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  Vacation in Las Vegas ...           01.07.2018

By chance, the opportunity has come to fly to Las Vegas to take care of the house and dog of friends while vacationing in Germany. We did not want to miss the chance to really holiday after a really stressful time.
In the casinos of the famous, huge hotels we could look over the shoulders of gamblers and watch how some of them could lose a few thousand dollars in a few minutes. We walked through noble and expensive shopping malls, which attract quite well-heeled clientele with "super offers". Despite the horrendous prices, visitors queue up in front of the restaurants and bars.
More impressive, however, were for us the tours that we took in the surroundings of the city.
This country has so incredibly magnificent landscapes to offer. We picked some of the closest targets, like the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Death Valley in California, the hottest place in the world (maximum temperature 56.7° C), the Hoover Dam, which dams the Colorado River and created Lake Mead, the Read Rocks and Charleston Peak, where snow remains were left, and finally the Valley of Fire with its fiery red sandstone formations.
Pictures can be found here
Again, time passes much too fast. After 5 relaxing weeks, we fly back to Germany at the beginning of July.
Unfortunately, we still cannot predict when we will continue our trip through Africa. Until everything is well organized, we will have to spend a while in Germany.


  Travel Break ...           13.05.2018

Already in January we interrupted our journey in West Africa for family reasons.

I, Tina, have been taking care of my old father ever since. The situation has hit us completely unprepared. Somehow you know that something like that can occur, but if it does happen you are not prepared for it.

Klaus, who initially remained alone in Africa, has brought the truck from Cameroon to Ghana. Meanwhile he is also in Germany.

The last few months have been quite turbulent, which is why we are lagging quite a bit behind in reporting.

We cannot say yet, when we will return to Africa to continue our journey. Of course, we are also working to update our webpage.


  5 Years of World Travel ...           17.09.2017  

5 years ago, on 17 September 2012, we started to our world trip.

At this time, we did not know what to expect and where exactly the path will lead us. Our goal was Africa and basically we had only a red line in our head. The route was on the road. Something blue-eyed we thought at first "well, so in about 2 years we will arrive at the Cape of Good Hope". In the end we were on the road for a little more than four years until we reached there.

Today, 5 years later, after 108,287 km and 32 countries we are in Angola.

They were exciting years. We were able to make many, very positive experiences and encounters and had only a few negative moments and never really difficulties. We have also been spared from diseases, accidents or any natural catastrophes.

Our "Shumba" has always brought us reliably through many a mud holes and sand fields, even though we had to work and shove a few times vigorously.    >>read more<<

  Visit of the Laúca Hydroelectric Power Plant -
         a very special expierence ...           24.08.2017  

At the invitation of the Minister of Energy of Angola, which we met at Lena in Calandula, we are given a rare opportunity to visit the Laúca hydroelectric power station under construction at the river Kwanza.
With a height of 156 meters, 1,200 meters in length and a reservoir of 24,000 hectares and an investment volume of 5 billion USD, it is the second largest dam project in Africa. At peak times, up to 9,000 people were employed here. The construction work began in 2012 and the power plant was inaugurated by the President on August 4, 2017, when the first of six 334 megawatt turbines was put into operation.

The remaining five turbines are to be connected to the grid by 2018 and generate a total of 2,067 megawatts.   >>read more<<

  Angola - a paleontological bonanza ...    06.08.2017  

Angola is, as we have understood it, predestined for geological finds from the Cretaceous period. Especially the Mosasaur, in this case the so-called "PROGNATHODON KIANDA" have done to the researchers.

"Mosasaurs were a worldwide widespread group of marine life reptiles, which, like today's snakes, lizards and creeps, belonged to squamates and reached a length of up to 17 meters." This as far as science is concerned.
When we visit Fael, a friend, at Bentiaba, we burst into the cleanup of paleontologists from the USA. Since 2002, Louis Jacobs has been managing the PALEOANGOLA project, which is mainly supported by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICS.


We are rolling again!

After a few weeks of "long service”, in which we took care of ourselves and our vehicle, we are finally back on the road.

Since a few days we have been arriving in the north of Namibia and we are looking forward to continuing our journey and on many new adventures.

Our tour will first take us through the north-west of Namibia, the Kaokofeld. This is the area where one of the last originally living peoples in southern Africa, the Himbas, lives.

Then we will cross the Kunene, the border river between Namibia and Angola. From then on our plan is to travel from there on through countries such as Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mauretania etc. along the West Coast to Europe.

How long it will take? We cannot say it yet. But one thing is certain we will experience unforgettable moments and impressions, we will make a lot of new experiences and will have many new and interesting encounters.

Of course, there will be new reports and lots of pictures.

We look forward to knowing you with us on this exciting tour.


Windhoek - again a longer stay....

Windhoek for us is a little like "coming home". Here we know our way and have meanwhile also many friends and acquaintances.
And as chance happens, we can get the opportunity to move into a small apartment in the city. And even our shumba has space on the property.
There is very much to do. We want to organize our onward journey. There  are medical appointments, renew vaccinations, the truck is to  be cleaned out, sometimes dried-or spent material must be replaced or  replenished. We change the  tires, wash our clothes, get visas, which is mostly time-consuming and  we do some shopping, from the screw and spare parts for the truck to the  "soap". We're going to put stocks on hold, for those countries where there are many things that can not be bought or very expensive. Then also our motorbike needs some service and the truck must be properly cleaned and checked through. We do a lot of minor repairs in and at the truck, which we have been pushing ahead of us for a while now.  In addition, planning and research are carried out for the journey and all sorts of "office work".

Yes and very important, to meet and talk to people, friends, other travelers, take time for interesting encounters.

Ingeborg and Arnulf, our "hosts" have welcomed us very much and support us in many ways. They even lend us their cars when we have to transport some bulky things. And their two boxing dogs, Lulu and Max, make sure that we do not do too much work, as they also want to play from time to time.

In short, Windhoek is an ideal location for such errands.


MAN Cape Town - it's service time ...

Cape Town is the last big city on our trip to South Africa.

For this reason, we once again put our MAN truck through its paces, in order to know it is fit for our further voyage along the west coast.

The MAN subsidiary and workshop in Cape Town is exactly the right place for this.
We were very well received and our concerns were understood. We were also allowed to attend and watch the work to learn and see what is being done. The mechanics and the service are very good and we were completely satisfied.

We can recommend the MAN workshop in Cape Town.


The southernmost point of Africa ...

After 1.642 days or 378 weeks or 54 months or 4.5 years, and 83.013 kilometers, we have reached a first major sub-goal of our world trip.

We have reached the southernmost point of our journey so far: the southern tip of the African continent in Cape l'Agulhas, where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic confluence. We had never thought that it would take us so long to traveling “only2 to here.

An eventful and exciting time is lying behind us. Not always everything went smooth and easy. For example, we had to cut down some trees and we had to change some tires. But we never had serious problems or threats. It was a great time.

Now we enjoy some time in Cape Town and the surroundings with all its wineries and other amenities. And then it's off to the north.


The "Electric God" ....
               ....  does not mean it well at all at the moment!

We already had announced that we wanted to install new batteries for our cabine in Johannesburg. Then, however, very quickly, the decision to fly to Madagascar came, and we have postponed the installation of those batteries.
One day before departure, our inverter burned through.
Two weeks on the road on Madagascar, after a thunderstorm, the chargers of our computer and the phone were burning.
When we arrive back at the truck in the evening from Madagascar, we want to park it around. When starting, one of the two AGM starter batteries bursts. The second battery is not burst but also dead.
Why all that? We have no idea (yet). Step by step, we will now analyze the situation and try to get to the bottom of things.
We have to get new batteries, have the inverter repaired (maybe it is still to be retrieved) and then rebuild everything, much research and running.
In any case, we are sitting, unplanned, unfortunately a little longer in Johannesburg.



Our tour through Madagascar

Since four days we are now back from our 6-week Madagascar trip in Johannesburg, at our truck.

Our tour through Madagascar was a very interesting and exciting, but also a tough and exhausting offroad tour.

Unfortunately, after about 2 weeks we have "grilled" the charger of our computer after a thunderstorm. Buying a new device was simply not possible where we were. So our two batteries were soon empty and the computer no longer to use. We could neither sort pictures nor write travel reports.

Over the coming weeks we will try to rework it to report to you as soon as possible about our exciting tour on the fourth largest island in the world in words and pictures.



We are in South Africa, or isn't it?

Since about 6 weeks we are already in South Africa. We used the first week, to end the journey through the Tuli Block on the South African side in the Mapungubwe National Park. In Louis Trichardt we visited friends, in the warmbad of Bela Bela we just relaxed.

All snug should be everything. In Pretoria, and Johannesburg, we wanted to take care of already long deferred minor repairs on the truck. And, most important, we ordered the new batteries for our truck in Cape Town. Yes, and the camera needed cleaning and service urgently, meanwhile we also applied for new passports at the German embassy etc. etc.

And then quite surprisingly came a plan amendment. The desire to travel to Madagascar we gave up months ago already. Too difficult, or rather impossible it seemed to search for a vehicle without a driver and with camping equipment on the island. But as life goes, a fortunate coincidence helped us a few weeks ago. And since we are at organizing, telephoning, researching, planning and packing. Right, we fly to Madagascar at very short notice!

And so we will defer our South Africa travel plans and the installation of the batteries, and other minor repairs. We'll see when we get back to our friends in Johannesburg.



On the road again....

After nearly 4 months settled life in Namibia we made our way to Botswana.

We are thrilled to new experiences and encounters in this fantastic country, which we like so much.

Since April 01, we are now on the road and we take it easy.

For those who want to travel with us we will again publish our travel stories and photos on our website as usual.



61 Things ...

Until today we are 36 months on the road on our "World Tour" and of which we did travel 22 months on the African continent. We have experienced many different cultures, heard many impressing stories, we had memorable encounters, we have seen much joy but also much distress and misery. About all that we write on our web pages.
It is time to make an interim conclusion, to do a reflection of a different kind. How did all this really affect us?
Totally spontaneous and without any priority we have found 61 things to which we have become accustomed during our journey through Africa. Things which have become quite normal for us, which became second nature to us and we even miss already partially here in Southern Africa.
But read for yourself….

1.     Hand washing cloths
2.     Lightning candels when the power goes off
3.     Making meals from whatever is in the fridge or cupboard



Christmas Greetings from Namibia 
You may ask yourself what has happened to us?
No, we are not lost! We have achieved our first major target.

Since a few weeks we are in Namibia. We meet friends and drive "little rounds" through the country. We are happy to see many well-known things and we are also pleased to see the progress this beautiful country has made, since we were here the first time in 1991.

We will stay for about 3 months in Windhoek, because we took over the house sitting for friends who turn to go on holiday to South America. We also need a period of consolidating and tranquility. To all of you who think we are in a sort of "permanent vacation" we have to say, yes, traveling is exhausting.

We will also work on some backlog and do some repair. In addition we need to plan and decide how our journey continues.

Warmest regards!

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Raids on the coastal route between Nacala and Pemba, Province Capo Delgado, Northern Mocambique 

Within 1 week we have come to know 4 couples traveling (3 from South Africa, 1 from Finland), who were robbed specifically at the same place.
These raids are taking place on the river Lurio.
The guys there are already waiting for travelers. They offer them to help by want to show them a good place to traverse the river.
In reality, they lead one to a place where you get stuck. While you are busy to get your car back on the road, you will be robbed. They, in the one case about 100(!) exploit the situation. In the wide, about waist-deep water of the river bed it is impossible to get rid of the boys. If you can drive again, they hang themselves while driving on roof rack, stand on treadboards, climb the car and climb onto the roofEverything that is not locked off will be stolen. They open the car doors and grab through the window to the inside. They do not stop at nothing. Medicine, laptops, navigation devices, mobile phones, buckets, jerry cans, even tension belts, really everythingAll those affected describe the situation as aggressive and quite threatening and were afraid.

We try to support by drawing attention on these incidents with this article. That does not bring back the things to the affected, but maybe it cuts off the "replenishment", and avoids that one or the other will also be robbed. In any case one should go to the police in Pemba and report it, even if it takes time. Apparently the police in Pemba is anxious to follow these incidents, as the region places value on tourism.

Abstain from these "nice little bush road"!! 
And, in case you should need this thrill of river crossing, then shut off everything and keep car doors and windows closed.
Photos of E. Swart

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We are off again !!! 

Since about 10 days we are traveling in the far west of Tanzania, the Lake Tanganyika along southbound.

Finally we are back on the road ... and soon there will be again lots of photos and the associated travel reports on our homepage…

...just remain curious ......


Flying visit to the Seychelles .....

After some consideration and rain soaked days and nights in Arusha and also in Mwanza where we again stay with our friend Wiebke since some weeks, we decided, we sweeten the waiting time until the end of the rainy season a little

Without further ado, we have booked a flight to the Seychelles.

Although usually no one receives an entry visa at the airport in case you 
cannot show a reservation, we leave everything waiting to happen.
Only for the first night we arranged a guest room on the main island Mahe. 
First we want to visit the somewhat smaller but quieter, Praslin Island. 
From there, we let ourselves drift.


KCT-Hartglas window - New partner of Shumba  

Again and again we had trouble with the old blinds, the nets slipped out of the side guides again and again and they are or were just not tight at all. All the time we had insects in the living room, which found their way through every crack of the “Seitz” system.

Therefore, after 2 years "on the road" we have now decided to replace the existing window blinds and mosquito nets from "Seitz" against new ones from the company KCT. Admittedly, the idea to invest in 6 new shades of KCT was not easy. Finally, the "things" cost indeed a lot.
But, in the meantime the old blinds are gone, and the new ones are installed. And - we are happy!
KCT has supported us professionally and with expert advice. The blinds were made to our masses and requirements.  
Partially dismantled and well packed we have "dragged" the 37 kg heavy frames from Munich, via Dubai and Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, the packages have survived the 3 flights without any harm.
Conclusion: KCT - products are indeed "sinfully" expensive but worth all the money because they simply work.

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Travel Break

We currently having a "travel break" in Mwanza, Tanzania.


Good News in terms of transit visa for Saudi Arabia!! 

Recently, our friends of Mankei-Travel, Silvia and Christoph, got their transit visa for Saudi Arabia for onward travel to Sudan in Abu Dhabi within 3 days. 

They describe the procedure on their webpage.


Joseph Kony - a sad chapter in the history of Uganda  

Joseph Kony is one of the most wanted criminals in the world. He is from the tribe of Acholi, in north-western Uganda, in the triangle on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Ever heard of 
In 1987, the obviously insane, Joseph Kony, who thinks of himself as an apostle of Jesus, the LRA, the Lord's Resistance Army was founded. This army has basically no clearly stated objective. In his own words they demand a state based on the principles of the biblical Ten Commandments.
In the region around Gulu and Kitgum, in the north-western Uganda, the LRA has been responsible over decades of time for human rights violations, mass executions, mutilations, abductions of girls and their sexual slavery and the kidnapping of children and their refunctioning on child soldiers. 

Kony and his men have kept young people and children as slaves and raped girls. Thousands of children were "forcibly recruited" and if they did not "function" other children were forced to kill them or inflicting them terrible mutilations, such as tick off their fingers, cut off ears, noses and lips. 



"Glissade" - or again been lucky...

The dirt road from Masaka via Sembabule towards Fort Portal is good to drive. The scenery is great, slightly hilly, almost a bit Italian. Only the banana and coffee perennials do not quite fit into the picture. The track was widened recently and newly graded. It is about 8 feet wide, but basically only one lane, namely in the middle, can be driven. The dirt road is strongly rounded at the sides to allow water to flow out.
Rain begins and we only creep then. We have great respect for the "soft soap" in which the dirt roads are transformed during rain in no time.

At a downhill it happens. I only mean: "we slip" and as a response I get a murmured "right" - and it crashes. 

The truck slides sideways in front, the rear part follows, counter-steering does not help, by braking the load does not getting slower, on the contrary. The truck was no longer to be held. So inevitably we drive into the embankment laterally. The impact was so violent that Klaus is thrown out of his seat and almost ends up on me. We are lucky! The embankment is more than a meter high and stops the truck thoroughly.

...



"Seed of hope" - A Visit in an Orphanage

In Karibuni camp in Kitale we learn to know three young women from the Swabian town Sigmaringen. Two of them, Melissa (21) and Janina (22), were some time ago in a local children's home to help to work there for half a year. Now, during the holidays, they are here again, to visit "their" children and the caregivers they have worked with. Spontaneously we decide to accompany them during their visit in the home.

The Orphanage "Seed of Hope" was founded by a young German couple and built outside the city Kitale. Attached are a small clinic, where also emergency cases from the nearby village are treated, a computer school, a tailoring school and a small farm that offers everything for self-catering basically.

In the home about 60 children with various backgrounds are living. From very small up to the age of 18 years, they here receive affection, care, food and especially education.

We look around, the dining room, the kitchen, the girls 'and boys' house and the house of the little ones, where two children share a bed. Then we visit the associated school, of course the children are at school during the day.

It is amazing how we, the "Mzungus", are received there. ... read more...



SHUMBA in the journal "Explorer"

In the latest edition of the Explorer magazine is a very interesting article about long-term travelers. For this article we, but also our friends from Mantoco and Mankei-Travel have been interviewed.



The Acrobates of Takaunga

In Kilifi a young backpacker tells us from a small village, away from the main road, on a beautiful creek with a small but beautiful beach, which has so far resisted the influence of tourism. Sounds good, but is hard to believe. View costs nothing.

From the main road to Mombasa a well maintained dirt road branches off into a village along many palm groves and corn fields. The village lies on a beautiful creek but has seen its best days already, some houses are empty or lie in ruins. There is a small fish market and a ruin of a former slave house. During the time of the Arab slave trade Takaungu was a stopover for many black slaves on the way to Mombasa where they have been "loaded" on ships.

The people live mainly from their fields and fishing. They are incredibly nice. Many wave to us and greet us. And when we ask for the beach, they tell us that it is no problem to stay there. Only a few fishermen use the beautiful beach in the morning and in the evening to go to dive from here. It's already afternoon when we arrive at the beach.

Why are so many good-looking and well-built young men here?
...



Lake Turkana - a looming environmental desaster

The „Elmolo", the smallest tribe in Kenya, fights for survival. For generations, the "Elmolo" have been fishermen on Lake Turkana in the north of the country. They are excellent swimmers and with their harpoons they hunt Nile perch, crocodiles and even hippos. But since in Ethiopia a huge dam project on the only inflow to the lake, the Omo, is planned, they fear for their existence. And they are not alone also the tribes of the Turkana and the Samburu are afraid of losing their habitat.

The largest permanent desert lake of the earth, the Lake Turkana is in danger of drying out. Why? In Ethiopia, three gigantic dams are built at the Omo to win electricity. And in addition huge sugar cane plantations and cotton plantations are planned to be built also in the area of the dams whose irrigation should be ensured from the Omo.

These projects will cause extraordinary damage to the region midterm and particularly long term. The water level of the Turkana, the people fear, will fall by 10-20 meters the lake will initially split in two lakes. Because there is not enough water to come in the Omo and due to the already high level of evaporation in this dry, remote region, the lake becomes more and more reduced and will disappear sooner or later.

The livelihood of humans and animals is in serious danger.  
 ...


...Some critical thoughts ...          

For some time, some thoughts about our travel came into my mind, to disclose them is not easy for me.

For the first time on our trip a feeling of insecurity creeps upon me. But where does it come from? We are not for the first time on our way in African countries.

Every day we drive through this poor country. Get out buy our bread, our vegetables. We are taking pictures try to keep our impressions, in some cases even from the moving car, sometimes we do not even get out of the car in order to shoot photos. We collect impressions and images and archive them on our hard drives.  
 ...

Around the world with a lion

Going out and experiencing the world – Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke have fulfilled their lifelong dream. The adventurers are traveling with a very unusual companion – a converted MAN TGM.

This articel can be found on the Global Corporate Website of MAN



...Visa for Saudi Arabia - all's well that ends well ...              

After 16 days  we received notice from the embassy in Abu Dhabi that our application got approved in Riyadh. On the very next day, Thursday, we go to Abu Dhabi to issue the official visa application at the VFS service center. Our documents are there already. As a "special case" we are immediately taken care of, and after one hour it's done. Now we have to wait again, the processing time is about 3-4 days. On Tuesday morning we receive a call from the Saudi Embassy. Our passports are finally stamped and ready for collection. Wow! Now the embassy is already calling us personally! What a joy! We would not have thought a few weeks ago.  ... read more...         



... UAE - dead end for Africa travelers?                                          
or - the efforts to obtain a visa for Saudi Arabia

Since 28 October 2013 we are back in Dubai from our holiday. At the beginning we were very busy making our Shumba ready and to set up again. And, since we were very confident about the fact, to get a visa through Saudi Arabia through good contacts, or with enough persistence, we did take our time at the beginning.
Now, more than 90 days later, we are then very disillusioned and find that we reach our limits.  It's hard to understand that in 21century the journey through a land apparently is denied, the more so if the embassies of the same country in other countries authorize the transit. The thought of arbitrariness comes to mind quickly.
Here is the story from the beginning :



      SHUMBA supports AMREF - flying doctors   
Southern Sudan is currently in a state of emergency. More than half a million people are on the run from the bloody power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar. The majority of them flees inland in less embattled regions. However, they can hardly cope with the care of refugees. In particular, the treatment of the sick and injured is insufficient. The medical care of South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda and Kenya is extremely difficult. More than 72,000 people, mainly women and children, are already seeking refuge in the refugee camps Dzaipi (Uganda) and Kakuma (Kenya). Now additional visits of the flying doctors  are urgently needed in order to perform the necessary operations. In Juba Teaching Hospital alone, there are currently 465 operations on the waiting list. By the violence threatened women and children arrive completely exhausted after weeks of escape in the refugee camps in neighboring countries where they need to get medical help  urgently .

There are messages like these that make us thoughtful again. Today we want to draw your attention to an aid organization
AMREF - African Medical and Research Foundation, whose work we support. Maybe we can convince some of you to follow us.  read more...


AMREF and its projects

-5- / -4- / -3- / -2- / -1-

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