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 Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012

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GirlChild
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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:01 am

wideformat4x4 wrote:

I suppose tents are not ideal for longer trips the continuous packing and unpacking can become a chore and if your travelling with your house (so to speak) a permanent bed and kitchen set up has its attractions.

Good luck and don't forget more posts for us stuck at home thumbsup

Actually, the packing up and unpacking isn't that bad at all. You get into a routine and it becomes quick. Our design means it is no more efffort to cook and washup afterwards than in a permanent kitchen.

But, escaping the elements and a bit of privacy are what I miss Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:04 am

2nd February 2013

All too soon (or so it felt) we decided it was time to start moving again. Destination Dakar to sort out the next leg of the adventure.

Palmarin (where we had been staying at Djidjack) is located on a land tongue with the Atlantic on the one side and the Saloum river on the other. This makes it a very nice location for Hotels, Auberges and Campements. On our way out, we stopped in at the very exclusive Lodge des Collines de Niassam. Here, some of the rooms nestle among branches of the large baobab trees and the resort boasts splendid views over the river delta and the mangroves – very romantic. We had a quick wander around before saying farewell to the little village that had been so welcoming to us.

From Palmarin, we meandered our way northwards towards the sprawling capital. Our route took us through Petite Cote – one of the more touristy places in Senegal. Lots of little villages are dotted all the way up the coast – so we stopped in at a few.

Mbodiene Plage was an unexpected gem along the way. Completely hidden from view it reminded me so much of the small seaside towns of my youth in South Africa: little seaside houses facing over the lagoon with a few B&Bs and hotels. Truly magic and highly recommended. We parked the vehicle and wandered along the shores of the little lagoon. We were then invited to enjoy the swimming pool and wifi at an auberge (for the cost of a coke of course!!)

Nianing was a charming little spot to stop for lunch. There were numerous restaurants – which all seemed to attract good crowds, and we found a lovely little shop selling Senegalese fabric. Of course, we couldn’t resist purchasing a piece of material to be made into clothing later. The tourism boom is certainly coming, and the number and variety of accommodation exceeded what the guide book had to tell us.

Saly is the place most geared up towards the European tourist we have seen, complete with European style hotels and lots of restaurants. There were even small supermarkets! It felt rather odd after our quiet camping in Djidjack. All of sudden we no longer felt that we were in Africa, but back on a European coastal resort.

We had decided to stay over at Popenguine on the way up, but it was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. The campement we wanted to stay at is located in a part of the village bordering on a small nature reserve. Both the nature reserve and campement are run by a local women’s co-operative which generates valuable income for the village. However, it seemed to me that the fact it was a co-operative gave them free rein to raise the price and lower the standard. The local ladies also were rather persistent in selling their wares. All in all, disappointing. We did, however, go to the local “Italian” restaurant where we enjoyed a very good “yassa”.

Getting closer to Dakar, we stopped past Reserve de Bandia. It is a slightly artificial set up: a small park of only 3,500 hectares of naturally restored vegetation with lots of imported wild animals – sadly poaching and “demographic pressures” had reduced the numbers over time. You are virtually guaranteed to see wildlife! However, the cost is fairly pricey (for those on long term travel) and so we opted to sit at the restaurant and drink coffee while watching the birds and the crocodiles in the watering hole. It was still an enjoyable stop.

And then, we reached the Big City … but more about that later.

(photos on the blog)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
rgds

African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:05 am

Kapp2Cape meets London2CapeTown

9th Feb 2013

There aren’t a lot of travellers out there at the moment – so it is always a special treat to meet up with other adventurers.

We first met Dan & Kumi in Rabat in December last year when we were all sorting out visas for Mauritania. I noticed Dan on his bicycle because he had a little South African flag flying – not something we came across before or again. We stopped and had Moroccan tea together before going on our separate ways again.

Despite our different modes of transportation, we all ended up in Dakar at about the same time. It was wonderful to catch up again – and compare our very different experiences of travelling from Rabat to Dakar. These guys are legends – make no mistake. However tough it was for us in a vehicle, it paled in comparison to their cycling through the heat, wind and sands of the Sahara.

Although we weren’t staying in the same hotel, we managed to meet up a few times. One day – before Kumi flew back to the UK – we took the 20min ferry out to Ile de Goree. The Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Senegal opposite Dakar. It is a symbol for the slave trading during 15th to 19th centuries, and reports seem to differ on the size of the salve trading from there. We opted not to take a guide, so perhaps missed out on the detailed history of the tiny island, but still enjoyed wandering around. It seems frozen in time – no major construction in the last while, but still inhabited. It is hugely touristy, and you can’t move without being hassled by a guide, a lady selling jewellery or an artist peddling his paintings. We wandered up to the top of the lookout hill with its large gun, wandered through the art display near the port and strolled thought the history on display in the old fort (unfortunately all in French). We enjoyed a traditional Senegalese lunch (yassa) before catching the ferry back to Dakar. All in all, an interesting day.

It was so lovely to spend relaxed time just chatting – about Life, the Universe and everything in it! We lazed on the beach (their hotel had a stunning beach) or sat drinking coffee. Other adventurers are always so interesting to chat to – and Viking Explorer and I really enjoyed their perspectives on the world.

But all good things come to an end. Kumi’s adventure was done. She caught a flight and returned to the chilly weather of the UK. Dan has also left now, packing up his bike and flying to Windhoek in Namibia. His adventure is not done yet – he still has a 1,600km stretch to cover from Windhoek to Cape Town before flying back to the UK. As I said – a legend.

We so look forward to meeting up with our new friends again.

(PS – if you want to see about their amazing, inspiring adventure, head over to their blog: london2capetown.net)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

rgds
African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:09 am

Hey everyone!!

Please scroll up and read our updates! We are in Dakar at the moment.

While I have your attention, I just want to say a very big thanks to everyone for their support. I don't really know how people managed these adventures in the past without the internet, email, skype, forums ...

Anyway, enough mush from me ...

until next time!
African GirlChild & Viking Explorer

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:16 am

Always nice to here from you two, and read up on your traveling, keep on enjoying you must have a few albums of photos just make sure you don't end up over weight, Embarassed forgot they will be on memory sticks. clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:20 am

Hi you two. Remember, no matter what life throws at you out there, just think of us poor souls stuck over here. To prove the point ... it's snowing again. Brrrrrrr!!!!!! No


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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:20 pm

Two very important points: 1) Africa changes quickly; 2) It isn’t about what you know, it is who you know…

We were in Tambacounda in Senegal when the French decided to intervene in Mali, and we were at the campsite in Palmarin when the five people were killed in Casamance. It really confirmed our decision to ship our vehicle from Dakar to Cape Town. Here is what we experienced:

Our initial contact with the shippers started Monday 28 Jan. After several broken promises of quotes, and two replies of “no, we cannot help you”, we realised we had to go into Dakar to knock some doors down.

We arrived at our hotel in Dakar, and met Dominic at reception. We decided that it wouldn’t hurt to ask for help, and so we asked if he knew someone in shipping. Turns out a close relative of his regularly ships from Dakar to the UK, and might be able to help. And even better, she was in Dakar at the moment and might be able to stop by the hotel to chat to us.

Malika arrived the next morning (Monday) and announced that she also needed to talk to her shippers, so we could join her if we wanted. We arrived at Delmas Shipping and met Pauline, who Malika has dealt with before. A quick request to Pauline and we had a quote in hand! The quote stated 50 days, but on further enquiry the schedule came down to 19 days (the rest was safety margin…). Pauline then introduced us to Ousseynou who would be our Freight Forwarder for the shipping, and he gave us a quote for his services. Having the shipper and the Freight Forwarder in the same company is definitely a plus! Ousseynou also indicated that we could load the container the following day.

Tuesday we drove down to the offices, armed with our Carnet and Passports. We had to get both stamped by customs, and followed an assistant to customs to have it all sorted. The customs officer was very understanding, and stamped the Carnet with an exit date corresponding with the vessel departure date. After lunch we jumped into the vehicle and followed Ousseynou to the container yard to load. It turned out to be a very long process with lots of waiting. At one stage it looked like we would have to leave the vehicle there over night, but we managed to look sufficiently irritated and we finally loaded after 3.5 hours. Carnet stamped, passport stamped, vehicle loaded, container locked and sealed. Looking good!

Wednesday we went back to the offices to pay, we thought. When we arrived we had to fill in another form, but no payment was taken. We asked, several times, if there was anything else we needed to do. “There is no problem” was the reply, so we left the offices for the day.

Thursday morning I wake up to an email saying they want an inventory for the vehicle. I send a list of 8 bullet points, but this is not enough – they need a detailed list (down to the number of socks and undies…). I suspect this has something to do with customs, but not sure where and how (I guess we’ll find out). Slightly tricky as said vehicle was already sealed in a container, but we did our best. That sent off, we tried to relax the rest of the day.

Friday we decided to go back into the offices to ensure they had everything they needed and to maybe pay. As we sat waiting the big boss came to see us. He said he was concerned that we had been there so many times that week, and wanted to know if everything was OK. We said we were waiting for Ousseynou and he promptly went over and had a chat. When we spoke to Ousseynou again he was noticeably more stressed than ten minutes earlier. We said we only wanted to ensure he had all the information he needed, and after an affirmative answer we left the office for the weekend (we thought). Around lunchtime I received a slightly panicked phone call from Ousseynou asking me to “come to the container depot with the Carnet now now now”. Turns out the customs at the depot needed to see it again (although he had witnessed the loading himself) so that he could make some notes on the back of the Draft Bill of Lading. After that, one of the other Delmas Agents needed the Carnet to go to the Port Authorities to do some more paperwork. Ousseynou looked visibly shaken and stressed, and made several references to his boss calling him repeatedly.

Monday again (following week) and I wake up to an email saying that Ousseynou will contact me as soon as the ship has departed, so that we can come and pay and receive the original Bill of Lading (which we need to get the vehicle out of the container and start the Carnet process in South Africa). Looks like it has all been sorted, and that we can fly out in a few days.

Tuesday rolls around, and we still have not heard from Ousseynou. We call, and he again says he will call us when we can come to pick the paperwork up. We are starting to lose patience, so we decide to go down to the offices to see what’s going on. When we get there Pauline asks if we want to pay, and we say yes. The process of sorting out the Invoice and the original Bill of Lading then starts, and again nothing is straight forward… The original quote was in USD for the shipping and in EUR for the freight forwarding. Turns out I cannot pay in USD and EUR, only in CFA. Do I have CFA? No. So I need to go change. But the banks are closed at 1640, so we have to use a Bureau de Change. The cashiers at the shipping company close at 1630, but fortunately they had stayed open for me to pay. I was not impressed at this time, so it was a good thing I could pay. Payment done, I received the receipt, and could then go to collect the Original Bill of Lading. Finally we were done.

Thursday, and we are at the airport passport check. I go first, and the customs officer asks how I entered the country. I answer by car via Diama Dam, and he then wants to know about the car. Because we were adamant that the car exit should be stamped into African GirlChild’s passport we show him that stamp, and all is good and it is all smiles. Process is now finally completed on the Senegal side, and all three of us have safely and officially exited Senegal.

Here are some of the facts and points to remember:
• Meet up at the offices in person. You will likely not get very far over the phone or via email.
• Try to arrange for a Freight Forwarder (Transiteur) that works for the same company, as this avoids handover problems and issues around area of responsibility.
• Have a detailed inventory ready.
• The container depot will likely not have lashings and tie-downs or padlocks. In Dakar there are hardware stores on every street corner so rope and load straps are not difficult to get.
• This is a very stressful process (at least we found it to be) and will be very frustrating at times.
• The Freight Forwarder will probably not have done this before, so he will not understand the pressure you are putting on him. Only his boss can apply that pressure.
• We had to run around a bit as we wanted to hang on to the Carnet and the Passport. If you are willing to leave the Carnet and the Passport with the Freight Forwarder it may be slightly easier.
• Ensure you get the car stamped into your passport on arrival, and that it is stamped out in your passport on exit. It makes life so much easier.
• Don’t wait for the Freight Forwarder to ring you after the departure of the vessel. Be impatient and go to their offices to pay and to retrieve all paperwork.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We have put some photos on the blog if you want to know how much space I had left over in the container.

I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have about the finer details of the process.

Cheers,

VE
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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:28 am

Sounds very stressful, I think I might have hit someone, glad you got it all done, hope it is easier in cape town.
we await to hear from you when you get their. clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:03 pm

Phew, so much hassle. We await the next gripping installment, especially your flight in a rickity old 1947 Douglas Dakota following the coastline all the way south because, apart from a basic needle compass, it has no electronic navigation on board.

Ludicrous? Not really, anything is possible on that continent. C'est l'afrique!

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:56 pm

What a load of hassle, but hey your not at work doing a 9 to 5 so as they say a bad day traveling better than a good day at the office.
Enjoy thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:51 pm

I was kind of wondering how you two were going to handle West Africa and Central Africa. Stable, safe countries are in pretty short supply at the moment heading east from Senegal. I am sure it would be possible to slip through safely but there is a big difference between being determined and being foolish. I think you made a great decision. Hopefully you will get to enjoy some explorations through the Namib, Kalahari, Drakenburgs and all those other great spots in the south without living with the constant tension of insecure environments.

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:16 am

yea as tembo said...i think you made the right decision . Crying or Very sad ..a hard one but the right one... cheers1 .

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:29 am

Kapps, Caps, Cabos and Capes

As a wise lady (Viking Explorer’s sister, of course) wrote on the blog: “It’s like a book, really – you flip the page, and the story takes an unexpected turn… Looking forward to the next chapter ”.

And here it is – the next chapter.

Kapp2Cape seems to be taking on a life of its own – and it clearly wants to be even bigger than our original dream of Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas. Rather than complete the epic journey and adventure in one trip, it seems that the adventure will exist in multiple shorter stages.

So, we are going with the flow on this one, and giving our dream – Kapp2Cape – wings to grow.

In its revised format, Kapp2Cape will become numerous stage journeys from one cape to another: “Kapp” representing Viking Explorer’s native language, and “Cape” representing African GirlChild’s.

Kapp2Cape no longer represents a single journey which would inevitably conclude. It is no longer limited to the north-south route from Norway to South Africa. Like our good friends at Global Adventures, Kapp2Cape wants to represent the whole world! There are clearly lots of ‘Kapp’s, ‘Cap’s, ‘Cabo’s and ‘Cape’s that need connecting.

This is really exciting for us. It allows our dream to exist beyond the original timeframe.

This new format gives us unlimited options to continue the adventure for many years (even if we have to take inevitable breaks in between to generate more resources).

But the spirit of Kapp2Cape remains the same.

Our love of wildlife, nature and wilderness continues to be our motivation. Wildlife is rapidly diminishing and we’ll continue to try and experience it before it is only preserved in zoos, photographs and memories.

And so, we celebrate the successful completion of Stage 1: from Kapp (a small town outside Oslo in Norway) to Cap Vert, (the peninsula in Senegal where Dakar is located). It has been a truly memorable 127 days on the road. There have been ups and downs, highlights and lowlights, and we have learned an immense amount about ourselves. We have met some amazing people along the way – many whom we hope to keep in touch with.

Excitingly, it isn’t long until the next stage: Stage 2 starts in Cape Town … as soon as Brodie emerges from his container …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'til next time!
rgds
African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:32 am

roamingman wrote:
Sounds very stressful, I think I might have hit someone, glad you got it all done, hope it is easier in cape town.
we await to hear from you when you get their. clinking teacups

Yeah - us too! We have found ourselves a clearing agent - someone recommended and been in the business 40 years. So far, our chats with him have given us confidence. Long may it last ...

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:35 am

wideformat4x4 wrote:
What a load of hassle, but hey your not at work doing a 9 to 5 so as they say a bad day traveling better than a good day at the office.
Enjoy thumbsup

Precisely!! Not missing the day job and corporate nonsense one little bit Wink

One of our favourite parts of the travelling has been meeting people - and exchanging as much information and knowledge as possible in the hope of making it easier for everyone! (just like everyone on here too!!)

Not very corporate now is it?!?! Wink Heaven forbid that concept catch on ... tongue

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:44 am

Tembo wrote:
I was kind of wondering how you two were going to handle West Africa and Central Africa. Stable, safe countries are in pretty short supply at the moment heading east from Senegal. I am sure it would be possible to slip through safely but there is a big difference between being determined and being foolish. I think you made a great decision. Hopefully you will get to enjoy some explorations through the Namib, Kalahari, Drakenburgs and all those other great spots in the south without living with the constant tension of insecure environments.

Tembo - there are still travellers on the road who are going through ... but our risk tolerance was just much lower I guess.

I decided one day to check if I was making myself unduly paranoid by reading FCO travel advisories for Mali, Guinea etc. So, I read the FCO advisory for Namibia and Botswana instead ...

While Guinea is still 'green' you are warned of terrorism, checkpoints, theft at gunpoint, cholera and Malaria ...

Botswana?
"Wildlife and livestock on roads are a hazard, particularly at night
Carry some form of identification with you at all times. A photocopy of your passport is sufficient."

That was enough convincing for me.

No regrets shipping the vehicle.


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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:45 am

tuggy wrote:
yea as tembo said...i think you made the right decision . Crying or Very sad ..a hard one but the right one... cheers1 .

Agreed. Not an easy decision, but we have no regrets.

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:47 am

Tom Mc wrote:
Phew, so much hassle. We await the next gripping installment, especially your flight in a rickity old 1947 Douglas Dakota following the coastline all the way south because, apart from a basic needle compass, it has no electronic navigation on board.

Ludicrous? Not really, anything is possible on that continent. C'est l'afrique!

hehehehe - yeah, not to mention the duck tape holding everything together tongue

Next gripping installment? - scroll up (and previous page) to read it!

(and another installment in the next day or so too ...)

until next time!!
African GirlChild



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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:18 pm

Botswana is definitely brilliant! I think you will enjoy that...but yes, my hard rule in southern Africa is that when the sun sets that is where you are spending the night. I have seen what happens when a vehicle travelling 50mph hits a hippo on the road at night. I remember traveling down a tar road in Botswana and coming around a corner to find the two biggest bull elephants I have ever seen bracketing the road. They were both facing in opposite directions away from the tar munching on tree tops and I had to slowly inch between them...pretty much waiting for the moment one or both took offence... but that is one of the pleasures of being in a place where you don't need to be in a remote national park to come across wildlife.

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:52 am

Budget Update - Senegal

As promised, we have been tracking trip costs so that others have some idea of what may be incurred. Of course, at the end of the day, it does all depend on your own choices.

The Central African Franc (CFA) is the currency in Senegal and other parts of west Africa. It is apparently pegged to the Euro at 650 CFA = 1 euro. This seemed to hold at official changing places, but often hotels and campements would allow payment in euros and used a slightly less favourable exchange rate.

Fuel continued to be a significant portion of the daily budget. We filled fuel before we left Mauritania, as we had heard fuel was more expensive in Senegal. It was. Diesel was about 790 CFA per litre (approx. £1). However, it is still much cheaper than in Europe and the UK!

Our dream of wild camping was quickly dashed in Senegal. There was almost nowhere where we travelled where we could park up away from a village or settlement. So, we camped – in a huge variety of campsites. The price charged seemed to bear little association with the facilities offered! In addition, some campsites charged the government tourist tax (1,000 CFA), and some not. The cheapest camping was surprisingly the best! Djidjack was 2,5000 CFA pppn. Most camping was 7,500 – 10,000 CFA for both of us. The most expensive was at Wassadou, where we had to eat an evening meal (10,800 CFA for both) in addition to the camping (5,800 CFA for both) and government tax (1,000 CFA each).

As mentioned in other posts, compulsory guides are both expensive, not to mention annoying (and don’t necessarily add value). Guides ranged from 5,000CFA to 10,000CFA per day.

Fresh fruit seemed to be mostly imported. Pawpaws and watermelon seemed to be locally grown, and were available regionally. Bananas and apples (and some oranges) appeared to be imported. In the regions, vegetables looked locally produced, and a reasonable variety was available in the markets. In Dakar, the quality improved dramatically, and I suspect it was imported.

Rice is the staple dish in Senegal. ‘yassa’ is rice with deep fried fish or chicken, and a spicy onion sauce. ‘thiéboudienne’ (my favourite) is rice and marinated fish cooked with tomato paste and a variety of vegetables. In a local restaurant we paid about 500 – 1,000 CFA; in more tourist areas this somehow increased to 3,000 – 4,500 CFA!

Dakar is always touted as an expensive city, particularly due to a lack of camping facilities. We managed to find a reasonably priced hotel (Hotel SouSoum) where we paid 26,000 CFA for a double room per night. We ate very locally – the breakfast bar was a tiny kiosk outside the hotel where enormous, delicious omelette baguettes cost 1,300 CFA for 2. The coffee shop over the road had a bench, rear car seat and sofa surrounding a gas cooker with a pot of ‘cafe touba’. Coffee was 50 CFA for a small cup. We had 2 small restaurants a block away – a mere 3 tables each. ‘Yassa’ and ‘thiéboudienne’ cost 500 – 1,000 CFA.

Taxis are certainly a feature of any sojourn in Dakar. The important thing is to negotiate the price before getting in! Before long, you’ll learn how much a trip of a certain distance should cost. It cost us about 3,000 CFA to travel from the hotel to the port region (a trip we did a lot!).

All in all, our daily budget in Senegal was a little over £40, which included all associated border fees, but excluding shipping costs. It was very much helped by our stay in Djidjack – inexpensive camping, no driving and consuming our stock of food in preparation of shipping the vehicle. Excluding our stay in Djidjack, we estimate a more representative budget at a little over £50 per day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
til next time!

African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:49 am

Back to weekly updates while we wait for the trusty steed ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Johannesburg, South Africa

It almost feels like we are back in preparation mode … so it feels quite natural to fall back into my weekly “preparation” update posts – only this time they are “between stages” updates.

When we arrived in South Africa, we thought we had only a few days until our vehicle arrived. We had our clearing agent all lined up, and family in Cape Town eagerly awaiting our arrival. Viking Explorer then contacted the shipping company, to find that they had done the world’s fastest transhipment in Abidjan … and moved our container from one ship to the next within 48 hours. Apparently, unheard of. Unfortunately, this ship is taking the scenic route of west Africa, rather than the express service we had been quoted on. So, rather than arriving on 1st March, the vehicle will now arrive some time between 20th and 29th March.

It would have been so easy to get annoyed, frustrated and angry. It would have been so easy to stamp feet and throw toys.

But we have opted to look on the bright side – it gives us time to relax, spend time with friends and family in Johannesburg, and start our planning for stage 2.

We continue to enjoy the glorious weather that we became accustomed to in Senegal – blue skies and hot hot hot! I still haven’t quite shaken the old habit of waking up and expecting UK grey skies … and am almost surprised every morning with the blue skies and beautiful sunshine.

This week we have started getting fit again. After 4 months of driving and sitting, we are both horribly out of shape. We have started running and walking. We have a great walk/run program which gradually builds up time. We started at 6 minutes when we arrived, and today we already clocked half an hour – followed by a half hour walk. It feels great and we’ll keep working at it.

We have started planning our tour of southern Africa. We have purchased maps of Botswana and Namibia and a few 4×4 and travel magazines. (Botswana and Namibia are at the top of the priority list!) We have spent hours reading about where we want to visit next, and the logistics of border crossings in the south.

Johannesburg also has many outdoor and 4×4 stores, and so we have been getting quotes for the few additions and repairs we need. Of course, it would be much easier if we had the vehicle, but we have been relatively successful.

And we have enjoyed being in Johannesburg and experiencing yet another country! We had to giggle as we passed a mosque when Friday prayers finished. It was such a sharp contrast to the Friday prayers in Morocco: the men (some even dressed traditionally) exited the mosque – and climbed into their luxury automobiles! Jaguars, BMWs, Mercedes and even Bentleys …

We continue to experience the friendliness we have been enjoying in our adventure through Africa. A smile and a “hello, how are you” elicits grins from most people we come into contact with, and a helpful attitude. Maybe we have also had a change in our approach to the world …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Until next time!

rgds
African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:04 pm

"started getting fit again after 4 months of driving and sitting, we are both horribly out of shape. We have started running and walking"

I can think of more fun ways of exercising, but I guess with the enforced delay you'll have plenty of time for that too! Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:18 am

Thanks for that Tom Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:20 am


And so passes another week of waiting for the vehicle – but what an amazing week it has been!

The highlight of the week was meeting up with our dear friends Noel and Ping – again! We travelled with them for a week when we first entered Morocco all those months ago. Then, we met up with them again outside Agadir for a day. It was so wonderful to have a lazy lunch with them and swap stories. They had driven through Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire into Ghana before shipping their vehicle from Tema, Ghana to Durban, South Africa. While our vehicles arrive into different ports at different times, we hope that we’ll be able to meet up in Namibia and travel together for a while. A long while even.

This has spurred us into action to do some planning. We have started looking at Namibia and Botswana in detail, while paying cursory looks at Mozambique. It all looks very interesting, although the costs are certainly higher than we enjoyed in Morocco and Senegal. We’ll have to choose the national parks we want to visit, and may need to actually make bookings, rather than merely turn up as we did in west Africa. Interestingly, there are some places where you can only travel with another vehicle – in the case of a breakdown you may wait a few days before seeing another person or getting help! It seems slightly surreal to us that after west Africa, where we never felt we were ever far from some sort of habitation – we may really find wilderness areas that are truly, truly far from the madding crowd. Now, we just need a second vehicle Wink

We spent quite a bit of time at Outdoor Warehouse this week. Most of it was browsing the very few items we need to add to the vehicle (gas bottles, reflective stickers) but we also picked up some useful travel pamphlets for cross border travel into Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Although aimed at the South African traveller in a South African registered vehicle, it is still very useful. They also have very useful packing lists. (We’ll upload copies for everyone). We found kits to repair tent poles – so at least now we can attempt to repair the broken pole on our ground tent.

We have started investigating solar power for the vehicle and are going to visit BushPower on Monday to find out more and see what systems they have. While we aren’t necessarily ready to make the investment, it would be good to use this time we have to learn more about the technology and requirements.

We are awaiting quotes for the tiny bit of work that needs doing on the vehicle – clutch replacement and securing of the bashplate underneath.

We should also find out more about the whereabouts of the vehicle. We know that it was successfully offloaded in Pointe Noir earlier in the week, and was due to be transhipped over the weekend, hopefully onto a ship heading for Cape Town! Our clearing agent is all lined up with all our paperwork in hand.

But rather that just waiting around in Johannesburg, we are off to Kruger Park this coming week! May as well see some of South Africa before touring the region. We are doing a week long course, which covers (amongst others) ecology, geology, trees, animal tracks and tracking, bird identification and behaviour, amphibians and reptiles, orientation and navigation. The only classroom here – nature herself! Can’t wait. We look forward to putting all this learning to excellent use as we explore southern Africa.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
until next time!

rgds
African GirlChild

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PostSubject: Re: Kapp 2 Cape: Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas starting Oct 2012   Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:02 am

GirlChild wrote:

We are awaiting quotes for the tiny bit of work that needs doing on the vehicle – clutch replacement and securing of the bashplate underneath.
Fly Tuggy in, he'll sort it! He's getting itchy feet and could do with a holiday. Wink

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