Aardvark’s maiden journey’s summary stats: Cape Town to Kenya and back
HOME (BITTER)SWEET HOME…
I’ve avoided writing this summary post for the past 5weeks, as I couldn’t get myself to close the chapter on this amazing maiden overlanding trip of ours and to admit that it was finally over. The world has been turned on its head due to the Corona virus (and who knows what that will mean for carefree overlanding in the future?), and whilst we are super grateful to have arrived safely home just before the lockdown in South Africa started and all the borders throughout Africa closed, we are also suffering from a bit of “post-overlanding-blues”…as if we are only now slowly starting to really appreciate what we did for seven months - the openness, the freedom and at times seemingly endless opportunities to marvel at the beauty that surrounded us.
Before I start to gush too much, for the last time our travel stats:
· Total days travelled through Africa: 170
· Total distance driven from Cape Town through East Africa: 25,599km
o Aardvark drank a total of 4,488litres of petrol, at a very respectable rate of 5.7km/l J And an average cost of R15.50 /l (luckily this was when the USDZAR exchange rate continued to hover just below R15/USD)
o We were extremely fortunate with zero mechanical issues, only 2 flat tires and a few slow punctures.
o Aardvark’s brake pads had to be replaced twice though – which gives an idea of not only its weight but also the roads that we travelled!
o For a nice overview of the route and our overnight stops, have a look at https://www.polarsteps.com/TheAardvarkJourney/2532270-eastafrica-2019-2020-capetoanywhere
· Total borders crossed: 15 (yes your passport does get stamped to enter and exit Lesotho!)
o We only required visas for Rwanda and Uganda, and obtained it as part of an East Africa Visa when we entered in Rwanda. The visa also covers Kenya, even though we as South Africans didn’t need it. The EA Visa was however still cheaper than getting the visas separately, and took a lot of admin hassles out of the process!
o Our total Visa cost was R3,000, and total road tax & 3rd party insurance came to another R6,642. We managed to get COMESA 3rd party / Yellow Card insurance in Zambia that covered us from there all the way north to Kenya and back down to Mozambique – again saving us money and time at the various borders.
o The final border “cost” was Aardvark’s Carnet de Passage – or commonly referred to as the car passport J We obtained this document before we left South Africa from the AA, and it essentially negates having to get a temporary import permit as we travelled further north. The total cost was just over R5,240 as the sizable deposit is refundable upon our return home and proof that Aardvark was not sold somewhere along the way without paying import or export tax on the sale :)
And then for the Aardvark stats, I thought it best to post ALL our favorites in a table…cause reading through it all makes me smile both on the inside and the outside :)
I’m going to write a final blog in the next week or two, to try and put the trip into perspective (if I’m lucky, I’ll also get Irene to write a short piece!). Right now the floodgates of emotions and memories are wide open, and I am going to sit on our balcony with a glass of amazing red wine, look out over the ocean and start to dream about our next journey :)
It feels fitting to end this blog with an old Irish blessing about the road:
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Keep safe and wash your hands!