Africa

South Africa, March 2019: Addo Elephant National Park

Few experiences epitomize Africa more than a safari, and South Africa is one of the continent’s top safari destinations. Kruger is the jewel in the country’s national park crown, but we chose to spend our first safari experience at and around Addo Elephant National Park.

 South Africa, March 2019: Addo Elephant National Park

South Africa, March 2019: The Garden Route

The heartbreak of bidding farewell to Cape Town was assuaged by the excitement of what lay ahead between us and Addo, a route known as the Garden Route. Driving straight through to Addo on the quickest route would take about 9 hours, but we broke the drive up over 8 days, taking scenic detours when possible and spending some time by the beach and at other noteworthy destinations along the way.

South Africa, March 2019: The Garden Route

South Africa, March 2019: Cape Town

Africa evokes contrasting images: sun-drenched savannahs, stunning wildlife, and a captivating array of tribes, cultures, and traditions on the one hand and a dark colonial past, crushing poverty, pervasive corruption, and destructive wars on the other. It’s a massive continent that tends to dazzle travelers with the former and confront their preconceptions of the latter. After getting a taste of North Africa (a part of Africa very different from the Sub-Saharan) in Morocco last year, we wanted to see more of this immense and varied land; having started our African explorations at the northern end of the continent, we figured why not go next to the southern end?

South Africa, March 2019: Cape Town

Morocco, April 2018: Fez Video Moments

The final part of our Morocco trip brought us to Fez. After a long day of driving (roughly 8 hours) from the Sahara Desert, we finally made it and were greeted by the friendly Dar Seffarine. The last few days exploring Morocco were full of narrow lanes, getting lost, wandering the souks, and enjoying the beauty of Fez's medina. It was a wonderful ending to our time and made it all the more difficult to say goodbye to Morocco. Until next time!

Morocco, April 2018: Fez Video Moments

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech To The Sahara Video Moments

For the second part of our trip to Morocco, we knew we wanted to head to the Sahara Desert for a night under the stars. Rather than going on a tour, we decided to rent a car to take it slowly on our own. With a few stops and overnight stays at Ait Benhaddou and Dades Gorge, we finally made it to the endless dunes. A night watching the sunset, listening to music by the fire, and looking up at the stars was the perfect way to spend some time in Morocco before heading on to Fez!

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech To The Sahara Video Moments

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech Video Moments

For our first long trip of the year, we decided it was time to get off the continent. Over the past years, Europe has become our comfort zone. It felt important to step out of that and begin venturing beyond. Having had Morocco on the list for awhile, it felt like the perfect place to start. Flying from London into Marrakech, we kicked off our trip. Marrakech was a beautiful and chaotic city that we fell in love with deeply. We knew we made the right choice once we settled in and began to understand the rhythm. From its busy streets to the serene courtyards, Marrakech offered plenty to see and do.

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech Video Moments

Morocco, April 2018: Fez

We closed our ten-day trip to Morocco with three nights in Fez, one of the country’s other imperial cities. The medinas of Marrakech and Fez are quite different: Marrakech is shades of red and pink, flat, commercial, primed for tourism, and energetic but orderly, while Fez is shades of gray and beige, hilly, lived-in, less bothered with tourism, and chaotic in a very disorderly way. This isn’t to say Fez is off the tourist map—if anything, we felt like there were more large tour groups than in Marrakech, and Marrakech seemed to attract more independent travelers and also dealt better with dispersing the crowds.

Morocco, April 2018: Fez

Morocco, April 2018: Our Road Trip From Marrakech To The Sahara

The second stage of our Morocco trip was a road trip into the desert to spend a night in the Sahara. Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga—a village on the edge of the desert—straight through would take at least 10 hours, which wasn’t very appealing, especially since there are some noteworthy stops along the way. So we did the drive over three days, stopping for two nights before getting to our desert camp outside of Merzouga. On the 4th day, we drove 8 hours straight from Merzouga to Fez with only a few restroom and stretch breaks.

Morocco, April 2018: Our Road Trip From Marrakech To The Sahara

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech

In our three years of travelling from London, we’ve more or less stuck to what we know: Europe. But more recently we’ve been itching for something different, especially as we started to feel complacent in our comfort zone. Our travels were missing some of the adventurous mystique they had in the beginning, when we didn’t really know what to expect or what we were doing. Britt had been thinking about Morocco for the past couple of years, and it seemed a reasonable first jump outside Europe and out of our comfort zone, so our first big trip of 2018 brought us to Morocco for 10 days—3 in Marrakech, 4 on the road to and from the Sahara, and 3 in Fez!

Morocco, April 2018: Marrakech