In the last blog I briefly mentioned that being unprepared for an overland trip might be the way to go. There are elements of the preparation that are critical to do before the journey begins - namely, ensuring that your vehicle has a carnet and that your passport is valid. Besides for those two elements, the rest of the journey can be completed without the aid of internet updates, GPS technology, tracking devices and mobile phones.
Here's why I say that: It was only ten years ago that internet first starting appearing in African capital cities. Prior to that, all the above mentioned technologies did not exist which meant that any overlanders travelling simply relied on the tried and tested Michelin Africa Maps, word of mouth and Post Restante services.
Travelling without knowing how far to your next GPS bushcamp, or without the knowledge that your satellite phone is charged and ready for that emergency call, does add to the adventure of a Trans-Africa trip. It brings an excitement of the unknown, an excitement about the fact that you are not sure where you will sleep tonight as your GPS is turned off and no waypoint logged.
In summary, if you don't have the budget available for the latest GPS, satellite phone or computer, simple forget those items and buy a Michelin map. Begin your journey knowing that each bushcamp, photo taken will be unique to you.