Diary: After 3.5 months in Africa we are going back to the Netherlands!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Time has come to say goodbye! After travelling through beautiful Madagascar and East Africa for 14 weeks, we return to the Netherlands. The moment this blog comes online, we just boarded the plane. We have had a wonderful time but are also looking forward to being back in the Netherlands.


What were the highlights of our trip through Africa?

Ooo, way too many to mention. From the whales in Madagascar to the lions and elephants in Kenya and Uganda. From the beautiful beaches on Nosy Be, Ile Sainte Marie and Andavadoaka to the lakes and jungles in Rwanda!

But the most special are the people we met! People from all over the world: South Africa, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Zambia, Australia and the many warm and sweet locals in Madagascar, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Time and again we notice that local people and the travellers we meet along the way make or break a country for us! We have met a lot of new friends and hope to see them all again!Nile Jinja

And how about the lowlights?

Maybe you can still remember that I wrote a blog about all the thoughts and doubts that I had beforehand about this trip? Well, I am very happy to say that almost none of those fears and doubts have become reality. Looking back at that blog, it makes me smile since so many fears were completely unfounded.

And yet it isn’t so strange that I was a bit frightened. Every day I receive messages from other travellers asking whether one of the above countries is safe. The image that I had beforehand and many more people with me, is that East African countries are dangerous and there is a good chance that something will happen to you as a tourist. Now, of course, you always have to pay attention and there are certain areas or situations that indeed are dangerous. But when I look back on the past 14 weeks, I haven’t felt unsafe at the moment. If you aren’t doing any weird things, I think it is very unlikely that anything will happen to you!

So there were no lowlights at all? Well, of course, there were some, travelling is by no means fun and a party every single day. For example many hours of delay and waiting in dirty bus station, cars or busses that broke down several times, being sick (or homesick). There were some weird or dirty hotels, bad food or unfriendly people. But all these things are also part of travelling and they make the highlights really feel like highlights!Maasai Mara Game drive budget


Nutella, French rosé, Dutch cheese, healthy salads: what have we missed the most?

First of all, of course, missed our family and friends enormously! I’m looking so much forward to seeing my parents and give them a huge hug! And oo how I missed my friends! Fortunately, I see them all in the coming period, there are a whole lot of dinners, sleeping parties, drinks and game nights planned.

What I am also really looking forward to our well-stocked supermarkets, refrigerators and wine cellars (which sounds very decadent but my parents store their wines in our cellar ;-)). For weeks, Ries and I have been making mouth-watering lists of the food we have missed the most. Dry and ice-cold rosé from Provence, Dutch cheese and healthy salads for me. For Ries Nutella, Côte d’Or chocolate and pre-made lasagna (one of his favourite dishes ;-)).

The past few weeks I often felt a bit homesick. When I wasn’t feeling well, spent hours in buses with 35 degrees, or received a sweet message from friends Susie and Nicole, I got a lump in my throat and I wanted to get on a plane to the Netherlands right away. Good experience because during our previous world trip I never had this problem. It shows to me that no matter how wonderful and special travelling and foreign countries are, the Netherlands, family and friends are also very important and indispensable for me.


What’s next? Do we keep on travelling?

Hell yeah! We are only in the Netherlands for 2.5 weeks and then we will continue our trip! Starting with two weeks of backpacking through Turkey. Via Istanbul and Cappadocia to Antalya where we will have a smashing wedding party of our friends Gokce and Axel. Then we fly on to Nepal where we will hike the Annapurna circuit. After a month in Nepal, we are thinking about going to Sri Lanka, but that is not certain yet … so who knows where we will go. Do you have any good tips? Let us know in a comment!

Africa, you were amazing! We are more than hooked and now have so many other countries where we want to go: South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, too many to mention! See you soon!

Avenue de baobab

tagged in diary, madgascar

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