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There once were two ants that wanted to travel to Australia, however, on the highway in Altona their legs began to ache and they wisely refrained from the remainder of their trip. (J. Ringelnatz)
After we had spent many nice summers in Cape Town and had tooled around the countries of South Africa in a rickety Nissan 4x4 the thought occurred to us to invest in a new car.  This became quite an expensive undertaking because of the high import tax in South Africa. The idea to navigate across the African continent had always been in the back of our minds. Why not buy a much less expensive car in Germany and have it shipped to Cape Town?  This provided the opportunity to drive the vehicle from the north to the south of the continent.  We had, after all, a real destination where we would then leave the car to use it in future years. The final decision weighing this undertaking became a fortunate outcome of circumstances. The success of such a plan hinged upon the political situations in each country and the ability to move freely between the borders of these different politically oriented countries.
So it came to pass that in August Uwe, full of optimism, bought a Kultlandrover. It was very spartanly equipped - the fewer add - ons the fewer things that could go wrong.  Then with a few added extras such as a cable winch, bullbar, additional headlights, a raised up air cleaner, rooftop carrier, roof tent, ladder, additional gas tanks, differential lock, compressor, additional battery, refrigerator, stovetop, aluminum boxes, GPS and laptop, the outfitting was nearly complete. This trip was to start the end of February or early March.
It began to haunt us like a dream. We would start out in our winter season, possibly in ice cold conditions and would then move on to the south where the weather conditions would begin to be more tolerable, through the Sahara desert, into the Sahel, to press on through the humidity of the equator region and into the animal zone of Africa, then to pass by Kilimanjaro and through the thick bush to again be met by the dry conditions of the Kalaharie, Namib or Karoo where at the end of the rain period we would perhaps experience the landscape of South Africa at its most beautiful. We would then arrive in Cape Town.
The thought of looking for traveling companions crossed our minds.  Not an easy undertaking for this type of trip and for the three to four months of time the traveling involved.  A few ads placed in appropriate trade magazines left us with little response.  We made the decision to take the trip alone. Because of every man’s past failure in crossing the Sahara we ruled out the possibility of negotiating it alone. The relatively safe alternative became a route through Egypt over the Libyan Sahara. The approach to Egypt is a path through Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
Ultimately, we find interested travel companions. They all have the same goal in mind within the same time frame.  The potential teams consist of two additional pairs - one from Berlin with a 15 year old Landrover and another an IFA Saurian. They are planning a route over Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia.  We also had this in mind, but not as solo travelers.  We didn’t have to think about it too much. We were all dependent on each other for this region.
Next came the long period of planning.  In the house little piles began to appear consisting of things we thought would be useful, which in no way must be forgotten.  We reviewed ideas for the car and had to get our Visas. The departure date of 2/24/2001 out of the port of Genova began to crystallize like a magical ball. The beginning of the year brought information via the internet that Libya was accepting no more tourists through its borders – or, if so, only with a guide or by invitation.  This information kept becoming increasingly unclear. Visas for Algeria, Niger, and Chad would prove to be increasingly important in case the entry to Libya went awry. The Visa for Egypt could prove useful too should we not be able to get from Libya through Sudan. So, we also found these Visas in our passports. The reports increased about attacks in regions where the Tuareg tribe exist.  The pair with the Landrover decides to leave one week earlier to Tunisia. We plan to meet the IFA team in Genova on 2/24.
So, we too, on 2/22/01 embark in a southern direction, in a direction towards adventure….
 
Home Before Tunisia Libya Sudan Aethopia Kenya
Tanzania Malawi Zambia Botswana Namibia South Africa After