Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

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Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa
Gerner-Haudum

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

27 pictures

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa
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A holy book in a Jordanian monastery.

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Botswana: Pachyderms with young animals in the Chobe National Park.

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The temples at Abu Simbel in Egypt.

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Again and again, the village youth gather at the edge of the slopes.

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Mini mosque on a branch of the Nile just before Luxor.

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Woman from the Borano people who wears a lot of wood with her headband.

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A tour from Germany to South Africa costs time and nerves, but the effort is worth it. With scenic and urban attractions as well as interesting encounters, the trip is highly addictive.

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The remains of old Luxor.

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Village street somewhere in the vast expanses of Sudan.

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Evening light on the Chobe River.

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Young shepherds at the edge of the slopes in southern Ethiopia. As soon as you stop, the mood lifts.

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An animal encounter in Botswana: face to face with the hippos on the Chobe River.

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This Ethiopian Borano girl shows her zest for life.

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Relaxing in the evening: water pipe connoisseurs in Cairo.

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Crocodile taking a nap.

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The route from Munich to Cape Town.

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Ancient ruin in Gonda, Ethiopia.

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Slopes in the middle of the wasteland.

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Today’s Luxor.

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Ethiopia: roadside break.

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Red earth in southern Ethiopia: termite mounds on the edge of the slopes.

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Traders in the famous Mercator market in the capital Addis Ababa.

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Landscape in Jordan on the Kings Highway.

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The motorcycles make all the children along the way happy and curious.

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Jordan: The red rock city of Petra is a World Heritage Site, cell phones are part of everyday life.

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Bike loading in Kenya, the slope is too bad.

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Not everything in Africa is sandy and dry.

to travel

Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa

Trans Africa: from Munich to Cape Town
The long way from Germany to South Africa

A trip from Germany to South Africa in thirteen weeks? Gets under your skin, but can be done by anyone who is passionate about motorcycling. Follow our author on a potentially addictive crossing of Africa.

Gabriele Gerner-Haudum

11/25/2010

Rain like silver threads, nothing but rain. A German summer from which one can only flee. The low pressure area followed my husband Christian and me as far as the Balkan states, causing depression right at the beginning of our trip to Africa. Finally the frustration dries: under the warm sun we roll through Turkey, Syria and Jordan to Egypt. On the 16th day at exactly 4 p.m. we emerge from under the Suez Canal and are in Africa!

Cairo with the pyramids is a thrilling melting pot, the traffic is pure madness, survival is not easy. Finally out and along the sea to Hurghada, from here to Luxor and on to Aswan. Everything without a convoy. Egypt is beautiful, but dealing with people takes nerves. Because of the gigantic bureaucracy, our dream of Africa almost bursts at the ferry that is supposed to bring us across Lake Nasser to Sudan. Only with the help of Ryan, a motorcyclist from England, we can find the responsible police stations in Aswan. Bribe money is grudgingly counted out in order to get the necessary papers. We are very happy to get on the ferry at the last second and turn our backs on Egypt.

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Arrival in Wadi Halfa in Sudan: 48 degrees, Nile hotel, rooms with a sandy floor, but all guests sleep under the African starry sky. An unforgettable experience. The next day the motorcycles arrive on the cargo ship, and the unloading is nothing short of madness. We follow the Nile towards Dongola. Christian falls on a sand passage because a stone is hidden in the deep sand. Diagnosis: at least bruised ribs.

During a rest in boiling-hot nowhere, a Sudanese grows out of the ground and invites us to eat and rest. The Sudanese are incredibly hospitable. Because it is too hot to drive on, Mohammed provides us with an unoccupied house, he brings water and food – simply amazing! The bed frames come out into the courtyard, and dead tired we look at the gigantic canopy of stars again.

We drive through desert and past camel caravans to Karthoum, a typical African city that offers nothing except the confluence of the Nile and a comfortable hotel. We are tired of the bureaucracy, we do not extend our Sudan visa, which has already expired three days ago, and we also do not get the travel permit and photo permit, be it so. At the border, which we reach via Gedaref and the Nuba Mountains through a picturesque landscape, the exit is quick despite the lack of documents. The entry into Ethiopia also works quickly.


Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa


Gerner-Haudum

Today’s Luxor.

And then the eternal starts “You, you, you”. There is no sense of distance here, people move on your fur and stare. It’s difficult to get into a conversation, everyone just holds their hands up, wants our clothes, the watches, suitcases, everything. Something has gone terribly wrong here and it is getting much worse: children and adults alike are throwing stones at us, a behavior that has spread across the country. To make matters worse, at some point there will be a longer stretch of mud, my personal nightmare. I struggle without falling, a truck driver calls out the window: “Go Lady go, that’s Africa.” he is right!

We relax at Lake Tana. The silence, the lake, the boat trip to the monasteries, the landscape, everything is just infinitely good. Addis Ababa is nervously demanding again, but the diverse impressions more than make up for it. We visit the market, the German bakery, stroll through the streets. Because there is a lack of water in the city and power outages are the order of the day, we finally continue via Awassa to Yabello, where we visit a Borano village. You think you’re in the century before last, in a museum. The people here are incredibly poor; flies creep into the mouth, nose and eyes of the children.

Even if the population suffers unjustly, Ethiopia’s landscape is still dreamlike: the green highlands from the north to far into the center, then the “really African” South with red earth, round huts, fleecy clouds and termite mounds like in a picture book. At some point Moyale appears and the border with Kenya.


Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa


Gerner-Haudum

Mini mosque on a branch of the Nile just before Luxor.

The infamous 500 kilometers “worst runway in Africa” let’s save ourselves, instead load the motorcycles onto a truck that jerks over incredibly lousy routes to Garissa. The truck takes 43 hours, which is the most agony of hell, but our experiences are unique: camel meat dinner with the Samburu, camel milk test under African stars and places that we would otherwise never have seen. Said, the well-known trucker, would love to adopt us. Unfortunately he only speaks ten words of English, but the ride is still extremely entertaining.

In Nairobi we allow ourselves a safari for the great migration to the Maasai Mara, the time for this is optimal. 100,000 wildebeest, thousands of zebras, lions, elephants, cheetahs: an absolute highlight of the trip before we drive towards Arusha through the desert-like north of Tanzania. Again the slope is bad, and the longed-for Kilimanjaro is hidden behind clouds. To compensate for this, the landscape looks like a mixture of Tuscany, Crete and the African savannah. It must look something like that in paradise.

We come through the only national park in Africa that is allowed to drive a motorcycle. Christian suddenly stops, there are elephants right next to him on the road, the big one is about to pop up his ears. Escape or Photo? We decide to take a photo, but when the bull shows signs of anger, we let the machines come off the clutch very quickly.

At the border with Malawi it turns out that Christian, as an Austrian, needs a visa. The border guards are not narrow-minded and we are allowed to continue along Lake Malawi to Nkhata Bay. Papyrus, bananas, everything green and the friendly people of Malawi, that invites you to relax.

On the way to the capital Lilongwe, the first radar control in Africa caught us. Actually, the slight excess speed costs 80 dollars, but after a short chat we are allowed to continue. Who would have thought that?

On the way: Trans Africa – Part 2


Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa


Gerner-Haudum

Not everything in Africa is sandy and dry.

At the border to Zambia to compensate, there was no end of bureaucracy and no accommodation for the rest of the way through the country. The street is a tarred corrugated iron dirt road, it is pitch black. Time to camp. Contrary to expectations, the night becomes idyllic, and the next day the way to Lake Kariba is pure Africa with the best weather. Simply wonderful to roar through the southern winter on motorbikes! We’re celebrating Christian’s birthday. Instead of a cake, there is a Mosi beer with a view of the lake.

Our overnight camp in Livingston is only five minutes from Victoria Falls. In the evening we enjoy a boat tour on the Zambezi, experience hippos, elephants and picnic on an island with sunset. We continue by ferry across the Chobe to Kasane in Botswana. At the ferry I get stuck in the sand, of course in front of a large audience. Sweat flows, I fall over, I have to straighten up, it’s not the first time. Not even that Christian helps me out.

On the way to Nata we encounter elephants and other large animals next to the road outside of the national parks. In Nata we change the worn tires for new rubbers and drive via Gaborone to the border to South Africa. We stay in Sun City, gamble away a small amount in the casino in the hope of big wins. Even if we had won, we would have wanted to continue, but even more without luck. The landscape here in South Africa is incredibly wide, like a film set. In any case, a feast for the eyes from morning to evening.


Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa


Gerner-Haudum

Ancient ruin in Gonda, Ethiopia.

It goes via Johannesburg to Bloemfontein. Here we turn sharply left again to Lesotho, into the small, mountainous kingdom that is so completely different from South Africa, rather pure black Africa. Sometimes there is still snow on the heights, again the landscape is gigantic. The battery of my F 650 GS is gradually giving up, and so we quickly drive back to South Africa. Via Aliwal to Port Elizabeth and there to a BMW agency, where the battery is replaced. Then we cruise the Garden Route towards Plettenberg Bay, optically simply terrific. The time is also ideal for whale-watching excursions, as the many whales get under your skin up close.

Along route 62 over the mountains, we pass ostrich farms and small villages to Paarl on the wine route. Here we treat ourselves to South African cuisine and its well-known wines. The target photo is taken at the Cape of Good Hope, and only then do we dare to go into Cape Town. To be honest, I’m not happy to have reached my destination, I could travel on forever. Only the planning of the next trip to Africa comforts me and the certainty that the journey is always the real goal.


Trans Africa: The long way from Germany to South Africa


Gerner-Haudum

Travel time: 13 weeks – Distance covered: 18,496 kilometers

Crossing Africa doesn’t have to remain a dream. Those who, like our author, keep the risks low, can make the trip without any problems.

General:
It is useful to find out as much as possible about the respective countries on the travel route in advance. The author and her husband covered exactly 18,496 kilometers from Munich to Cape Town; they determined an average consumption of 5.2 liters per 100 kilometers and an average speed of 60 km / h. However, all too difficult and strenuous slopes were deliberately avoided, so that such a long journey would also be manageable for normally gifted motorcycle riders. Gasoline prices ranged between 50 euro cents in Syria and two US dollars on the black market in Ethiopia. The fuel quality fluctuated strongly, but was digested well by both machines, with a few slight drops in performance. Technically, the 2007 BMW R 1200 GS and the 2002 BMW F 650 GS held out perfectly in the standard trim. Zega-Case aluminum boxes and Ortlieb pack sacks were used on both machines to transport luggage. Both BMWs carried two five-liter reserve petrol cans. The choice of tires fell on Continental’s tried and tested universal coarse toller TKC 80, of which a spare set was carried. In addition to the maps, a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx and routes from “Tracks 4Africa” trusted.

Travel time:
The travel time from the beginning of July to the beginning of October seemed well chosen, extreme heat only prevailed in Sudan. In Ethiopia there was partial rain, otherwise the author recorded the best weather and pleasant temperatures as far as South Africa.

communication:
A travel simcard is recommended, the author had excellent cell phone reception in all countries thanks to a card with a German telephone number (average call costs 39 cents per minute to Germany). There are now internet cafes in small towns too.

Accommodations:
Where possible hotels and guesthouses, prices were always easy to negotiate. Camping was only an emergency option for the author, so people only stayed in the tent once. The overnight prices ranged between zero euros in Sudan and Kenya and 180 euros in a five-star hotel. The average price was around 50 euros per night per room with breakfast. During the trip, major sacrifices in terms of comfort and hygiene had to be accepted in terms of overnight accommodation, which should not frighten travelers to Africa. In Sudan there was only one good hotel in Karthoum on the route (“Al Salam Rotana”), in Ethiopia the author only found a good lodge on Lake Tana (“Kuriftu Resort and Spa”) and in Addis Ababa a fine hotel including breakfast for 65 US dollars (“Adot Tina”). This is recommended in Nairobi “Jamiat Hotel”, in Kasane (Botswana) the “Marina Lodge”, in Cape Town that “Cape Diem” and the “Protea Fire & Ice”.More information about the accommodations at www.afrikaphotos.de

Bless you:
A trip to the Tropical Institute is essential before the trip. Vaccinations: hepatitis A and B, rabies, yellow fever, typhoid, all standard vaccinations. For malaria prophylaxis, the author brought Malarone, otherwise antibiotics, pain relievers, Immodium acute, anti-inflammatory ointment and the common first-aid kit.

Documents:
Carnet de Passages, visas for Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have already been obtained in advance. Furthermore, international driver’s license, international vehicle registration, green insurance card and long-term international health insurance (ADAC), ten passport photos and several passport copies per person. All documents were also stored on the Internet.

money:
EC card, travelers checks (are no longer recommended because they are hardly ever accepted), VISA card from DKB, with which you can withdraw money from ATMs worldwide free of charge (not in Sudan, only cash counts!). Eurocard Gold from “tollfree.com”, no annual card fee and no fees for paying abroad worldwide. Otherwise dollars and euros in cash.

literature:
“Africa”, Lonely Planet, 2007, not recommended, too superficial and already out of date. Maps: Travelmag “near and Middle East”, RV publishing house “Africa northeast”, International Travel Maps “Sudan” and Michelin, No. 746, Central, South Africa and a detailed map of Sudan. The author herself has just published an illustrated book: Gabriele Gerner-Haudum, “Welkom Afrika, by motorcycle from Munich to Cape Town”, Hansanord-Verlag, 254 pages, 19.80 euros. Further information at: www.hansanord-verlag.de. Dates for multivision lectures, travel and author information at www.ansichtssachen.de and www.afrikaphotos.de

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