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 Overlanding...sustainable?

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Tembo
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PostSubject: Overlanding...sustainable?   Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:05 am

Having read and agreed with Kapp2Cape's decision to ship their vehicle from Senegal to Cape Town it added another example to my thoughts on overlanding in the next 5-10 years. It seems that an increasing swath of regions are becoming more and more dangerous. Given that I work in the international aid industry in a security role I am faced with statistics everyday. This industry, like overlanders, used to say that they were just 'humanitarians' and neutral...so should be safe. But the figures show an increasing number of attacks on anyone percieved as 'western' regardless of why you are present or travelling in a given area. By and large, people all over the world are just as friendly and welcoming in communities from Iran to Pakistan to Congo...but there are always elements lingering nearby that aren't so friendly.

I have been nursing plans to drive around the world in stages over the next ten years but it is getting harder to find places where as a white guy, in a 4x4 valued by terrorists and rebel armies everywhere, I can get a good night's sleep.
While on one hand all this insecurity is great for my business (I am running security trainings in 5 countries over the next three months) it is not so good for my beloved pastime...

So would be interested in hearing other members thoughts on this.

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:24 am

Couldn't agree more! I have visited Africa often and always had a hankering to circum navigate in the truck. But as you say, there are now far to many "obstacles"

So, I've been following fromAtoB.org by truck (Alaska to Brazil) over the past year or so and they have not had any problems at all, even in the South where the Cartels are supposed to rule. They have the same Leyland DAF and have only had minor issues at borders etc. As their last post states (they are at the Argentine tip going on to camp in Antartica) "the experience will last for ever but you'll soon forget the cost"

So, if I weigh it all up, and as much as I love Africa, I'm being tempted to ship out to Halifax and start the run south.
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:13 am

"Tembo the Technical" ... it does have a ring to it. Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:41 am

Although I would love to travel further afield I still think there's loads of Europe still to be visited i know there are not so many isolated places left on the continent but there are still some great areas if natural beauty to be seen.

Unfortunately I think the Arab world will be unstable for a long time to come and travel in Arab countries could be fraught with danger and uncertainly.
After Europe I hope to travel to the east my goal would be to aim towards Turkey, Iran and Mongolia.
Who knows if I ever get to visit these places by the time I've done them the Arab world may have settled down a bit well here's hoping anyway

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:29 pm

Yep, there are still some great destinations out there. I was interested to hear what others were thinking. For me, when I think of overlanding I think of exploring those places where there are few people...where everything isn't paved and you have to pay to camp...just be out exploring some remote area. Otherwise why have a well kitted out 4x4 instead of a caravan? There aren't that many of those kinds of places left in the world. I had been looking forward to exploring the Sahara while I was here in Europe for a few years but may have to settle for our Morocco trip. Maybe in ten years or so Algeria or Libya will be doable again...

But yes... South America, Monglolia, Simpson desert in Oz...there are still some remote places out there.

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:22 pm

Hmm i always thought of Africa as the place i would love to go for an extended overland trip but i think Australia has some very remote places and theres much less chance trouble than some parts of Africa. I'm sure it would be fine and statisticaly there is probably hundreds of overland travellers who go to africa and are fine but the thing i have always wondered is that you are going to places, some which may not view the western world all that favourably and you are driving round in a great big 4x4 dripping with bits worth more than a local might earn in a lifetime. Its easy to see why there could be a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:58 pm

Canada is also a good place with many wide open spaces and good expedition terrain, and they nearly speak English.
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:20 pm

Hahahahah...hah....eh?

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:07 pm

Mmm, looks like I'll have to change my Zebra head in the Africa profile to a Moose head in Canada and change the Swahili "Twende". Does anybody know "Lets go" in French Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:20 pm


Found it, and
Non, "allons-y" doesn't quite have the same cred as "Twende"
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:16 am

Central Asia ?
Mongolia ?
South america ?

Africa has always been difficult - one of the attractions for some


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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:23 pm

twende wrote:
Mmm, looks like I'll have to change my Zebra head in the Africa profile to a Moose head in Canada and change the Swahili "Twende". Does anybody know "Lets go" in French Rolling Eyes
How about "Allez-Oop!" Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:57 am

'the problem is,,,,the people in africa are nice welcoming people BUT after the " arab spring" the people that lost or didnt win had to get out if they stuck around they would be persecuted or even killed so they decided to move on for there own safety so what do you do when your displaced and some are still very angry,how do you survive,,,,and the answer is any way you can.... scratching chin

security for the travler over the last few years has become more of an issue than it used to be and the bottom line is do you want to put your self in a dangerous position.... Rolling Eyes there are some people who will.......not sure if i want to and as you say there are still a lot of places still to see in northern europe.

i did hear that the russians were going to put a ferry on from russia to newfoundland through the north west passage as its now not frozen and ships can navigate there.....back door into canada,,,,, thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:47 am

I would have thought that N Africa might be OK, and reading This thread about 3 chaps on motorbikes who ride across Russia it seems that the Ruskies as as friendly as you can get.

As said, Australia is pretty western, and N America.
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:43 am

West Africa has always been the most delicate side to go down for many years. I did a TransAfrica trip back in 1997 and you couldnt get down the west side and across central back then so we opted for the East Africa route, dipping into The Congo and it was easy. I think now the roads are mostly sealed and the Egypt/Sudan ferry can be done with you on a boat with your vehicle and even driven on a tar road, even the infamous North Kenya Bandit roads that everyone once feared (personally I think all this was rumor) can be driven at night with no worries.

The thing is if you drive from your house to the place furthest away from your house and back again you get used to it as your driving along and its fine. The thing that freaks you out is listening to people coming up in the opposite direction and of course they talk about the extremes of their trip because that is what overlanders do and slightly jazz it up a bit after a few beers.

"We once got our truck obtained by the police in Uganda and ordered to take a coffin with one of their dead collages in this wooden coffin with loads of gaps in up a small mountain to the village he was born in to be buried I guess. Ours was the only 4x4 around that could take the coffin and a few "work chums" to this village and I am not joking the flys were coming out of the coffin and landing on our faces :shock: "

That actually really happened to us and we ended up at a really cool village we wouldnt have usually gone to and had a good time and have an awesome story to tell, thats what over-landing is about right?

Lots more happened that I am surprised didnt make the news back home but the trip I did was just as the www was taking off really so no blogs only books.


I need to catch up on the C to C blog though as I have missed a week or two.



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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:47 am

When we started planning our adventure, it was before the Arab spring. We opted for the west Coast of Africa as the east Coast is getting pretty tarred ...

We really wanted to spend time in Mauritania and Mali - both stunning countries which were relatively stable at the time.

However, Arab spring really didn't help. Add to that the difficulty in getting visas for Nigeria (very difficult) and Angola (vertually impossible).

That idyllic vision of camping in the wilderness, the wild open spaces with no-one around is ... well ... becoming more scarce.

For us, it never was about the quickest journey to Cape Agulhas - playing "dodge 'ems" along the way. It has always been about exploring ...

We are disappointed that we had to ship the vehicle, but that was our risk tolerance. Another couple shipped theirs from Accra in Ghana to Durban, South Africa. But some have chosen to driven through.

But there is always an upside. Now, we get to explore southern Africa - a region we only thought we'd be able to visit on a later trip. We are excited that we get to do it this year ...

(sorry for the slightly disjointed ramble Wink )
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 am

Hi glad to see you turn a negative into a positive. clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:11 pm

The whole issue revolves around trust, you can still be in a good area in any country and be the victim of crime, you can be in a bad area of a country and have no incidents at all, so as I see it the whole issue revolves around research as many incidents are hyped up or inflated by the media for a headline which are often sensationalist.
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PostSubject: Re: Overlanding...sustainable?   Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:40 am

Assassin wrote:
The whole issue revolves around trust, you can still be in a good area in any country and be the victim of crime, you can be in a bad area of a country and have no incidents at all, so as I see it the whole issue revolves around research as many incidents are hyped up or inflated by the media for a headline which are often sensationalist.
Hear what you're saying, the media are masters of making a mountain out of a molehill (why let the truth stand in the way of a good story?) but there's a whole world of difference between crime and the terrorism that's taking place around the world at present.

I realise the term "terrorism" is wide open to interpretation - I'm sure every 'terrorist' on the planet would call themselves a 'freedom-fighter' or 'liberator' instead as they fervently believe their cause is just - but if it involves fighting for a cause be it political, religious or whatever, this poses 1,000 times more risk than plain old fashioned crime. When a fighter regards him/herself as a 'soldier of God' for example, it's time to get out and live to fight another day. Life is far too short as it is, so placing yourself in the line of fire as a potential ransom target or "enemy of the cause' is extremely unwise.

Yes, bad things can befall the traveller wherever they may roam, but it's all about cutting down the risk. Very wise to weigh up your "risk tolerance" and go for the shipping option down to RSA I'd say African GirlChild, very wise indeed. clapping

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