December 27, 2011

Africa Overland - Top 10 Planning Hints & Tips

Hi Folks,

Now our trip is over, we have taken some time to update our website and Blog with data you might find useful for planning purposes (applicable to any country for an extended trip).  You can see our full FAQs list at our website

In the meantime, check out our summary Top 10 lists you might want to consider - we would love to hear more Tops 10's from other people.

What were the top 10 most useful items you took?
  1. Water filter - Hands down the best investment
  2. Multi-fuel stove - Efficient, don't need to fiddle with gas
  3. The COBB - Great for slow cooking, bulk food, BBQ, roasting & making pizzas!
  4. Vehicle Side Awning - Sun shade in tropics is essential
  5. Roberts SW Radio - Great for BBC World Service, news & African programmes
  6. Vehicle mounted side table - handy & space saving for cooking, esp. in rain
  7. Rear mounted tap - great for convenient washing of hands / kit / utensils
  8. Hennessy Hammocks - nice alternative place to sleep, lie down on hot days
  9. Caravan power hook up - power was available in a lot of places (eases battery drain)
  10. SPOT Messenger - Excellent for location tracking, keeping friends & family up to date
What were the top 10 least useful items you took?

  1. Camp Kitchen table - odd shape, bulky (we gave it away)
  2. Roof rack bag - Initially good, but leaked and rotted in sun (metal roof box better)
  3. Thermarests - never used, lent them to people once
  4. Large rucksacks - bulky, took up space, used once, used shoulder bags
  5. Money belts - never carried wallet, not needed (carry cash that you need)
  6. DC / AC converter - ours was a cheap one (not Sine Wave) buy better one next time
  7. Two way radios - only useful if other people know how to use them & switch them on!
  8. Board games - packed too deep in locker, pain to get out
  9. Random tools - took too many and hardly used them
  10. Lots of adaptors - took too many attachments, mainly used British plugs on multi-gang
 What were the top 10 things you would do differently next time?

  1. Don't rush! - You are on a journey of a life time, so take time to "stop" - we still spent 1 year on the road and in some countries wished we had stayed for longer
  2. Realise that it takes time to adapt from "9-5 normal life" to 1 year on the road - it takes approx 6-8 weeks to get used to life on the road - its not a holiday ;-)
  3. Have improved storage in vehicle - we rushed our system / it self destructed!
  4. Sit inside / sleep in vehicle - It does get cold in Africa, good to be able to keep warm, get out of rain / damp.  Its also nice to have some privacy sometimes.
  5. Have roof tent open over the rear - its 50:50 on this - you gain shade at back
  6. Make sure its easy to get to fridge !!
  7. Try not to pack things in too many boxes - they take up space.  Lockers are better.
  8. Take Blue metal water jerry cans - The Black plastic ones leak
  9. Take a spare alternator - It was the one item we should have packed
  10. Might consider alternative Malaria prophylaxis (just take test kits / treatment)

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days


4x4tripping said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4x4tripping said...

Thanks for your your writeup! Did help me for planning my own travels! Will do the same at my blog, after travelling over 110`000km (transafrica, south america, europe) About Overlanding, Vanlife and 4x4 travelling

The Article is finished in the next days, i`m still editing it.