have restaurants in the likes of Bombay Lounge, Keg restaurant and bar, Radisson Blu Hotel, The Quorum Hotel, Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, for those who like to keep it fancy. Aside all these activities are others like the night life if that is your thing.

4) Windhoek (Namibia)

Namibia’s capital, Windhoek is a must-go. The city is calm, busy on some days and ideal for a short city getaway. There are historic landmarks like the Christuskirche i found which is the face of Windhoek. So much history attached to this structure! Other structures that captured my attention were the Independence Memorial Museum that focuses on struggle for independence. The museum is very close to the Christuskirche and could be seen in one tour.

I liked Windhoek for its affordable but neat accommodations. There are lots of shopping malls that offer lots of convenience. I loved the drive on the elevated pieces of land in certain parts of the city which was an opportunity to view the city from a better angle.

5) Kasane and Maun (Botswana)

There are many people I have asked about what one could do in Botswana and often times the replies make it appear like there isn’t really much one could do there. Maybe there is a reason some say so but I doubt the two towns Kasane and Maun would agree to that and am thinking so long there is a desert in the country, should be a reason for it to qualify as a place for people like me.

Kasane is a small border town in Botswana that offers the Chobe Safaris. These are famous safaris even on the Zambian side as you will find many Zambian tour companies offering day or more than a day trips to these national parks. This place I must say is elephant territory so you might want to watch out for these big fellows. I saw lots of those and other animals as well like the Impala family.

There are few cheap flights you could find from Kasane to Maun and back and this could give you the opportunity to see the lovely Okavango Delta from above that looks especially incredible!

These are the towns in Southern Africa that you should find a reason to visit.

Hostels.Not such a crazy idea…

โค๏ธThis post is based on personal experiences in places I personally visited and my own gallery๐Ÿ˜‰โค๏ธ

“The MOJO Hotel | Sea Point Hotel, Cape Town” https://themojohotel.com

Sometimes the opinions of others could make you miss out on the things you could experience. I know for sure I have heard a friend of mine say, “I would never do hostels.” Uhmm…..I didn’t bother to hear much because I knew whatever would be said would impact me negatively and was meant to discourage me from trying it out.

I must say sometimes the comments of others do affect our decisions and sometimes they shouldn’t. Plus, if you allowed people to control you like that, then you may never enjoy your own adventures.

Travelling on a regular basis for an African may not come that easy especially if you do it because you really fancy it. And since I obviously didn’t ditch my friend, I was curious (just a bit) to find out why those strong statements against hostels . For starters, she was very honest about how we Africans have a difficult life and why subject ourselves to more difficulties of staying in such places? ”And besides, Faith, I would rather wait for my company to pay for the cost of my travel so I get to stay in the coolest of places because that’s not the life I have known….luxe.” I heard her loud and clear. What about that travel person who is so passion driven to see lots of places such that as they are at it, they are already planning their next move? Would you wait for a sponsored trip? I get it. Her bone of contention was that Africans are already poor so why make travel a misery by staying in misery? Did she really say that? lol!

That’s what I asked my friend

My friend will probably wait forever to have adventure or should try her luck in the next life but she needs to know the good and the bad before sounding so judgy.

ADVANTAGES

  1. Cutting on costs and seeing lots for less

The advantage of staying in a hostel is the fact that you can cut on costs and could actually see more places that way than waiting to win the lotto to ever see the coolest of cool places on this place we call earth! If I ever got the opportunity to do let’s say, Mauritius …….for starters, I have done my mini research and concluded it’s slightly more of a pricey island compared to Madagascar. Why on earth will I miss the opportunity to see beautiful Mauritius because my budget included stays in luxe resorts or many star hotels?

I will gladly include hostels so I even enjoy the island for a longer time. My experience in hostels when it comes to cutting costs is that I have also taken time researching which hostels have a ‘homely touch’. Yes, some hostels just offer basics but others are quite comfortable to be at like Shoki Shoki House of Zanzibar. All the advice I would give here is that you take your time online searching for them before your trip than do the, “I will cross the bridge when I get there.” Plan your hostel stay the way you would a five star hotel which gets me to the other advantage of hostels which is:

2) Making friends easily

Seriously like some of the places I have found it so easy to make friends coming from all four corners of the world (wait, does the world have corners?)is in a hostel. A hotel will have that peace and quiet, we get it, but part of the thrill that comes from some travel lovers is about who we meet.

I am happy to mention that some of the like minded people I have met, I did in a hostel. In the community I come from, I would say very few find travel appealing or worse still, they don’t even wanna talk about it but in a hostel, rest assured that my favourite topics are all over. It’s here that you can learn more about other countries other than yours from the horses’ mouths and from all the beautifully different people around the hostel which brings me to the next advantage which is:

3) Enjoying group tours

Yes, we are self proclaimed solo travellers but we do love some good company while at it. And going back to my friend who is blunt about hostels, she should know that I have done some coolest trips because of joint efforts with other hostel mates and if I have to wait to be super rich (be able to book a whole cruise ship) lol! The lovely moments I have had in hostels will just ‘zoom!’ pass me by.

Instead of doing Spice Tour solo……
I found ‘K’ at a hostel and we shared costs๐Ÿ˜‰

Bottom line is even as a solo traveller, we are aware of the people around us too. And this spending of time with people reminds me of some disadvantages that cause people like my friend to speak ill of hostels:

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Shut up!

Noise levels at times can be quite annoying. I am a light sleeper and pretty sure I have an internal alarm clock in my head that reminds me I have to shut down and this usually happens early hours of the night like just before 9 pm and at around mid night I have no sleep at all and honestly with this kind of sleep pattern, I really don’t do well around people who are loud at about the time I need to sleep.I wake up feeling grumpy. Am afraid my friend was gonna be right had she rubbed this point in but she didn’t.

Some clients you will find here are party animals and because these hostels are kind of made to repel boredom just embrace the few times its gonna get loud.The other thing to note is, as you are enjoying your sleep at whatever time, someone flew into the country at an odd time and will check in your room at the time you are enjoying being in dreamland! This won’t be so much of a problem if the place is not :

2) Cluttered

Guests would not be subjected to so much noise if not for the way most of them are cluttered up.Thumbs up to those hostels that have owners that consider the claustrophobic traveller and not just display the need to make money by having so much going on or too many beds in one room! Hostel owners shouldn’t just allow clutter and it’s for this reason that there is :

3) Not much tidiness

Hostel owners usually have rules about keeping amenities clean especially after using them. I doubt this rule is followed religiously by most of the clients but that traveller who feels there is clutter in this place after all, will keep the trend.This may not be the case for every hostel as they have dependable cleaning services but even with them, in a hostel there is need for you to clean up after using stuff because they offer self services and if you are a clean freak…..these places may not be for you.

4) Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers

Not everyone that stays in these hostels is sober or has your best interests at heart. Just because you met fellow travellers and had a good time is no reason for them not to dip their hands in your stuff.Not that I have experienced it but it’s a place am so self conscious about where I put my stuff just in case.I have heard funny stories of how other travellers checked in and because they stayed there for long, there was not much pushing for payments from the owners for the remaining days, besides, this client paid for the other days right? The client eventually took advantage of the thoughtfuless of the owners and just left without paying for other nights! Some have also just helped themselves with other people’s stuff and this is not cool.

https://www.etbackpackers.com

So if these other bad thoughts were running through my friend’s mind, no wonder her negativity but to that adventurous soul willing to try these places out…..hostels are not such a crazy idea after all.

Botswana’s Maun Lodge Review

The restaurant area

Every traveller has different needs when it comes to lodging.Depending on budget, length of stay and one’s personality, some places will do the trick while others would not. My stay was short yet it involved crossing a border (Zambia). Though Botswana is a neighbouring country, I was going there for the first time as a solo traveller.

Booking

I reserved a room on booking.com and the payment was done when I arrived at the premises.I was supposed to be in the chalets but because I am enjoying genius level 2 on booking.com, I did attract a discount and a room upgrade.Instead of being in the chalets, I enjoyed the double room.

Location

https://maunlodge.com .Maun Lodge is located in Maun town in Botswana. A town where most tourists frequent. It is a town on the Thamalakane river and is the jumping off point for the Okavango Delta which is a habitat for vast wildlife.

The closeness to a water body adds serenity to the place

Airport pickup

Few times I have been adventurous enough to jump on a taxi from the airport to where am lodged but sometimes you skip that adventurous self and try the safest way which is to be picked up by your hosts.Nothing is completely safe but you just have peace of mind knowing your hosts are taking care of your transport to the lodge and the good part is it was a free service.The driver and the welcoming team had smiling faces which was a plus!

Room Service

The environment of the lodge was welcoming and there was thorough cleaning done by the staff.The sink, shower, toilet were sparkling clean and they did offer those extras.The room had a safe and television with a number of channels though I wished for more channels

Work out time!

I was impressed that the lodge did carter for the active bodies like mine.I of course didn’t use all the machines.The treadmill is my fav!

Food?

Most food I had ordered was well prepared and presented and you had the option in the restaurant to enjoy it indoors or outdoors.

Yummy๐Ÿ˜‹

On the whole this lodge offered more than I expected and on a scale of 1 to 10, it was an 8.I would recommend it !

Feeling wasted? Try Bush Lodges

Southern Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

Bush Lodges? Or maybe you could use another name like remote lodges, whatever name in mind, these lodges tend to be found in remote places or set up in breath taking untouched wilds.Some are fancy whilst others are just moderately comfortable.

These lodges do share one thing, the peace and tranquility attached to nature.With all due respect to the other lodges, hotels, guesthouses in residential areas…..why do travellers flock, fancy or even opt to be in these remote lodges?

1) Stress relief

Work takes your attention six to six and the other fraction of the clock is dedicated to home and its own needs.What is left for poor you? Stress.The whole idea of just being close to nature is why you need to fancy these locations.They are perfect for relief from stress.

Seriously….do I look stressed?

2) Chances to mingle with animals

Unless am wrong, but we get fed up with meeting the neighbor’s dog everytime we take those walks. When in these remote places, we could have some variety instead of the usual dogs,cats and chickens lol!Some of these lodges are so inviting to animals that you literally rub shoulders with them.

Me, rubbing shoulders with zebra
This my dear friends can only happen when lodging in the bush

3) The water bodies

These bush lodges sometimes are close to water. It is a well known fact that water has a powerful physiological and emotional effect on us.The colour of that water is known to give us calm. ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Remote lodge right next to the Zambezi river ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

4) Road trip

These remote lodges are an opportunity for a road trip.Play that road trip music, relax, enjoy the stops, let the wind blow your hair whichever way!

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