Route One is the only route officially open,
and that should be taken with a grain of salt. It starts in Tanger Morocco, and
then follows the West Coast, sometimes along the beach itself, South to
Nouakchott in Mauritania or Dakar in Senegal. The border crossing between
Morocco and Mauritania is not officially open since these countries are so
unfriendly towards each other. You have to join a military convoy and go through
an eight mile minefield (yes, land mines) to cross. The route then turns east
through Mali, Burkina and Niger to Chad.
Route Two is not currently open. It starts
in Tunis, Tunisia and heads West and South through Algeria. It drops into Mali
East of Timbuktu and then turns east through Niger to Chad.
Route Three may or may not be open right now,
but is the route I would very much like to take. It starts in Tunis and heads
South through Algeria crossing through Tamanrasset and going into Niger. It then
turns East to Chad.
Route Four is open only when the Egyptian
government is being nice. It starts in Alexandria or Port Said and heads South
through Egypt to Sudan via the crossing at Wadi Halfa. According to several
reports by people who have done it, crossing through Egypt is an absolute
nightmare of bureaucracy and paperwork with many bribe requests thrown in. I
would only use this route as a last resort.
with the elimination of Route Four, we are left in Chad. From Chad we head into
Sudan then turn South once more to Uganda. From Uganda on, the political
situation eases considerably, and the route decisions move from which country to
Uganda East to Kenya, Kenya South to Tanzania, South to Malawi and West to
Southern Africa is a maze of incredible places to visit, so the route cannot be
defined so far in advance. Unfortunately with the political troubles in
Zimbabwe, that country may well be off limits by the time we get there. Botswana
and Namibia are crucial to see and then, of course, South Africa. We plan to
have a leisurely time in South Africa heading South to Cape Town. From there we
leave and the vehicles get shipped back.
months and almost 10,000 miles! It should be an incredible trip.
September 25, 2003 The only constant is change.
Since we originally planned our route over a year ago, the political situation
in Africa has changed considerably. In February of 2003, 32 European tourists
were kidnapped in Algeria. They were released in August, but needless to say we
won’t be following their route. That leaves route 1 as our only option. To
further complicate matters, according to travelers who have attempted the
crossing recently, the Chad-Sudan border is closed due to fighting in Western
Sudan. A peace treaty was signed in the middle of September between the warring
factions, and we hope that the border will reopen before we arrive. If it does
not, we intend to follow in the footsteps of other intrepid travelers who have
successfully navigated a route along the west coast of the continent through
Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Angola. See
www.expeditionoverland.com for more on their adventures