Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kinshasa to Lumbumbashi - August 2014 Update

It took 39 days for Frederick and Josephine to head North from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa. In August 2014, it took 13 days for Elias and Christina (Mad Nomad) traveling on two Honda XR 250s.  Could this become the new primary route South?
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)
We were still trying to realize that we travelled from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi in just 13 days! This is a route which is considered almost impassable and we haven’t met anyone in this country who has tried it. Sure, it was important that we were using two of the most suitable motorcycles for this kind of use and they were properly equipped. However, of course, we faced some mechanical failures in that rough terrain but we were prepared for them and we could fix them. After all, nothing stopped us and we achieved to become one of those few foreigners who have explored one of the most unspoilt African countries. Finally, our trip in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was much more pleasant than expected… - See more at:
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)
Read the full report on the Mad Nomad website:
Photo: Mad Nomad (DRC August 2014)

Additional Reading:

October 2009 - Lost Route (West to East Africa)
October 2010 - Trip Report: Radio Baobab (Lubumbashi to Kinshasa, Congo)
April 2012 - Congo Overland - Kinshasa to Lubumbashi
November 2013 - Don't Miss the Ferry

Personally, I like the fact that overlanders always find a way when borders between countries constantly open and close.  Perhaps this route will become popular again over the next few years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lurking under the crust... experiences on the Makgadikgadi pans

The track to Kubu Island
A recent blog post by Laws & Hookey, the team from "Where the fook is (laws &) hooke" prompted my memories and experiences on the Makgadikgadi pan and Nxai pans in Botswana.

The Makgadikgadi Pans are situated roughly halfway between Maun and Nata and is a tempting diversion between the two towns...
Makgadikgadi Pans 2005
My first experience of the pans were in 1993 but the real story started in 1994 when I attempted to hitchhike from Pretoria to Maun in Botswana. My experience of hitchhiking was limited to cities and not cross border trips! My backpack was filled with unnecessary equipment and even included a BBQ grid! My travel partner and I were not compatible and hardly a word was spoken between the two of us but the security of a traveling partner outweighed the disadvantage of compatibility!