After 5 months
travelling we know what we could have done better:
Most important remark is:
Use euros on your trip through West Africa. Do not take any dollars and/or
traveller’s cheques because it is almost impossible to change and if you can
find a bank or person who is willing to change you get a very, very bad
you use a Coleman burner/stove/lamp that runs on unleaded fuel, make sure
you buy enough fuel halfway Morocco. There is not one drop of unleaded
fuel available south of Morocco or any Sahara countries
- The Coleman stove cannot be used with
leaded fuel. We used leaded fuel for weeks/months without any problems. The
only thing that has to be done is cleaning the nozzel with steel wool every
- In South-Afrika we bought an electrical
lantarn with 3 different lights. The Coleman gaslamp is more time consuming
in its use, it can leak fuel (under extreme heat) and the socks have
to be replaced regulary and they are expensive.
a 3-litre garden spray system (that works with air pressure). This
system is the invention of the century for showering without using lots of
water. The spray also helps to cool down. If you want it complete, use a
foldable children swimming pool to stand in.
the silver coloured sunscreen window covers. It is easy to protect your
car against the heat but it is also nice for safety.
as many favourite canned food and cheese as you can store (especially meat).
In Morocco it is difficult to buy (only la vache kiri) and in Mauritania
it is non-existence.
plant-spray bottle is handy to cool down during driving.
the foldable dish bowl. Takes no space and they are easy to use.
use a portable computer for the trip reports, pictures but also to put
routes (Garmin Worldmap) onto the GPS.
- It takes much more time then you expect
to keep-up with writing trip-reports. Also the internet café lines are
very slow, which means that you spent at least two hours per visit for
just reading mails. Don’t promise too much.
have access to 220V, which is very handy to use. Take a long extension
cord with you, so you can draw electricity at a campsite.
bought insurance valid through whole Africa. Maybe it is somewhat more
expensive than buying separate insurances in each country but it safes you
a lot of time and hassles.
Touristic Entente. There is a special visa available, valid for Burkina
Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and Niger. It is cheaper and is safes a lot
of time. We couldn’t get one, because they postponed the introduction but
it is worth to try if it is available (maybe Paris).
Carnet de Passage might be expensive if you’re not travelling through
whole Africa but it safes you a lot of time (based on the experience of
our German friends).
loose T-shirts, the tighter the shirts the warmer it is.
use a build-in water filter system. It is very convenient to have access
to clean water al the time. We had it neatly build-in but it is much
easier to use if the filters are placed on/near the backdoor.
have two passenger seats but we wished we had an extra passenger seat.
Sometimes it is nice to offer a ride and if you need a guide it is less
expensive if the guide can sit in your car instead of hiring a guide
is very easy if you speak a little bit of French. If you have time, try to
- We've stored the big Maclite in a plastic
rain tube, next to the driver seat so it can be reached easely and it can be used
to defend yourself.We bought a small, easy to use Canon
I70 photo-printer to print out picture's while we're travelling. Local people
are so thrilled with pictures and it is a nicer gift than pencils etc. You can
also make your own postcards. Do not forget to take photo paper with you.
- From an experienced traveller we learned
that an African shovel is easier to use than a spade.
- An electrical stun gun/schocker can be
very effective to scare away people. The blue shock looks very frightning,
especially in the dark.
- We bought a Howling Moon rooftent, but
be aware that the standard ladder is suitable for a Landrover but not for a
Landcruiser. You need an extension, which can be difficult to get (depending
on your supplier probably). The fly-sheet on the Eezi-Awn is much better than
the one on the HowlingMoon. We removed the fly-sheet because it is noisy and
flapping all the time. We've seen the Eezi-Awn tent in a aluminium case and we
were very impressed by it (easy to use).
- Instead of "normal" towels we use the
sports towels which look like a cloth to wipe your windows. It feels a little
bit strange when you dry yourself but the towels take very little space, dry
quickly and are very easy to wash. We use a little bit of shampoo to wash the
towel after showering.