Going Home to Africa
Planning the Route
Apart from the people suggesting that I should fly like everyone else, I've also had a number of recommendations on the route I should take, from taking Eastern or Western routes and cutting through the Sahara desert. In addition I've also read a number of books of people who have taken trips from North to South and the challenges and benefits of each.
I've had to take several factors into account when making my decision;
Firstly I'm a woman, travelling on my own, I hate sand (you'll seldom find me on a beach never mind in the middle of a desert), and I'm interested in discovering more about the continent that I was born on so shorter is not specifically what I'm looking for.
As such, as you would, I've decided to take probably the longest route. Through approximately 22 countries in Africa to get to Zimbabwe and 20 000 kilometres. If I drove 5 hours a day it would take me at least 3 months. I know it's crazy ... but why not? I have yet much to plan, such as almost every country requires me to have a visa, some of which I should be able to get at the border and in most cases I wouldn't be allowed to stay more than 30 days in any one country.
So the Western route would take me (in this order) through the countries below :
From Spain (by Ferry) to
Tangier in Morocco
Western Sahara (which is controlled/managed by Morocco)
The Gambia (never realised this was surrounded by Senegal)
Liberia (has a woman president)
Togo (met a man on a bus from there)
Benin (I've been warned about the roads)
Nigeria (where 272 girls were stolen for getting educated)
Cameroon (I have learnt this is also called Little Africa)
Equitorial Guinea (din't realise there were 3 Guineas)
Democratic Republic of Congo
Angola (and Cabinda which lies Congo and DRC) (I can practice my Portuguese)
Namibia (I shall have to tackle some sand and in Namibia I turn inland to the hinterland and home)
Botswana (wonderful game and the world's only inland delta the Okavango)
As you can see there are many places that I know little or nothing about and having met some of the people of a few of these countries over the years I'm excited and intrigued to find out more about these places.
'Africa is not a country' is a joke that many African people will understand, many people underestimate the size of this continent. Africa is almost 3x the size of Europe, larger than North America anda pretty awesome place, so when I tell people I'm from Zimbabwe, I'm sometimes asked if I know a person in Kenya ... There are 1.2 billion people in Africa and I don't yet know all of them :)
If you're reading this and you're from one of these countries above or if you've visited and care to share your views, places of interest, people, favourite foods or anything else, don't hesitate to send me a message or comment, I'd love to hear from you to help me with my research on each country.
Lots of things to do and stuff to find out so stay tuned and I'll keep you posted.
Well, several of those countries have ongoing civil wars or terrorist organizations that work in parts of the country. Obviously, those need to be well mapped out and avoided.
I was wondering if you really wanted to do the whole route or would be happy doing the last parts, say from Ghana or so? There are several companies that specialize in transporting cars to that section of Africa...
Hi John, well if I make it through the bombings in France and Belgium recently, I will take my chances. I will of course check all details, the UK and USA have good advisories, albeit erring on the side of caution. The logistics of starting halfway are likely to be difficult as I would still need to get all my stuff there. Remember my plan is to take my life with me, nothing more than what I can take. Love to have more info from you on your trips there when we next meet.