Africa is for adventure
With all its problems, its bureaucracy, corrupt officials, diseases, lack of service and political issues, some naysayers have asked me why I would ever want to visit Africa. Despite all the shortcomings, my answer was always the same: “For the adventure.” Africa is one of the few continents that isn’t changing as fast as the rest of the world in today’s high- speed technology boom. I want adventure. I want to feel the humidity of equatorial rain forests; taste the delicacies of Morocco, see a giraffe or lion up close in East Africa and experience all the things I read about in travel books. I want to get out and meet the people who make Africa what it is today. I want to experience the different cultures, religions, habits, smells and the diversity from north to south. I wanted to squeeze in as much as possible in my three- month trip, but soon realised that it wasn’t enough. The plan was to return later that year and spend another three months travelling the lower parts of sub- Saharan Africa, like Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa, where I would return home via the East coast of Africa through Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and the north African countries. But for this journey, it was straight to Nigeria, one of Africa’s fastest growing nations.
the full Monty
It’s been two years since I really experienced a British winter. Reluctantly, I managed to drag myself out of bed and headed down to my nearest Land Rover specialist ( Roydon and Foley’s) to collect my trusted steed, Monty, a Defender 110 Tdi. Anyone who has ever owned a Landy will tell you that it’s not the most airtight of vehicles. Imagine finding yourself in four degrees Celsius weather after being acclimatised to 27 – 30 º C African heat. After collecting Monty, I needed to pick up a few items that were vital to my African overland expedition. A quick stop at my nearest outdoor retailer and I left with the following new items added to the inventory: a rapid tyre inflator; puncture repair kit; spare light covers; spare Our first stop was this richly diverse North African country. We woke up to a misty, wet morning; everything was dripping from what seemed to be a very low cloudburst. Driving on these straight roads proved boring; instead we made a detour to the coastline and stopped to check out a perfect surf spot with