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Thread: The Road Chose Me: Driving a Jeep Wrangler 80,000 miles around Africa for 2 years

  1. #161
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Greeley CO
    Posts
    821
    Some friends spent a few years In Africa back in the '60s. USAID. They never mentioned any problems with bribes and such. My neighbors were doing a day trip down the Baja and got stopped at a military checkpoint. Mike doesn't speak Spanish too well, he just pointed to his wife. She speaks Spanish better than any of them even if she is from Germany. They wanted to check out the cooler so bottles of water were handed out. On the return trip there was just a bunch of young guys sitting in the shade of their truck smiling and waving.
    1992 FG, 1994 Hallmark camper.
    1961 CJ3b, V6,OD,PTO winch etc.
    1969 Jeep Commando.
    1998 Harley.
    2, 1982 XT 550's
    1953 Buick Special, that I get out about once a year, 62K original miles.

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Posts
    2,350
    Hey Everyone,

    Cameroon has been absolutely fantastic, though all good things must come to an end.

    I spent even more time at beach-side paradise, searching for turtles on the border with Equatorial Guinea, one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
    Read more: http://theroadchoseme.com/chasing-turtles-in-ebodje


    Now I am cutting inland through the thick jungle, heading for Gabon.
    Read More:http://theroadchoseme.com/cameroon-closes


    -Dan
    Around Africa in a Jeep Wrangler JK @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina)
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    Follow: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube
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    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Posts
    2,350
    After 14,267 miles in Africa, I have driven into country number 14, Gabon!

    Read the story of the border crossing here: http://theroadchoseme.com/into-gabon

    Here is the hood of the Jeep now:


    -Dan
    Around Africa in a Jeep Wrangler JK @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina)
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    Follow: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube
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    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Mehlingen Germany
    Posts
    146
    Excellent! thanks for the update!
    Nothing to see here

  5. #165
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    SE MI
    Posts
    113
    Hi Dan - Your posts and updates are something I look forward to eagerly nowadays! Thank you for documenting your adventure and especially for sharing local information. Sorry if this has been addressed somewhere else already, but I sure would like to know more about the equipment you've been using to film and photograph this trip.

    Also a couple of random requests. I would like to get your general thoughts on vehicle capability and the need for modifications / lack thereof, now that you've seen a fair variety of road surfaces in W. Africa. I'm currently considering choice of vehicle for a trip like this a few years down the road. Family of 3 so thinking Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 or Nissan NV Quigley 4x4 van. Is diesel power a big cost advantage to have in that region? Can stock 4WD vehicles get by well and is low-range a must in some spots? How about choice of tires - Mud or All-terrain if you could go back in time and re-do? I have many other questions but don't want to bother you with all of them at this time .

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Posts
    2,350
    Quote Originally Posted by whitenoise View Post
    Hi Dan - Your posts and updates are something I look forward to eagerly nowadays! Thank you for documenting your adventure and especially for sharing local information. Sorry if this has been addressed somewhere else already, but I sure would like to know more about the equipment you've been using to film and photograph this trip.
    Awesome to hear, happy to have you on board!
    I only have two cameras with me - a Go Pro Hero 3, and a canon 60D DSLR. I have two lenses for the Canon, a trick Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, and a cheap-o zoom, 18-270.
    I have a good manfrotto tripod, invelometer, Polarizing filters, etc, so I'm trying to get the most out of what I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by whitenoise View Post
    Also a couple of random requests. I would like to get your general thoughts on vehicle capability and the need for modifications / lack thereof, now that you've seen a fair variety of road surfaces in W. Africa. I'm currently considering choice of vehicle for a trip like this a few years down the road. Family of 3 so thinking Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 or Nissan NV Quigley 4x4 van. Is diesel power a big cost advantage to have in that region? Can stock 4WD vehicles get by well and is low-range a must in some spots? How about choice of tires - Mud or All-terrain if you could go back in time and re-do? I have many other questions but don't want to bother you with all of them at this time .
    I can answer this not just from my perspective, but also using the info I have gained from all the other overlanders I have bumped into along the way.
    (actually, I am writing a book about West African Overlanding right now.. hopefully done in a month or so..)

    You could easily drive West Africa North to South in a toyota corolla or similar. Certainly a 2WD high clearance vehicle would be no problem. I'm sure I would have been stuck and used the shovel, though I bet I could have done everything I have done without actually using 4x4.
    I bumped into many people in a hurry (whole coast in 3-6 months), and they were genuinely dissapointed in the lack of "adventure" the roads were providing, and had actually only once or twice been in any kind of mud on the whole trip.
    If you stick to the highway, there are actually only two sections on the whole coast that are not paved, probably less than 300 miles total.
    For example the super famous "Mamfre" road from Nigeria to Cameroon that used to be a week of mud slogging... it's now paved and can be done at 60mp/h.
    Of course, if you go looking for it, you will find extremely nasty stuff that will challenge even a well built 4x4 with lockers, but you have to get off the highways.
    A sprinter 4x4 or sportsmobile would be ideal.

    Diesel has been cheaper in every country except a couple, though often not by a lot. The prices for every single country are in http://wikioverland.org if you want to check it out country by country.

    I am extremely happy with my all-terrains, though quite a few people have MTs for the West Coast. Again, it depends entirely on where you want to go, and what kind of roads you want to drive. If you plan to get off the highways, maybe MTs will be better on a vehicle that does not have lockers, etc.

    Fire away with any questions you have, I am more than happy to help!

    -Dan
    Around Africa in a Jeep Wrangler JK @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina)
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    Follow: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube
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    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Home is Canada. Currently Russia
    Posts
    67
    Hey Dan you didn't drive through SL or Liberia. At least it looks that way from your website map. Redline went down the coast but you turned left and went around. Can you comment publicly what lead to the decision? To late now but one of my mates is basically SL Navy. LOL! I could have got you an escort.

  8. #168
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Posts
    2,350
    Quote Originally Posted by scott7022 View Post
    Hey Dan you didn't drive through SL or Liberia. At least it looks that way from your website map. Redline went down the coast but you turned left and went around. Can you comment publicly what lead to the decision? To late now but one of my mates is basically SL Navy. LOL! I could have got you an escort.
    At the time I was worried about safety which made me seriously question it, and it was thumping rain every single day for 8-10 hours in Guinea, and it rains more in Sierra Leon than Guinea.
    When I found mold inside the Jeep and on my clothes, and had enough and went North to Mali instead.

    In hindsight I have met a few people that absolutely loved both SL and Liberia, saying it was the friendliest people on the West Coast hands down.

    I regret a little not going, though it provides an excellent excuse to head back to that part of the world one day when Northern Mali is safe enough to venture there too!

    -Dan
    Around Africa in a Jeep Wrangler JK @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina)
    --
    Follow: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube
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    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

  9. #169
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arlington, Virginia
    Posts
    2,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grec View Post
    and they were genuinely dissapointed in the lack of "adventure" the roads were providing, and had actually only once or twice been in any kind of mud on the whole trip.
    Some folks just haven't spent enough time en afrique! NOBODY really wants to get stuck!

    the super famous "Mamfre" road from Nigeria to Cameroon that used to be a week of mud slogging... it's now paved and can be done at 60mp/h.
    Snark! I might almost shed a tear for the time I managed ten miles a day on that road!

    Safe and great travels!
    --
    DiploStrat

    Web: http://diplostrat.org

    Certified Expo Poseur - Lives on Paved Road

  10. #170
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    SE MI
    Posts
    113
    Dan - As always, great info! thank you very much for the detailed reply. Safe travels!

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