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Why I won’t go back to Marrakech, Morocco (unfortunately)

Getting sick in Marrakech. Why I won’t go back to Marrakech, Morocco (unfortunately).



Marrakech Sunset
I have been very fortunate over my short travelling years, with several dodgy and not so dodgy places visited under my belt, in that I have never once had a bad trip.  Sure there are always disappointments, tragedies, mistakes, general cock-ups and the rest, but they have always paled insignificance to the positives of travelling and left me wanting to go back time and time again.  This is one of the reasons why we all love to do it.  Unfortunately for me it was time for that to all change.

We flew over to Marrakesh on the 28th May 2011 as a group of 8 which is always going to be a struggle when organising each day but as we were all good mates and staying in one spot for 4 days/3 nights there were not perceived to be any concerns.  And by and large there were not.  Everyone, thankfully, just got on with doing what they wanted to do and see with only several minor bickerings and squabbles.  

The Spice Stalls in the Souk
Upon arrival in to the Old Medina, we were dropped off next to the friendliest little kids playing football and they were kind enough to show us to our hotel, the fantastic Riad La Maison Rouge (converted hotel), for a small fee of course.  For some reason they managed to take us the longest way possible through the winding narrow alleys and in the morning we realised we had basically walked in circles to get to the riad.  All good fun though to support the locals.  After a beautiful peppermint tea we headed down town to the amazing souks (markets) and Djemaa el Fna Square for some late night shopping and dinner.  What an amazing/crazy/mind blowing experience.  I have been to Bali before and while I thought that was crazy, while this was another whole level.  The colours, sights, people, sounds and smells were overwhelming, in a good way, with everyone enjoying themselves and trying to haggle over everything.  The sad parts are the chained monkeys who are getting dragged around by the owners trying to entice people to take pictures with them.  Please please please, whatever you do never support this sort of animal cruelty.  However, while avoiding the monkeys is a must, another must is trying the street stall foods.  We managed to find ourselves a table after strolling around in our jandals for half an hour and tucked into some beautiful food.  I had the traditional tagine, a sort of crock pot of yumminess.  The total meal only came to <£15 per couple and was well worth it with full bellies for tomorrows adventures.
Idiots abroad

With the mornings and evenings reserved for the souks and sightseeing and the afternoons reserved for lounging by the pool we were set.  Coming over from Scotland didn’t really help us to acclimatise to the weather with 30+ degree days melting us and the plunge pool at the riad was welcomed with open arms.  I unfortunately suffered pretty badly with mild dehydration kicking in after we had toured the souks for the better part of the morning.  Adela wanted to buy everything in sight while I was conscious of our severely limited baggage allowances on Ryan Air.  With a new handbag, scarves and knick-knacks she was happy enough.  I must say though if we were as ingenious with our packing as the locals are with packing people and objects onto scooters from the 70’s then surely we could solve half the congestion issues in every city.  Its pretty daunting with no footpaths and blind corners to contend with although they are such experts that they put up with us crowding their roads as we stroll along craning our necks at every sights.

By day we took in the amazing sights of the Koutoubia Mosque, the alleys of the Medina and the new town outside the walls.  One of my favourite places was the Jardin Majorelle, which is home to a variety of plant species in a sub-tropical climate.  It was a great place to chill out and get away from the chaos outside the walls.  Highly recommended for anyone who heads in that direction.  The nights were filled with story telling between our friends as we recounted the crazy things we had seen and done while enjoying the sunsets. 


Sunsets not to be missed over the Medina
Jumping for joy at Jardin Majorelle prior to the incident

So you must be wondering about now why I had such a rough time and unfortunately don’t wish to head back to Marrakesh ever again.  Don’t get me wrong I loved every minute I was there and always love embracing the cultures that are so radically different to our own.  As you can see we had a fantastic time.  However, this is when it all seemed to go wrong.  We headed out on our last day for a quick bite to eat and to spend the last of our Dirham.  I made the mistake of catching the snake charmers eyes and knew I was in trouble.  Now I don’t like snakes in the slightest and he could tell I was not keen to get involved so we continued on our way and he knew he had lost a chance to make some quick cash so offered me his hand and I gladly shook it to carry on.  Unfortunately, as quick as a flash he had a snake around my neck and strolled away.  I was trying to be all calm, cool and collected but I had a freaking snake around my neck!  To cut a long story short we haggled over how much I owed him for “taking his snake for photos” and I left him with a few dirham in his back pocket.  Of course he made me kiss it for luck before he unwrapped it…

The suspect
Now I would never wish what happened to me at the airport for our return flight and subsequent days upon my worst enemies.  You may wish to skip this part… On getting to the airport my stomach took a literal turn for the worst and proceeded to outpour everything I had consumed over the past 25 years of my life.  I have never felt so rough.  I spent the next 72 hours hugging the sink with my arms and the toilet with my “cheeks”.  I managed to lose 5 kilo’s in the space of 5 days and it took me another 2 weeks after that to fully recover to eating properly again.  

Mum, being the super hero that she is googled my symptoms and apparently most snakes carry a form of Salmonella poisoning (food poisoning) that can be transmitted to humans.  Now I know its not Marrakech’s fault and it may not have even been the snakes fault that I got sick.  But we used hand sanitizer and were very careful with everything we touched and ate.  Unfortunately, even though it was a fantastic place while I was there, its a shame that just one little (maybe not so little) incident can ruin an entire destination for me.  Adela on the other hand cannot wait to get over there again and I am sure I might return one day once the memories have passed…

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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  1. Anonymous

    August 2, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Snake flu!!! You are going to start the next epidemic!

  2. Four Jandals

    August 4, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Haha I will try to quarantine myself!

  3. Jerick

    September 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    That’s why I stayed with drinking orange juice instead. 😛

    • fourjandals

      September 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Haha the freshly squeezed Orange Juice was fantastic! I have never been that sick before in all my life. Put me off going back but hopefully I will return some day as it was a great place.

  4. get over ex fast

    September 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Once I told my friend that not all titles posted on blogs are educating but this post is an special.

  5. Neil

    September 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I thought this post might be really downbeat but if anything it made me want to visit Marrakesh even more … I just wont be snogging any snakes … not that I ever planned to.

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      September 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      You definitely have to go Neil. Looking back on our trip (now that I have forgotten how sick I was) makes me think I had an awesome time. I really did, just unfortunately I got so sick at the end which totally ruined the whole experience. As you say, just stay away from the snakes!

  6. Rosemarie

    November 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Oh my!! I have always dreamt of seeing Casablanca! If I ever do… I’m staying miles away from cunning snake charmers! But from the beginning of your story, it did seem like an fun and exotic trip 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

      I hope I didn’t put too much of a negative spin on it at the end because it was a super fun trip. Just unfortunate how it ended but that is life and that is travel!

  7. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    December 19, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    That sounds awful! I know how painful it is to have stomach issues when traveling long distances. Yuck. Well, at least you have a cool story to tell! lol

  8. Angela

    December 20, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    Sorry you felt so sick, however this can happen in many places..ever been to India? I’ve had such a horrible food poisoning the first time I went to India that I literally fainted before being able to call for help. But it never happened again, and I went back twice and planning my fourth time..
    Probably, more than the snake, I would blame it on some expired ingredient they might have used cooking, even if not made on purpose, just locals can digest it better than foreigners just because they are used to it.
    As I’ve heard many times, it happens often that tourists get sick in Morocco, like it happens in India, but again, my cousin went to Morocco for about a week, tried all possible delicacies and nothing happened.
    Probably you just need to travel to other places, little by little this negative experience will become memory and you’ll feel like getting to Morocco again 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      It was most likely something I ate rather than the snake but it sounds better if I blame the snake haha 🙂 I would go again to be honest because it is just part of travelling. Just at the time of writing that post I was still 8 kilo’s lighter than I went to Marrakech so didn’t really feel up to it. Thanks Angela.

  9. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    December 20, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Oh no. You got the two worst parts of travel-getting taken advantage of and getting sick. Stupid snake charmer. I really feel for you. I was conned in Bulgaria and vowed never to go back, but I’m coming around to it now. And deathly ill in Thailand, but I loved it too much to never go back. Awh I hope you got better quick!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 20, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      He was just really aggressive which sucked big time. Oh well over it now. What sucks is that we are heading over to Egypt this weekend and I am actually scared to eat the food! And I am a foodie so that sucks. Hopefully it won’t happen again (touch wood).

  10. Pete Heck

    December 20, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    We’re heading there in a week!! Thanks for the heads-up on the snake charmers 🙂 Salmonella from a snake. Crazy.

  11. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    December 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    We ran into the guys with monkeys on leashes in St Kitts as well, and were definitely put off by both the way they treated the monkeys and their aggressive nature with tourists. As soon as it became clear he was trying to put the monkey on our necks we became insistent on walking away. Morocco is pretty high on our must-visit list, so thanks for the heads-up on the dangers of snake handling!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      It is a shame they treat the monkeys so badly and people still pay to have their photo taken with them! I wish I had the balls to go up and tell the tourists to just stop and have a think about it. I understand people are trying to make a living but not through the exploitation of animals. You will love Morocco and realistically I would go back as these things happen when you travel 🙂

  12. cheryl

    December 20, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    WOW, that sucks. Sorry to hear you were so sick … I do hope you head back to Marrakech someday. It deserves another chance. 😉

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 20, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      Yea sucked at the time (especially as I wrote the post looking back at it). And yea if I had the chance I would go back. It’s just life and travel experiences sometimes! 🙂

  13. Lauren

    December 24, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    I had a terrible time in China – I was really ill whilst I was there and it affected my overall opinion of the place. Having said that, I’d still like to go back in a few years and try and have a completely different experience. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to go back to Marrakech and avoid the snake diseases! 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      That sucks Lauren. I would go back but who knows if I would get the chance. Really want to visit China!

  14. mfalme

    January 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    hi sorry to read about your experience in marakesh.its a beautiful city but some people at the market can easily spoil the experience.the henna ladies do the happened to my wife she endend up paying for a bad henna that she didnt want. We go to marrakesh at least twice a year we haue learnt to refuse any offerr pokitely but firmly.i hope you will uisit marakech in the future.respect

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      We had been warned about the Henna ladies actually so that was good. We would still go back definitely because it was brilliant. Just would be a little bit more careful but that is travelling and learning 🙂

  15. James

    March 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I thought Marrakesh was ok (it was one of the first places I travelled to so probably liked it more than it deserved) but I got very frustrated in haggling for things you don’t want (like having a snake around your neck). Anytime I took a picture and it included someone they always demanded a fee – got quite tiresome after a while.

    • Cole

      March 16, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Totally right. Marrakech was awesome itself and loved the majority of the people and the food. It was a shame that we were pestered so much.

  16. Marta

    January 22, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    We are going on a buying trip soon and I can’t tell you how much I fear these snake charmers. I have a totally irational phobia and will want to kill the snake to protect myself before it kills me. I’m thinking it is better to avoid anywhere the snake charmers hang out – can you give me advice on the areas to avoid pretty please? I really don’t care if I don’t see the main market as long as I don’t see one snake.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      You can still wander the main markets and avoid them Marta so don’t worry about that 🙂 You will see all the hawkers and snake charmers and it is very easy to avoid them. I just made the mistake of speaking with them in the first place! Enjoy your trip and put your fears aside!

  17. Erica

    June 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I actually had a pretty rough experience in Morocco as well. Mostly had to do with the tour guide I was working with, though.

  18. Amy | Club Narwhal

    June 24, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I just got back from Marrakesh and I definitely got hustled into getting a few snakes draped on me (kind of horrifying–as were the monkeys you mentioned). Luckily I wasn’t asked to kiss the snakes… I adored Marrakesh, especially in comparison with Fez, a place that takes street hustling/harassing to new and terrible heights. But Chefchaoen totally stole my heart. Morocco–what an amazing place.

  19. Elodia Roessner

    July 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Salmonella poisoning affects thousands of individuals each year. The good news is that it can be prevented. It is only a matter of proper hygiene and the practice of food safety in the kitchen. Here is a list of ways to prevent it: Wash hands frequently Dirty hands can bring about cross contamination.

  20. cheryl

    June 5, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    Hi there Im in Marrakech now and read your blog before going to the square it really helped me as the snake charmers were so aggressive…I kept my distance but when I exited I had one guy run towards me with snakes it was quite frightening….I find Marrakech the worst place iv ever visited and will not be back ever…..

  21. Marcus drake

    June 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    you are full of it. One measley episode and you’re dining on sour grapes. Can’t believe you didn’t proof read it before polluting the world with this BS. The city is amazing and yes, just like New York or london, when you eat street food or similar there’s a chance you will get ill. Get real son!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      As you will read, it wasn’t the street food but instead it was the pushy snake charmers I believe. Love my street food and it’s always my go-to food when travelling. Thanks for your “insightful” comment though.

  22. Alex B

    November 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I spent three weeks in Morocco, and honestly I had very few good experiences there. It’s not even worth going back to the country because every single city is the same as Marrakash. Moroccans are all after your money, and couldn’t care less about you and your well being and about what you want to and don’t want to buy from them.

    • Mike

      January 4, 2015 at 8:24 PM

      Kind of go along with that(80%)
      Just came back from a road trip around the country, pretty sick too 🙂

      Can you elaborate a bit more on your experience Alex?

  23. Jenny Barker

    November 19, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    Morocco is a great place. I love the food there.You are so right that we should be careful with hygiene. It is not uncommon these people to cook with dirty hands.Unfortunately if you are not lucky enough you can find yourself in your position. Greetings!

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Adventure Travel

Review: 10 Day Egypt Explorer Tour with Expat Explore

A comprehensive review of Expat Explores 10 Day Explorer Tour through the stunning country of Egypt.



Expat Explore Group in Egypt

We have been wanting to visit Egypt for a while now so when the opportunity to get away over the Christmas and New Year period arose we knew we needed to head there for a break. We joined Expat Explore on their 10 Day Explorer Tour through Egypt taking in the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.

Expat Explore Group Photo

The reason we chose Expat Explore was that they were the cheapest in price with all the same sights and in the end we were happy with our choice.

Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the optional excursions and additional costs for entry fees included so that we could budget properly. As well as following up with our pre-trip questions regarding flights, insurance and uhealth and safety advice.

From the start they were very professional. Landing in Cairo we were personally greeted the day before our tour and transported to our City centre hotel. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with crazy lane changes, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, people and vehicles everywhere.

El Tonsy Hotel is your base for your arrival and last night. Luckily we didn’t expect much as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms were freezing cold with a broken heater and only one blanket. You wouldn’t think you would need heat in Egypt but it was the middle of winter and it was chilly at night. No complaints with the location though as we could see the Pyramids in the distance and were only 5 minutes walk from the Nile and 15 minutes to Tahir Square (perfectly safe by the way). Plus they have a little bar/restaurant with cheap food and free Wi-Fi. Just buy your snacks and water from the supermarket across the road and you will get on fine.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s quite hard to break down a whole trip into one post but here goes:

Day One

Your tour starts with the best in my opinion by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than expected Sphinx. This day was definitely the highlight.

That night is spent aboard the train for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I highly recommend the Sleeper train for an extra £50 per person. Others that caught the standard train froze their butts off while we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Unfortunately Expat Explore never told us about the provided food so we ate before we got on-board but what we could fit in was delicious.

Day Two

The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship while the others spend time in hotels and on a Felucca. No surprise that we went with the cheaper option aboard the Felucca so the next few days are from that point of view.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Hotel on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the beautiful rays of the sun and managed to turn our pasty white bodies a more fitting slightly white shade. The Hotel was great until the toilet next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste across our bedroom floor (throw your toilet paper in the bin not the loo)! Luckily we woke in time to rescue our bags from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Explore and we didn’t blame the Hotel either as shit happens.

Day Three

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous High Dam for 10 minutes (fairly boring) and a drive past the Unfinished Obelisk. While the highlight is definitely the Philae Temple. When the sunsets across the Nile reflecting off the stonework it really is quite magical.

Philae Temple Sunset

The evening ended with an optional dinner in a traditional Nubian families house. The food was scrumptious and you better bring your singing and dancing shoes.

Day Four

The following day and night is spent relaxing aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for several hours. Sleeping no more than 8 people you will be snug if you bring your own sleeping bag like us. The rest of our crew were jealous as it did get quite chilly in the evening however blankets were provided.

With delicious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you will not be disappointed with the food either.

The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the crazy fun Nubian crews. This was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip for us.

Travel Tip: Don’t be put off by doing your “business” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Just enjoy the view and remember to bring your own toilet paper (which you need everywhere in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

By all accounts, from the other tour members, the River Cruise is just as great with 3 nights on-board in comfortable accommodation, a pool and  buffets morning, noon and night.

Day Five

Waking to a sunrise breaking the morning chill is a glorious way to start a new day. Unfortunately there is little time for relaxation before you are off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I must say, all of the transportation was more than adequate with toilets on the buses and room enough for everyone. It’s lucky because you do spend the majority of the time being driven around.

The Lotus Hotel in Luxor was probably the pick of them all. Situated on the Nile bank with a swimming pool and tasty buffet breakfast.

Day Six

One more day, one more busy schedule. Rushing to beat the crowds at the Valley of the Kings it’s another 8am start. You are only allowed to visit three tombs and we recommend the guides picks which were Ramses II, IV and IX.

Travel Tip: You are NOT allowed to take your camera with you off the bus. Please don’t ruin it for everyone by taking photos as you will be charged by security when caught.

We also squeezed in the crowded rock carved Hatshepsut Temple but only drove past Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as you need to drive 6 hours to reach Hurghada that night.

Day Seven and Eight

The next two days at the Red Sea are yours to do whatever you like so use them wisely. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the staff were great but the whole day seemed a little rushed which was a shame. Keep an eye out for our post on our diving experience in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So nice being able to relax on a beach and read a book after such a hectic schedule. It’s hard to leave and the 6 – 8 hour bus ride back to Cairo is tough.

Travel Tip: If you plan to do the tour over New Years Eve then you will have to depart Hurghada half a day early which sucked as it meant celebrating the New Year at the Hotel in Cairo. Bit of a let down but when hasn’t New Years Eve been!

Day Nine

Your final day of sightseeing is spent around Cairo. Our favourite part of the day was definitely the Cairo Museum with an excellent tour guide. It fits perfectly at the end by seeing all the history close-up after having learned about it over the last 8 days.

By the time we hit the old area of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we were spent on history but our guide made a good effort at keeping us entertained.

The last group activity is free time for an hour or so at the Khan El Khalili souk markets where the touts try to prise your cash from you for the last time from every nook and cranny.

Day Ten

With the tour over it’s time to head home. Our flight was late the following night so we walked around the city and Souks on our own for the day. Expat Explore provides transport back to the airport which was great.

The Negatives

The trip was awesome but we think it’s important to note the little things that could make a huge difference to the overall experience:

  • It felt like we were always hungry. Maybe it is just Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat all the time but it seriously felt like we were constantly starving with lunches being served usually after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It might be the Egyptian way to eat at those times but not for us. Travel Tip: Buy lots of snacks for the road which are very cheap at supermarkets.
  • There was sometimes a lack of direction in what seemed to be happening. Everything is done on Egyptian time so be patient.
  • We were often delayed or behind schedule with little to no guidance as to how long it would take to get from place to place. A little knowledge goes a long was as then we can plan ahead.
  • More free time would be great to explore places on your own rather than have our hands held everywhere.

The Positives:

As we said above, the trip was amazing and the little positive things far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable trip.

  • Pre-departure information and care was extremely good.
  • The tour was exceptional value for money and it was the cheapest tour we could find even though we still saw all the same sights the other groups did.
  • The guides were extremely knowledgeable and never failed to answer any questions we had. The insights into the daily lives of the people around us was a nice break from all the history. They also ensured you never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • The Felucca trip was better than expected and overall so was the accommodation and transport options.

All in all we highly recommend you book with Expat Explore if you are considering a trip through Egypt.

Make sure you subscribe now and come back soon so you can enjoy reading our new posts which will cover everything else in more detail.

Disclaimer: Expat Explore provided us with a discount for our 10 day tour of Egypt however as always our thoughts are always our own.

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Let’s Go Visit The Home of Ramses, Egypt



When is the last time you’ve heard about Egypt? It was probably the Arab Spring was taking place, and it went through a change of government. Well, things are much more stable now and everything has returned back to normal, the people of Egypt are essentially back to business.

Since everything is calm again and since there is relative peace within the general region itself, a trip to the scene would certainly be in order. If you’ve been waiting a while to go to someplace exotic and want to experience different cultures and sights, well Egypt tour packages are definitely in order.

It is one of the most ancient civilizations, it has a lot of history, a varied type of people’s and many things to do.

You must take a trip out to Egypt today, it will be worth your while and the while of those that you are traveling with as well, whether it be your family members or your friends and acquaintances.

Let’s find out what there is to do in the great land of Egypt.


Make it a point to visit Cairo, this city is the capital of Egypt and is quite a bustling town as well. You might be able to run into the egyptian equivalent of food trucks and try a staple of the Egyptian diet, ful. This food is their equivalent of fast food except this one is actually healthy for you.

That’s right, you will be able to be able to gain nutrients and energy by enjoying this dish comprised of fava beans, veggie oil, spices, and some herbs as well.

You will want to take a trip out to Tahrir Square, a place that is as iconic as Times Square in New York except maybe even more iconic due to more prominent events that took place in that space (not just consumerism and branding).

Cairo also has the Egyptian Museum for those who are history buffs and for those that appreciate the things of the past, it is comprised of items and narratives of many experiences from quite a few centuries ago, more than 4000 years of history are encased within that museum. Make sure to take a visit and take some time to really learn and enjoy the museum, don’t take too much time though, there is still a lot more activities left to do!

Cairo is a hub, you can visit the places within and then go visit places that everyone wants to go to, such as Giza and the great pyramids of Egypt.

People are still astounded by the level of work that it would have taken to build the pyramids, especially way back in that timeframe, the intellect, labor and engineering needed to see it through is a testament to the capacity of humans to do what they put their minds to.

Don’t think of the pyramids as something that everyone does, no, its something special, it is meant to be viewed and admired by all.

Cairo Citadel

If you are a fan of war, defense, strategy, and history, you’ll want to visit this Citadel, it’s culture runs way into the past and is a sight to see.

While in Cairo, make sure to check out the Khan-el-Khalili, it’s a place to go shop, but be about your wits, negotiate, and have a great time.

Cairo and Egypt have a lot to offer, make sure to plan accordingly so you are able to immerse yourself in all that it has to give you.

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Packing and Route Tips for Climbing Kilimanjaro



East Africa is renowned for boasting many breath-taking attractions, from the beauty of the Serengeti to stunning Tanzania beaches like Kendwa and Nungwi. However, there’s one thing that undoubtedly attracts adventure lovers more than most, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mounting climbing can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re stood at the foot of Africa’s highest peak. However, there are a series of routes available to anyone who takes on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro.

Naturally, some routes are more treacherous than others, and are approached from different points, so this article offer some insight what you can expect from each one and what you’ll need to take with you.

The Marangu Route

Departing from the Moshi Hotel and into the Kilimanjaro National Park via the Marangu Gate, this stunning route allows you to experience The Saddle – a high altitude desert which can be found part way up the mountain.

This route is said to be the most straightforward in terms of its physical demands, however it has a notoriously steep incline which climbers must overcome in order to reach the summit.

The Machame Route

This route also passes through the Marangu Gate, and leads through picturesque ice fields as you reach the Shira Plateau.

This route takes a day longer than the Marangu Route to complete, although this can be advantageous to climbers as it allows for better acclimatisation.

The Rongai Route

This route enters the national park via the northern entrance of Rongai Gate, and is considered to be the second easiest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The route begins at a fairly high altitude and involves a relatively gradual incline to the summit.

The Lemosha Route

Entering via the Londorossi Park Gate, the Lemosha Route is the toughest and most remote route to the summit of Kilimanjaro, and crosses the Shira Plateau where its paths meet the Machame Route.

Despite its challenges, the route has a high success rate, and involves spending a couple of nights at various altitudes.

What to pack?

Packing for a mountain climb in Africa can often be a difficult thing to get right. Pack too lightly and you run the risk of running out of essentials – but pack too much and you’ll end up wasting your energy lugging around stuff you don’t need.

Your clothing should include the following items for travel:

  • Sunglasses (polarized)
  • Gloves (thick waterproof for trekking + thick pair for evenings)
  • Balaclava
  • Shorts
  • Pants (for hiking and relaxing in the evenings)
  • Short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts (for hiking and relaxing in evenings)
  • Underwear (sports bras for ladies)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Fleece jacket
  • Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind-chill)
  • Rain jacket + pants (for the humid rainforest and cold snow)
  • Travel towel
  • Swimwear (for first and last day swimming – can be left at your hotel during your trek)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – hiking socks + wool socks

Other essential kit includes:

  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
  • Sleeping bag (rated -25 degrees)
  • Get 3 litres of bottled water before the trip (available at your Moshi Hotel)
  • Camera + tripod
  • Video camera + tapes
  • Batteries
  • Notebook + pencil / pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Energy bars
  • Alarm clock
  • Sewing kit

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Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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