Africa at Last!

We have planned, booked and failed on a couple of occasions to get a trip to Africa up and running. Covid-19 was one of the things that scuppered our plans and several of the countries we wanted to visit were understandably slow at getting back on their feet.

Eventually we found a slot in our plans which looked like it would work, from August to November 2023, through 11 countries, on an overland truck very similar to the one we did in South America almost 5 years ago. We did actually book with the same company as before, only to have that trip cancelled. “Africa is just getting going again and people are still hesitant to travel”. So we found a different company that was definitely travelling, booked, paid and hoped for the best.

Then, the week before we were due to go, a family medical emergency struck, which meant we had to postpone our flights. Thankfully, everything turned out good and we eventually took off from Heathrow 3 weeks late.

We arranged to catch up with the truck in Nairobi, Kenya and had, unfortunately, to miss Uganda, Rwanda and most of Kenya. But there was still what looked like a fantastic trip ahead visiting 8 countries enroute to Cape Town. In fact, South Africa was the only country on this trip we had previously visited, so there was a whole load of new experiences to be enjoyed.

The truck itself was the same make as the previous one, a converted Scania, but the layout was different in many ways. The most noticeable difference was that the majority of the seats were forward facing just like in a normal coach, not fitted around the outside facing inwards like before.

It was still going to be 90% camping in the same heavy duty, almost military stye tents as before. They are easy to erect and have loads of space for two. They are extremely heavy and thankfully we don’t have to carry them around on our bikes or backs!

The majority of the rest of the passengers were in their early 20’s from an array of different countries. Initially they didn’t fancy following The Company rules regarding seating, on board etiquette, and a few other things. This attitude, coupled with a weak and pretty incompetent Tour Leader, didn’t bode well for a trip lasting well over 2 months. A few of the older travellers had been suffering in silence, and not confronted the issues, but by the time we had left Zanzibar, about 10 days in, Steve had spoken with a few people, including the Tour Leader, explained the error of their ways and things had settled down enormously.

And so we trundled slowly across Kenya, heading for the border with Tanzania. From there we would visit The Serengeti, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the island of Zanzibar. Then it’s South into Malawi with its huge lake. From there we turn West and cross Africa from The Indian Ocean to The Atlantic, through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, before our final turn South heading to the finish in Cape Town.

Let’s see how it goes, but this isn’t a great start 😂

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