About the Book

I’ve just been spending the whole evening with your book. I feel so fascinated by your story and I love the way you’re describing both breathtaking and funny situations ... (from Facebook)
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Alexandra
Absolutely loved it. Very inspiring and Dot I would love to meet you one day when I visit Zimbabwe again. Thank you for sharing this amazing story. My lunch brakes will be so empty without all your...
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Justyna
FANTASTIC BOOK! I LOVED every page of this book and didn't want it to end. I have read many travelogues and this was by far my favourite. I enjoyed Dot's candid style of writing and she ...
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Kevin

Going Home to Africa

One Woman's quest to return home, driving from Europe to Zimbabwe.
Going Home to Africa is the story of Dot Bekker's journey home.  Having left Zimbabwe, the country she was born and raised in, in 1981 and lived in 5 other countries on 2 continents, after 20 years in Europe, it was time to go home.   Her drive took her 8.5 months, 20 000 kms through 18 West African countries to get to Zimbabwe.&nbs...p; She had the time of my life and celebrated her 60th birthday 4 days after arriving back in Africa, a milestone she was set on achieving. Find more posts on  Facebook   or   Instagram More

The route map

I'm frequently asked for more details on the maps for the book and regret I've not really successfully managed to get this included.  However, if you are interested this Google map identifies pretty much every location that I stopped at en route.  Use the link below to take you to the Google map.   shorturl.at/fCGUX    
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Round 2 with Joe Mars

When I first returned to Zimbabwe I had a really fun interview with Joe Mars and after reading my book he wanted to chat to me again about my return, my book and my work with girls.   https://joemarsonradio.wixsite.com/thejoemarspodcast Publish Post Once published, the post will appear on the blog listing
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Podcast with Tantenda Rungisa

Tatenda reached out to me and asked me to contribute to her podcast.  Find it here ... https://anchor.fm/tatenda-rungisa/episodes/Dot-Bekker-shares-her-story-on-driving-20-000km-alone-back-to-Zimbabwe--A-story-to-remind-us-that-anything-is-possible-evg4dj
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Interview - Helen in Wonderlust

On of my posts on Facebook led to being contacted by Helen, herself an intredpid traveller who loves backpacking and West Africa.  With her own travels at a halt due to COVID she is keeping her blog going with stories of other travellers and felt my story merited being interesting and asked if she could interview me about my journey. I had great fun chatting to her and here is her interview. https://www.heleninwonderlust.co.uk/going-home-to-africa-driving-from-morocco-to-zimbabwe-via-west-central-africa/
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The Book

My drive through Africa took 8.5 months, writing the book took 7 months, the editing, proof reading, publishing and such took a further 8 months ... all in all the book took more time and headaches than the journey ... well OK, maybe they are on a par! I've never written a book before, well that's not entirely true ... I have written a book but it is still in a folder tucked away looking for a rewrite ... However, this was the first time ever that anyone wanted me to write a book and after my journey so many...
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MOST INSPIRING GUEST AWARD

I was invited by the Global Travel Channel which is run by Mark Philpott to do a podcast with him shortly after my return to Zimbabwe in late 2019.  This podcast was entered into an awards program whereby people could nominate the podcast against various categories.  I happened to win this one as the Most Inspiring Guest for 2019/2020.  I was most shocked and humbled to receive the award.     Below is the link to the episode.  
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Things that go bite !

Green mosquito heaven
I have to be honest, I’m delicious, not even an acquired taste, just plain outright delicious!    That is the opinion of any small biting thing that is around, especially mosquitos.  It is the bane of my life and I can confess that I have been scarred with PTSD as a consequence of the mosquitos of Africa.  When the merest twitch or brush against any part of my body I will twitch with unexpected urgency as a reflexive action, after having been subjected to untold number of bites over my lifetime with an intensity over the months I was driving...
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Visit Zimbabwe - Podcast

Thanks to the Global Travel Channel and Mark Philpott for another chat, this time I'm taking you on a virtal tour of Zimbabwe.  Come along and find out why you should visit my amazing country.  
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The Good and the Bad

The Plateau, Nigeria
I’m regularly asked which country was the worst, the best, the most beautiful, the most friendly, etc. I’m not a person who does best, bestest, I believe that everything has good and bad, but as people are curious here is a headline of my thoughts, notably these are my opinions based on what I saw and experienced … First to clarify that the countries I drove through were, in order of travel, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea (Conakry), Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Cabinda (Angola), Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe....
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Overlanding Essentials

Take care of the small things and the big things take care of themselves
A Recurring question is what would I consider to be some of the most essential items I took with me on my journey and I will give you my top picks, in no specific order. A keyring penknife . I was given this gift by my nephew and it served me well. Not only was it a penknife, with the added benefit of bottle opener, screw driver (flat and star) but it most usefully had a small button which switched on a tiny LED light. That light was so incredibly useful, being on the keyring it was always with me...
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The Roads of Africa

Bad doesn't even describe some roads
There is very little that can prepare you for the roads of Africa if you are overlanding, I’ve met seasoned overlanders who have been unpleasantly surprised and challenged by the roads I encountered. My best advice is … be prepared for anything and everything. Alongside that I would add that I would highly recommend you don’t attempt overlanding in some parts of Africa in the wet season, unless you are into mud and digging and probably a bit of a masochist. I opted for a 2WD vehicle because I couldn’t afford a 4x4 and I had the firm belief that...
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Welcome Home

At some stage once the structure of the internal build was done things started to move on at a better pace, or perhaps it was just that my muscles were better attuned and I was better skilled. There was the seating area, finishing the internal structure of the kitchen cabinet, installing the sink and water bottles, the secure storage areas and not to exclude the book shelves. Slowly I added some colour with plastic sticker tiles, my Africa map, the quotes and sayings that I like to have around, curtains were cut and sewn, cushion covers made and suddenly it...
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Let the building begin!

September arrived and the days were slightly cooler and less crowded than they had been and I started to take early morning walks around to see some of the sites and visit markets (ever seeking bargains). It was also time to buy the panels for the sides and walls that we had been waiting for before getting on with building and then the panels of pine to build the structure framework. My nephew’s business had not ceased or let up during the summer months and he was soon to depart for South Africa so knowing it was pointless waiting for...
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Barcelona ... (cue Freddy Mercury)

I had come to Barcelona to stay with my nephew who is a multi-talented man in the construction business. He has a workshop in the city where he has lived for 15+ years. I had come to build out the inside of BlueBelle into a home, my home on wheels that would make me independent and take me home to Zimbabwe on my drive through Africa. My nephew’s workshop was the ideal place to do this. Note that, like many in Barcelona, my nephew has made a living space in his workshop and there wasn’t really room for one more,...
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Lock, Stock and BlueBelle

Returning to Luxembourg was necessary to settle personal matters and put into play the registration for the non-profit I wanted to start for girl’s education as well as picking up the 35 boxes, chair, table and carpet I had left in storage in my friend’s garage. My intention to return to Africa is a one-way direction and without a location or destination at present in Zimbabwe it means that I have to either pay storage for my goods while I am away for an indeterminate period of time or reduce to a size where I can impose my things on...
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Life is on the other side of fear.

Leaving the UK after living in a friend’s loft during a cold and wet winter (two of my favourite things ... not!) left me with dual feelings. Firstly I was glad to get out of the UK, one of the reasons I left 9 years previously is that there are so many people then there is the big brother controls which are everywhere (leaving you feeling safer but at the same time without any privacy), additionally now (with Brexit fever) ever more than before an unsettling feeling within the country of rising intolerance and strife and of course the weather....
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First things first!

You've met BlueBelle, now it's the serious work of getting her ready to go.  I'm still a long way off setting out, especially because I still need to earn/raise a large sum of money to cover the costs of the journey.  But I've always believed that in order to get success you have to at least be on the path heading toward it.  Thus, I continue with 'the plan' despite not quite knowing if I can manifest it. First thing was to clean out the van and try to rid it of the disgusting smell of oil.  I think they...
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BlueBelle ... my new friend

Finally, here is an introduction to BlueBelle my new friend with whom I intend to drive home to Zimbabwe ... InShaAllah (god willing) as they say in Arabic. As per my last blog here are the details of the van, whom I have affectionately called BlueBelle. MAKE:       Ford MODEL:     Transit 190 LWB YEAR:        1998 ENGINE:     2496cc - Diesel (Heavy Oil) She started out life working for a church as a disability and community vehicle and at some time she was a general runabout van for someone who didn't really look after her.  She came to me from a dealer East...
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The Van ... unicorn or donkey

Finding the right vehicle has been a true challenge.  My earlier specifications were quite specific but getting all of those to fit into my within my budget meant that instead of a sparkling unicorn I probably settled for a very solid donkey, not too pretty but should do the job just as well. I've come to realise that not having paid any attention to vehicles, but for the basics, has been a disadvantage, however, I've done a lot of work to understand and learn more, hence I came up with the list that I published earlier.  I'm really grateful to...
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Alternative Living

In 2008 Monty (so called as he was a Ford Tioga Montego) was to be my new home for a while, at least on a journey around Europe to see some of the places never yet seen.  In hindsite he was too big but at the time it seemed a reasonable space to live in for 2 people and 2 dogs.  Monty, as I said was a Ford Tioga Montego RV.  He (he because he was a beast and not in the least bit she) had a V8 engine running on either Petrol or LPG and had long range tanks...
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About Dot

Dot is Zimbabwean born and raised and after having lived in Europe for 20 years she decided to return home but uniquely she decided to drive  through Africa to get there.

She achieved her dream by driving 20,000kms through 18 West African countries over 8.5 months on her own for most of the journey.  Her book of the same title will soon be launched,and you can find out more about Dot or subscribe to the Blog for more.

 

Kusasa Scholarship Fund

Alongside my journey I've decided to raise funds for scholarships for girl's education in Zimbabwe, find out more about that here, to contribute to the Scholarship Fund please do so here.