Between 5th October 2010 and 7th March 2011 Rob and Sarah drove 31,925 kilometres (21,300 miles), took some 7500 photographs, travelled through 18 countries from England through Eastern Africa right down to Agulhas Point, the southern most point of the African Continent. We met many fascinating people, saw endless breathtaking scenes and befriended the most unlikely of animals.
The decision to embark on the overland expedition wasn’t difficult. The year it took us to find, buy and convert Alfie, plan our route and save the funds was sometimes challenging, testing but above all exciting. Our families and friends have been great to us and supported us in the build up and during our journey. The emails and texts have been great fun to receive.
Our advice to anyone who has the inclination to set out on a similar venture is to just “get on with it”. Yes, there will always be reasons to delay or forego completely and yes, it can be expensive, but save and make sacrifices, you won’t regret it. You can also do it a lot cheaper than us! If you have children, take them with you. We met three families who were overland-schooling their children and were travelling for much longer than us.
There are challenges in countries but wouldn’t the trip be boring without them?
We will miss the sound of elephant’s stomachs grumbling together with the sound of trumpeting as they walk almost silently through camps within metres of you and the disappearing sight of hippos bottoms – they show no respect!
Sarah’s policy of ‘Death to itchy things’ resulted in the amassing of an arsenal of weapons, sprays, lotions and potions to keep creepy crawlies at bay. Alas, not always producing the desired effect.
Our fold-away chairs have become our best bar-stools and can be set up beside the many rivers/pans/plains we have come across.
Looking up we have seen deep blue skies. We have seen vibrant green flora and fauna brought to life by the rains and clear dark skies laden with stars and not polluted with light from towns and cities.
We’ve had great fun over the 157 days. A few grumpy moments and a handful of tears along the way but above all much laughter, banter and some truly awful jokes from Rob! Plenty of wrong (and right) turns have been taken, and many rocks and pot-holes have been driven over and around.
We have met an eclectic mix of people along the way, from all around the world mixed in with the locals. There was a common theme in all the travellers we met, whether on short fly-in trips or those travelling for decades. Their approach to everything was positive and filled with excitement. Everyone looks for the way forward, not the reason not to.
A truly memorable adventure through a widely diverse continent, from the escorted days of Libya to the corrupt world of Egypt, the mountain passes of Ethiopia to the rains of Zambia. The migration in the Serengeti was beyond our wildest dreams and the thump of the Gorilla will be with us for ever. Each country has its own identity and we experienced a very small of part of this.
If you have a moment, please take another read through our charity pages, we are grateful for all donations.
One life, live it. You can work for the rest of your life but you also need to say you have done something with your life.
Go on, do it!
All the world’s a Stage. With Alfie, we have played our bit-parts. People and places we may never see again. The party’s over, but our Dream won’t end. Share it with us.