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Browsing: Central and Northern Africa

A JOURNEY TO CHAD’S TIBESTI MOUNTAINS Much of Chad lies within the Sahara – a desert that covers one-third of Africa. A remote backwater, it rarely features on a traveller’s bucket list. But SA4x4 reader Grahame McLeod made it here with a bunch of like-minded Italian travellers on a tour with a trio of tough Land Cruisers. Once blacklisted due to war and conflict between rival tribal warlords, this part of the Sahara is now open to tourism. This month, the first part of a rough 1 500km journey to the Tibesti Mountains… The rugged Tibesti Mountains are as far

Four guys live the overland dream when they rebuild a 1969 Land Rover Forward Control and head north through Africa, taking the slow road to Rwanda. Mitchell Sohn picks up the second part of their story, just as the group leap into Zambia, having survived a road not driven in many years… Nobody said overlanding is for sissies, and our exit route from Angola was a stern test of this. It took three days to cover 160km of the worst road we had ever seen, as we plunged from one giant puddle to the next, each one threatening to tip

This very last in the series of stories from Dan Grec’s two-year Africa round trip details a scary mishap and some extraordinary wildlife encounters I’m out solo, exploring an isolated gravel track in Uganda when the stunning Lake Albert comes into view over the crest of a hill. I strategically park the Jeep to get the best photo possible and walk away with camera in hand. As I climb the rock bank for a photo, I see the Jeep move. Almost before I can react it has travelled an entire Jeep length and is picking up speed fast. I desperately

Is the DRC passable? Can one get through from one part of the Congo to the next? Big questions for an overlander. This is Dan Grec’s experience, on his way down Africa’s West Coast in a familiar Jeep Wrangler Rubicon… My thumbs-up is answered with two honks, so I gently ease off the clutch. The slack goes out of the tow rope and I barely notice the additional dead weight the Jeep is hauling, such is low-range first gear in the Rubicon. I’m towing a pickup loaded with food sacks and locals that has broken down in the worst possible

Towering volcanoes, deep-water lakes, mountain-top calderas, verdant jungles, highland coffee plantations… There is so much more to Rwanda than its iconic silverback gorillas. Jacques Marais explores this tiny East-African country by bike, boat and Isuzu, as part of the “Beyond the Rift Valley” expedition. Peter van Kets and I first came up with the route for the ‘Beyond the Rift Valley’ expedition early in 2018, thinking this would be a pretty ambitious foray into the heart of the Mother continent, and a chance at last to get to see Rwanda’s gorillas up close and personal. That was the starting point

Traversing the West Coast of Africa requires visiting a minimum of 12 countries, and optionally up to 24. There are many reasons to skip certain countries – safety, weather, visa issues, and even Ebola outbreaks closing the borders. More often, sometimes a country is skipped simply through lack of interest. On the coast, and straddling the Equator, lies the small and often-overlooked country of Gabon. Gabon seems to be one of those countries that are skipped due to a lack of interest. Virtually no-one explores the remote corners, and there is almost no information about what can be found when

The main crossing from Nigeria to Cameroon on the West Coast of Africa is the stuff that overland legends are made of. The Mamfe Road is only one hundred kilometres long, although it takes most well-prepared overlanders a week of slogging to cover that distance. As the monster mud holes are big enough to bury even six-wheel-drive vehicles to their axles, many lesser vehicles remain stuck until they are dug out by a virtual army of locals, or rescued by tracked Caterpillar machinery. All of that is in the dry season. Traversing the West Coast of Africa in the wet

If I could skip one country while traversing the West Coast of Africa, it would be Nigeria. Overlanders speak of Nigeria only in whispers, and they rarely have encouraging things to say. Big, fast, loud and more than a little unpredictable, Nigeria is not on many bucket lists. I have recently heard a few reports of attacks on the roads involving fake police roadblocks and spike strips. Speaking of police roadblocks, Nigeria is famous for theirs. In their number, their unfriendliness and in bribery, Nigeria apparently holds the record. Skirting Nigeria by land is currently impossible, as it means driving

Readers Ernst & Helga Hegebarth took their upgraded Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to the harsh deserts of Morocco, and returned with some advice for other owners of the sturdy van. We tremendously enjoyed Richard van Ryneveld’s article in the March edition, on his trip to Botswana in a Mercedes Sprinter 4×4. Since we know all these places and campsites quite well from many trips, I would like to comment a little on the Mercedes Sprinter’s 4×4 performance from our own experience. Our first overland trip, from Germany to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and all the way to Nepal, was in 1973

Adventurer Dan Grec is sending us updates from his two-year trip around Africa’s perimeter, covering 30 countries and 130 000km. He is driving a four-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. “Road closed,” the immaculately uniformed officer leaning on a shiny AK-47 says casually.  “The ferry washed downstream last week,” he adds, giving all the explanation I need. Turning back, now, means hundreds of kilometres on muddy, potholed jungle tracks. So much for best-laid plans. As is customary in these situations, I lay maps on the hood, and a crowd of military men and spectators gathers − everyone pointing to a different place on

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