Joy Adventures

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First Impression: So much more peaceful than Kampala and in our state of mind we were happy to get out of the city and spend a few days lakeside relaxing. Where I stayed:  The first day we splurged for Christmas Day on a resort.  Imperial Resort Beach Hotel.  While the room and location next to the beach was awesome, their wifi sucked-like barely existent, breakfast was the worst of the trip so… Read More

First Impression: Stunning mountain landscape and seaside paradise. No one spoke French with me but all the road signs are in French….found this odd. Where I stayed: L’Echo des Vagues, across the street from a beautiful little beach and about a 10-minute walk to town where there are restaurants, a larger beach, food stalls, and tourist shops.  The grocery stores and atms are another 10minute walk from there. The apartments themselves are very basic… Read More

Diani Beach, Kenya. + (1 night in Mombasa) First Impression: The traffic from Mombasa to Diani Beach was horrendous mostly due to the ferry crossing. Mombasa City appears quite run down when driving through but Diani Beach is obviously cleaned up for the tourists. Diani Beach is littered with fancy resorts and it’s a bit difficult to find an affordable place on the beach. Where I stayed: We stayed at Simba-Oryx Beach Cottages on… Read More

Nairobi and Masai Mara, Kenya First Impression: I’ve been to Nairobi 3 times, the first time I couchsurfed and stayed with a local guy in Umoja and I can attest to that being a unique AF experience, but I can’t recommend anything from that trip because it would be unwise to suggest you go to that area as an unaccompanied tourist. The second time was after a few days on safari in… Read More

Kampala, Uganda First Impression: We arrived by bus from Kigali and the bus station was a very dark and dingy looking place.  We met a lovely young guy on our bus who had a Ugandan Sim Card and had a number for a taxi driver so he called him and helped us get to our hotel which was ideal because we didn’t have any Ugandan shillings, it was late, and we couldn’t’… Read More

Lilongwe and Nkhata Bay, Malawi First Impression: We arrived by bus from Lusaka, Zambia so after the chaos of bussing through Zambia, Lilongwe felt so orderly and friendly. The city felt safe during the day, we were too exhausted from Zambia to venture out after dark, preferring to drink beer at the hostel and sleep early. My first impression of Nkhata Bay was, one of peace and relaxation during the day and… Read More

Kigali, Rwanda  First Impression: The hills, the air, the cleanliness!  Kigali is unlike any other East African city I’d been to.  People were so polite and respectful, all cordial smiles rather than the usual “Hey, Muzungu!” Where I stayed:  We stayed at 2000 Hotel for the first two nights before heading to the DRC.  I would stay there again just simply for their breakfast.  The rooms were clean, basic but nice and… Read More

Bussing through Zambia from Livingstone to Lilongwe, Malawi via Lusaka. Disclaimer: We arrived in Lusaka by bus at 9 pm and then left by bus at 5:30 am the next day. First Impression: The bus station is an intense jumble of humanity and I would definitely try to avoid it in the future. Where I stayed: Lusaka Backpackers, clean, basic, nice bar and outside area, no food service though which sucked for us… Read More

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe First Impression: So quaint and clean, a perfect little tourist town. Where I stayed: Shoe String Backpackers.  Honestly kind of dirty and basic, they charge extra for wifi and the mosquitoes are a nightmare.  The food was quite good though, especially the breakfast porridge and the garden area is lined with artisans making and selling their goods.  It’s also basically the only nightlife in town so depending on how you… Read More

Harare, Zimbabwe First Impression: So green, but the city definitely had a depression era vibe, especially surrounding the banks.  Otherwise quite orderly and well kept. Where I stayed:  It’s a Small World Backpackers Hostel.  We stayed in the large dorm.  They have a lovely garden area which is perfect for a few Castle lagers and journaling. Everything was clean and the owner was very friendly and helpful. What to wear:Light fabric, comfortable walking… Read More