This is Africa

Traversing most of the continent of Africa and crossing the Equator into the northern hemisphere overland with our vehicle is a long way. It’s a real privilege and something we do not take for granted one bit. And although we think we can know everything going into an adventure such as this, or anything else in life for the matter, there will always be things to learn or grow from. This is life – painful at times but it’s the way it’s meant to be and it's beautiful.

                               Botswana, with Chobe River and Namibia behind.

Africa has a wonderful way of stripping one bare in every way, yet one is left with so much more. Things that one cannot really see or really explain. While a Tale cannot show that in a few simple words or photographs, this Tale aims to outline some of the principles, lessons learnt or values gleaned that being in Africa has left us with, or simply shaped in us, we hope.


This is Africa

                               Goat and chicken farming, Hardap Region, Namibia.



You either have it or you don’t. If you don’t, fear not, the African sun, earth, disease or culture will give it to you, somehow, even the hard way. Guaranteed! No matter what comes your way, just dig deep, really deep.

                               Subsistence farming, Klein Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa.


Thick skins, soft hearts

Stares, relentlessly being asked for money, being laughed at, pointed at and second guessed a lot of the time is normal. Add in so much more, we grow in shrugging things off we would normally take quite personally. We remind ourselves that everyone is human and with that, both for ourselves and more importantly others, is to remain soft hearted, kind, compassionate and loving in every way.

                               Right or wrong? How so? Definitive words based on presuppositional cultural values are greatly challenged in Africa. Right hand side road driving in Rwanda with right hand side vehicle driving.


Learn to laugh

Especially at oneself. And then it’s easier to relax - especially in difficult situations, because it really is not that bad! The best defence and equaliser in any interaction. Just smile! Why be anything different? It's Africa – take it easy.

                               Side road mushroom sale, Northern Province, Zambia.



If there was a mathematical numeral to quantify this, then that’s how much you need. And if it’s any consolation, we get to learn a whole lot more patience along the way, just in case we need some more. And more, and wait…more! There is always enough patience to be handed out. Always! The Swiss invented the watch, but Africa owns the time, all the time.

                               Always taking us through each adventure: our vehicle we dub ‘Black Panther’ after the fictitious African Marvel character, receives a mandatory 10 000 kilometre oil change and more in Arusha region, Tanzania, by small business owner Kenneth and his team.



Nothing really goes to plan. If it does, ask yourself “what went wrong?”. Then look back and see the way it worked out was actually better than you envisioned it to be. Way better! Go with the flow - the adventure really exists then.

                               Adapt or be adapted. Adjusting tyre pressures becomes necessary with the ever-changing terrain. Remote north-west Tanzania near the Burundian border.


Everything works out. Somehow it just does.

Africa is about survival. No matter what comes the continents way, all people of Africa just know how to survive and we generally do not complain about it. With that, everything just somehow works out. Just have a plan B, and if not, you will work one out when you need to. Do not worry, it will work out, somehow. 

                               Water: every clean drop counts towards survival in rural Africa, usually preceded by a few kilometres walk to collect one’s ration for washing and consumption by locals from bore hole hand pumps.



Especially at border crossings…leave it behind and interactions with the numerous officials scattered all over the continent and roads will be next level horrible. Even though we have the word “Africa” (preceded with “South”) gold foil stamped onto our passports, we are guests everywhere we go. We have no rights and so every bit of passage is not guaranteed. Celebrate if passage is granted! And remain humble, just do.

                               Celebrating crossing into Tanzania and East Africa from Zambia - more than two countries overland in our vehicle away from South Africa.



God is large and in charge in Africa (and the whole world for that matter!). We realise that Africa does not need us. Nor does God. But He chooses to use us if we are available, or make ourselves available. Being in Africa makes us realise just how good, beautiful, wonderful and diverse God really is, besides being radically sacrificial for us.

                               Sunset, East Uganda, Northern Hemisphere.

Africa. Brutal but Beautiful. Jesus. Africa Calling.

Africa Calling – expedition
Africa Calling – Source


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