Book Reviews

This is the story of an amazingly courageous woman who traveled from Europe to Zimbabwe on her own, and what a story it is!This book reall...
Dot Bekker…my favourite person. I feel like I know but I don’t. I’ve read your book describing your amazing journey about going home to Zimbabwe...
What an amazing read,what a brave woman!!!I just cant put the book down, shes such a good writer ❤️ (Facebook)
This book was an answered prayer, a daily entertainment and a true inspiration. I feel like I know Dot personally after reading this book....
I found “Going Home to Africa” a gripping, authentic, informative and humorous book! Gripping…in the countless unpredictable travel/r...
From the first chapter I was hooked and followed Dot's adventures down the coast of West Africa with awe. I bought the book because I too am con...
Dot took me on the journey of a lifetime. I witnessed the challenges, frustrations, joys and overwhelming beauty of Africa from the comfort of m...
I had the pleasure of meeting Dot when she was living in Solsona and have followed her adventures on Going Home to Africa on IG. I have been so ...
This is a brilliant story of a lovely lady driving solo from Northern Africa through many countries to go home to Zimbabwe. This touches my hear...
Going home to Africa is an honest, humble and uplifting account of an incredible adventure and Dot’s fighting spirit and firm belief in the univ...
Absolutely Compelling I could not put this book down and I am not an avid reader, getting bored quickly. I loved every moment of her jou...
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...
My first impression was just: Wow! Hats off! What an impressive book... I can already now say that it is, along with Doris Kearns Goodwin's Pulitze...
Dot is one of the most amazing "road" friends we made while overlanding through Africa, and whatever we were doing she brought a tremendous sense o...
I absolutely love travelling so this story really spoke to me. Having followed Dot in real time on her epic journey, I’m now absolutely loving the ...
I think the fact that you share ALL of your experiences, good and bad, and do NOT leave out the huge challenges and obstacles you had to face on a ...
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...
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....
I have just finished reading Going Home to Africa and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it more as the journey went on... Her experiences become more ...

Going Home to Africa

My 20 000km journey home through West Africa

Oh the heat!

Oh the heat!

After finishing BlueBelle and starting to take her out on some test drives I started to realise how hot it was becoming.  Not too much of a problem when you're parked up somewhere and can open doors and windows wide but it was getting too hot for comfort.  So what was next?  I wasn't planning to leave for Africa until the fall when the worst of the heat had passed ... not certain I wanted to face Morocco or Mauritania and the edge of the Sahara in the midst of Northern Hemisphere summer.  So finding a place to hide out from the sun seemed like a good idea.

I'm going to digress for a moment and address the issue of how hot Africa is vs the Mediterranean summer and I'm purposefully excluding the Sahara desert!  However, when you look at the area that lies within the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer you are looking at the bulk of Africa and yes the closer you get to the equator it is hot but it also rains a lot.  People around the world, who haven't been to Africa think it is like the hottest summer days all year round.  So here is a, brief, weather lesson about Africa.  

In Africa, the closer you get to the equator, the more equal the days are, that means the sun is up for 12 hours and it is night for 12 hours ... stands to reason it is the equator.  The closer you get to the equator there is also no long dawn or dusk ... the sun comes up it is light, the sun goes down it is dark. Now most of Europe is much further North than Africa and your winter days are short and your summer days are long with daylight breaking anywhere from 4am in the morning and only becoming night around 11pm ... that's a LONG day and a LOT of sun!  So to me the Mediterranean summers (basically the further North still gets lots of cooler days and rain) are intense.  Instead of the hottest part of the day being around noon (12-2pm - remember only 'mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun'), in the Med countries the hottest part of the day is somewhere between 5-7pm!  

So even to this heat loving African that is really just to darn hot!

Back to the story ... Mediterranean summer ... too hot to be in van ... I figured I've been missing dogs so why not find someone who needed some housesitting and perhaps some pets too.  I joined one of the pet sitting sites and set up a great pet sit for June/July/August down in Alicante and then looked for something to fill the time before.  So I came across one in the North of Spain that was very rural and looked lovely.  Lo and behold, the woman was born in Zambia and so we immediately had something in common and upon meeting her even more synchonicity she had met my nephew in Barcelona some years before ... that small world feeling.  It was great to find myself in the rural setting but winter was lingering and there was still a lot of rain for May.  I had parked up in a grass spot next to the house and after a couple of days of solid rain ... I was soundly stuck in mud ... mud, mud, mud and slippery grass.  It took me 3 days and a dry day to finally get BlueBelle out of the muck and I can scratch that off my learning skills list.  

My dear friend in Australia sent me this check list ... which made me laugh because step 3 certainly will prevent you hurting your foot kicking the tyres!

1. Keep a pair of wellington boots in the cab to help prevent injuries.
2. Before entering water, get out & walk it. Use a stick to measure depth.
3. If stuck, make a cup of tea before deciding on the next step.

Sometimes I think making plans is entirely futile as my 3 month stay in Alicante in Spain was cancelled by me as the owners of the property kept changing their minds about my arrival date and then they would be there and then it was later and then I needed to do extra things ... at some stage I just realised that this was not going to work for me and I cancelled the booking.  In my despair my then host, who had returned and allowed me a couple of extra days there, hooked me up with a lovely lady called Anita about 20kms away and she offered me a room for as long as I needed if I could just help her out with walking the dogs and some odd things around the house.  I accepted as most of the housesits available in the near future were taken and I couldn't face the heat in the van during the busy summer months when stopping and parking up were going to be more difficult.

Well I fell in love with the dogs, they kept me fit with twice daily walks and my new host is the kindest woman who cooks the BEST Spanish omelette ever!  So literally things came to pass in the very best way.  My time here in Solsona has been amazing.  Solsona is placed close to the pre-Pyrannes as they call it and it is hard to believe in the intense summer heat that it snows here in winter and there are several great snow spots nearby.  I've been toured around the area and learnt a lot about Catalan culture - I now have dog level language ability!  I've also met incredibly nice and kind people, and despite the fact that my Catalan language skills are 'nada' and their English skills better than my Catalan they have been amazing.  They have encouraged me, helped me set up events to launch and fund raise for my Girl's education project and been all round fun. I've even become a 'famous' local celebrity by being published in the local magazine ... Sometimes the plans we make are meant to be replaced by better plans and for that I'm immensely grateful and Solsona and my new friends here will always have a place in my heart and memory.

My kindest thanks go to Anita Triay, Jane Willox, Anna Herms, Anna Pujol, Sandra, Danny, Emma, Sergi, Ignaci

Solsona SolsonaSolsona3Solsona4Solsona5


Letz Cast Podcast
Magazine Interview - Celsona (Solsona Magazine)

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Monday, 24 January 2022

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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.