Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kinshasa to Lumbumbashi - August 2014 Update

It took 39 days for Frederick and Josephine to head North from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa. In August 2014, it took 13 days for Elias and Christina (Mad Nomad) traveling on two Honda XR 250s.  Could this become the new primary route South?
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)
We were still trying to realize that we travelled from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi in just 13 days! This is a route which is considered almost impassable and we haven’t met anyone in this country who has tried it. Sure, it was important that we were using two of the most suitable motorcycles for this kind of use and they were properly equipped. However, of course, we faced some mechanical failures in that rough terrain but we were prepared for them and we could fix them. After all, nothing stopped us and we achieved to become one of those few foreigners who have explored one of the most unspoilt African countries. Finally, our trip in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was much more pleasant than expected… - See more at:
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)
Read the full report on the Mad Nomad website:
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)

Additional Reading:

October 2009 - Lost Route (West to East Africa)
October 2010 - Trip Report: Radio Baobab (Lubumbashi to Kinshasa, Congo)
April 2012 - Congo Overland - Kinshasa to Lubumbashi
November 2013 - Don't Miss the Ferry

Personally, I like the fact that overlanders always find a way when borders between countries constantly open and close.  Perhaps this route will become popular again over the next few years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lurking under the crust... experiences on the Makgadikgadi pans

The track to Kubu Island
A recent blog post by Laws & Hookey, the team from "Where the fook is (laws &) hooke" prompted my memories and experiences on the Makgadikgadi pan and Nxai pans in Botswana.

The Makgadikgadi Pans are situated roughly halfway between Maun and Nata and is a tempting diversion between the two towns...
Makgadikgadi Pans 2005
My first experience of the pans were in 1993 but the real story started in 1994 when I attempted to hitchhike from Pretoria to Maun in Botswana. My experience of hitchhiking was limited to cities and not cross border trips! My backpack was filled with unnecessary equipment and even included a BBQ grid! My travel partner and I were not compatible and hardly a word was spoken between the two of us but the security of a traveling partner outweighed the disadvantage of compatibility!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Notorious Roads: Marsabit to Moyale

East Africa: There is one road that is as notorious as the Nigeria to Cameroon route.
Photo: Mikes Global Adventure - Marsabit to Moyale 
Certainly this road strikes more fear and uncertainty due to the infrequent threat of bandits, the wet season and the dusty dry season. Plus, if heading North, the anxious feeling of another border crossing.

Welcome to the Marsabit to Moyale road in Northern Kenya.
An overlander’s rite of passage: Marsabit to Moyale - Morgan Safari (Nov 2013)
We had heard the horror stories, we had seen photos, but nothing could have prepared us for the treacherous journey into Kenya along one of the most famous roads in Africa - Bristol to Cape Town 
 The ride was very challenging and interesting as it took us through a series of ups and downs, frustrations and amazements. This stretch of 260 km gravel presented to us – rocks (many!), sandy patches, desolate desert scenes, even green valleys with trees, camels, donkeys, a jackal, bushbaby, mud and even some rain -  Crossing Africa 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Africa Overland with a Jeep Wrangler (Lost in HDR)

The website of Kristina & Nerijus (Lost in HDR) might be the first Africa overland trip to use a Jeep Wrangler! Land Rover, Toyota, Quad bikes and even Rolls Royce have completed trans-Africa overland trips but todate, no one has used a Jeep Wrangler and blogged about the experience!

'Lost in HDR' Website
'Lost in HDR' is a vivid visual experience which stimulates, pulls you in and leaves you wanting more!

Photo: Lost in HDR - Morning in Cameroon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Puff, the Magical Land Rover Series IIA

How many trans-continental overland journeys can one vehicle do in a life time?
Photo by African Snail
Here is a 1971 Land Rover Series IIA which might have completed five or six Africa overland trips...

The 1st trip:1999 - African Edventure by Dennis & Aaron
The 2nd trip: 2004 - African Snail by Murray & Moira
The 3rd trip: 2005 - Gary & Courtney
The 4th trip: 2006 - Rob, Xander & Charlie
The 5th trip: 2007 to 2014. Seven years of unknown travels!
The 6th Trip?  Potentially the current owners Jono & Joss Watkins

On June 2nd 2014, Teresa (Safari Jema) posted a photo on Facebook with another Land Rover and it immediately got my attention.  I knew the vehicle and the previous owners but had thought it had been destined for spare parts rather than more overland adventures!
Photo: Safari Jema (with the white Series III)

The brief overland history of this petrol 1971 Land Rover Series IIA 109"...