Independent Travel Travelling by yourself in Africa can be extremely rewarding. Having the freedom to go where you want and when you want is awesome. But it is harder. It requires effort. It's the type of travel that challenges you. And I like a challenge. Public transport, can be very cheap so you will save a lot of cash travelling this way. Plus it really exposes you to every day African life. But it can sometimes be a bit of a pain getting to the exact place you want to go. Tours take you door to door. Public transport takes you to the bus station and then you still need to make your way to your accommodation from there. But that's part of the fun. Let me tell you a little story, if I may... I took a tour to South Luangwa in Zambia from Lilongwe in Malawi. To get there, it was 7 hours in a comfortable safari jeep. However, I needed to be back in Lilongwe for a flight, so I had to leave the tour a day early and travel back by public transport. What can only be described as a 'disco bus' picked me up whilst it was still dark at 5.30am (as arranged by the bar man at the camp). I had someone's baby on my knee for part of the journey, whilst loud techno music blasted through the cramped mini bus - the whole God damn way. The bus dropped me off at a bus station near to the border, the driver pointed towards a jumble of cars and said it was the taxi rank. Ok... From the licence plate, I could tell they were actual taxis, so I crammed in with 6 others (a lady was sat on my knee) and we drove to the border. Passport stamped, I walked across, found another taxi (equally as cramped this time) which dropped me off at the mini bus station on the Malawi side. Once I'd managed to find the right bus and waited for it to fill up, we were off (sans disco this time). At every police check point, they made me get off (just me, no-one else - I was the only foreigner on the bus), had a quick (friendly) look through my bag, smiled and waved us on - confident I wasn't running drugs. 12 hours after leaving, I found myself back in Lilongwe. See the difference?

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Our eyes locked. The gorilla stared at me intently, I knew I was supposed to look away, be submissive, but I couldn't, this was too amazing. Frozen to the spot,...