To Anne, Vic, Jackie, Phil, Elize and anyone else contemplating an adventure
As you are preparing for your own adventures – however they look – we thought we’d send a few words of encouragement to you.
We have been on the road for a little over 3 months now, and to be honest, it is very different from what we expected. But then every adventure is unlike those adventures gone before, and those still to come.
It is so easy to look at other people’s blogs and websites and see where they have been, what they have done, who they have met and how long they have been on the road for. And it becomes very easy to think that this is the “standard” that you should also adhere to.
You “have to”:
– wild camp
– travel to remote areas
– travel for a year
A word of advice – you don’t!
While we have met relatively few – OK, almost no – people who are embarking on a grand tour of Africa, we have met rather a lot more people who are travelling parts of Africa for a length of time they are comfortable with – 3 or 4 months sometimes.
There are many Europeans who return to Morocco each year for 2-3 months in favour of the warmer winter temperatures. A lot of them travel in camping cars with no need for 4×4 and huge off-road experiences. It works for them.
There are some Europeans who venture through Morocco and Western Sahara, dash through Mauritania and spend 1-2 months exploring Senegal and The Gambia. And they return to do it again and again.
We have even been fortunate to meet a few travellers who venture into Mali (in the good ol’ days), Guinea, Burkina Faso and then return to Europe afterwards. They have given us a wealth of information – and many positive words of encouragement.
The key really is – do what you are comfortable with.
We have been tweaking our way of travelling as we go. We are in awe of other travellers who are currently on the road in West Africa – they have ventured into Sierre Leone and Liberia for goodness sake!!! Yikes! I thought we were adventurous when we decided to explore Senegal and The Gambia for more than 2 weeks. We have discovered that we quite like to spend more than a mere few days in a country – but rather take the time to see what we can. Of course, we may find we start running out of time … but we’ll deal with that eventuality when we reach it.
So if the idea of a year-long journey through Africa is daunting, I’d encourage you to start with something smaller and more accessible. Try Morocco. If you’re up for it, head down to Senegal. Try it on a timescale that works for you – whether that is 1 month, 3 months, or longer.
But do get out there and see this beautiful planet we live on.