Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toyota - Unstoppable Big 6

I spotted this advert in the 1965 Desert Magazine:
For unstoppable, grab-hold-and-go power, professional 4 wheelers depend on the Toyota Land Cruiser.
Trade up to Toyota and get the big 6:
1. Power: 6-cyclinder, 135HP
2. Speed: 85mph on the highway all day long
3. Gradeability: 67%
4. Hi-Lo Gearing: 9 forward gear combindations
5. Ruggedness: heavy duty, tank-tough Toyota construction
6. Comfort: carries 7 men on foam rubber seats, plus gear

Additional reading:
Toyota Land Cruiser - gaining traction as an overlander
Land Rover vs Toyota - how the stats show the changes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1959 Cape Town to Cairo Overland - with caravans!

Completing an overland trip today is sometimes quite stressful.  Being an expedition leader with a convoy of vehicles adds additional stress.  Now add 36 vehicles, majority of which are towing a caravan to your convoy and drive North from Cape Town.  The logistics leading 106 people would be pretty hard work.  Now do it in 1959...  And that's exactly what the founder of Airstream caravan did.

In 1959, 41 vehicles & Airstream caravans plus a few support vehicles (104 people) convoyed from Cape Town to Cairo.  The founder of the Airstream caravan, Wally Byam, was instrumental in expanding on the lifestyle a caravan could offer.  As a result, he lead his 1959 convoy North from Cape Town in a total of 221 days. In this blog post, I link to the various YouTube video clips, and a few photos from a podcast interview.

A few interesting comments and observations from the various videos: Eldest person was a gentleman aged 85 whilst the youngest was a girl aged 6.  The convoy 'quite accidentally' came across the Great Zimbabwean ruins!  Pith Helmets are a must as almost each film shot of the convoy includes one.  Giant Wildebeest sound like thunder as they rumble across the plains.  A good day in Ethiopia would be a total of 6miles covered due to the road conditions - It took a total of five weeks to get to Addis Ababa.  A good quote form part 5 of the videos:
'The Nubian desert is a blistering inferno of vagrant sandunes exiled from the rest of world'

Africa Expedition Films - Citroen / Croisiere Noire 1924

Here is an update to a previous post on Overland Expedition films.  In this post, I focus on one unique trip -  the Citroen Croisiere Noire 1924 and Croisiere Jaune 1931 (Black Cruise 1924 / Yellow Cruise 1931)

A Wikipedia article - Croisière Noire , translated from French into English, describes the first trip as follows:
The Black Cruise , which runs from 28 October 1924 to 26 June 1925 , also known as the "Expedition Citroen Centre for Africa" or "2 e mission Haardt Audouin-Dubreuil, is one of the expeditions set up by André Citroën to increase awareness of its brand and to open a regular motor on the African continent . Indeed, although some browsers, like Felix Dubois in 1898 , tried testing vehicles in Africa, the results are inconclusive as the idea has remained in draft 1 .
Beyond mere advertisement, it is also an expedition to reach political, cultural and scientific. Cruise black and compensates the project's stagnant "Transsaharien" using, as noted by André Citroën in 1925, with lower initial investment and a shorter duration.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow in Africa

As the end of 2010 draws to a close, Europe is covered in a blanket of snow, and the UK is ground to a standstill, I thought I would take the opportunity to share about Snow in Africa.  During my BigSky Adventures overland trip, our first African country that we entered was Morocco.  Slowly the weather declined until we were left with a blanket of snow covering the high Atlas mountains.

On the 11th February 2005, I posted the follow diary update:
Travelling from El Ksiba towards the Todra Gorge means that you have to traverse the High Atlas mountain range. It was a fantastic experience travelling in this remote part of Morocco. We had started the day at 1,000m above sea level (asl) and eventually peaked around the 2,400m mark.  Mostly we had the road to ourselves but once every 20km we would see a truck coming towards us.

This was our only encounter of snow in 2005.  During our Mt Kilimanjaro trek, we saw the glacier in the distance but did not venture of the track as the wind was blowing a gale that morning.

Seeking out other areas in Africa that get snow include South Africa and Lesotho.

Additional Reading:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trailrider - Adventures & Ride Reports: On the Trail of Gideon Scheepers

Here's an excellent trip report published on the Trailrider website. The unique element is that the ride attempts to trace the route of a South African Boer war leader called Gideon Scheepers.

Unfortunately the author is not listed.

Enjoy the following:

Trailrider - Adventures & Ride Reports: On the Trail of Gideon Scheepers

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Land Rover vs Toyota: Which overlander?

Any idea what percentage of independent overland trips use Land Rover's vs Toyota's?  Read on to see what percentage of overland trips use Land Rover's vs Toyota's vs other vehicles.
Here are a few interesting statistics from The Africa Overland Network pages.  
Please note that these stats are generated from the independent overland websites listed on The Africa Overland Network.  Although they offer an interesting read, please keep in mind that not all overland travellers keep an online journal and I certainly have not captured all the overland websites that have been created to remember an independent overland trip.

Total Trips currently listed on the website (In-active websites excluded):
Total Trips

The trips are split between the following vehicle types:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Overland Live Webcast - Recorded Link

The Overland Live webcast this past Sunday was a good success.  The format of the 90min session included a very brief introduction following by an interesting talk from Frederik & Josephine (Radio Baobab).  They did a fantastic job inspiring us to think beyond our short overland trips and to plan for an extended trip.

You can listen and watch Sunday session here:  Overland Live Webcast

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Overland Live Webcast - Today is the day!

I am pretty excited about today.
The first Overland Live Webcast takes place later today (1900GMT).  We have had over 115 registrations for the live webcast session.  Many thanks goes to Frederik & Josephine for writing such a captivating trip report on their Congo experience and captivating overland enthusiasts to register for the live version.  If you missed the trip report, you can read it here: Radio Baobab

Registration is free to please click the link below to register to attend todays session.  We will be recording the event as well.

If you miss today's session, please sign up for our future events by clicking on the image below:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Overland Live Webcast

It's with huge excitement that I announce the Overland Live webcast series.  These live independent overland related travel webcasts are the first for the overland community.  It will give the audience the ability to listen live to key speakers.  Topics will range from overland journey's across the Congo, Trans-Americas and plenty of knowledge sharing on best practises.

Please visit www.overland-live.com for more information on these unique events.