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06 September 2011

Travel safely tips.

Safety and security when travelling is important!

Fact:- On holiday, the biggest risks is 'you'.

- Over 50% of injuries/ problems when travelling are self-inflicted
   and could be totally avoided.

 -Ignorance is dangerous
 -On holiday one tends to do silly things
 -Taking part in risky activities

Please don't go for a hike on the Iran/ Iraq border and try not plan a
hike on the North Korea/South Korea border.
-Be sensible and stay clear of war zones.

Safety Tips during travel:
- Be sensible
- Know your limits
- Hide your camera
- Dress plainly
- Lock what you can in the safe
- No jewelery
- Don't attract attention
- Use a money belt

While travelling, be aware of:
-Fellow travellers (70% of theft in hostels are your fellow travelers.)
-Spiked drinks
-Bogus cop's

Check the book:  'Around the world in 80 Scams' by Peter John

24 August 2011

World facts.(Blog post no.2) Build your general knowledge.

Build your general knowledge.

Mt Everest

- Highest mountain in the world?  Mt Everest
- The number of corpses found on Mt Everest?  120 bodies
- The tallest mountain in the world, (base to summit)?
    Mt Mauna Kea, Hawaii

- The worlds highest international airport?  La Paz, Bolivia
- Highest country in the world?    Lesotho
- Lowest country in the world?     Holland
- Largest Continent in the world?   Asia
- Largest country in Africa?     Algeria
- The USA is larger in size, than China.
- Brazil is larger in size, than Australia.
- Most isolated, secretive country in the world?    North Korea
- Least densely populated country in the world?  Mongolia

- Largest spectator sport in the world?  NASCAR, USA
- The warmest sea in the world?   Persian Gulf
- The Ave human eats 35 tons of food in their lifetime.
- The worlds largest wine producer?    Italy
- The worlds largest gold producer?    China
- China is the worlds largest 'trading' nation, 2014, the USA dropped
   to No2 position.

Add a fact or comment if you like.

15 August 2011

Modern adventurers inspire.

I bumped into Vladimir Yarets (Russian) in Cape Town 2010.
Being both 'deaf and mute', he was on his record RTW trip
with his motorbike.

Interesting sites to check:
  The London to Cape Town world record by car was set in 1963
  in a Ford Cortina. It took 13 days, 8hrs.
  This world record stood for 50 years.

- Old world wandering.facebook

  He cycled for 4 years round the world.

  Robert Knol (Dutch) Cycled from Cairo to Cape Town in
  a world record 71 days.

08 August 2011

Africa overland

You don't need a 4x4.
I drove though 6 countries in Africa in a old 84' Ford Escort.
Don't forget that an 'old VW Beetle' has
driven from Cape Town to Cairo, with no GPS!
It's now generally tared roads from Nairobi to Cape town.

Augrabies falls, N. Cape, South Africa

Social birds nest, Kalahari

- Plan your route.
- Get used to the local 'rules of the road'.
- Fill up your tank at every opportunity.
- You can 'selfdrive' in many major Nat. Parks.
  (e.g: the Kruger Park has 2300km's of road you can use.)
- Border crossings can be tough/challenging
  (Ave 2 hours at border crossings)

Must have: - Correct car papers
                   - Good maps + extra water
                   - Jumper cables
                   - Tow rope (extra strong and long)
                   - First Aid kit
                   - Basic tools + Spares
                   - 2 x Red triangles
Check out: www.cape2cairo in a beach buggy.

25 July 2011

Make tracks to explore Africa.

Before going somewhere, do research! Read up. 

Djenne, Mali.

Thinking of exploring Africa?
Well it's ever changing and definitely not a boring Continent.
The picture above is great, but sorry, Mali is a complete
no go area for now (so not recommended).

There are many good books and web sites around.
 Here are some of the great modern explorers
 to google/read up on:-

- Phil Harwood - Canoeing the Congo
- Kingsley Holgate
- - Around Africa on my bicycle
- Mike Copeland - Just add dust, Cape to Cairo
- And a useful site:

21 July 2011

Make tracks, road trip idea.

Be adventurous, plan a road trip.
An overland road trip is the 'best' way to see a country
and one of the most rewarding ways to travel.
When staying in a country for a while, one option is to buy an
old a car and be really 'independent'.
Drive across the country for 2/4 months and sell it again.
The trip will be unique.


Eg: In the USA its possible to buy a 'classic runner' for
       less than +- $2500USD.

Travel challange: - try drive the whole 'Route 66'.
End of the trip, sell the car back to the dealer, or scrap yard.
One can even give the car to charity.

It can cost +- $1000.00USD just to rent a car for one week.
The USA is just an example.
It can be South Africa, Australia,etc.
Use hostel notice boards, offer rides and they pay for the gas.

29 June 2011

Make Track - Backpacker travel kit idea's. Rule No 5...

Travel rule No 5:
- "Never travel with stuff you can't afford to lose".

Your backpack is your home, so a good backpack is important.
Your kit must never be to flashy, you don't want to attract attention.

My backpack is a 70L Backpacker Co, Columbia.
Made in South Africa. 20 years old, still strong and used on every trip.

Some stuff you don't really need on a round the world trip:
- Electric shaver
- Leave the make up and jewellery at home
- Beach towel (A sarong is best, light and dries quick.)
- Shaving foam/cream (Normal soap works just as well.)
- Water filter (Generally, I boiled the water.)
- Small propane stove

16 June 2011

Important to have a 'Home Base'.

Travel is a journey of self discovery.
Learning what you what in life and where you what to settle down.
Where do you want to settle down/ put in your roots?
Every traveller needs a 'Home Base'. A place to call home.

Small cottage, cost R70,000 to build.

Putting in 'roots' does not mean its the end of the world.
Try not be a Renter your whole life, living in someone
else's house. Owning your 'own place' does not mean you are
stuck, its actually the opposite. You are free and not out like a
renter who could be out on the street tomorrow.
Having your 'own place' means you are still free to travel
and have a place to come back to that's yours.
Invest first - travel will always be there.

Independant/ Budget travel now easy.

'The magic of travel is, it takes you out of your comfort zone'

Small clothing shop with Internet café

There are many reason and factors that make independant travel easier now
than ever before...

For example:

- Money changing offices and banks very accessible
- ATM/ Cash machines in most places
- Debit cards/ Visa accepted almost everywhere
- Local buses and shuttles to every attraction
- Internet access and WiFi almost everywhere
- Hostels/ Backpacker accommodation now more prevalent than before
- Day trips are booked by hostels to anywhere
- There are 'Hop on, hop off' buses in many countries
- Most major airports around the world offer cheap shuttles/buses to and
  from the airport

09 June 2011

What to pack? - Travel kit post 4.

You are what you carry. Being prepared is important.

There are some things backpackers can never be without.
An espresso coffee maker like this, is a luxury.
You don't really need, but: - Its small, 2 cups
        - Not heavy and goes on an open fire or stove
        - Carrying your own tea/coffee can save you alot.

Stuff which comes in handy when on the road:
- A sense of humor
- Plastic passport cover
- Travel, neck pillow(blow-up type), for planes and buses
- Duck tape
- Toothbrush cover
- A wash line and 10 pegs
- Travel plug

31 May 2011

Backpacker travel gear. Kit idea's post No.3.

"What you carry with you, reflects the way you travel."

International travel rule No7:- Buy your 'kit/stuff' only on sales.
(Buy the way, very expensive kit also gets damaged when on the road.)

In France I found a great outdoor/camping shop called
Decathlon. These prices are from May 2011.

A 50Liter backpack for 50.95Euro. A 60L for 60.95Euro

The ultimate tent: -2 Man, 'one pole only', weight 2kg. Only 90 Euros.

A good raincoat/all in one jacket for 14.95Euro

A tent can help you save on accommodation cost's in expensive countries.

13 May 2011

Europe is hard to beat

When it comes to history and culture, it's hard to rival Europe.
'Mindblowing' is the best word to describe the overall experience.

Fortified city of Carcassone, France

Inside the Vatican

The high speed trains are scary.

St Peter's Square, Vatican

One has to mention the food.
Food is a major part of culture.
Cheese, Basque region

Catalan delicacies



Wow, and we thought we know about 'meat' in South Africa.

One section in a supermarket in Andora

Back from Europe

Just arrived back in South Africa, from Europe.
Did 5 Countries in 24 days. April/May 2011
- Italy, Vatican City
- France, Spain and the beautiful small tax free Andorra.

  Europe = History around every corner.

Carcassonne, France  

Only 2.00euros a photo, the Colosseum, Rome



Inside the Vatican


07 April 2011

Food - A journey of taste, South Africa.

"Food is one of the most important aspects of travel."

'Food is the foundation of a culture and defines a country.'
So, always make a effort to taste local/National foods in each country you visit.
There are may countries where 'the highlight' is the food.

Some National food's of South Africa:-

If you have not tasted 'pap'
you cannot say you have
been to South Africa.
It's like going to China
and not eating rice!

Pap (maize meal) is the staple food of South Africa
and the staple food for many other countries in Africa.

Biltong, dried meat
Boerewors, sausage
It's sad how may tourists I've met, that did not
taste the 'real local' food while in South Africa.
When you travel, be adventurous and try new things, like a 'Bunny Chow'.
Check out the complete South African National SA food list in a post, above this.
Pap & wors with sauce

Backpacker travel food.

 A backpacker eats cheap -to be able to see and do more.

The backpacker staple - Baked beans.Cheap, quick, no cooking needed, ready to eat meal.

The best.

When travelling, ask a local to show you the food
that they eat and give it a try.

When on the road always keep an eye for:
-Places where local's eat
-The 'soup of the day' in restaurants
-Happy hour and pub specials
-Back street cafe's and hidden tavern's
-All you can eat buffet's

Fact: An average person spends 6 years of their life eating.

31 March 2011

How to plan a round the world ticket.

'Success comes from plans that mature slowly
 and with persistence'

Fact: The 2 biggest hurdles, to travel = Time & Money.


A RTW ticket with 8/14 stops is cheaper than some tickets
with only one stop.
You can circumnavigate the entire Globe in 1 month or
12 months. I recommend 2 - 6 months.
(A full year can be a bit long.)

The great thing about a RTW ticket, is you can invent/choose
your own itinerary, even with overland routes in between stops.

Plan your route and 'your stops' with a travel agency that
specializes in round the world trips. Eg: Travelmood
They help with the cheapest price at the right time of year.
(Weather/seasons play an important role in a RTWT.)

I still like the traditional travel agency, were one can sit with
them and plan dates etc. When things go wrong they are there
to help. I booked a flight with 'cheap, no frills' on-line travel
company called Travelstart in South Africa, they had no airline
failure protection, the airline went bust and I lost all my money.

Try include some of the '7 wonders of the world'
on your route, Eg:-
   - The Grand Canyon, USA
   - The Great Wall of China
   - The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
   - The Pyramids, Egypt
   - The Amazon river

Research/learn about the countries you want to see.
Check info on visa's, vaccination's and insurance.

Set the dates for each stop, then don't change them.

Work out a budget.
Note: costs change depending on the region.
E.g: India is much, much cheaper than Australia.
A large part of ones on the road costs, are the activities you
take part in at each location. Eg: Day tours, Bungi jumping etc.

So, each person's budget will be different.

Ave $1800.00USD for the ticket, visa's, jabs, insurance.
Ave $65.00USD for daily expenses.
(Very basic accom, transport, food + drink)
 Extra funds for emergencies: min $800.00USD

Work out the time needed in each country:
-Very small country: eg: Singapore - 2 -7 days
-Medium size country: 2 weeks
-Larger country: 3 weeks
-Very large country: 4 weeks plus

The USA is so big, that 1 month can hardly give you
a taste of the entire country. But it's better than nothing.


30 March 2011

Round the world ticket, planning tips

More RTW backpacking tips.

A round the world trip needs proper planning.
Incorrect planing and preparation can be costly.
Make sure your passport has many empty visa pages.
- Choose your destination/ route and set your dates.

The only pub in the world, in a tree. Baobab Bar, South Africa

Try a 6 to 10 Stop RTW ticket, but do it in 3- 6 months.
I did a 10 Stop RTW ticket over 12 months.
It was great but, I ran out of money near the end.
So, it was a bit long and budgeting was very tough.

Tip to see more: Maximise
-Just because you have a ticket with 7 stops, does not
 have to mean that you only see or do 7 countries.
Example:- Let's say one of your stops is Singapore,
this means you could try 'pop' over the border to Indonesia
and or Malaysia, (overland).
So, from your 'one flight stop', you then get to see 3 countries.
Now your adventure only starts!

For inspiration check: 
The world's 'Ultimate adventurer'.

Make track round the world. Travel kit ideas, post No.2

Remember, a RTW trip is not a normal holiday, it is actually an 'extreme holiday'.
You have to be organized and the right 'kit' is important.

Ave dorm room in a hostel. Note the 'bag cage' to lock up your stuff.
(This is in Rome, Italy)

Buy your your travel kit on sales.

Travel kit extra's:
1 -Always have Vaccine Passport that's up to date
2 -International Drivers Licence
3 -Make your own Medical card: (Keep it on you)
4 -Make your own dog tags.
5 -Two small strong travel padlocks

Stuff you don't need:
-Never pack high expectations
-Lap top
-A big, expensive camera (Think small and compact)
-Camping stove
-Hiking boots (Good trainers are fine)

18 March 2011

Hardcore backpacker travel rules.

"Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination"

- Trust only yourself
- Never pack high expectations
- Go overland - to see more, try not take internal flights
- Always split/hide your money 3x ways
- Pack only half the clothes and double the money
- Real backpackers never book accommodation -
  part of the adventure is to see where you end up.
- Always pay your own way - don't be a 'leech'
- If you find a 'secret place', tell only those you love,
   (That way you keep it secret).
- The journey and not the destination is the 'true experience'

Road Trip, South Africa

 Not much can beat a basic 'road trip'.
 Going overland on your own or with family and friends, 
 can be an amazing experience.   Definitely the best way to see the country.

Cederberg Mt's


                                                      The road side, offers great photo opportunities.

                   And don't forget the great 'Road Food'
Sunrise over wheat fields, West coast


Keurbooms lagoon, Plett

Train from the N7.

The tree of shoes, Natures Valley

17 March 2011

World travel facts, blog post 1

-The number of countries in the world? +- 196
-The tallest Race in the world?  The Dutch
-The country with the most, different types of cheese? France
-The largest country in the world?  Russia
-The largest river in the world?  The Amazon
-The world's smallest country?  Vatican City

-All large aircraft, get struck by lightning on average, twice a year
- 4 out of 10 pilots have fallen asleep in the cockpit
-Birmingham, UK has more km's of canals than Venice
-The average human eats 40 tons of food in their lifetime

10 March 2011

Need a real travel challenge?

Try 'The Ultimate Round The World Ticket':-

London-overland-Hong Kong-overland-Jakarta-
Athens-overland-Cape Town.  One Year, Solo.

Not many people can say they have done this.

Afterwards you could definitely write a BOOK.
Compile you own dream RTW Ticket.

Try Cape to Cairo on a Vespa...
Two South African have just completed Cairo to Cape Town
on small folding bikes.

How to count the number of countries you've seen?

How many countries you have been to or seen?
          - A common question traveler's get asked.

There are a few different rules:
-Travelling with parents when you were 1-5 years old, does it really count?
 (Do you really know where you were at that age?)

-'In-Transit' at airports does not count.
-Must stay a minimum of 24hrs/ one whole day in a country.

Kathmandu, Nepal

-Don't forget to add your own country to your list of countries you have seen.

- The Travelers Century Club (TCC) in the USA, have there own rules.
   They count 320 territories in the world.
   The United Nations recognizes only 197 countries in the world today.
   Territories do not really count.

- Once you have been to 100 countries, you can officially join the elite '100 Club'.
   Also called The TCC. They are based in the USA.
For proof that you have been to 100 countries around the world,
They want Passports with all the Passport immigration stamps as proof.
visit: -

09 March 2011

International Travel Rule No.1 - See your own country first!

See your own country 1st, before you think of rushing off , flying overseas.

Take a small cross-country road trip, solo or with some friends.
-You then get great travel experience and you get to learn more about your
own country, which makes you a better Ambassador for your country once you are overseas.

The world's largest social birds nest. Pofadder

Cape Town, South Africa

The world's largest Pineapple, Bathurst, E Cape.

Just some of my 'road trip' photos around South Africa.

Travel collage

Would be great to have a separate "travel room", filled with
framed photos and all the stuff you've collected during all
your travels.
E.G: -All the souvenirs and curio's on display.
 -Traditional musical instruments,
 -Hang up T-shirts and old boots, etc

'Keep things from the past, to prove it wasn't all a dream'.