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Africa- diving, climbing, driving

Africa- diving, climbing, driving

By
Trip Plan Tags: 
adventure,
diving + snorkeling,
hiking + trekking,
outdoors + nature,
road trip
Destinations: 
Africa + Middle East,
Kenya,
Lamu,
Nanyuki

We plan to arrive in Cape Town in June 2010 (dodging the World Cup!), drive to Durban to dive the Sardine Run, drive to Kilimanjaro and climb it. Then we plan to drive up the east coast of Africa to Cairo and ship the vehicle to Greece by mid-fall. Second phase of driving to the 7 summits to begin spring of 2011 (to Russia). Who wants to join us for all or part??? Anyone have a connection to a sponsorship with Land Rover? Expect this adventure to last @ four years with breaks.

ITEMS

See + Do

Lamu Island, Kenya

Lamu, Kenya

Far from the tourist overdrive of Kenya's southern coast, low-key Lamu is an idyllic island of swaying palm trees, gliding dhows, and donkeys plodding through a maze of narrow, winding streets. Settled by Swahili traders in the 14th century, the namesake town is one of East Africa's treasures, its alleys abuzz with barefoot children, women in swirling bui-bui robes, and clattering carts piled high with coconuts. Keep your eyes peeled for the ornate door carvings that are a Swahili trademark. On the island's southern shore, glorious Shella Beach embraces the warm waves of the Indian Ocean in a long ribbon of powdery sand. It's a favorite among the well-heeled expats buying up the pleasure palaces nearby. Neighboring islands Manda and Kiwayu are home to some of Kenya's most exclusive hideaways; a speedboat can zip you to the archipelagos farthest reaches in under an hour, though for our money, a long, lazy dhow ride suits Lamus laid-back rhythms to a tee. After hours, expats gather for sunset drinks at the breezy waterfront Peponi or for seafood at the rooftop restaurant of the Baitil Aman Guest House.

See + Do

Mount Kenya

With all the fanfare surrounding Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya might be the planet's least-appreciated 17,000-foot peak. But Africa's second-highest summit rises majestically over central Kenya, challenging visitors to scale its snowy heights. Located just ten miles from the equator, the mountain's glacial crown gleams with icy cap for much of the year. The trek to Point Lenana, the highest peak accessible to casual hikers, is a tough test of endurance; to reach the two peaks above it, you'll need technical climbing skills. The Naro Moru Route is the most popular choice for the ascent, since it makes a beeline for the summit and descends again in just four days. The Sirimon and Chogoria routes offer more impressive scenery and gentler ascents; allow at least five days for each. Two of the most respected outfitters for organizing treks, the Bantu Mountain Lodge and the Naro Moru River Lodge, are based in the scruffy town of Naro Moru, from which most treks begin. All-inclusive packages that cover fees and rentals are the most practical option if you'd like to minimize the planning hassle.

Whatever you decide, it's worth giving yourself an extra day or two to enjoy the terrain. The mountain's forested slopes are rich in wildlife, and you might spot a few Sykes monkeys or a rare bongo (an elusive antelope species) prowling through the woods. After a few frosty days on the mountain, cozy up at the stately Mt. Kenya Safari Club nearby, which was recently purchased by the Fairmont group. Be sure to add your name to the venerable guest book aside those of Winston Churchill and L.B.J.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.