This is the story of two friends traveling through Africa to create awareness for micro financing. In a little over a year Jeffrey de Visser en Twan Crombach drove almost 60,000 kilometers in their Land Rover around the African continent, visiting over 30 African countries. Would you also like to help Africa? Then lend some money to Africa through Kiva.

Adventure on foot with Courteney Boots

courteney

Posted from Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands.

Adventuring means discovering new places, seeing the world’s wonders first-hand and taking a chance and finding your own way. The term ‘adventuring’ reminds us of the original explorers of Africa: Major Laing and René Caillié, who were the first to reach Timbuktu, Dr. Livingstone’s 24-year exploration of every corner of the Dark Continent, Richard Burton trying to find the source of the Nile River, or Frederick Selous, the legendary big game hunter in southern Africa. These were men made of sturdier stuff, fearless in the face of the perils ahead and prepared for anything. What’s more, the best of them had a healthy respect for the local peoples and wildlife they came across, as any explorer should, even, or maybe especially, today. Lees meer »

Trialrun: Tunnels, bullets, Mosques, Churches and windscreen wipers

trialrun

Posted from Sarajevo, Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We were on the road, speeding at 120 km/h down the German motorway heading east. German highways are a peculiar thing: you get on at one end and keep driving until you reach the other end, with no interruptions. To the motoring enthusiast this is a bit of a let-down, although it has to be admitted that stunning progress is made in terms of distance. After just one day of driving we had driven across Germany, into Austria, passed through a dozen or so tunnels, and were now in Slovenia. We ended up in some camp site just over the border with a large swimming pool. So, after a well-deserved swim and setting up camp, we were 1000 kilometres closer to our destination: the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia Herzegovina.

After a few days of driving down the beautiful Croatian coastline towards Dubrovnik, we turned north towards Mostar and Sarajevo. As soon as you drive into Bosnia, you can feel the weight of recent history on people’s shoulders, not least because of the scale of the human casualties in the ethnic war which ravaged the country in the early 1990s, but also due to the constant reminders provided by shot up buildings, mortar scars and a seemingly unending number of graves throughout the city.

In this country Christian and Muslim beliefs meet and, to some extent, mix. To an outsider it is impossible to see the differences between a Mosque and Church; both are commonly built with domes that Western Europeans are only used to seeing in the former. Indeed, the only way to determine which God a particular place of worship honours (without stepping a foot inside) is to look at the symbol on the top, either a cross or half moon.

We stayed with the Beslija family in Sarajevo, and want to thank them again for their hospitality and showing us around their city. Sarajevo truly is a city with a need for a guidebook, and the Beslijas provided it to us. Even though our stay was too short to understand the powerful, complex social and political forces shaping daily life in Bosnia, it was incredibly interesting to get a brief look into a different world.

The purpose of the trial run, of course, was to test our vehicle and equipment, all of which performed outstandingly. Apart from running out of diesel once, and a mishap with an easily fixable ruptured fuel line, we had only one serious problem: the motor of the windscreen wipers broke on our return journey when we were stuck in the “Deutsche Nebel” (a fine mist in the mountains). With 800 kilometres to go, we fixed things by tying a rope, which we then ran inside the vehicle, to each of the windscreen wipers. This meant that we could move them by pulling on one of the newly attached ropes. This was clearly a comical sight judging by the number of laughs we got! A Land Rover-fix for a Land Rover-problem.

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Expedition preparations part one – Interior

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Posted from Kaatsheuvel, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

With only five weeks left until our second, extensive trial run, now is the time to make our Land Rover expedition-ready. To do so, we still have to:

  • Build an efficient, well thought-through interior;
  • Add a steering guard to protect the steering rod;
  • Add aluminium plates to the bonnet so we can stand on top of the car;
  • Fortify the roof rack by welding it and adding shuttered plywood;
  • Attach a sixth wheel to the roof (one spare is not enough);
  • Place a second battery with a split charge system;
  • Test and repair the winch;
  • Add bush wires to the front of the car to prevent branches from hitting the windshield;
  • Organize all of the electronics;
  • Connect the safari lamps;
  • Add a PVC tube along the roof rack to transport long items such as rods;
  • 1001 other large and small tasks! Lees meer »

Stickering our Land Rover

bestickering

Posted from Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

Today our car got its stickers by the people of Van Mil & Van Mil. The result is stunning. The Land Rover now has our own logo, the logo of our sponsor Business School Notenboom and our charity cause Kiva. If you would like to sponsor us and get a logo on our car, contact us here

Lees meer »

Unrest in Africa makes overlanding difficult

onrust

Posted from Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

The unrest in many of the countries in North-Africa and the Middle-East, such as Libya, Syria and Sudan, is causing major problems for European overlanders attempting to enter the continent. Lees meer »

Hall of Overlanders

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Posted from Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

Some go by car over roads, some go by 4×4, some go by truck in comfort, some fit ones cycle their way there, some brave souls use public transport and a few use their own original mode of transport. They have no destination, the journey is their destination. They have no fear, the road is their friend and companion. They are not tourists, they are travellers. They are overlanders. An overview of our favorites: Lees meer »

The true size of Africa

ware-grootte

Posted from Drachten, Friesland, Netherlands.

Africa is a lot bigger than many people think. The projection many cartographers use causes certain parts of the world to look much bigger or smaller than they actually are, and Africa is a good example of that. Africa is in fact larger than all of the United States, China, Indian, Japan and all of Europe together! The underneath image illustrates this well, click to enlarge. Lees meer »

Roof tents – all leak like a sieve?

autohome

Posted from Drachten, Friesland, Netherlands.

I recently visited a 4×4 convention for the purpose of choosing a roof tent for my 2012 expedition circumnavigating the African continent. There must have been about ten companies offering two dozen different brands, sizes, materials and accessories. So me and my friend went out to find the right one for us. Lees meer »