Trans-Africa
1. Germany >Tunisia
2. Tunisia >Libya >Egypt
3. Egypt >Sudan
4. Sudan >Ethiopia >Kenya
5. Kenya >Tanzania >Kenya
6. Kenya >Tanzania
7. Tanzania >Zambia
8. Zambia >Tanzania
Guestbook




Summit of Mt. Meru (4.800 m) touched by the rising sun on day three of our Kilimanjaro ascent where we reach Baranco Hut on 4.000 m altitude.


For us the fascination "Africa" started in the year 2000, when we rented a Toyota Hilux with camping equipment in Namibia. Ever since that time we have been coming back, year by year, exploring Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Kaokoveld, Zambia, and South Africa. Occasionally we met people that were on longer trips: Through Africa in 6 or 12 months. First we were just fascinated, then we started thinking...



Actually we can not trace back the moment when we decided to really get started and cross this huge continent on our own 4 wheels. It was a typical thing to discuss at a campfire somewhere in the Kalahari and to forget about once returned to Germany. Maybe such crazy ideas need some time to mature. Anyhow, coming back from a 4 weeks trip in South Africa we really started searching the Web for a used expedition vehicle in March 2006. Actually we did not have to search for a very long time. Our Landy was right there, nicely equipped and reasonably prized, we bought him in April 2006. From this point on, there was no way back. Having reached this "point of no return" we started planning the "details" of our project.

It was clear that we were going in intervals, each trip lasting no longer than 3 weeks. While we would fly back after each trip, our Landy would be parked in the respective country, waiting for us to continue our "project" 6 months later. 



With this approach we have been slowly moving along the eastern route via Tunisia (2006), Libya (2007), Egypt (2007), Sudan (2008), Ethiopia (2008), Kenya (2008), Tanzania (2009), Zambia (2009), hoping to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope in 2010. None of us is a mechanic!

Many questions regarding the organisation of such a project kept us busy for a while. There are no travel books which could help us. Finally we found most of the required information in blogs and on homepages of people that had decided to go on similar trips before us. Having "survived" our first trips that took us from Kassel through Tunisia and Libya to Egypt, we dared to launch our (this) homepage. Maybe we can now share our experience with those that still plan to go in the future. Anyhow, it's a good feeling to know there is this kind of travelling community - people that we met on our trips, people that keep on moving somewhere out there - trying to find the next horizon.... 


And that's our goal at the other end of the world: Cape of Good Hope. We hope we make it...




Built in 6/1997 our Landy had gone 93.000 km with 3 pre-owners before we bought it. Although the list of "extras" might read long, the car itself is pretty much a normal Landrover with a solid roofrack, a rooftent and a fridge connected to a dual battery system. We love him!




Before we started the trip the car was submitted to a total check-up at our local Landrover dealer. On this occasion the extra diesel tank was built in and one extra spare wheel was fitted to the back door. Now, after 20.000 km on tar- & dirt roads, gravel pads and in the desert we estimate the (combined) diesel consumption to be appr. 11l per 100km. The oil consumption (5W30) is close to zero. We try to change the oil every 5.000 to 7.000 km because of the bad diesel quality in most of the countries.


 

Aluminium Boxes (Daerr) in the back carry the entire equipment:

Box 1: Food
Box 2: Kitchen equipment
Box 3: Tools and Spares
Box 4: Bits and Pieces

Behind the boxes: wooden planks that can make up for an emergency bed inside (never used so far). The place of the rear seats is now taken by the fridge, 4 water cannisters, the gas cooker (on the other side) and the car jack. The roof rack carries the tent, sand plates and 2 diesel cannisters.

Below: The rooft tent with it's side walls rolled down on a rainy day in Tunisia. Two people can sit below it at a camping table




Landys and their proud owners. This relationship often results in a long list of "extras", which is also the case with our Landy. We are the 4th owner...

HD-Suspension  (++)
Excellent both on street (stiffer) and in deep sand

6 aluminium wheels, 7J x 16 (+++)
1 spare wheel on rear door + 1 on bonnet

Tyres: BF Goodrich 235/85 R119 N (+++)
Perfect so far (on tar/dirt road and in deep sand). Not so perfect (as expected) in mud. We started with used tyres which we replaced in Tanzania.

Axle protectors: ExTec (+)
Good for "piece of mind"

Fuel: 45l extra aluminium tank plus 2 x 20l cannisters (++)
Comfortable flow-through principle without pump: 125 l plus cannisters gives a radius of 1000 km (+). Loses some diesel when overfilled. Cannisters fixed in rack on roof rack, not in use so far. In total we would recommend to have an extra tank or cannisters: we never needed both (status Nairobi). Total fuel capacity: 164 l

Air: ExTec Snorkel, K&N Air filter (++)
Very robust. We collect substantial amounts of dust in the snorkelhead every day when driving through dusty areas.

Heating: Eberspächer D1LC compact (-)
Not been used so far

Light: 2 extra long distance lights on bullbar; Roof Rack: 2 front lamps, 2 side lamps, 1 rear lamp (+)
Looks very tough - Lara Croft Look :-) ánd was extremely helpful when we had to struggle with deep mud at night in Marsabit NP/Kenya.

Bull Bar: Regular Landrover (++)
Very good when driving in Cairo, indispesable for climbing the roof

Roof Rack: Nakatanenga full size, welded aluminium (+++)
Excellent: real heavy duty: the fixation via aluminium rails which extend over the entire roof length is extremely robust.

Roof Tent: Beduin Explorer I (+++)
Very good design: inner tent needed to be replaced (128 €) to make it mosquito-safe. We lost the screws of one hinge on the corrugated track between Wadi Halfa and Khartoum (easy to replace, carry some spare screws!)

Sand plates; Därr: 2 x 1,20m (+++)
Indispensable in Northern Africa

Compressor: CarTec, 12V, 10W via cigarette lighter (+++) 
A little weak (from 1 to 2,5 bar: 10 minutes/tyre)

Fresh Water: 4 x 10l medical grade plastic cannisters by Därr (+++)
After the first trip: Micropur sterilization recommended

Roll-over bar: home made by pre-owner (-)
Nice-to-have

Fridge: 37,5l Waeco compr. fridge, 20kg, 45W, +5 to -15°C (+++)
Very reliable and robust. Compared to Engel unconvenient opening

High Jack: Jackall 1,2m with Landrover adapter by Därr (+++)
Better stored inside the car, as the mechanics suffer from dust and water on the long run

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+++ must     ++ very helpful    + occasionaly helpful     - unnecessary



...we had a few but then again - too few to mention!
Some say that  driving a Toyota Landcruiser in Africa takes you to the most beautiful places while going with a Landrover Defender makes you an expert of good garages and workshops. We think that is an exaggeration. On the other hand side, this is our (preliminary) status:

 
Water pump defect on Djerba/Tunisia: replaced by a used original LR pump (135 €). Electrical problems: Radio and cigarette lighter w/o electricity: repaired in Assuan/Egypt

Starter. In Assuan we had fire in the engine caused by a burning starter. The problem was not as big as it first appeared. 3 hours later the starter was repaired (18 Euros) and our Landy was back on the road. We finally replaced it with a new one in Gondar/Ethiopia. We bought an original spare part on EBAY (151 €) in Germany when our local deale suggested some
400 € for the same part.

Shock absorber (right front) torn off and repairerd in Gondar/Ethiopia (150 €). The screw thread was re-threaded and the fixation top the chassis re-modeled.

Alternator breakdown in Arush NP/Tanzania. Replacement by a LR (Denso) original spare part in the Masai Camp workshop, Arusha (165 €).

Tyres. One tyre completely destroyed in Ngorongoro crater. The subsequent inspection of the remaining tyres was desasterous. The two spare wheels were fitted and 2 new tyres purchased in Arusha/Tanzania. The two front wheels are now the spares.

Rear Axle. Strange noise detected by Manfred during the inspection in his garage in Arusha. 1,5 liter oil refilled. Retaining ring replaced. The wheel drive and pressure disks in the differential were replaced as well (196 €)

Rear Shocks and rear breakes: worn out fixation wholes at the axle make the shocks bang against the wheels on bumpy terrain: fixed at Foley's in Livingstone. A New Rear ladder and new fridge battery was added as well.

to be continued...