When we started researching about routes, places, campsites, trip advise and information about other crazy explorers busy overlanding Africa exactly 2 years ago, we found 2 fantastic websites. These are Africa-overland.net and Overland-sphere.com. From the links on these websites, we started to follow many people starting from Europe going south on the West-African route,others going through east Europe and Turkey shipping their vehicles to Egypt going south on the East-African route and yet others zigzagging through Africa from East to West, North to South. We read about their joys and tribulations, good and bad experiences, budgets going haywire, getting malaria, meeting interesting people and see interesting and beautiful places. What started as a dream long ago when we were young, suddenly became a reality through their experiences. We knew that time is running out for us to do the trip. We decided that if we cannot do it by hook or by crook this year, we won’t do it at all. Suddenly everything pointed to the possibility of doing it and as if by magic things started falling into place to make it possible.
We made contact with some of the Overlanders that we followed and when it seemed that their route will take them past Mossel Bay, we invited them to stay over with us. We learnt much from them and had a wonderful time with them all. I would like to introduce these travelling friends to you. Most of them we followed from the time that they were busy organizing and kitting themselves out for the Africa Overland trip. Domi and Zainab from Austria, doing the insane around the world trip, we started following from the Congo.
The first couple that overnight at Mossel Bay on route from Cape Town to the East-Coast, were Mike & Emma Rutter from the UK who came south on the West-Africa route. They can be followed on their blog named http://www.mikerutter.co.uk/africa/ They are back in Malawi now where they are helping out at the Nyika Trust that is busy with the setting up of a Trans frontier Conservation Zone with neighbouring Zambia. Hopefully we will see them again in Malawi.
Mike & Emma
Mike, Emma and us with their big Landrover
The next couple staying with us were Domi and Zainab from Austria who are on the road since September 20, 2009, traveling through 67 countries on six continents (including all 48 lower states of the USA) and crossing 98 international borders. They’ve driven more than 180 000 kilometers in their beloved Volkswagen called Herbie and a caravan!! Their blog is a must read because it is totally unreal what these 2 young people are doing. We can’t begin to tell the stories about their adventure!!! We got very attached to them. They are such very special children. We were sad when they left because we wanted them to stay with us longer. They came from Austria down the West-African route with Herbie and the caravan, getting Herbie and the caravan afloat in a huge pothole full of water in the Congo, got stuck in Cabinda in Angola, using the Angolan Air force to fly Herbie and caravan out over the Congo river to Luanda, camping overnight on the Luanda Airport between two runways and as they say in TV ads…..but still there’s morel!! Read about them on their blog http://herbiesworldtour.com Domi helped me enormously with getting the blog up and running. Zainab sings beautiful and played for us on her Lute. A very talented and exotic (very pretty) lady with her handsome aristocratic Austrian prince. They are now in Khartoum on their way back through East-Africa to Egypt, shipping Herbie from Alexandria to go home in Vienna. The BBC contacted them while they were with us. We are sure that some time in the future we will see this couple and Herbie on National Geographic’s!
Our Austrian kids
Arno & Domi giving Herbie & Caravan a good wash in Mossel Bay
Herbie being polished at Victoria Bay Campsite
Zainab preparing lunch at Victoria Bay
Zainab playing her Lute reading the music in Arabic
The 2 fellows with their pride and joy
This was the sad moment when Herbie was leaving us to go back home to Austria
Lastly but not the least, the other couple that we started following from about their very first appearance on a blog, were Oyvind (Viking Explorer) and Sheela (African Girlchild). They were still busy getting rid of their worldly possessions, packing up, sorting out etc.etc when we started reading about them. What we learned from their experiences while on the road, is that one must not get too stuck on what one initially thought your route will be. Enjoy the ride….it is not the destination that counts, it is the journey itself. We are privileged to be at the same time as them in Johannesburg and had a nice braai together last night at Naas and Heleen’s beautiful house. We looked at each other’s vehicles, chatted, had a glass of wine and promised to meet again before both of us depart in 2 and 3 weeks time. It was really such a nice evening. It is fantastic how one make new friends on a journey like this even before ours really started! Hopefully we will meet somewhere in East-Africa again. Follow Kapp to Cape on their blog www.kapp2cape.net
Oyvind, Sheela, Elize & Arno having such a nice time
Brodie the Cruiser
The Hilux peeping out of the garage