Africa here we come


Celtic Rover is back!

I am once again in the intensive pre-trip planning phase of one of my “big trips”, the spreadsheets are out, visas are being researched, and Nelson is being revamped for a big trip. This time to Africa for the classic UK to Cape Town trip down the West Coast and back up to Egypt.  This is the last of the three big adventures I originally planned for my retirement, Silk Road, South America and finally Africa, but rather delayed by Covid and some domestic responsibilities including the arrival of our grandson Harris and rebuilding our cottage which is nearly finished!  I have kept myself busy with adventure on the water in my sea kayak, in fact writing this while storm bound on Tiree hoping for better weather tomorrow!

As always there is never a perfect time to do this kind of trip, the sheer distance involved means that even doing the trip in three segments means being away from home for three-month stretches which is a significant time.

However, when I look back at the previous trips, I do count them as some of the most memorable and significant periods of my life, Africa has all the potential to surpass the other trips as an immersion in a new, vibrant and challenging culture which my overlanding friends tell me is the real home of overland adventure.

So the rough plan is to start in Morroco at the beginning of September, with my daughter Poppy for a few weeks, the objective of getting to Namibia before Christmas.  Christmas back in the UK returning after a few months with some friends to tour South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in the second leg.  Finally, the last leg will be from Victoria Falls up the east coast, potentially as far as Egypt but wars and civil disturbance make that a bit unlikely at the moment.

So the preparation phase is well underway the main action points are

  • Route planning is nearly done, countries, distances, camping spots, highlights all into a rough plan
  • Visa research is nearly done some of these I can get on the way but some need to be obtained in the UK, both British and Irish passports have been renewed
  • Nelsons pre-trip make over has been arranged and the electrical system upgraded over the last few months
  • Next task is to organise some travelling companions, Poppy has booked a spot, Lee is considering her plans in the next few weeks and has first dibs before “the boys” get a chance to sign on.

So Nelson will be converted back from kayak carrier to overlander just in time for heading off, meantime a lot of gardening, kayaking, grandchild playing and preparation will pass the summer quickly!



About Gerry Mulligan

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