Regular Leaded, Please!

At the pump, we just ask for: “The red stuff, please!”
We’re speaking about lead substituted gasoline, we’ve only found in South Africa (as well as Namibia) on Herbie’s World Tour, visiting 72 countries since September 2009.

While American and European countries are already selling ethanol containing fuel, (South) Africa seems to be far ahead, still providing metal containing gas for vintage cars.

Back home we would also never find a high-performance motor oil like this fully synthetic 10W-60, Domi just bought at a local automotive retail store. Herbie is over happy!

Embassy Hopping in Pretoria

After visiting fourteen African countries we’re preparing ourselves for making the u-turn in order to drive all the way back on the east side of this continent. Therefore we need to get some visas in advance, just as for Sudan as well as others.

Our planned route back north is the following: South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. From there we’ll try to get on a ferry going from Port Said to Iskenderun in Turkey.

The half Egyptian, half Austrian Chick!

We were curious about hits coming from a website by a company called “Das Wagen, LLC” in Denver, Colorado. They just posted an article on “Traveling the World in a Volkswagen”. Amongst others they’re mentioning Herbie’s World Tour…

We had to laugh, when we saw that the editor had written the following:
First and foremost is Herbie’s World Tour. This guy is travelling with the hottest half Egyptian half Austrian chick I have ever seen, hands down!!

Anyway thanks for the compliments and following Herbie’s World Tour!
Air-cooled regards from Pretoria, South Africa!

The VW Family of Sanita & Chris

While we stayed at the Volkswagen factory and its museum (“AutoPavilion”) in Uitenhage, we got to know Chris and Sanita van den Heever, who invited us to their home. Herbie and the camper immediately became part of the huge “Volkswagen van den Heever” family. The  lovely couple has more than 30 children (Beetles). Our Love Bug set-up even got its own parking besides all the other kids.

The Love Bug met the Fun Bug! This was just one of those many special editions by Volkswagen, the Van den Heever’s owns. Below you can see even more family members. Many thanks, Sanita and Chris, for your warm hospitality!

The Addo Elephant National Park

Together with the VW enthusiasts Sanita and Chris van den Heever, who we got to know at the “AutoPavilion” in Uitenhage, we visited the Addo Elephant National Park.

Even though the entrance fee is pretty expensive for nonresidents (the annual pass for all South African National Parks would have even cost hundreds of Dollars – it actually costs five times of the one for residents), we really enjoyed spending the day with Chris, Sanita and all the elephants we spotted within the park.

Sanita and Chris van den Heever are proud “parents” of about three dozens of vintage air-cooled “Vee Dubs”. On our day trip to the National Park, they took one of their wonderful restored kombis (“Volkswagen Bus T2”) for a ride.

Volkswagen of South Africa

The day before yesterday, we visited the South African Volkswagen factory as well as the “Place of Cars and Legends”, its VW museum called “AutoPavilion”, in Uitenhage.

Johan Wagner, the manager of the Volkswagen museum, welcomed us personally and guided us through this wonderful exhibition about Volkswagen in South Africa.

We were very lucky that we got the chance to meet this South African “Volkswagen rock of ages”, Johan Wagner, as he’ll eventually retire from his work next week.

Above you can see the first and very last Beetle, manufactured in South Africa. They produced Volkswagen Bugs already in 1951, and unfortunately stopped in 1978.

We also had an very interesting tour, guided by one of the management personnel named Zak Davids, who showed us the assembly lines, where they’re manufacturing the VW Polo nowadays. Thank you, Zak, for giving us that perfect insight of Volkswagen!

We felt like VIPs after all Johan Wagner has done for us. He even invited us to lunch. And afterwards, Heilie Combrink, from the press showed up and took pictures of Herbie.

Actually, the “AutoPavilion” was the first official Volkswagen museum we’ve ever visited so far. And we really loved it! We can highly recommend going to see this place.

The exhibition also included very special VWs, just as the prototype “1021” – a kind of “Volkswagen Jeep” with an air-cooled Beetle engine – or a VW Bug 1303, originally owned by German adventurers, who drove it from the North to the South Cape.

At this point we want to say thank you, Mr. Johan Wagner, for your very warm welcome at Volkswagen as well as the “AutoPavilion” in Uitenhage and these lovely presents!

Camping at Victoria Bay

Arnize (Arno and Elize) went camping with us at Victoria Bay for the last two days.

Before that we spent almost a week with them at their home in Mossel Bay.

Yesterday evening, Adriaan Pienaar from the “Hot Wheels Club” came to visit us.

He even surprised us with a personal letter and a talisman. Thank you so much!

We spent the entire evening chatting about the adventures of Arnize and Herbie.

But today we eventually had to say good-bye to Arnize and their “Bakkie”.

However we’re so looking forward to meeting them again somewhere in the future.

We hit the road heading east, while Arno and Elize got back to Mossel Bay.

Tomorrow we’ll visit the VW factory and its museum (“AutoPavilion”) in Uitenhage.

From there we’ll drive further east towards Durban and from there to Pretoria.

In Pretoria we’re planning to apply for all visas we’ll need for Africa’s east coast.

Furthermore, we want to visit Wernher Hartzenberg from “Air-cooled Wonders”, who traveled across Africa in a 1959 Volkswagen Kombi named “Mabel” in 1999.

Arnize Go 2 Africa

Herbie’s World Tour has been taking a little break! We’ve been spending a wonderful time with Arno and Elize in Mossel Bay, since we arrived here on Valentine’s day. Tomorrow we’ll drive together to Victoria Bay in order to go camping by the sea.

Arno and Elize (“Arnize”) are eager to start their trip across East Africa too, as they will take off in just about a month. Above you can see Arno with their travel companion “Bakkie” (a Toyota Hilux 4×4), in which “Arnize Go 2 Africa” (their blog).

This is that gorgeous view over the Indian Ocean from the balcony of Arnize’s apartment, which we’ve been glorying the last couple days. Thank you, Arno and Elize!

We are so grateful that Arno and Elize invited us to their home, although they didn’t even know us personally. We’ve found another good friends on our travels.

Yesterday, Arno helped Domi washing Herbie and QEK, the camper. There was still a lot of red muddy soil from Congo on them, they were trying to get rid of it.

We are chatting the whole day long about all the world and his brother as well as exchanging our experiences of traveling Africa and other parts of the earth.

Our Love Bug set-up has also been taking a rest from touring Africa’s west coast. But tomorrow we’ll continue traveling, further along the South African shore.

Arnize will take about the same route going north than we do: South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and from there to Europe.

Herbie’s engine is running in almost the same manner as we started, even though this motor was set on fire, drowned in water, flew in the air as well as driving us thousands of miles across the African continent. Thank you, Herbie! Cheer up!

Valentine’s Day with Arno & Elize

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day visiting Arno and Elize van der Merwe in Mossel Bay. They got to know us via the Africa Overland Network and wanted to meet up.

Arno and Elize are also adventurous travelers and followed Herbie’s World Tour while we were heading south on the west side of Africa towards the Cape of Good Hope.

They contacted us on our webpage and invited us to their beautiful home right in the heart of Mossel Bay, a bit more than 270 miles (or 440 kilometers) east of Cape Town.

They even organized a safe place to stay for Herbie and the caravan, right underneath the apartment in a big garage, while we got our own bed- and bathroom.

In April, Arno and Elize will start their very own Africa overland trip. They’ll take a couple months off and we’ll be heading north on Africa’s east side towards Europe.

And they got the perfect gear for touring this continent: A Toyota Hilux 4WD from 1994. Follow their journey “Arnize Go 2 Africa”, which will start already very, very soon!

We really enjoy spending time with the Van der Merwe’s. Thank you for inviting us, Arno and Elize! And thank you for giving us the chance to get to know you!

Along the Indian Ocean

Since we left the Cape of Good Hope, we’re driving besides the Indian Ocean.

While traveling on Africa’s east coast towards Europe, we want to visit the following countries: Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Just before hitting the Cape of Good Hope, one of the camper’s drums broke. We were lucky that we didn’t loose the whole wheel. We stopped by a garage in Fish Hoek.

The shop named “Pitstop” is managed by Moenier Wilson, who welded the broken part. Many thanks to him and his awesome staff! The repair was even on the house!

While at the shop in Fish Hoek, we met Brendan Gradwell, who already spotted us on the highway the other day and has been following Herbie’s World Tour online. Like many other Herbie’s World Tour fans he contacted us, because he wanted to meet the Love Bug. Brendan, thanks for coming by!