The first world trip update: self-drive in Namibia and an overland tour in Africa

by suitcasestoriesbe
The first World trip update: self-drive in Namibia and an overland tour in Africa

Hi everyone!

Our first world trip update is finally out! We started our world trip with an epic self-drive in Namibia and a 40-day overland tour in Africa.

It has been 3 months now since we packed our bags and started our world trip. To be honest, it doesn’t feel that long for us, but yet it is quite a long time. Meanwhile, we traveled through 9 countries and took 6 flights that covered over 23,000 kilometers. Looks already pretty impressive, right? We visited so many incredible places, met amazing people from all around the world, and woke up every morning with the biggest smile on our faces.

What have we done in the past 3 months? Where have we been? And what’s on the planning for month 4 of our world trip? You can read it all in this very first world trip update. We hope you like it!

World trip update: map of our 40-day overland tour in Africa

World trip update 3 months on the road
Our 40-day overland tour in Africa

An epic 2-week self-drive in Namibia

We booked a one-way ticket to Windhoek and started our world trip with an epic 2-week self-drive in Namibia, a destination where we’ve dreamt about already long before we even decided to travel the world. A couple of weeks before we left on our world trip, we booked a 4WD with a rooftop tent and planned a 2-week itinerary with all the places we wanted to see during this self-drive in Namibia.

Highlights of the trip were definitely Sossusvlei (the oldest desert in the world), Etosha National Park, meeting the Himbas, and enjoying the many stunning sunsets. And ow yeah, we also had our first flat tire in the middle of nowhere on a hill with a sign that elephants could cross the road anytime. Luckily a German mechanic helped us out.

As this was the first camping trip we’ve ever made, we had some scary moments too. Especially when we arrived late on our campsite and still needed to cook in the dark with elephants and other wildlife all around us.

But in the end, this self-drive in Namibia was certainly one of the most unforgettable adventures we’ve experienced so far and Namibia really stole our hearts!

Our most unforgettable moments during the self-drive in Namibia

  • Our proposal in Sossusvlei and Dune 45
  • Camping in the remote area of Damaraland
  • The visit to a Himba tribe
  • Wildlife spotting in Etosha National Park

Read all the stories and tips of our self-drive in Namibia

Namibia in 2 weeks - Sossusvlei
Walking through Deadvlei in Sossusvlei
Namibia roads
Having a flat tire in Namibia is not unusual
Sossusvlei campsite in Namibia
Camping with the most stunning sunsets every night
Namibia Etosha National Park
Spotting wildlife in Etosha National Park

The proposal in Sossusvlei

Besides we instantly fell in love with Namibia, there was also that one magical moment that made this self-drive in Namibia completely unforgettable because…

Mik asked me to marry him! It all happened on the second night and I still can’t believe this actually happened…  The proposal was such a magical moment! We were having dinner, enjoying a glass of wine, watching a magical sunset with Sossusvlei in front of us, and then he went on his knees…  And hell yeah, I SAID YES! Still can’t believe he proposed to me at such a beautiful place, feeling the luckiest girl in the world!

P.s: Mik prepared everything already before we left and surprised me afterward with this super cute video where he asked my father and grandmother’s permission.

At the end of our self-drive in Namibia, we decided to book 2 nights in a luxury glamping lodge where we celebrated our engagement. I couldn’t wish for any better place to be!

World trip update first 3 months
Celebrating our engagement in the beautiful Eagle Tented Lodge
Eagle Tented Luxury Lodge Namibia
Outdoor shower with views over the bush
Eagle Tented Lodge Namibia
Views from our room
Suitcasestories engagement Namibia
Feeling the luckiest girl in the world

4 days in Cape Town

After our self-drive in Namibia, we flew to South Africa where we spent 4 days at a lovely Airbnb guesthouse in Cape Town. Cape Town is also the place where the overland camping tour with Acacia Africa starts, so we took these 4 days to relax and enjoy a bit of luxury after our camping trip.

We hiked Lion’s head for a day, explored the city and the beautiful beaches. Cape Town is such an amazing city and a place where we really could live.

Read also: Best things to do in Cape Town

Destinations South Africa
Beautiful beaches of Cape Town
Cape Town Guesthouse
The guesthouse we booked via Airbnb

A 40-day camping overland tour in Africa

After charging our batteries in Cape Town, we were ready to start the real adventure we were looking forward to so much: a 40-day camping overland tour in Africa crossing 7 countries in Southern Africa.

This trip was so unique and incomparable to anything we’ve done before. Not only we experienced unforgettable things like walking with rhinos in Zimbabwe or going on a mokoro safari in Botswana, but we also slept every night under the stars in remote campsites and met so many amazing people from all around the world. This was definitely not the last camping overland tour we did!

Our most unforgettable moments during the overland tour in Africa:

If you are interested and want to know more about our experience and what to expect from a camping overland tour in Africa, read it all here.

Spitzkoppe campsite in Namibia
camping overland tour africa
Met the most amazing people during the tour
Camping overland tour Africa
Unforgettable sunset moments in Namibia

27 days island-hopping in Thailand

At the end of our overland tour in Africa, we flew from Cape Town to Bangkok and started from this central point to travel around Southeast Asia. After 1 night in Bangkok, we took the night bus and ferry to the island of Koh Lanta, where we spend Christmas with the most lovely family in our hotel. A very weird feeling to celebrate Christmas on a beach, 30 degrees outside, and a cocktail in our hands.

We spent our days island-hopping, enjoyed a Thai cooking class, and relaxed on the stunning white beaches of Koh Lanta. Our new favorite island in Thailand!

Read also: Best things to do in Koh Lanta

After Koh Lanta, we went to the remote island of Koh Libong where we explored and relaxed for a few days and took a ferry to Koh Mook to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A few days later we got stuck on the island because the tropical storm Pabuk made landfall in Thailand and all ferries got cancelled due to the dangerous weather conditions.

Once the storm passed by we booked a trip to Koh Kradan, where we met a lovely woman and had tea together in her house on the beach.

Our island-hopping trip in Thailand ended in Phuket. We took the time to really relax after our exhausting overland tour in Africa, worked on our blog, wrote some new articles, created travel movies about our adventures in Africa and had so much ‘us’ time together.

Our most unforgettable moments in Thailand

  • Spending Christmas with a local Thai family
  • New Year’s Eve on the beach in Koh Mook
  • Overcome our fear to drive a scooter again
  • the amazing cooking class of Cooking with Mon
  • Getting stuck on the islands during a tropical storm
  • Jumping on a project with Burasari in Thailand and Laos
Koh Lanta Fruit Market
Fruit stalls in Koh Lanta
Spending Christmas on Koh Lanta
Spending Christmas on Koh Lanta
Thailand - Koh Lanta
Beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta
Cute little girl on Koh Mook
Cute little girl on Koh Mook
Crystal-clear waters of Koh Kradan
Crystal-clear waters of Koh Kradan

11 days in Cambodia

After our island-hopping trip in Thailand, we flew from Phuket to Siem Reap in Cambodia, where we stayed for 4 days. We spent the days with exploring the amazing temples at the sites of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world.

After Siem Reap, we continued our trip to Battambang, which is the rural countryside of Cambodia. We took the authentic bamboo train, visited the Killing Caves, and saw millions of bats flying out into the night.

Currently we are in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, and learnt more about the dark history of the Khmer Rouge regime that only happened 40 years ago. We went to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which opened up our eyes even more. For 4 years this was the famous prison, called S-21, where thousands of Cambodians were killed for crimes they didn’t even commit.  It’s unbelievable how many people have been killed behind closed doors from the world without any reason. It was such a heartbreaking visit but really a must-do when you go to Phonm Penh!

Our most unforgettable moments in Cambodia:

  • Exploring the ruins of Angkor Wat
  • Taking a ride on a bamboo train
  • Visiting the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Caves
Royal Palace Phnom Penh Cambodia
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
Angkor Wat Temple Cambodia
Temple hopping at Angkor Wat
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh
The poor victims who died during the Khmer Rouge
Sunrise Angkor Wat Cambodia
Sunrise at the beautiful Angkor Wat

What’s the planning for month 4 of our world trip?

We will continue our journey in Cambodia to the south, to explore Kampot and the island of Koh Rong. After Cambodia, we are going to cross the border to Thailand again where we will first stop for some beach days at the island of Koh Chang.

After Koh Chang, we will go back to Bangkok where we will take a flight to Laos on the 13th of February. We are looking forward to discovering all those beautiful places and can’t wait to share our next world trip update!

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Mik & Valerie

Read all world trip updates here

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