Destinations Magazine

Our 2014 Mystery Destination - Revealed!

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw

For the last year we've been asking for advice on where to go in our 2014 Mystery Destination.  Thanks to your input we created a short list of 5 of our favorite destinations we could possibly visit in January for a minimum of two-weeks.  Our only requirements were that the destination had to be new for this itinerary, and a good fit for our route as we planned to travel from India to South America while squeezing this spot in between.
As the time is now upon us to depart for our Mystery Destination, we are ready to reveal where we're off to!  Our newsletter subscribers and fans on Facebook and Twitter have already been notified of our basic plans, and we are now finally giving away the full details on what we're going over the next four weeks!
We are heading to...

Living the Dream is heading to Africa!
Our 2014 Mystery Destination - Revealed!
Not only that, we also decided to increase our time spent here and will be exploring a small part of the continent for four full weeks!
In planning for this destination, we spent several months searching for the best tour packages to find one that was suitable to our budget and dates.  Unfortunately, this is one region we just couldn't fathom doing solo while still seeing everything we want, so a tour was the only thing we would consider.  We ended up choosing a three-week camping tour with G Adventures that was on sale with a last minute discount of 25% off (saving us over $1,000 USD combined) as the price was within our range, duration long, and fit perfectly within our travel dates.
So while we are not going to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, which was our first choice as we mentioned in our previous post, we are going to a few destinations that could be even better.
Starting on January 23rd we will begin our Africa exploration in Cape Town, South Africa before heading north through Namibia, Botswana, and ending at Victoria Falls in Zambia!  After that we're flying back to Johannesburg with a few night's stay before catching a credit card reward flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina to start our next 6+ months in the Americas!  (Photo "African Wildlife" by werksdesig)
But what cities are we visiting on this whirlwind tour?  They are the following:
South Africa: Cape Town, Cederberg, Gariep River, Johannesburg
Namibia: Fish River Canyon, Namib Desert, Swakopmund, Etosha National Park, Waterberg Plateau National Park, Windhoek,
Botswana: Maun, Okavango Delta, Gweta, Chobe River, Kalahari Desert
Zambia: Livingstone
We're really excited about being able to explore these four countries in Africa, and are hoping that the low season weather does not dampen our experiences too much.  Such are the trade-offs we needed to make to get a good deal on an Africa tour, and we are incredibly pumped for whatever comes our way.
From cage diving with great whites in South Africa, to the hundred meter high sand dunes of Namibia, the safari expeditions in Botswana, and one of the world's best waterfalls in Zambia (on Valentine's Day, no less), we're looking forward to experiencing a great cross-section of this massive continent.
But That Is Not All, We Have a Special Stopover First
Our 2014 Mystery Destination - Revealed!
As exciting as Africa is, I am perhaps most excited about what we have to do to get there.
When looking at plane tickets to get to Cape Town from Mumbai, which are incredibly expensive (but still made this itinerary the most cost effective option by far for a 21 day tour), the cheapest ticket for our date ended up having a 23-hour layover in the island of Mauritius.
Wait, what? You have to be kidding me!
Of course, when we saw this we had to investigate this one further, as most island based carriers offer free stop-overs for those flying on their route at no extra charge as a means to get tourists into the country.
Air Mauritius had this same policy, and within moments we were booked on a flight with a five night stop-over in this tropical destination. A few more clicks on the keyboard and we had used the last of our Hilton credit card points for three of those nights on the island, and were well on our way to crafting a stop that was almost entirely free.  (Photo "Island of Mauritius" by redfloor)
So before we spend three-weeks on a roughing-it, participation style camping tour in Africa, we're going to be living it up for five days in absolute luxury in Mauritius at a bare minimum out-of-pocket spending on our part!
I can't promise that we'll be updating much during this month, as the internet situation will be spotty at best.  We are camping most of the time, after all.  But you can rest assured that when we return in mid-February we'll have enough stories to tell to last us for quite some time (and we still have another 6-months of this trip to go after that).  So until then we have lots of great posts from India and Nepal scheduled for your enjoyment as we catch up on all the topics we missed from the poor internet situation we faced while there.
So thank you to everyone who helped out with advice for our Mystery Destination - your input helped us find some amazing destinations we have now added onto our list for the future.  But while we cannot do them all, Africa is calling and we couldn't be happier.
Are you ready?  We are!

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