Germany -- France - Spain - Morocco - Algaria - Western Sahara Mauritania -- Senegal --Gambia -- Mali -- Burkina Faso -- Benin Nigeria -- Cameroon -- Congo -- DRC -- Gabon --Congo (again) Angola -- Namibia -- Botswana -- South Africa

Germany to France

Our trip started in Hamburg, we headed south towards Frankfurt and spent the first night at a campsite 200km out of Hamburg and one more night in Bad Kissingen at the house of the previous owner of the now Series 4 Extreme, he was as all Land Rover owners very happy to see his old trusted vehicle again. We celebrated with some really nasty 70% schnapps.
Paris was our first main city and after a photo shoot of the Land-Rover under the Eiffel Tower and a visit to the many famous sites that Paris has to offer we got going. Over the Pyrenees mountain range bordering Spain where the temperatures dropped well below zero, we were ill prepared for these low temperatures and had some really cold nights shivering in our thin sleeping bags.




The warmer climate in Spain was a welcome relief but short livedthe cold rainy weather soon arrived, told by all that this was unusually cold and wet for this time of the year prompted us to move further south in search of better weather.






We were early for the Paris Dakar rally and had over 2 weeks to enjoy Morocco. The highlights being the Atlas Mountains and our five day taster of the Sahara desert, we visited the highest dune in Africa where we spent Christmas at a Nomads Palace a campsite at the foot of Erg-Chebby. We decided to take a walk to a close by dune on Christmas day, not paying attention to the dwindling light it soon was dark and were to discover that navigating using the stars is a whole lot harder than you would think, they seem to be always moving and getting lost in the desert on foot is far easier than one would expect, a long night was spent trying to find our way back to camp. At the time I did not know it but this camp was to become a turning point in my life, I met Yue here and 4 years down the line am married to her.

From here we headed up north again with a little time to waste we decided to take a trail that climbed high into the Atlas mountains little did we know that this decision would be the start of a grueling 2 days. As we ascended the temperature dropped and soon it was snowing, the trail was getting worse and had become very slippery, one wrong move here would defiantly mean the end of the landrover and most likely us. We had no choice but to continue as there was no possibility to turn the vehicle, using difflock now with wheels loosing traction on the clay like mud it was becoming extremely dangerous, when we reached the very top of the mountain pass it was possible to turn, but was nearing dark, we camped out and woke the next morning with a blanket of snow covering our tents and vehicle.


Dakar rally

Millions of people follow the Dakar rally from an armchair. Most people dream of following the Dakar rally for real, very few actually go out and do it and I am proud to have been a witness to the greatest motor sporting event ever. Here’s the story of one of the greatest highlights of our tour.

At 5:00 the first ferries arrives in Morocco from Spain, within an hour the whole harbor is buzzing with hundreds of race vehicles and motorbikes after the welcoming ceremony the race is on. For us this means the beginning of a once in a lifetime adventure. At 7:00 we pull out

Following the rally on the Moroccan leg turned out to be far more difficult than expected and long hours were spent driving our Land-Rover at its limit over some difficult terrain, the longest stretch of 960 km was covered taking a solid 32 hours, a real test of endurance, We were unable to follow the rally into Mali as the organization have obtained special permission for the competitors to cross over the border where no border post exists, we tried our utmost to obtain permission to do the same even though we had valid visa’s we were denied, New plan is to carry on south and meet up with them in Dakar still a long way to go, with much regret we parted with all the friends and comrades that we had made in the various teams and started the long road to Dakar 





Western Sahara and Mauritania

Western Sahara

The beach run. We covered this section in record time staying close to the ocean, most of this section was with the sea lapping our right and the desert to the left. Taking some time to abseil a cliff face directly into the ocean was well worth the effort. When we decided to follow the rally we were aware that it was going to be hard to keep up and we were determined to be there for the end


At the boarder we came across a Landrover towing one of the competitors vehicles which had been involved in a accident and was unable to finish the event, this motivated us to keep trying to get there for the finish, With border formalities done we were off to Nadobou to exchange money and restock our fuel and food supplies










City of Dakar

The roar of countless Cars, Trucks, and Busses with all the gaps in between filled with motorcycles and pedestrians gave the impression of total chaos. No one seemed to pay any attention to the traffic officer in his attempt to direct the traffic which had resulted in the mother of all traffic jams. Not one centre meter was given and all form of courtesy forgotten in the mad rush to escape the noise and polluted air. Now being used to the three car traffic jams in Durban this was a real test of driving precision and absolute concentration was necessary to get us out of the mass of moving metal. Judging by the battered condition of most of the vehicles here the odd coming together was a daily occurrence.

One which we wanted to avoid at all costs, for the locals a small bump resulted in some hot words being exchanged but for us would surely have meant money, so with much relief we left the hustle and bustle of the worst traffic jam I have ever witnessed.




still to come



Burkina Faso and Benin

Burkina Faso

OK so here we are in Ouagadougou bet you don’t know where the hell that is

It’s the capital of Burkina Faso where we are stuck again Land-Rover living up to its character of always wanting attention. The oil pressure light is coming on at low idle and our warning system is driving me nuts as every time we slow down for one of the many speed humps the high pitched alarm is sounded. We have been on the search for a workshop with a oil pressure tester for the last week since we left Bamako with no luck, the Boer in me has come out again and I’ve made a plan using a tyre pressure inflator with a pressure gauge and adapted the gauge. The pressure should be 1.75 Kg/cm² but is 1.6/kg/cm². This is not good but I don’t think it is detrimental. Will have to hold thumbs and hope that it gets us the next 15000km to SA. It has become very very hot over the past few weeks and we are averaging in the upper 30deg to over 40 in the shade, inside the land-Rover the gearbox cover and floorboards are getting so hot that you would burn yourself if you touched them, and this is no exaggeration, I have started drilling holes all over the Landy to get a better air circulation through the engine compartment There is very little one can do to cool down in temperatures over 35 degrees when there is a shortage of water, dreaming of a nice cool swimming pool does not help neither does wishing for a Dam, River, Ocean, air-conditioned room or car, Ice cream work. Instead we have to sit in a land-rover that is running just below boiling point and producing masses of hot air which seem to somehow all end up in the driver’s compartment.

Africa is not for sissies !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are at the moment camped in a farmer’s field, in the middle of the bush, and have crossed over into Benin and are heading for the Coast which we hope to reach tomorrow, The Landy desperately needs a little TLC.

1. Oil light is now permanently on, after more tests we have come to the conclusion that the sender is faulty
2. We have replaced the back shocks and the front is now due,
3. The chassis still needs to be welded from the Timbuktu road,
4. We have removed the thermostat as it was faulty and needs to be replaced
5. One of the valves fitted to our tyres was probably pulled to hard when it was fitted (Puncture) our second so far
6. The rear door has split right through and the frame is cracked
7. Extra cooling is needed for the motor, gearbox and the driver

We have been having a rough time and some major vehicle problems, mostly we have ourselves to blame as we have been taking the roughest and most difficult roads, and this obviously will have its effect on the vehicle. anyway most of my time when we stop at night is to do the necessary repairs to get us going in the morning and without availability of the parts I need this always takes longer as I have to adapt what I am able to get and somehow make it work this leaves little time for much else.

We are also battling a little with the hot weather Benin is now in its hottest month and is very humid so we are sweating the whole day and even at night in our tents, there has been a shortage of water so no nice rivers to cool off in. We are waiting for our visa extension in the Capital of Benin this is also quite a hectic City but really cool we have had as really good time here so far, Big on the list for tomorrow is to get back to the beach for the first time since Senegal, Dying for a swim.


Still to Come.


















A short ferry ride and we were in the country that promises to be the real jungle experience, The real adventure begins, After a really long and hard border crossing. We drove the 268 Km to go and see what we had undertaken to do, after speaking to pretty much everybody (who are all experts of course) and having heard so many conflicting opinions the only way to find out if it would be possible was to go there and find out for ourselves.

We arrived in a small village close to the river in question late that evening and met with the village chief to ask permission to camp there, he was really drunk and stayed that way till we left 3 days later. So we had to wait till the next morning to get to the river, we were up early in the morning and set off on foot for the 1km to the river as the road was no longer drivable, confronted by a fast flowing river over 100 meters wide we soon established it was way too deep to drive through and the only way would be to build a ferry, this however is the first time that I will have tried to float a 3,5 ton Land-rover, unfortunately this was not to be as the villagers wanted over 2500 USD to help us build a ferry, the following 5 to 6 Km would have been another gigantic task as over this stretch there are 11 bridges that are no longer useable and would have to be rebuilt. Our and Visa would have run out as this would take far longer than we had planned for so. my bout of malaria had also taken its toll and to tell it like it was, i was for the time being beaten.

With much regret we decided to return Pokala where we have left the Land-rover took a small aircraft to Brazzaville, after spending the night in the airport jail, the whole airport shuts down for the night and we were told that we could not stay there as it was unsafe, and therefore ended up sleeping in the jail, not a pleasant experience, we split up with Al-Riaz who went on to Canada and us to South Africa.

The End but we’ll be back

Simon and I are now back in South Africa.

Our plan is to return with a Land-rover from South Africa better equipped for the task in August to collect the stranded Land-rover that has carried us so far and to continue with our intended route this will be a new and action packed adventure.


Part 2 The Congo and back into Cameroon

To recover my Vehicle and bring it back to SA or Germany as quickly as possible, as always in life one never can foretell the future and mine has taken on new meaning, the original plan has changed, So here is the story as it unfolds.
I am now officially on my way and have the first grueling part of the trip behind me having arrived in the Congo Brazzaville, Getting into deep Africa mode this time seems so much harder than before, and It is a whole lot harder traveling by one’s self in these African Countries, looking after ones baggage is difficult as you cannot take even one eye off it even while dealing with immigration and customs and everyone in between, the aggressive bribery is sometimes very frustrating but have to keep a cool head and just stay calm the only thing to combat this is a whole lot of patience and time, they eventually give up but after a 4 hour delay in Kinshasa for who knows what reason, and we were not allowed off the plane, just imagine 30 people and the aircon switched off in a small plane for 4 hours, it gets pretty uncomfortable especially for those with children, the whole crew had disappeared and there was not one person to give the poor children something to drink, when one of the fathers got off the plane to try to find someone he was told to get back immediately and in no nice tone or he would be arrested on the spot he spotted the crew sitting in a area talking and smoking, now this kinda ate into patience as I also needed a smoke, The flight here had its interesting moments to, never been on such a dogey aircraft before and was like a African taxi in the sky you know the ones where they fit 20 people into a ten seater, not one free seat and the amount of hand luggage was unbelievable even the emergency exits were stuffed full of luggage and that was after the luggage compartments were physically jammed so full that not even a small piece of luggage would fit, I am not exaggerating at all, never seen anything like it, all that was missing were the goats and chickens and we really would have looked like a taxi…….. Oh maybe they were on the roof rack where I did not see them? the condition of the Airplane was frightening even for a seasoned flyer, everything creaked and groaned as if it was about to fall apart, the seats were mostly broken, everything seemed to have a crack in it, between the outside window and the inner there were all sorts of dead insects and at the exit door looked like it had been painted with a household PVA paint, to top this our pilot must have thought he was Tom Cruise and was in the top gun movie, Hewa Bora Airways not recommended for the faint hearted We landed in Brazzaville at around 6:30 and were ushered by a whole lot of Police to the immigration, total chaos, there is no such thing as queuing, you have 10 police officers that mark you as a tourist and all tourists have lots of money, all 10 of these people try to pull your passport out of your hand or give you advice,
When you say you have just arrived and don’t have any local currency on you and first need to go to the bank, so won’t be able to give him anything and will manage by yourself, politely telling him to bug off
He then says don’t worry I am a police officer and only want to help you, tell him that you have no money to pay him and he will say he is a police officer so it’s OK, don’t, fall for this later he will deny having said this, so he gets my passport and then pushes in front of everyone else telling me to follow him, for those that do it becomes very embarrassing if you have a conscience, funny thing is it seems totally normal here and they get away with it , so I went to the front and had to physically pull my passport out of his hand, and went to a smoking area to wait until all the pushing and shoving had finished, he moved on to some other bewildered newcomers standing there. it may save you a few minutes but you will pay for this invaluable service that he has given you, he will latch himself on to you and once you are through all the formalities, all done in French, this chap still came back to me and want to know where his assistance money of 20 dollars was, then act insulted when i refused to give him anything, remember this police officer had ripped my passport out of my hand wouldn’t give it back and now wanted money from me.
Eventually got out of the airport at 10:30 so four hours of stress at the airport, main problem was that I did not have my original letter of invitation with me BIG problem, turned out to be almost reason to deport me of course it could have been sorted out in a few minutes with a little bribe but I just don’t do that,
Now you need a taxi
10 Porters pushing shopping carts followed by 10 Taxi drivers that have seen dollar signs come running towards you and try to grab your bags, so you shoulder your backpack and pull out the handle of your luggage bag with wheels, and walk to a taxi driver that has not come running, normally the honest ones but still take caution, make the mistake of not negotiating the rate before you get in the taxi and you will pay 10 times the normal going rate,
So I get into the taxi after negotiating the rate and the Police officer jumps into the front seat  and another guy next to me,  so I ask what he is doing and what’s with the other guy, he says that  the other guy was watching my luggage while he was helping me do the passport and I must pay him 5 US for this and that I owe him money too so we can now go to the bank to get then their money, Now they are getting me mad, so I get out the taxi and say thank you to the taxi driver but no thank you, then get into another taxi telling them that they are not getting 1 cent from me and if they try get into my taxi then the boxing gloves will come off.  So at this point they have an angry taxi driver cause they lost him business and finally realized that they were not going to be able to intimidate me so backed off.

The half hour that you saved using these crooks is now going to cost you 20 dollars or way more than the half hour negotiating this to an acceptable 5 dollars, he is happy you are not, so at the end of the day it is better to shrug off any offer of assistance and not even talk to them

The only hotel in Brazzaville that accepts credit cards or dollars is the Meridian, paradise in the middle of Chaos, kinda like being at the zoo, just not too sure which side of the bars I am on. Anyway instead of spending the night in the Police station where we slept last time and was an experience all on its own I have opted for the sissy palace.

Woke up a 6:00 and caught a taxi down to the Airport and booked my flight to Pokola leaving tomorrow at 7:30 so this has all gone exceptionally well so far. Need to go to the only bank in Brazzaville with a credit card facility to draw some money as there is no way to exchange money once I get into the jungle, have a really bad headache probably because of the change of climate together with the stressful arrival, knowing what to expect helps a little but not enough,
Even though it may sound that I write negative I mostly enjoy it like this, it all feels different now as I want so badly to be with the new love of my life and this is just the way there, gives the whole journey a different perspective.

A few things that I forgot which add a little spice Just after we had landed the whole airports electricity failed and there was total darkness in the entrance room it took a long time for it to come back on and then failed again 10 seconds later for another few minutes,

So now I am sitting in the Airport and I have a Police officer standing over my shoulder and looking at what I am writing and he doesn’t understand a thing else he would have arrested me I think, yep he doesn’t understand as I have written this while he was reading.
Can’t wait to get to the vehicle and make something to eat, missed supper last nite thinking I would have a big breakfast, breakfast was not included in my 1200 rand a night rate so left that to, nothing was available at the airport and have gone through the whole day with nothing as it is all sitting in my bag which has gone through already.


Disaster The (^%)*^$%^%&(^)*&*)_(^*%$%&(&^%^*&*_(^*%%^ charter airline has left my luggage in Brazzaville, something had to go wrong but this is a disaster, The vehicle number plates all my chargers for GPS, sat phone and laptop, Cameras, food were in that bag *^%$&(%#*^$%)*&^)*&)*^)*^$$@#^ really mad, the CIB chap that was looking after my Landrover phoned the agent in Brazzaville and they have located and the next flight in is only on Friday, Wanted to head out tomorrow if all went well, Not to be, so will be hanging around here until Friday Morning . The Landrover has lived through some ordeal here and has done 500 hard KM by someone here, took the speedo reading before we left, Glad I came back sooner than later as the damp humid conditions have basically rotted all the fabric’s, the rooftop tents have done well but stuff like all the ratchet straps are just falling apart, it would have been a lot worse in a few month's time.
It is 7:15 and am just sitting down to have a can of Ravioli that we had not given away as it had slipped behind a cupboard, man does this taste good, will go shopping first thing tomorrow morning, it is extremely humid here with 31 deg so going to be a hot sweaty night in the tent, Mozzies are out so need to cover up soon, don’t want to repeat the malaria episode. All my mosquito repellant was in the lost bag, !!  Not good  !!

Wednesday: Have spent most of the day so far getting the Land Rover back into shape, nothing worse than a vehicle standing for long periods of time in wet humid conditions, mostly cleaning and oiling everything, just so you get an Idea all the padlocks were seized and needed oil, the key wouldn’t even go into some of them until the oil had soaked in and the moisture causes rust on everything, all the doors squeak like mad even the clutch and brake pedals are stiff.
Great day shopping, shouldered my big back pack going to stock up, yea right shopping took all of 10 minutes
Every shop (about 10 of them) in this small town have exactly the same stuff, sardines, biscuits that taste like cardboard can’t eat them I know…….I tried, Powdered milk YEA!!!!, one shop had bread, and a whole lot of inedible stuff that no one needs Oh and butter, how do they live off this? No rice, spaghetti, no oats no flower sugar, eggs nothing, I just dont get it. Ok so its sardines on bread for lunch and supper, and powdered milk with some very old corn flakes which was still in the car for breakfast, only other thing that I have is two cans of mixed vegetables, not really a meal, luckily have some coffee and a little sugar which was still in the car, It is still very humid and overcast at around 30 deg, I have also been dodjing the local police, i am supposed to register here and this is very expensive so am hoping to avoid this, i know that they have been keeping an eye out for me and they came to the camp, I told them that i was waiting for my bags as i had left my wallet with all my money in it and as soon as it arrived i would gab all my money and come running to them to register and give it all to them. I have almost finished with vehicle preparations and will be ready tomorrow, even filled up with diesel so when the lost baggage finally gets here i can bolt, I know that they have no radio communication with the border post and it will take me about 2 hours to reach it so will just take a chance and balega. Holding thumbs that my baggage does get here else I’m in shit.

The road from Pokola to Yaounda

Took a little getting used to the Land-Rover again but soon we were together eating Kilometers and in no time covered the 70km to the Congo Cameroon border post, as usual it was a game to see how much they could get out of me, but think that I handled it very well, being alone makes these situations far more difficult, having no back up they think you are vulnerable and then really push thier luck, I was finished in less than half an hour and parted with 20 US dollars. The ferry trip was quick as it had just arrived on the Congo side and there was a truck waiting to get across . The Cameroon border took less than 20 min and had to pay a small amount to the Police, its everywhere and if you are in a hurry you have no choice at least they were realistic cost me 10 US

Then the pounding started, this road is just a disaster and unfortunately for me It hasn’t rained in quite some time so oncoming trucks leave you breathless for two reasons, one you close your eyes and hope that he doesn’t hit you, two you have to hold your breath else you goanna choke on the dust even with closed windows, this fine red dust gets in everywhere. OK that was the oncoming traffic easy part, Now the hard part, the first truck that I passed today closed the door on me I was completely committed and had no choice but to see it through, it almost ended in disaster as I had to swerve in as soon as I had my nose past him to avoid ending up on my roof, this put me into a slide with a 50 ton truck cm behind me, Hail my Landrover we made it, but only by the skin of our teeth, had a big adrenaline burst, WOW, it was really that close. Mostly the rest went well except for pass no 11 the same thing happened but this time I was prepared for it. Just so you get an idea of how this is, these trucks don’t slow down for anything or anybody, they are heavily overloaded and would all be classed as abnormal in SA, you know the trucks that are only allowed to pot along at 50 KMH, on the long downhill’s these guys are in excess of 100 kmh, the road is wide enough for two vehicles in places but the edges are badly corrugated and tapered off for water runoff, the rest of the road surface is corrugated with potholes everywhere, Now when you come up to a truck who is normally traveling at around 40 kmh there is a trailing dust cloud for about 500 meters and when you get closer it is almost impossible to see anything, you can’t see where the truck is so if he were to brake you could slam into the back of him, then there is the danger that an oncoming vehicle suddenly appears out of the dust, this happened twice and he is no more than 10 meters away before you see him. Really a risky thing but if you don’t keep pace having one of these guys try to pass you and this would be fatal so you have to go faster therefore you have to pass so you risk everything and get close enough when he is a little slower on a long uphill and you manage to get a one second peek past him that it is clear then gun it, where it went wrong on 1 and 11 was the road tapered in and the truck driver came over a little leaving me really cm between him and me with half my left tire over the edge of the road. This route is not recommended for SISSIES or anyone with responsibilities back home. I will be posting some video's soon

Apart from that saw 3 big snakes, One Gorilla Yea I saw one and he was big he ran across the road about 15 meters in front of me, and a whole lot of Elephant dung some still steaming ,I Covered nearly 600 KM on the worst road that I have driven in Africa, Started at 6:00 and finished at 6:00. Long day with only 40 min stop time one to refuel 2nd to make coffee and some lunch, Wheatbix and biltong were on the menu, Have just spent some time talking to the locals where I am camping and made a pot of tea for 5 of us, when they left made some eggs on bread for dinner, had a bottle shower and am now in tent doing the diary.

Plans are formulating to maybe do the Crazy thing and attempt a new record. Drive in the shortest time ever the 8000 km distance from the centre of the Congo to Durban, I’ve got 21 days in total and have to do a few visas along the way. 21 days sounds like it should be enough but realistically it is not, 400 km every day for 21 days in a row is pushing it, especially alone.

Today was up as planned at 5:00 and only got on the road at 6:00

The race against time has started, met some guys traveling on a BMW1200 from Switzerland to SA and then on to South America at the Campsite in Yaoundé, Planned an early start and set the alarm for 5:00, this wasn’t to be cause I got almost no sleep due to some very loud drunk people and one howling dog, dragged myself out of bed at 6:00 and started packing, no energy but enough willpower ,raced off to the internet café as I needed search Google and find and print a document saying that South Africans don’t need a visa for Gabon, Had problems at the Gambia border post where SA citizens don’t need a visa but this info had never been passed along to the border posts. Yesterday after picking up the Congo visa thought I would just check with the Gabon embassy that there was going to be no trouble at the border post and that they would let me through, well the people at the embassy insisted that I need a visa, so decided to chance it and talk my way over at the border. Thus needed this document, well could not find anything so just did a little editing to a relevant page and wala. All unnecessary the border crossing went well although a little confusing when he asked where my visa was I said South Africans don’t need a visa so he said something in French and let me through without even stamping my passport


Just before dark saw this fenced house so stopped and asked if it was a hotel, A nice young French lady came to the gate and invited me to stay,I have landed in paradise here

Got to go now…………..Roast chicken has been served.

OK im leaving......... first thing the roast chicken was the toughest I have ever eaten, not even the toughest biltong that I have eaten was that tough, nevertheless was very nice of Elizabeth, we spoke till late with her and her husband, he could not speak any English so much translating was done

Today I woke up to a wonderful breakfast after a really good sleep, didn’t have to tent and stayed in the house really more than 5 star treatment took a hot shower, really wanted to get an early start but  could not, finally got going at 8:00 and hit the road, road condition was pretty good for a while then the pounding started again,

DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE without stop, passed from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern for a 3rd time by car quick photo then back on the road, Really have to force myself to eat while driving somehow the appetite is not there and go the whole day on a few pieces of biltong, and a liter of water Oh and the coffee for breakfast, have been eating big dinners though mostly spaghetti, have camped at a logging depot for tonight and will have to do some welding here before I start in the morning, window frame has cracked in 5 places and risk a broken windscreen as the whole frame and roof are moving when I hit potholes, It is 9:30 and need to get into bed as its 5:00 rise and shine tomorrow.

Woke up really early to do the repair work to the window, finished a really nice repair job off at 9:30 and left strait after. Saying my farewells to the people that I had met and who were so kind as to allow me use of their welding equipment.
The roads just keep getting worse and today they got the better of us, the chassis broke after only 130 km, right in the middle of nowhere, where the rear leave spring is mounted was completely ripped apart from the chassis, this caused the whole rear differential to pivot, suddenly I had to counter steer and knew that something bad had happened, at first I thought a puncture which it wasn’t then checked all the steering, all OK. Noticed that the rear diff was looking rather odd under further inspection the broken chassis was discovered, Had to tie it all up with rope and pull the diff back into place but was still at quite an angle so had to drive 35 KM at 10 km per hour, stopping every 500 meters to check that the rope was holding, Killed me, the rest of the day was spent cutting plates and welding, have just finished and booked into a local roadhouse with a shower, badly needed one after crawling around under the Landy in the dirt, took almost half an hour and nearly all my shower gel to get the sand dirt and grease of me, had to wash my hair 4 times. Everybody hold thumbs that the chassis holds out now, was not able to do a 100% weld job as they had no welding mask so could not look where I was welding, sure I'm going to have arc eyes tomorrow. Was up at 5:00 this morning and after a quick cup of coffee hit the road, Border crossing today going back into the Congo this time I will get through even if it kills me, 268 km later 12 hours driving, it was 5:45 was going for it cause I wanted to reach a big town but was short and would arrive in the dark, not so good luckily about 15 km before town came to an Auberge and was able to camp there, when I got out of the car I felt very strange as if I was on a ship, took a while to gain steady feet, turned out to be a great place the village Chief Ngoma came with almost his whole village, 3 km away to welcome me, great guy has 3 wives and so many children he has lost count, we sat till late drinking beer and smoking, he left 3 guys to guard while I slept.

broken tank

Back into The Congo

I thought yesterday was bad, the road just kept getting worse, the corrugations were the worst that I have ever been on and the dust was really bad, passing became almost impossible, yesterday the road was predictable and although dusty and corrugated passing was possible, today as soon as I would get into the dust and not be able to see the potholes, they would of course without fail get worse and would hit them full on and basically lose control of the vehicle as it was bouncing out of control. Only possibility was on the long uphills. My kidneys hurt. No jokes, Did a whole 500 km anyone that doesn’t believe it’s as bad as I have described I’ve got it on video so when I’m back will send you a copy.

The aim today is to reach Brazzaville have heard that this is a tough road. So this is going to be a hard section, the average speed for the day was 25 kmh and I was pushing it, only got into 4th twice over 250 km and was in 1st and 2nd most of the time. Only stopped when I was pulled over by the police often but never got out of the car, the police were very friendly and were just interested this was to change, I was now on the infamous route to Brazzaville supposedly a very bad stretch of road. Seldom traveled by over Landers…… or even the locals. The preferred route being to Point Noire, This was to prove correct information, I never saw one car in 200 km, this true to the information the route is not used by many vehicles judging by the expressions on the faces of the local people and the police. I was in the middle of nowhere the fuel running very low as the last two fuel stations had run out of diesel supply, had to bush camp which I did not want to do in the middle of the Congo but had no choice the villages that I had been driving through were not the friendliest, had children trying to jump on the back of the car, and no one was waving anymore. The police were getting less friendly. Stopped once I had covered some distance from the last village and set up camp, could not get out of site so decided to sleep in the car. Was so hot and had to set up a mosquito net had a few in the car, stayed awake for quite some time to be sure that I would not have visitors and felt like I had slept for an hour and a damn lorry full of people drives past……….. lay awake for some time and just getting back to sleep and another vehicle pulls up, so I am now already sitting behind the steering wheel and they push off, that was it for sleep so made a cup of coffee whilst looking over my shoulder all the time then started driving,

The next police stop was not pleasant, the police were very drunk and hadn’t seen a bar of soap in many months, they were waving automatic weapons around as if they were toys, and they were very aggressive, wanted me to get out of the car and show them all that was inside, I sat tight and tried to find a common point or interest that would defuse the situation this turned out to be the leaders interest in what was written on the door of my car. As I have traveled I wrote down the names of the places that we had passed on the door of my Landrover with a black marker and had written down the town where he was born which impressed the hell out of him, a few minutes later and I was on my way. Had a few deep water crossings and slowly getting used to the fact that the roads are not going to improve. Came across a broken down truck who gave up a little diesel

Having had a really early start had 150 km to go 120 was bad roads then tar, arrived in Brazzaville at about 11:30 very dusty, very tired and very happy, have collected at least 2 to 3 bucket loads of dust in the back of the Landy, everything and everywhere is covered with red dust even my nostrils, Stopped a BMW to ask if he knew of a place to stay in Brazzaville turned out to be the commanding officer of the Police station and has set me up in a Auberge next to the police station Have everything I could ask for here the staff are very friendly and helpful, spent the rest of the day washing the Landrover out, had to unload everything.

Lucky day, driving into this large city with no idea where to overnight I waved down a chap driving a newish Land cruiser who had the Chief of police next to him, I was escorted to the perfect and probably the safest place to stay right next to the police training centre and was set up with an air-conditioned room, with a restaurant next door, the police trainees must have thought that I was some sort of VIP and even my washing was done the car washed and assistance offered every time I came out of my room, I had lots of repairs to do and got straight to it, two days later the Landy was ready for more abuse and set off to find the ferry to DRC.


The crossing from Brazzaville over into Kinshasa by ferry was total madness, no one can say they have experienced African Chaos until they have been in this place, masses upon masses of people fighting to get on and off the ferries all with masses of merchandise, the police force, custom officials and army all getting their fair share of the action sometimes with force, the passengers form lines one holding onto the back of the one in front and then they just walk, doing this to try and escape paying the officials a bribe, the police try to stop this convoy but the momentum of 20 people is hard to stop.

Anyway the ferry was loaded to just before sinking point and there was not enough room for my Landy so had to wait 4 hours for the next and was lucky to get on this one at 4:00

Kinshasa is far more organized, I was a little apprehensive as my visa had expired and there was the chance that I would be sent back, 1st bribe paid, just had to and for good reason, 20 USD and I was stamped in with an expired Visa, all the customs and immigration was done within 1 hour, The customs official tried his luck saying that I would have to have my Landrover disinfected and as it was so late if I were to just pay 20 USD he would let me through, so I played his bluff and said well lets get the vehicle disinfected then, I’ve got time I said. He didn’t so with a very irate look on his face he waved me on through the gate.
Now the big city in the dark and this is a big city, after 3 hours of bumper to bumper traffic, people and animals I reached the border of Kinshasa. I had stopped at a very new and organized petrol station to make something to eat and phone home to tell everyone that all was going well there seemed to be quite a bit of action going on. I was later to find out that there had been several shootings where white people had been shot, something about the elections and the public going crazy, somehow I drove through the middle of all of this and was lucky to have no one shooting at me.

The petrol attendant informed me that I would not be able to drive further as all the roads get barricaded after 6:00, the staff at the station were really friendly and said that I could stay there and that there was a guard (who was carrying an Osie, this is an automatic machine gun) who would keep an eye on me. Made me feel really safe……when someone lets loose with one of these best you be standing behind him.

The road to Matadi is tar and made quick time of the 380 km, just missed the Angola consulate, Camped at the Catholic mission and am now at the embassy waiting for my visa. Hope to get into Angola today but have 5 days to get back out, going to be hectic will have to average 500 km per day.

I am normally a very patient chap but this $^%#%#!%@^#&%$ ambassador and embassy employers really think that they are doing you the biggest favor possible and that their time is sooooooo much more important than yours, I have been waiting 4 hours now for this man to put a stamp and signature in my passport and it is still not done reason because he is in a meeting, it is so frustrating that I would love to tell them to stick their visa where it would fit best, it takes a lot of self control not to get angry. just wish that I would meet one of these people when they are in need, 800 rand is a lot of money for a stamp and when it comes to money they are very happy to take it from you,
A 5 day transit visa was stamped into my passport .




At 4:30 I had cleared the border and headed off to find a campsite, the whole effort of getting back to SA is slowly reaching its climax and the real test is about to begin, I was entering a new country and had no local currency was told that fuel is pretty hard to get and that most fuel stations had no supply with 4 days to drive just over 2000 km, this is no problem when you have tarred or good dirt roads and regular fuel stops, I had driven for just under 2 hours and had covered about 30 km so knew that if the roads did not improve that this was going to be tough if not impossible.

The next morning was up at 4:00 in pitch black and on the road by 4:30, after 14 hours of driving and 429 km I could not face one more km so stopped at a shopping centre just outside of Luanda the capital. Again a friendly guard with a gun looked out for me whilst I slept. We talked for a while and I made him a strong cup of coffee so that he would stay awake. Was again up at 4:00 and had to catch up 50 km from yesterday, This did not happen I lost more 462 Km after a full 16 hours of driving, I came into a biggish city that I had to drive through and got lost so stopped a pedestrian to ask for directions and if he knew of a place to stay as it was already dark, was invited to stay at his house so camped in his yard, his house was riddled with bullet holes, hundreds of them inside and out, his wife made supper, Spaghetti and tomato sauce and he went out to get a bottle of red wine, all I wanted to do at this stage was go sleep but that would have been rude, eventually got into bed at 9:30, that had been a long day driving through a war torn country evident through all the bullet holes in everything and tanks and armored cars abandoned on the road sided.

UP AT 4:00 and on the road after a quick farewell they were all up to say goodbye, sometimes it is hard to accept such hospitality and then just drive off. But had to catch up on some Kilometers. During our conversation I had asked what the road condition was like on my next stretch and was told that the road is very bad………………Now when a local says the road is very bad you can pretty much count on the worst road you will ever see and this was fact. My Landrover is slowly falling apart around me there are cracks in everything and what has not fallen off is about to. I had to make up time so pushed as fast as I could go, taking a few chances here and there and not avoiding every pothole, average speed was around 30 kmh although sometimes I managed to get into 3rd gear and up to 60, I just did not seem to be making the mileage I needed to. I cannot describe how tough these roads are on a vehicle even when you have time and drive slowly, I was now driving faster than the guys in Landrover who were competing in the Dakar rally and this is no exaggeration. I had the Landrover airborne on several occasions and was now choosing the smallest pothole instead of avoiding them; sometimes the smallest pothole would have resulted in road closure here in South Africa. After 14 hours of driving I had only covered 481 km so decided that it was now or never and broke the golden rule of never driving at night, stopped had two cups of coffee and a snack and drove till 12:00 that night, was very lucky that the trip did not end here, was doing about 40 kmh and went for the smallest looking pothole which was on the very edge of the road, was very tired and not concentrating, this turned out to be a wash away that was over a meter wide and the same depth, the whole Landrover was catapulted into the air way over a meter high and came down on two wheels centimeters away from the edge of the embanked road, had to stop and check for damage, later found that it had sheared a suspension bolt. Slept in the driver’s seat till 4:00 and after coffee hit the road

The last Day in dark Africa

With big mileage to cover I was now really hammering the Landrover, inside the vehicle was chaos, from bottoming the suspension and bouncing over the next pothole for the 10000 time everything was flying around, all the cupboard doors had broken off their hinges and I did not have time to stop and secure so there was clothes, groceries, tools, pots, pans and dished all flying around, this is also pretty physically demanding on the driver, every muscle was in use and I felt as if I had just finished a 4 day motocross event, the rear door had sustained damage so the dust was now thick over everything, the inside windscreen was as dirty as the outside, like I say chaos. I was even sliding the landy around some of the corners just like they do with those million dollar Dakar vehicles, not the Landrover ones the real race Pajeros. I was not going to let them have the satisfaction of wanting huge amounts of money from me for an expired visa. And to tell you the truth this was FUN. My own personal Dakar rally with time barring.




Namibia to SA

All the roads were in super condition, after replacing a shackle bolt that had sheared and a turbo pipe that had burst we drove through Etosha,

The next day we decided that it was time to get home and drove 30 hours strait from Windhoek to Shongweni just a little over 2000 km and got home in time for a big family get-together celebrating two birthdays and a homecoming.  



South Africa

That’s That 

Like Nicky says Durban OR Bust now needs to be changed to Durban AND Bust, Landrover needs a full

rebuild……… but he will be back for more