A WORLD-FIRST LAND ROVER SUPPORTED ODYSSEY TO COMPLETE EVERY COUNTRY IN AFRICA

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Dispatch #22: Bandits and rebels ahead

In N’djamena, capital city of Chad, preparing to journey South to the Central African Republic. Great back-up from Gert du Preez who heads up the South African Embassy here. It’s the wonderful support from fellow South Africans that makes a journey like this possible and proud to be South African.

We are told to take the road South via Moundon and across to Sarh – the undergrowth is not so thick, so less chance of bandits. Concerned about the crossing into the C.A.R. and the 600km Sarh to Bangui. REBELS have taken over a government stronghold in the North East – We’ll keep you posted!

Dispatch #23: An encounter with the rebel commander

We feel lucky to be alive and to have survived a crossing through rebel held territory in Northern Central African Republic. Just us with 30 camo clad soldiers armed with AK’s, rocket-propelled grenades and vehicle-mounted light machine guns.

Then a meeting with the Rebel commander, scarifications on his face and fetishes draped around his neck. A scary ragtag lot armed with everything from shot guns to bows and arrows, pangas, dope and palm wine.

Luck is on our side the rebel commander gives us a letter of safe passage that once the military convoy has left us allows us through rebel check points – a challenging experience that finally brings our All Afrika Expedition Landy and its exhausted occupants through to the safety of a Catholic Mission Station at Kaga-Bandora. – We’ll keep you posted.

Dispatch #24: Meeting the President

The Land Rover supported All Afrika Expedition has reached Bangui in time for the Central African Republic’s 50th anniversary. We have met with the President and did UAM work with the First Lady, supported by a team flown into Bangui in a SAAF C130 and by Vimbazela, a special South African Defence Force unit that is helping to train C.A.R. military defend the county against rebels in the north and north east of the country.

With the support of the Jane Goodall Institute, the expedition was also able to assist with the rescue of a chimp named Claude who flew back to South Africa with the team.

Dispatch #25:    A plan comes together

It’s great when a plan comes together as Ross Holgate, French speaker Deon Schürmann and SA4x4 editor Patrick Cruywagen also arrived safely in Bangui. This team had been chosen to do the ‘Return Dash’ through Cameroon where Kingsley and Mashozi will jump off to go into Equatorial Guinea, leaving the ‘Return Dash’ team to bring the Landy back to Accra via Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso. But before leaving the C.A.R. we all need to go in search of forest elephants.

Dispatch #26:    A highlight of the expedition

Greetings from Dzangha Sangha Reserve in the safe-to-travel South-western corner of the C.A.R. where the expedition is being hosted by wildlife expert and fellow South African Rod Cassidy who owns the Sangha Lodge.

On foot with local pygmy guides, Rod takes us to a pan in the rain forest for one of the most unforgettable wildlife experiences, as over a hundred forest elephant gather to drink, one of the great highlights of our Land Rover supported All Afrika Expedition that has taken us from the Gulf of Guinea to the heart of the Congo Basin.

Rod Cassidy assists with UAM work ensuring that his dedicated team receive mosquito nets and Rite to Sight glasses for the elders in the village – and of course we leave him with a bottle of Captain Morgan. He is one of Africa’s great characters. To visit Rod, go to

www.sanghalodge.com

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Dispatch #27:    Our expedition hangs in the balance

Please hold thumbs for us. With just one country to go so as to complete the continent, the All Afrika Expedition hangs in the balance – after three months of negotiation, STILL NO PERMISSION to cross over to Malabo in Equatorial Guinea. What now!? Stuck in Yaoundé, Cameroon hoping for a miracle. The South African High Commissions in Cameroon and Malabo are pulling out all the stops. We have come too far to fail now. We will have an answer within the next 24hrs. We’ll keep you posted.

Dispatch #28:    Hoping for a miracle

We are still nail biting in Yaoundé. We are on the edge and hoping for a miracle, I suppose one has to understand the situation, it was only recently that South African mercenaries with the alleged support of Margaret Thatcher’s son were imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea, accused of trying to overthrow the government and here Kingsley is looking unkept and bearded.

BUT the difference is that all his adventures are about Saving And Improving Lives. And so the All Afrika Expedition still awaits visas and permission to cross the ocean to Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea so as to complete ALL AFRICA. Land Rover, thanks for being part of this world first challenge….3hrs to go.

Dispatch #29: We can smell victory

GOD FAVOURS THE BRAVE. Thanks to incredible support from the South African High Commissioner in Cameroon, our Embassy in Equatorial Guinea and Themba Thabete, Acting Chief Director, Central Africa: DIRCO and backed by the Royal Zulu House who knows the President, we have been given visas and permission to cross to Malabo and so complete all Afrika. Our Spirits Are Up And We Can Smell Victory.

Dispatch #30: Zen of Travel
Great news! The Zen of Travel and Adventure smiles on our Land Rover supported All Afrika Expedition as with visas and permissions in hand, we race towards Douala and our short crossing of the Gulf of Guinea to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. It’s a dream come true.