Date of visit: January 2013
Tour or pre planned: Tour Pre-Planned
In January 2013 we set off from Reykjavik Iceland with 15 passengers in an ex army 4x4 truck, headed for Cape Town. This was the first ever Expedition tour from 66° North to 33° South. It was a epic 6 month adventure via West, Central and Southern Africa. Mostly camping and cooking together as a group.
We started of the tour in Iceland spending time on the South Coast for a few days until we came to the ferry port in the East (Seyðisfjörður), from there we sailed to the Faro Islands which is a small Danish autonomous island in the middle of the Atlantic and then we made our way onto Denmark to start the journey across Europe. We spent the week driving across Germany, France and arrived in the south of Spain were we spent time getting the last few supplies for our journey through Africa.
From Spain we sailed to Morocco and visited the market towns of Marrakesh, Fes and headed south to the desert, spending time in a Bedouin camp and also an ex French foreign legion military fort (pretty amazing).
We continued south for the next couple of months, across the deserts of Mauritania and the jungles of Senegal/Guinea, eventually we arrived at our halfway point in Ghana. We found an amazing unspoilt beach and camped there for a week, afterwards we spent the next few weeks in the capital cities of Ghana, Togo and Benin sorting out visas and enjoying some last few luxuries’s before we headed into the most difficult parts of our journey.
First up was Nigeria, which is large and has good roads but has a bad reputation, because of this we drove across as fast as possible and instead of our normal camping in the bush or on the beach we only stayed in places that had secure compounds and guards (it’s safer and recommended). After the stress of Nigeria we stayed a while on a few different beaches in Cameroon and then onto the national parks and jungle of Gabon. Our most difficult roads were to come after this in the Congo's and Angola. At this point we were happy to be driving a 4x4 ex-army truck, no other vehicle would be able to cross such roads and difficult terrain. Others would have to cancel continuing or send the vehicle on a ship, or fly but we just kept driving through... it got rough, but by this point in the trip we were all working well as a team and being in extremely remote areas was not a worry to us all as we were equipped with our own water, food, tents, tools and spare parts if anything did go wrong.
We were rewarded after the rough roads with Namibia, a very developed country. Everyone was smiling as we were greeted by a shopping mall and able to go instantly on-line (emails etc). It’s the little things you miss J. We visited one of the best national parks in the world, the Etosha park. We saw every animal possible, watching lions get chased away from the waterholes by rhinos, as well as elephants, giraffes ,zebra, and wildebeests. At night we could hear the lions roar as we went to sleep (fortunately we had a fence around us to keep the lions out).
From the national park we began our journey to cross into South Africa, traveling through towns and spending the last few days with those friends we’d made. We sat together watching the sunsets thinking back on the last 6 months of traveling together.
We had finally arrived to our final destination, 20,000km, 20 countries and a whole lot of fun and friends for life... In Cape Town we said our goodbyes.
Here’s a list of some of the camping sites we stayed at..
Mile 6 Beach – Limbe Beach, Cameroon
Fort Bou-Jerif – Morocco
Big Milly’s Backyard – Ghana
Hotel Hippocampe Brazzaville – Congo
Catholic Mission Matadi – DR Congo
Elands Bay – South Africa
Sound like your idea of fun…….. we’re organising another one. Reykjavik to Cape Town, leaving Iceland in January 2015 taking 6 months to travel through 20 countries. Through Europe, West and Central Africa and South Africa, we’ll be mostly camping and getting to some real remote and unforgettable areas. Visit http://vikingsacrossafrica.com/
Would you recommend this tour: Yes
Overall rating destination: 5 out of 5