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26 July 2017

How two broke Ghanaian ladies had a vacation of their lives in East Africa

In October, last year I wrote about the 7 pivotal experiences every woman should have before turning 30.

Among other things, I indicated that it is important to travel even if it is outside your region.

This article really is for those who have never traveled, scared to travel or think you need thousands and thousands of cedis to make a trip happen.

On my 30th birthday I wanted to see Africa beyond Ghana. So, I spent my birthday in Ivory Coast. It was pretty daunting travelling on my own, but I did it anyway and it was great experiencing and getting to know other people, culture, new food etc.

playIn Ivory Coast on my birthday with Ebrie’ women making Attie’ke’

When I came back from Ivory Coast, (which was great fun) I had another invitation to Kenya. My first time in East Africa.

I wanted to go for this trip so bad because not only did it offer me a learning experience in my line of work, I get the chance to see Kenya which is the “capital” of East Africa.

But the thing is I did not have enough money because I had just come back from Ivory Coast. Good thing was Eugenia (my former colleague and friend) was in on the trip and that was an extra push for me to make it happen.

How two broke girls made this trip happen

Truth is we were both broke but determined.

So, the first move was to sort out our air tickets because the dollar was whipping the cedi’s ass then so it did not make sense to delay.

What was left afterwards, was money for food, accommodation, shopping and just the total experience a trip should offer. Dipping into our savings was out of the question.

We told our host, the phenomenal Jacky Habib, that we could only raise 800 dollars for the trip. I raised the money from “here and there” and so did Eugenia.

playEugenia and I sampling giraffes lol

 

This woman right here is a great organizer, trip planner and bargainer. She can sell you for 2 cedis or 10 trillion dollars

Remember we had just a month to make it happen but you reading this have the chance to save towards it.

Ten days was all we had to experience Kenya and Tanzania (which we added later on).

Our accommodation was sorted in Kenya as Jacky was kind enough to give her bed to us

In Kenya, we spent less money to see amazing places. The only expensive thing we did in Nairobi was the safari at the Nairobi National Park, which cost us 100 dollars each. We passed on the Safari at Masai Mara (even though we really wanted to do that) which would have cost about 200 dollars because we were tired from the Tanzania trip.

playNairobi National Park

For food, we decided to stick to the local Kenyan foods like Chapati, Ugali, etc as they were not as expensive as ordering Chinese, Thai, Indian or Ethiopian dishes. There are days we cooked too just to give our host a taste of our Ghanaian dishes.

After 3 days in Nairobi, the 3 of us decided to head to Tanzania. Still on the 800-dollar budget and this time we knew nobody in Tanzania and Airbnb came in handy.

playUgali and fish meal

We left by bus — on a 16-hour journey to Tanzania. In Dar, we paid 30 dollars a night for the Airbnb accommodation. The three of us split it 10 dollars each so it didn’t hurt our pockets.

We took the ferry to Zanzibar the next day at 35 dollars each. Our first night in Stone Town was just 15 dollars also again on Airbnb, as usual we split it 5 dollars each.

playZanzibar, Stone Town

After a night in Stone Town which was one of my best nights ever — lots of dancing, walking, eating, making new friends and getting henna — we left to the Paje, which is in the Eastern part of the island to spend the rest of the days at the beach.

Again we “airbnbd” in Paje for 25 dollars a night so the three of us ended up splitting 50 dollars.

So, really the rest of the money was spent on food, and the experiences such as snorkeling (which went south), sitting on donkeys etc.

We came back to Nairobi after four days and left for Accra two days later.

I have just tried to summarize the trip as best as I can but it was all mad mad mad fun.

Don’t fret it

The whole point is, it shouldn’t be such a big deal if you want to travel. Just make up your mind, do a little bit of research on your destination, Use Airbnb which will reduce your accommodation cost — just go to Airbnb.com.

Don’t worry about the very nice and swanky places to sleep — if you have the money to spend on that go ahead, but if you don’t have the money just look for a place which is clean and safe and you will be just fine.

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