27,808 Km

The original plan was to drive to Giza via the White Dessert, yet from several overlanders we heard that the White Dessert is closed for tourist. If we had the time I would drive to it anyway to seek for myself, yet I did not want to take the risk. So after two relaxing days at the resort we drove the 500km to Giza. Again the road was good, only a bit of traffic around Cairo….well a bit… a lot! Luckily I had seen it all by now so I could handle the chaos, yet in all the countries I have been for sure the Egyptian drivers use their horn the most!!! In Giza we stayed at a very nice campsite/hostel…but I cannot remember the name (hopefully I will be able to advise later on). But any way it was a relief after such a long ride to feel so welcome by our hosts. From their roof terrace we saw the Giza Pyramids, wow.

Early in the morning we drove to the Pyramids as we figured half a day would be enough….well less time was need. Why? Because the Egyptians are able to ruin this magical place by selling camel rides, jewellery, trumpery (Yeah I needed Google Translate again) while pressing their attractive bodies into me….And imagine hundreds of tourist a perfect place for me and my mom to hang around…NOT. But enough of being sceptical and critical, seeing the Giza Pyramids is amazing!!! Reading about it, seeing the pictures online…but actually standing next (or on) to it is a mighty feeling, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

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Khufu pyramid

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Sphinx Giza

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Quite a climb

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This is it…

 

After two hours we saw enough and we took off to Alexandria, the final stop of my journey. We found a nice hotel at the boulevard (of broken dreams…) a perfect location for the coming days ahead of us. While my mother went to the Alexandria Library the next day, I went to several ministries with my freight forwarder CFS (Consolidated Freight Service). I expected two full days of waiting, waiting, waiting, filling in numbers of papers, yet the opposite was true! After two ours we were done….wow. It really helps that   CFS is specialised in sending private cars, and know the civil servant. I definitely can recommend them (MD is Nermien Mamish, nermien_mamish@cfsegypt.com www.cfsegypt.com. Next step was to bring my car to the port, yet unfortunately I could not drive myself Sahbi into the sea container, so after final inspection I said goodbye to my old friend.

 

Having so much time left, Lies and I went to several sight seeing places. One of them was the Qaitbay Citadel, it was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (by the way Giza Pyramids are a wonder as well). As much as I enjoyed Alexandria, I was looking forward to fly home, so on our final day we took a taxi to Cairo Airport, I felt relieved. All in all the whole trip was easy, safe and in one word FANTASTIC. I drove 27,808 km, saw 13 countries, met wonderful people, saw amazing landscapes, my love and friends visited me and yet…I am still hunger for more LOL. While I read this from my living room, I still need to digest my adventure, yet the really kicks in and a new challenge lies ahead of me: finding a job.

 

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Library of Alexandria

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Qaitbay Citadel

Sahbi in container Alex

Sahbi in the container

 

Thank you for reading my blog and your comments.

From Games of Thrones into Indiana Jones…

We decided to skip the Simien Mountains and instead went straight to Time & Kim village, about 2 hour drive south from Gondor. We felt we needed a nice place to relax and this place has a very good reputation. Wow, how nice it was. We spend 5 days at Kim’s (Time is no longer part of the lodge) right at Lake Tana, the Blue Nile starts here, and meets the White Nile at Khartoum, Sudan. We just relaxed, read our books, and I of course saw my TV series J walked around the village and had nice diners and drinks. All in all very relaxing. Kim & Time started their lodge 7 years ago with the idea of creating a sustainable, eco-friendly workplace for the locals. Yet after all these years, they are still depending on gifts, and to have the locals run the lodge is still a bridge too far. The unrest in Egypt, meaning less tourist also in Ethiopia, definitely does not help their business. If you ever have the change, do visit them!

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Next stop Khartoum, I have never been in Sudan, so I was looking forward to see this peaceful country. It was an 800 km ride plus a border crossing, so we made it in two full days driving. Yet the night we slept in the wild, just beside the road, very nice. In Khartoum we went to see the two Niles merging together to form the mighty Nile. Yet due to so many dams the Nile does not have the water level it use to have, and hence it was not as spectacular as we hoped. Yet, being there with my mother is a life time memory. In the National Museum of Sudan, we learned about the history of the country, the native people, the Nubians, and the Egyptians invading into their lands. As a consequence in Sudan there are many, albeit smaller pyramids. And that was our next stop the next day, the Meroe pyramids, about 200 km north of Khartoum, along the Nile. The Meroe pyramids are a group of 100 pyramids, approx. 20 century BC! There might not be as tall as the ones in Giza, Egypt, yet for sure it is not touristic… and the best thing is, we just camped right next to it. So, while zipping our GT we watched the sun go down, with the Meroe pyramids on the background, another nice memory. The next three nights we slept in the dessert, as wild as it can be, very special, during the days bloody hot, yet at night, watching the million stars, it was cold. We made our way, following the Nile to Wadi Halfa, the border town before Egypt. Now, luckily the road is now open between Sudan and Egypt, so the infamous ferry we skipped! Still it took 7 hours in total to exit Sudan and enter Egypt, and approx. 650 USD  including the fixers (Mazar in Sudan, Kamal in Egypt) Especially entering Egypt with a car and two persons is expensive (400 USD). Mazar was really helpful and we stayed one night at this place, had dinner with this wife. Kamal on the other hand…. O well we just needed a fixer and he came recommended. If we only had the time (and I the patience) we would not have used Kamal at all…I guess that says enough. Right after the boarding crossing in Egypt, there is small town called Abu Simbel. Here, there is a beautiful well preserved Tomb, of Ramses III. Since it is far from Aswan (approx. 300 km) not many tourist come here. Definitely I recommend to have a full day here, see the tomb, walk around and…relax.

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Aswan was the next stop, an easy drive, we started in a convoy, yet already after 10 km there was nothing left of the convoy, so we took it easy and made our own way. Not sure why the cops facilitate this convoy as it is safe and the road is in a very good shape (brand new tar road). At least we did not have to pay anything! We had lunch in the Old Cataract 5-star hotel, beautiful on the Nile, perfect lunch place. Yet, too expensive to stay for the night, so instead we crossed the Nile and slept in a typical Nubian village. Next day we walked around the Island in the Nile, visit the Nubian Museum and mother the Botanic Gardens, yep as you can guess, all in all another relaxing day…a boy what a life!

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Luxor, definitely we visited the whole morning of the next day the Valley of the Kings. Wow, impressive, so many well preserved tombs. I thought there were also pyramids here, but no, only tombs and temples, still good though! Too bad though that we could not take any pictures…strictly forbidden.

In the afternoon the plan was to walk around Luxor, yet a donkey with a cart decided to bump into the left side of my car, damaging my wheel base, nothing serious, though the old guy on the cart had to go to the hospital. Although Lies and I were convinced that I was not to blame, the cops treated me (as the locals) as I was the villain.  It took 4 hours for them to write a report, I think I have never seen a cop writing so many A4 pages, and because it is such a complex event, they needed 18 cops to figure out what to write about….In the meantime all kind of different scenarios were running into my head, yet I tried to stay calm as much as possible (in the meantime my mother was getting crazy). Yet all the sudden all the cops left, leaving us behind….and now what? I managed to speak to just one before he took off too. He told me all was in order, no worries, we could continue our journey….right! Insha Allah. Because I did not felt 100% sure about that I called the Dutch Embassy today (accident happened on a Friday and that’s weekend) and they told me that it is normal not to get a copy of the report, and that the police let me go. If I was guilty they would have kept my car license….Well, just to make sure I do a final check in Alexandria together with my clearing agent, just to see if there is any report whatsoever that withholds me to export my car.

But as I write this, my mother and I are enjoying a two night stay in Hurghada, in a 5-star resort, enjoying yesterday’s birthday of my mom’s, and to treat ourselves with plenty of food, drinks and Germans, ach so. Six more days and then I am home, from plus 30 degrees into….what?

Cheers

Nairobi to Addis

Finally on Friday 14th of November we left from Jungle Junction to Addis (Wim’s Holland House).  Since the journey is about 2000 km we made several stop along the way. The first one was at the village Archer’s Post, mid-north of Kenya. Although there is a national park at this village, we decided to skip this one (saw too many already) and instead just relaxed at our bush camp next to the river. It was my mother’s first real camp night in Africa.

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The next day the owner of the campsite told us not to come too close by the river…crocs! Thanks for the heads up….

 

Second stop was at the border, Moyale (Ethiopian site). The ride was long and tiresome, gravel, tar (a lot of potholes) and road constructions. Strange though, that the most important land route between Kenya and Ethiopia is in such a bad condition (Yet still better than via Lake Turkana). At the Kenya site we finished soon, exit stamp for Lies (I already had mine for my passport and Carnet de Passage…so I needed to “sneak out”) and off we went into Ethiopia…. But then..the border was closed, as we arrived on a Saturday after 14:00 hours. But with a bit of luck and thanks with the help of a fixer the immigration officer made an exception (free of charge). It was due to power cut that we had to wait for the generator to turn on. Now the customs….Not so lucky, come back next day…. But then dollars talk🙂 20 US Dollars later, and 5 minutes of our time we had our entry stamp in our Carnet de Passage. Of course we were not allowed to make pictures, so I guess you have to believe me on my word.

 

The next day we drove the whole day until it became too dark to drive and moreover, the road was in a terrible condition (many potholes) plus cows and people on the road (you cannot see them when it is dark….:-) ) so we stopped at a motel. Perfect place, friendly, cold bears and internet (yeap we are addicted!). From Rene Matla I learned how to cook Indian curry so 20 minutes later we had a well-deserved dinner on the parking lot.

Next stop the Bale Mountains, wow what an amazing view. The new road is perfect (albeit Chinese made) so in combination with Dire Straits (yeah baby I play this a lot since you are not with me LOL), it gave a very enjoyable ride!!! At the Bale Mountains we had hoped to sleep at the Wolf Research Centre (in the middle of the park, on the plateau, 3800m) yet from the entry gate to this camp is was 20km of very bad road. I guess it is doable if the car was in good shape, yet I noticed that I needed to change my bushes again. To save my leaf springs, we decided to camp in a public campsite next to the park’s HQ. We stayed here for two nights, enjoyed the fantastic view, relaxed (by a lot of readying) and did a small hike. Too bad though, that we did not see the Ethiopian Wolf, which is unique in Africa! But apparently the wolf only appears high on the plateau….figures, no wonder the research centre is there…dhaaa (Yes Ivo I hear you thinking “No shit Sherlock”). Nevertheless very nice mountains!

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Plenty of deer…makes me wonder why the hell the Ethiopian wolf eats mountain rats…

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Long long time ago, in a far land across the sea an ancient tree lived…

 

 

Addis, I have been here maybe 15 times, yet this is the first time for pleasure. We camped at Wim’s Holland House, another famous overlander place, yet this one managed by Rahel (Ethiopian lady) and in the past by Wim (Dutch). We met with Ron who helped us to change the bushes (1.5 hours work) and this time we used original Toyota bushes. Until now they hold!!! Yet due to the time we lost in Nairobi for fixing my car, we had no time left to spend in Addis. Of course it is all about making choices so instead of seeing Addis, we preferred to spend time in the rest of Ethiopia, so that we would entered Sudan in time before our visa would expire. The plan is to see Lalibela, followed by Gonder, Simien Mountains, via Tim & Kim village to Sudan….Too bad though that I could not meet up with Ethiopian Airlines, I felt a bit guilty.

 

Lalibela was a two day trip, along perfect roads! We found a nice hotel, where mother camped in the garden and I on the parking lot. Lalibela is famous for its Orthodox Christian churches (11 in total) carved in rocks, made in the 13th century, for details see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalibela After a full day with a guide (really need one if you wish to understand the whole meaning behind this place) we enjoyed a very nice dinner with a Belgium couple, who travels from Cairo to South African… in a Lada 4×4, wow!

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Beautiful roads in Ethiopia

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View from Ben Abeba restaurant, Labibela

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The famous st. George’s church

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Indiana Jones and the last crusade…

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To protect the churches from the elements, Unesco build these roofs

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Can you believe, it just took 23 years to build…faster then the renovation of our Rijksmuseum…

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Another full day drive to Gonder, the “Camelot of Africa”, only this one really exist! This morning we spend time to see the several castles, all in pretty good shape. Details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondar. I really felt “connected” with this place, old buildings have some magical atmosphere what I like… or perhaps it is just that I am watching Games Of Thrones…somebody has season 5?

 

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Nairobi – Lake Turkana – Nairobi…? WTF…

We were on our way, from Nairobi (Jungle Junction) to Tumi (South Ethiopia) via Lake Turkana. One Toyota Land Cruiser HJ61, 27 years old, two people with plenty of food, water (70 liter) and diesel (full tank 75 liter plus 60 liter in three jerry cans). Further, we read several blogs on this route, and asked Chris (owner of Jungle Junction, Nairobi) on the road condition, all fine: a bit rocky, sandy not too dangerous in other words doable. Right…

Day 1: From Jungle Junction to Roberts Camp, Lake Bargingo, 290 km

All the way tar road, only the last 20km a lot of pit holes. As of January next, the Kenya government will start with building a new tar road…so the locals say, Insha Allah!  Roberts Camp is a nice place to camp, right at the lake, nice to stay for a day and walk around, the crater walls are massive and impressive. Naturally I had my fun with the local bird life, especially the Hornbills, they like to look into my windscreen, and then become aggressive because another Hornbill looks at him so close….

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Typical…the lady looks at herself…

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And the male…likes to pose for my camera

 

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Our guide, at the back the crater wall

 

Day 2: From Roberts Camp to Malsasso Community Rest Camp (20 km north of Maralal), 190km.

From Roberts camp all the way to Malsasso Community Rest Camp the road is really rocky and some steep parts. Beautiful view though along the way, yet it is a long drive with a road like this. The community camp has a panoramic view on the Rift Valley, stunning! Yet that night, it was very windy so not much sleep as I was holding my roof top tent throughout the night!

 

Day 3: From Malsasso Community Rest Camp to Palm Shade Camp (Loiyangalani) at Lake Turkana, 218 km.

Wow the road is terrible (!) and yet really beautiful.

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Lake Turkana

Again very rocky, especially at Lake Turkana, volcano stones on the road, bumpy and again some steep parts. But we made it, yet my roof rack was getting loose so it needed a small repair. Loiyangalani has a Missionary post, where we asked them to fix our roof rack…sure no problem. Once this was done (easy welding job) I noticed my diesel tank was leaking. Since it became dark we decided to have a look at it the next day…(s)!

Day 4, 5 and 6….

That tank became our nightmare. It must have been a combination of age (27 years old) and rocky, volcano roads but after three days spending time with the bush mechanics at this Missionary post we would finally leave for Sibiloi National Park. Luckily for us we met John, who is actually a good mechanic and works full-time for the Italian Sisters (next to the Missionary post). And the reason why the sisters have a full-time mechanic…..because of the roads. Yet they drive the fancy new Landcruisers.   John helped us BIG TIME, because the bush mechanics from the Missionary post were really unqualified….yet were desperate and needed to move on into Ethiopia. Well, as said, after three days work on the car, we paid 160 USD to the priest (rip off!!!) and bought additional fuel (diesel price 160 Kenya Shilling per liter vs. 100 in Nairobi….another rip off) to top off our tank. During the reparation work we ‘lost’ 40 liters of diesel! Of course the bush mechanics spilled a bit (let’s say 5 liters) but the rest? Well you can do the math, yet we could not proof anything! So we felt relieved to leave this place after three days.

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In the evening we “celebrated” our leave the next day with John and his friend…

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John overlooked the bush mechanics, while they clean the tank

Yet after just 40 km the tank was leaking again. No other choice but to return to the Missionary post and have another look. We called John ahead because we did not want the bush mechanic to touch my car again. John did the best he could but this time we really lost confidence in the tank, the work done so far and in general in the car. Examine the route further north to Ethiopia, and how remote this part of Africa is, we decided to go back to Jungle Junction and have the professional mechanics a look at our tank. So after the leakage was ‘stopped’ we drove off towards Maralal. We made it that first stop, albeit loosing diesel along the way. We stayed at Yare Camel Club campsite, 237 km on again a terrible road.

 

Day 7 From Maralal (Yare Camel Club campsite) to Nairobi (Jungle Junction), 357 km.

We felt positive the next morning, we made the right decision to go back. We had no confidence in the tank and the work done by those bush mechanics. But then, after 157km our car stopped, yet enough diesel in the tank, so it must have been a leak in the tank/tubes so instead of sucking diesel it sucked air (afterwards this theory turned out to be true). Luckily a police car (a new modern Land Cruiser) pulled over and towed us all the way to Nyahururu, approx. 60 km… and again the road was terrible: really rocky. As much as we appreciated the towing, it could have been smoother, we even managed to snap the towing cable (which is good for towing 15 tons…, my car is just 3 tons). My car suffered a lot and I lost a shock absorber along the way, the exhaust pipe became loose, as well as the side bars, bushes (in the leave springs) and the roof rack (not welded well at the Missionary post) plus couple of other small things… All in all, my car was in terrible condition once we arrived in Nyahururu. In thin town we arranged a lorry to bring us back, so my car went on top of the lorry, and drove us in 5 hours (just 200 km) to Jungle Junction. Luckily for us we met with the policemen, they told us that 30 policemen were killed by local tribesmen with M16’s….the day before….oeps! As he explained: if you want to marry a daughter of let’s say a local chief or rich person, you have to come up with a big dowry (something like 100 cows, 50 goats, plus 500.000 shilling…ridiculous, a lot even for their standards….). So in order to obtain such a dowry, they steel livestock. Naturally the locals arm themselves against thieves, one gets killed, so reprisal follow….The police is brought into the area yet they do not have the manpower nor proper armory. The locals do not take the police seriously (a lot of corruption) so they do not hesitate to kill a policeman. Anyway in Nyahururu (were our car was put on the lorry) the police stayed for our security as they did not trust the locals….nice!

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The lorry was older, less powerful and even in a worser shape then my car…yet we had a good driver (safe)!

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The locals asked if my car is a Land Rover…. figures!

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After so much shit (bush mechanics, priest that ripped us off) car trouble and facing really bad roads, we were very pleased to be back again at Jungle Junction. Still I need to go to Addis Ababa, but this time I will take the tar road all the way to the boarder of Ethiopia (Moyale).

Later that week Marijke flew out of Nairobi and my mother flew in. Unfortunately, we are now more than a week at Jungle Junction and the car is still not ready….Hopefully Friday we finally can leave.

To be continued…

Welcome Marijke

As you probably read in my previous blog, I did not climb the Kilimanjaro with Rene, unfortunately my ankle was not healed enough for such a test. I guess I have to climb it another time… Insha Allah (by using this Arabic term I guess my blog is now on the NSA watch list LOL).

Mar and I went to one of the crater lakes close to Nairobi (lake Naivasha) the day after we dropped off Rene at the Airport. So nice to be in the country side again! The camp site was basic but the surroundings stunning, a lot of birds, so then I am happy. The hippo’s walking around make the picture complete.

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The next evening Marijke arrived in Nairobi, with whom I would drive to Addis Abba (capital of Ethiopia) via Lake Turkana (very remote part of Kenia)…at least that was the plan (more on this in the next blog…). The three of us killed time the next day by visiting the Giraffe Centre, a sanctuary. As gracious as these animals are, I never had a real close encounter. But then again, once an animal can eat… it will eat out of my hand! The centre is not only to see these big animals real close, touch them even, yet also to provide interesting facts on these animals. The leg bones, for instance, wow how heavy and big they are, one solid rock. Whereas the rest of mammals, and humans, have the fibula and radius…(yeah I had to look for these two in google translate as well). Anyway, the point is, a real informative, enjoyable centre! Unfortunately later that evening Marjolein flew back to Holland, so the next three weeks its Marijke and me.

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Our first trip was to Amboseli National Park…. another park I hear you thinking…Yes sir! I mean a park that is at the foot of the Kili…that way at least I can see the Kili closer! Wow, wow wow, what a magnificent mountain. Well actually volcano (two I believe). And the Kili makes swamps so a lot of animals are there to be found. We stayed at a luxury lodge, however, because Chris (owner of Jungle Junction, Nairobi) knows the lodge’s owner, we could camp for free, LOL. Yet still enjoy our gin-tonic with an amazing view….. and a lot of scorpions!!! We were cooking dinner (no let me be honest, Marijke was cooking….dhaa) so we turned on our light. Due to the fact that the flies/mosquitos were surrounding us, and we liked a vegetarian dish, we put the light on the ground. Yes all flying insects went to the lamp… and so did a scorpion, two, three…holly shit…8 of them. Walking around us. Immediately we put our shoes on…you never know. Turned out, that scorpions are really silly spiders, Arachnids actually..(yes also this one I looked up in Google…tja I have time now…..). The hit your shoe and instead of crawling on top (like an ant for instance) they walk around it, or the opposite direction….Like…like….an automatic vacuum cleaner LOL. Yet we learned from the guys at the lodge that these stupid animals are very poisonous and hence at night everybody in the camp is wearing shoes!

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we woke up in the morning with this view…

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not much snow left

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Elephant with Kili, classic picture

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FYI

Via Nairobi (all roads lead via Nairobi) we went to Mount Kenya, National Forrest. Totally different scenery from Amboseli, but just as nice. Green hills/mountain everywhere, with the absolute hit: Mount Kenya, the highest peak in Kenya, second in Africa (after Kili…dhaaa). We went for a day hike, through indigenous forest, wow. Jungle as its best. The climax on the hike was a great view on Mount Kenya….or perhaps the hot shower and dinner at the camp’s restaurant that evening J all very nice.

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Of course along the way we had our surprises…

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Mount Kenya

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Our campsite…or The Shire?

Our third trip was to Lake Turkana, in the very north of Kenya, visiting Sibiloi National park (it is called the Cradle of Mankind) that has a museum dedicated to the first Homo Sapiens on earth. We knew upfront that the road would be long (approx. 1000 km) and very hard (rocky, sandy, real 4×4 driving) yet we were well prepared (enough food, water and diesel) and had the latest intel on this dangerous region in Kenya. After all, we did not want to stand in between local tripe’s killing each other for cattle and territory. So on a nice sunny day we left Mount Kenya National Forrest, via Nairobi of course (we had to get our exit stamps for Kenya at Immigration since there is no border post in the north at Lake Turkana) with our first stop Lake Baringo!

 

To be continued…

Around Lake Victoria in 14 days…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, René, what a great time we had!!! So nice to share the African experience with a mate. So, we left Nairobi the day after Rene arrived to national reserve Masai Mara, the park to be in Kenya. And although I have seen in many parks, this park is unique because it is so widespread.  The Acacia three in the savannah while thousands of wildebeest and zebras are passing by is something I cannot put in writing….perhaps nor in picture. Nor the many wildebeest corpses in the river while the crocs are laying to rest after their dinner…

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Campsite at Masai Mara..waking up with elephants passing by…

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From the Masai Mara we drove to Jinja, Uganda, to see the beginning of the White Nile, wow. I was here in 2010 during a 3 weeks holiday trip in Uganda and it was good to be ‘back’. The place still was very nice, green and peaceful, yet rafting is not the best anymore. A newly dam caused the Nile to be a stream, instead of the mighty river (in this section) it was. For rafting it means the best rapids (5+) are gone…🙂 Hence, we passed on this.

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White Nile at Jinja, Uganda

Next stop Lake Bunyonyi (close to the border with Rwanda) yet, before we passed Kampala we quickly stopped by at Kampala Backpackers. Four years ago I saw Sahbi for the very first time, here at this camp spot. Good memories, it was on that spot that I told myself to do this trip, after I spoke with the previous owner of my car. Thanks René D for your inspiring words!

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Where the chalet stands, Sahbi was standing four years ago

Lake Bunyonyi is definitely worthwhile visiting: peaceful, green, it’s like being in an aviary, paradise for bird spotters like me…LOL. And again, it was good to be back at the same spot…

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On our way to Lake Bunyonyi we passed the Equator

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Our campsite at Lake Bunyonyi

From here Kigali, Rwanda was an easy ride…border no problem, although the custom officer did not show up (probably having lunch) so I wrote in the book my own name and gave myself a paper with a stamp that I handed over at a check point down the road…okay it worked! Via my good friend and business relation Aynalem we met with Captain Asrat (RwandAir). Asrat provided us with a warm welcome in his villa and we have a great time, fantastic bbq and good drinks! Also Girma, chairman of RwandAir joined us, o boy what a great laughs we had about our aviation industry experience and Africa in particular. Thanks Asrat, Girma for the nice and warm experience. Next time with Aynalem!

Later that evening Rene and I went to the airport to pick up Marjolein, she would join us for the coming weeks. The next morning we went to Kigali Memorial Centre (http://www.kigaligenocidememorial.org/old/) …. Speechless. We were all very impressed, and shocked what happened during those dark times in Rwanda. The museum explains very well, the history of Rwanda, the events that lead to this Genocide, the Genocide itself and the period afterwards until today. I can only advise, strongly, that if you are in Rwanda, please do visit this museum. Again, speechless!!!

Asrat took us to an Ethiopian restaurant for lunch…and although it took us awhile to switch the knot after leaving the Memorial Museum, we really enjoyed once again Asrat’s company and the great food!

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Sharing is caring…

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We then headway for a two day road trip to the Serengeti and Ngoro Ngoro Crater, some say the two best parks that Africa has to offer….and yes I can say, after seeing 26 different parks, those two are really, really nice!!! Yet bloody expensive. Apart from paying the foreign entry price, we had to pay 300 USD per day for my care…WFT no way. So we stopped in a village before the park and bought “real” Tanzania number plates…cross our fingers…. And yes it worked, we just paid 13 USD per day…LOL!!!! Small investment, big saving… What to say about the parks itself…well, all the animals you can think of are there. And so we went from one Aooahh to another aaoooh. Especially the Ngoro Ngoro Crater is unique, a litter planet within 36 square km!

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Serengeti

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Ngoro Ngoro Crater

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Via Arusha again, we went back to Nairobi. Yet, first we had a bbq in Arusha at Khan’s…during the day he sells auto spare parts yet at night he makes the best bbq at his shop’s door step. Amazing!

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Too bad that he did not sell spare parts at night…just needed a filter

In Nairobi Rene flew back, after two whole weeks, having done a circle around Lake Victoria.

A flat tire…?!

After more than a week of resting on a comfortable sofa it was time for me to head back to Dar Es Salam. Luckily Andy and Laura helped me with getting on-board the ferry. I had a wonderful time in Zanzibar, great place for suba diving and kite surfing! Thanks Laura & Andy for your help and company, I really enjoyed spending time with you guys!!!

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Not bad…recovering from my ancle injury at this place…

It was good to be back on the mainland, I felt eager to drive Sahbi again! Nick, who I met in Zanzibar was already back in Dar Es Salam and joined me that evening at the camp. Together we drove off the next day, heading towards Arusha (the place to start to climb the Kilimanjaro. I felt optimistic about climbing the Kili when Rene would join me within three weeks’ time, so I had to calm myself not to climb it while in Arusha. But before arriving in Arusha, Nick and I had the best time ever on the Tanzania road….crazy drivers. Since we were not in a rush, we first went to the Lusotho Mountain Reserve, North East Tanzania, since we would pass it anyway. Wow, again, what a great view and even better, what a great off road riding in the woods! Especially, when we took a wrong turn and drove on a “track” which clearly was hardly used….No wonder why the locals looked at us if we were crazy….I guess it takes one to recognise when, right Nick?

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Another happy camper…🙂

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Euh…Nick sure this way?

Anyway, after some nice camping in the mountains we arrived safe and sound in Arusha. The next day I dropped Nick off at the local airport, good luck buddy, I do hope life will treat you well! Next stop: Nairobi. Again the exit Tanzania and entry Kenya was easy, I guess the customs had seen hundreds of times Carnet de Passages (import/export documents for my car) so all in all it went fast. In Nairobi I stayed for two whole weeks at Jungle Junction, THE overland (or as we call it The Independent Traveller :’-)) place to be in Africa. Chris, the German owner, has a wealth of experience in travelling, either by motorbike or car in Africa. Further, he has the latest, best info towards either Cairo (my direction) or Cape Town, and has a garage on this premises. Apart from a very relaxing, big living room, with bar and fast internet (for African standards). I met with Gee (www. http://geehurkmans.com/) and together we figured out how to obtain visas for Ethiopia and Sudan. After some days of research and talking to other travellers, we decided (and that was the only option) to send our passports back to Holland with DHL to a visa agency. They would obtain then the visa for us at the Ethiopian embassy in Brussels and send the passports back to Jungle Junction. It took all in all, 10 days, so in the mean time I had a good service on my car. Sahbi suffered more than I expected from the African roads, yet she was in good hands with Chris’ mechanics. They really did a good job, for less than half the price what I would have paid in Holland.

 

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No worries Sahbi…

I also needed to buy a new tire, as I had a flat tire…unbelievable, just entered Kenya and while driving on a tar road, I got a flat tire…shit happens I guess (sorry for my French). Also I was waiting for my friend Rene to arrive in Nairobi, so actually, it was a perfect place to relax and sit tight for two weeks. Once I had my passport back I drove to the Sudanese embassy and asked very friendly to issue me a visa within two days, which normally takes 4/5 days. Yet I did not want to wait from my passport while Rene would be around, waste of time, since he is on his holidays for two weeks. Luckily the Sudanese guy was very helpful and after some talking here and there, I managed to pick up my passport two days later! Gee, left the next day, on his way to Alexandria, to arrive there end of October. Gee, thanks buddy for the nice talks, good luck with the rest of your trip!

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Gee’s nice Land Rover Discovery…at JJ’s

While I was in Nairobi I visited my friends at Kenya Airways. The past years, they heard about my trip and were always interested in my preparations. Hence, I promised to visit them during my trip. And what a nice meeting it was, I felt very welcomed and we cached up for a couple of hours. Of course they wanted to see my car, so I unfolded my tent on Kenya Airways premises…very funny to see all their faces! Later that evening, two of my colleagues who were at Kenya Airways for business meetings, invited me as well for dinner. So we had a wonderful time, thanks Basil, David and the whole team of Kenya Airways, great evening!!!

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My colleagues Basil (left) and David, great time!

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Yes… have a look🙂

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My friends at Kenya Airways Mark (right) and Obonyo

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That evening, on our way to the restaurant, we got stuck…. Luckily I had a high lift jack… I felt a little embarrassed though

A day later my friend arrived…Hello René!

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