Today we begin our eight month journey. We fly from Dallas Texas in the USA to Doha Qatar in the Middle East on to Johannesburg, South Africa. The entire journey will take about 30 hours. This is about preparing to overland Africa 2018-2019. Why do we do this? In our small way we’re about helping people saving wildlife.
Preparing to overland Africa to save wildlife in our old Land Rover requires a few things: Like securing a carnet de passage for border crossings (sort of a vehicle passport), a Comesa (third party auto insurance), updated vehicle registration, buying hard to get Landy parts, getting a thorough service, and that’s just the Land Rover.
Then there’s our dental and doctor checkups, replenishing malaria prevention and intervention pills, restocking our first aid and medical supplies, getting a new Yellow Card (proof of yellow fever vaccination, and in our case proof of exemption due to age),
Before we left the USA preparing to overland included renewing our international drivers’ permits, making sure our passports still have enough empty pages for stamps and visas to cross at least twelve borders, getting our phone shut off and our satellite gizmo turned on, making sure none of our debit or credit cards expire while we’re away, buying six tubes of our favorite toothpaste, Russ’ favorite deodorant and shower soap (I’m less picky… at least in this arena) permethrin (to spray a set of clothes to prevent mosquito bites), and numerous other hard to get in Africa items, and no forgetting a small stash of dollars (no older than 2009 for border crossings and emergencies.)
Then of course there was all the getting things buttoned up in the USA: Like covering our truck camper, adjusting insurance, putting money matters on automatic, spending time with family, making sure our wills are in order and so on.
Once the Landy and we have a clean bill of health, and all documents and other items are secured its time to get on the road.
Before leaving South Africa it’s off to visit Silke who saves primates, Shannon who breeds Bearded Vutlures to be released to the wild, Natalie who rescues and raises orphaned rhino calves, and a few new folks doing good for African animals.
After a day in Thembe Elephant Reserve it’s off to Zimbabwe to visit Baye who saves all sorts of wildlife and meet Mark who recently started a wildlife rescue center too.
The hope is to spend a day in Hwange National Park to see the animals before moving up through Victoria and in to Zambia. There the plan is to spend a day with Gerry and Richard who preserve all sorts of wildlife and particularly a unique fruit bat colony.
From there it’s on through Malawi, up through Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and into Ethiopia. In each country there are amazing people on the ground protecting and preserving African animals. For us it’s a privilege to meet them, share their stories here and on our YouTube Channel, NikelaWildlife.