Journey to Africa - The Wanderlust Effect

Journey to Africa – Rwanda, Uganda, DRC + South Africa

Somehow it’s arrived.

Somehow, after a year of brainstorming logistics, hammering down an ever-changing schedule, and discussing feasibility of this trip (how much credence should we really give to those pesky State Department warnings?), our long-awaited journey to Africa is here.

Those mental countdowns seem to last an eternity until all of a sudden they don’t. Seemingly overnight, the journey has arrived and in most cases I feel like I haven’t had a chance (despite literally having almost a year) to really absorb the extent of this adventure.

And man, is it an adventure. I tell people we’re traveling – I never call it a ‘vacation’ – because while we’re jetting off and enjoying amazing new landscapes and experiences in some incredible locales, ‘vacation’ conjures up fanciful ideas of sleeping in, sipping cocktails by the pool and debating where to go to dinner. While South Africa will bring us some of that, the majority of our trip brings challenging off-the-beaten-path adventures with early wake up calls and long days of trekking which will undoubtedly be the experience of a lifetime. We’re starting our trip with two and a half weeks in East Africa, exploring parts of Rwanda, Uganda and most prominently, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I’ve talked before about my childhood fantasies about visiting the Congo, and somehow this bucket list adventure is sitting right in front of us, and I’m simultaneously so excited and so worried that it’s going to escape in the blink of an eye, as grand adventures tend to do.

So, for this trip, I’m cool with the long days and the needing-a-vacation-after-your-vacation approach because we’re going to make every day count (gorilla trekking, volcano hiking, traditional game drives, whale watching, shark diving, wine tasting, and so much more). Stay tuned as I share my adventures from throughout the African sub-continent. I’ll be sharing links to our experiences right here as they go live to keep them in one place for easy reference!


Democratic Republic of Congo


South Africa

In the meanwhile, please do follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as I share updated experiences along the way. On Instagram, follow #TWExAfrica to see the collection of pictures we’re compiling from our month-long escape!

FIRST STOP: A long layover in Doha, Qatar.

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.