Going Home to Africa

Follow my dream to return to the African country of my birth from the continent of my heritage and the adventure that will take from from Europe down the bulge of Africa into South Central Africa.

Podcast Interview - 4x4OutFar

Thanks to Anton of 4x4OutFar for interviewing me on his podcast and asking me some different questions and having a laugh with me. Follow the link below to find his podcasts with other overlanding stories. https://anchor.fm/4x4outfar/episodes/Going-home-to-Africa---Dot-Bekker--Happy-Zimbabwean--Learnt-the-overlanding-wave--tar-tyres-and-stuck-in-sand-eebu1o?fbclid=IwAR1iWpYO4sms_FvIr4jwqYosbxEygrpPtXLlc_m0LT_8_IE2lfVvYyt9WO0
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© 4x4OutFar

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Interview - The Edge of Adventure

Adam and I met via The Global Travel Channel on which we have both been guests and we found mutual admiration, plus the fact that I find him a pleasure to look at and listen to, I know, I have a penchant for delicious young men with a beard and hat, but there is no harm in pleasing the eyes. He really is charming with a huge heart and with the quarantine lockdown and a halt in his travelling he is doing some online interviews with people he is connected to.  It was my pleasure to be asked to join...
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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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Global Travel Channel Podcast - Visit Zimbabwe

I was delighted to join Mark Philpot of the Global Travel Channel Podcast for a second time to talk about why Zimbabwe should be on everyone's bucket list as a holiday destination. Listen to his podcasts and enjoy Visit NEW PODCAST. EPISODE 122 Listen here  https://www.patreon.com/ posts/35581631 Amazing Zimbabwe Woman Dot Bekker takes the time to personalise a trip for you to her beautiful country. We start at the majestic Victoria Falls, and then move onto one of Africa’s best Game Parks at Hwange National Park. After that a side trips are possible to Mlibezi or Binga on Lake Kariba,...
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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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Interview - Les Marioles Trotters

I first met French couple Anatole and Marion in Togo as we were crossing the border.  Our journey's crossed paths several more times into Nigeria and then we next met when they came to visit me in Zimbabwe.

They travel full time and their YouTube channel is very successful.  I was delighted when they asked me to do an interview to help them answer some of the questions that they get asked by their audience, such as, can a woman do this kind of travel, do you need to know about your car, do you need a 4x4.  

IntBelow is the interview.

 

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Magazine Interview - Nzira

When I was in Namibia Julie Havercroft contacted me from Nzira Magaine and some months later the magazine published the article.  Nzira means road in the local Shona language. Below is an image of the article. 
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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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Good Morning Zimbabwe - Interview

It was an early morning start to get to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation studio for a brief interview with Merelin Ngwenya the host for Good Morning Zimbabwe coming out of Bulawayo. Regret the video was taken with a direction switch.      
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Interview - The Inspired Nomads

I was pleased to be interviewed by traveller Heather Markel who also interviews other travellers and their journey's.  Below is the interview   Heather Markel and Dot Bekker discuss the value of leaving stability - especially when what's keeping you stable is also keeping you tethered to unhappiness and stuff. There are some excellent insights in this interview, especially for those of you on the fence about leaving stability. You'll want to listen to this one! Dot Bekker heads up a great girl's education charity, Kusasa. You can learn more about it at www.kusasa.africa and on Facebook at @kusasa.africa Dot...
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Radio Interview - Capitalk with Joe Mars

I had an amazing interview with Joe Mars of Capitalk Radio 100.4FM.  Joe also visited with BlueBelle and I for a cup of coffee. The podcast of the interview is below: https://soundcloud.com/capitalk-fm/dot-bekker-travels   The Facebook video of Joe's visit for coffee, link is below: https://www.facebook.com/goinghometoafrica/videos/784820851968052/  
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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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Global Travel Podcast

It was a great pleasure to be able to join Mark Philpott ont he Global Podcast Travel and discuss my journey with him.  Find the link to the Podcast below ... and many other great travel stories.   https://www.globaltravelchannel.com/home/episode/dd11d048/barcelona-to-zimbabwe-by-van-with-dot-bekker   Global Travel Channel Podcast Show   -    9/17/2019 Walking out on a broken marriage and with little money Dot Bekker was closing in on age 60. She decided to challenge herself, a van and the African continent. What happened next was extraordinary. Driving solo for 20'000kms she ventured into territories and country's where not so long ago wars were raging....
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Delano - Luxembourg - Follow-up Interview

Jessica Bauldry of Delano once again interviewed me after the completion of my journey to Zimbabwe.   See the article online on the Delano website. https://delano.lu/d/detail/news/one-womans-journey-give-women-africa-keys-their-future/207569  
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Personal Safety Tips

Kings of Nigeria & Father Godfrey of Songhai
I've been asked frequently about my safety, as a woman, during my journey through Africa and people are usually surprised at how few problems I had.  To be honest I was never mugged or attacked, I fell prey to a switch and bait but other than that I never feared for my safety.  Perhaps it was luck, perhaps I did the right things. I have to say that I didn't go into Africa with a Pollyanna approach, I took lots of precautions, most of them small but they all added to my safety and personal confidence.  I believe that personal...
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© Dot Bekker

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Short Film Entry - The Life in Your Years

I was approached by Nathalie Baker who found my story inspirational and wanted to use it to enter into a short film competition.  She joined me for 3 days on the road when she filmed away as we drove through some beautiful areas of Morocco.  This is the film entry.   It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years. And with her 60th birthday fast approaching, Dot decides to live out the adventure of her dreams - a solo 20,000 km journey across Africa in a van she built herself. Is life over at 60?...
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© Nathalie Baker

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Letz Cast Podcast

I had met Jessica Bauldry when she interviewed me on the phone for an article which she published in the Luxembourg magazine Delano.   She had been inspired by what I was aiming to do and wanted to take a different angle by interviewing me for her personal podcast.   I was, at the time, already in Barcelona and working on BlueBelle when she did the interview.  Technology enabling me to be sitting in the back of the van in the street in Barcelona while she was in Luxembourg.   Follow the link to hear the podcast  Many of may know her...
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Magazine Interview - Celsona (Solsona Magazine)

In the summer of 2018 I spent several months in Solsona, Catalonia in Spain and was welcomed by the local community and made some life-long friends.  To me it was the first time in Europe that I felt at home.  Despite not speaking the language Catalan (a mixture of French and Spanish), or Spanish, yet whether they understood me or not they made me welcome and it remains a memorable time.   The people also embraced me by helping me raise funds for Kusasa and the local Language school (EOI Manresa and Solsona) remains a loyal supporter of our girls. Celsona...
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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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© Dot Bekker

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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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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.

 

THE BOOK

If you're wondering how a 60 year old woman managed to traverse West and Central Africa in a 20 year old 2WD van on her own  ... how she managed the loss of her clutch in Nigeria, her views of passing the Sahara desert, camping at dubious hotels, managing the many, many checkpoints and never paying a single bribe ...  you can now read all about it ... https://goinghometoafrica.com/index.php/the-book

 

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.