Friday, January 28, 2011

Crossing the Congo – Alternative route in detail

Hi folks, my name is Nick and I am traveling with my wife (Vicki) from the UK to Cape Town in a Land Rover Defender 110. We started from the UK in May 2010 and hope to be in Cape Town Aug 2011, you can read all about the trip at  Martin Solms kindly invited me to contribute to Overland Live and so we thought as our first post we would offer information regarding a lost route, a theme that Martin recently reported on.

Well we made it from Gabon into Congo with no problems - just 100 miles of sand and a short drive down to the capital, Brazzaville.  We had been in Brazzaville for a few days and began to think about options for crossing the Congo River. In summary, the Brazzaville Kinshasa ferry crossing is expensive and involves a fair degree of haggling, hanging about and hassle.  Some fellow travellers recently reported being held at the gates and missed their ferry, had to pay port entrance fees with others paying for expensive disinfection charges, cranes and various forms of “help” etc …  in all it seems that you will be lucky to pay less than $100 with most people being charged approx $150 for a 4x4 and 2 people (bikes obviously get charged less).

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Jeep, A Sportsmobile & a Ford Bronco : Driving Arizona

In my mind, the vehicle brand names associated with overland adventures include Land Rover and Toyota.  However, in the States, the name Jeep stands out as an overlanders choice.  I was rather sceptical - surely a Jeep could not compete a Trans-continental trip like that of a Land Rover or Toyota?  I have been proved wrong.
Photo courtesy of Scott Brady

I have been fortunate enough to travel to the States for a work conference and to take a few days off to meet with Scott Brady from Expedition Portal and the Overland Journal magazine..  Scott kindly invited me to tag along with a group of keen overlanders from the Expedition Portal.  The plan was to tackle an old trail on the outskirts of Prescott, Arizona.  Our vehicle for the day was a Jeep Rubicon fitted with BFG mud terrains.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea Time

Throughout my BigSky Adventures trans-Africa trip, each day presented itself with a new set of challenges and new horizons to explore.  Our day's routine would consist of de-camping in the morning, driving, exploring and eventually the days travel would start to slow down as we started looking for that bushcamp spot.  The location would generally be off the road, tucked away in the bush.

The first chore that needed to be done, almost ritually, was to park the vehicle on level ground, open the back door and put the kettle on the boil.
The chairs would be opened, the tea pot and mugs dusted off and a single bag of our best Yorkshire tea would be added to the pot.

The whistle of the kettle indicated the water was boiled, and the tea would start to brew.  The days tension would slowly evaporate as the perfect cup of Yorkshire tea (in the middle of the African bush) was sipped slowly as we reflected on another incredible day in Africa.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breaking the Cycle

Breaking the Cycle.... I have been following this overland cycle trip for the last few months.  The unique aspect is that the cyclist, Kate, cycled from Senegal in an Easterly direction towards Somalia. You can read more about here website on The Africa Overland Network website.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Overland Live Webcast

The concept of the Overland Live webcasts is to add a face and voice to the many fantastic overland websites.  I have now finished two live sessions, with a good selection of guests lined up for the future.

Nathan and his postie motorbike called Dot
I am excited to announce a new guest: The Postman.  Nathan Millward had the idea to ride a motorbike from Sydney, Australia to London, UK.  The bike he chose for his Asia trip was an Australian Postie Honda 110cc motorbike.  His website, The Postman, was a huge success during his trip and his forum page (on ADVRider) attracted around 800 000 views.  As a result, he was requested to write a book, aptly named 'Going Postal' which is being published as we speak.

You can register on for Sunday 23rd January's live session.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Needing Inspiration - Just talk to an overlander...

I have just spend the last hour talking to Andrew and Anne about their overland trip across Africa.  After the call, I was on a high.  It just reminded me that overlanders love sharing the passion about Africa, independent travel and the joys of being on the road.

Looking for Inspiration? Just talk to an overlander!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Overland Live Webcast - Lost World Expedition

Just a quick reminder that our next Overland Live webcast is scheduled
for Sunday 9th January.

Our guests this week are Luis and Lacey and their current trip across
the Americas.  It should be an interesting talk as the couple are
still travelling in their Land Cruiser.

You can register for the event here:

Plus read more about their trip:

The webcast requires a broadband connection and will take place at
7pm GMT.

You can listen to a radio interview in which Luis participated:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Expedition Portal - Vehicle Selection

Need some additional reading on selecting the ultimate overlander and vehicle preparations...
Here are two articles by Scott Brady which are worth reading:

1. Selecting the ultimate Overlander
2. Vehicle preparations for overland travel