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Browsing: Central and Northern Africa

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

Of all the countries in the world blacklisted by the USA, Sudan has made it onto the top five rogue states. Travel and tourism there is apparently very limited and the security situation less than stable. The intrepid traveller has to try not to be kidnapped, shot at, robbed or imprisoned. Are you crazy? There is a say way to experience this amazing land of deserts, temples and black pharaohs. A military regime ruling with tight islamic ‘Sharia’ laws holds the country firmly in its grip, Christians are persecuted, and parts of the country bombed out. That‘s the official media

Basics Date: 15 December ‘17 – 13 January ‘18 Cost: R42 500 per person Includes: Camping & Lodge Accommodation, All Park Fees, Dinner Daily Excludes: Fuel, Border Costs, Drinks and Visas The Region Serengeti National Park, Tanzania If there is one place you have to visit in your lifetime it is the Serengeti National Park to experience the annual wildebeest migration. You have all seen it on numerous documentaries on National Geographic but nothing compares to actually experiencing it first-hand. The vast plains of this magnificent wilderness will leave you breathless and provide you with memories to last a lifetime. This is epic expedition will take us through Botswana, then into Zambia

Words & Images Patrick Cruywagen In a key snapshot from Kingsley Holgate’s recent “Living Traditions” expedition through northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and south Sudan, Patrick Cruywagen witnesses a world-first traverse of Chew Bahir, Southern Ethiopia’s great salt ocean, in Land Rovers and land yachts. Then it was back to the mosquito nets and much-needed spectacles… The success of our “The Living Traditions Expedition – A Journey to Chew Bahir” is in serious jeopardy. Our negotiations with the police at Arbore have reached an unfortunate stalemate − the Swiss might have invented the clock, but it is the Africans who own

Words & Images Schalk & Celeste Le Roux After a year of planning, Cape Town couple Schalk & Celeste Le Roux loaded up their Hilux and put together a three-month trip of a lifetime through East Africa. This is their story… What do you do when you hit 30, don’t have kids, and feel like a break from your job? You embark on a three month, 25 000-kilometre overland trip through southern and East Africa, obviously. Revved up by the promise of adventure, and after a year of planning and prepping, the time had finally arrived. We were relatively new

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