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
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...
6 aluminium wheels, 7J x 16 (+++)
Tyres: BF Goodrich 235/85 R119 N (+++)
Axle protectors: ExTec (+)
Fuel: 45l extra aluminium tank plus 2 x 20l cannisters (++)
Air: ExTec Snorkel, K&N Air filter (++)
Heating: Eberspächer D1LC compact (-)
Light: 2 extra long distance lights on bullbar; Roof Rack: 2 front lamps, 2 side lamps, 1 rear lamp (+)
Bull Bar: Regular Landrover (++)
Roof Rack: Nakatanenga full size, welded aluminium (+++)
Roof Tent: Beduin Explorer I (+++)
Sand plates; Därr: 2 x 1,20m (+++)
Compressor: CarTec, 12V, 10W via cigarette lighter (+++)
Fresh Water: 4 x 10l medical grade plastic cannisters by Därr (+++)
Roll-over bar: home made by pre-owner (-)
Fridge: 37,5l Waeco compr. fridge, 20kg, 45W, +5 to -15°C (+++)
High Jack: Jackall 1,2m with Landrover adapter by Därr (+++)
+++ must ++ very helpful + occasionaly helpful - unnecessary
...we had a few but then again - too few to mention!
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...