The Long Way Round

Herbie accomplished the long way round Africa! While most overlanders “just” travel along the east coast, the Love Bug included the western side of the continent as well. We’ve driven 30,000 kilometers (or 18,650 miles), exploring 21 African countries! Tomorrow we’ll hopefully get on board a ferry to Turkey, from where we’ll be driving back home.

On the entire Africa trip, Herbie “broke down” only once, when we meant to go swimming in Congo. In Angola we also tried to teach him how to fly. And in Cameroon and Kenya, he had to face the most horrible battles against mud – dry as well as splashy. (Just click on the words written in blue to find out more about Herbie’s biggest challenges!)

Finish: Overland Africa!

Herbie made it! Again! The same applies also to all the others, who we’ve met on our long way around, touring across this huge continent. It was really a challenging “Safari”!

Yesterday we got to know Geoff Biermann and Terence Tracey (right), who’ve driven their “Hillman Imp” from 1964 all the way up, coming from Johannesburg, South Africa. Check out their blog! They will still travel all across Turkey and Europe towards the UK.

And we met Slobodan Vukojevic from Serbia, who’s been traveling the world on a “Suzuki” motorbike since 2010. He managed to enter Egypt without a “Carnet de Passages”, going now south, heading towards South Africa. His website is called “Ride the World”.

And of course our lovely friend from Spain, Monserrate Espinosa, who’s been exploring the world in a “Toyota 4Runner” since 2009. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a webpage anymore. We’re hanging out with him since we met him for the first time in Sudan.

The Exodus from Egypt

Port Said – we are waiting for our ship to come. Tomorrow or on the day after we’ll go aboard a ferry to Iskenderun, Turkey, from where we’re going to travel back to Europe.

Yesterday we arrived at the Atlantic shore, after spending some time in Cairo. It has its shady sides, but we enjoyed hanging out there, visiting family and strolling around.

We love the diversity of Egyptian nature. The Nile as well as the Sahara Desert and its wonderful oasis are more than worth a visit. In 2009 we traveled all over the country.

Egyptian traffic is real crazy! This was the first time on Herbie’s World Tour we were a bit unlucky: The camper got hit! Egyptian drivers are always very “touchy”. No wonder!

When we entered the city limits of Port Said, we had to stop at a speed bump. In this moment, an Egyptian pick-up, carrying horse and donkey “smashed” into our tail light.

Meanwhile, Herbie and the caravan, QEK, are parked inside the port in order to finish customs duties. We already gave our temporary Egyptian license plates back.

In Cairo we stayed at the “Dahab Hostel” – it’s a simple but also very nice place to stay. The only pity is that they aren’t offering any parking (they are on the seventh floor).

Before we traveled across the desert in order to reach Cairo and eventually Port Said, we visited the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor. Simply magnificent to see these tombs!

Visiting our Egyptian Family

Yesterday we visited family members of Zainab, who are living here in Cairo.

On the picture above you can see Zainab’s cousins Mona, Hoda, Mahmoud and Mohamed (from left to right) as well as Hoda’s husband, Ahmed (right). But we also met their mother, Zainab’s aunt, their father and another brother, named Ahmed. We really enjoyed spending time with these lovely people. Last time we saw them exactly four years ago. Thanks so much for your warm hospitality! We’re so looking forward to visiting you someday again!

Herbie at the Pyramids

After a long drive across the Egyptian Sahara Desert, we eventually reached Cairo and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The Pyramids of Giza.

Herbie made it again! Pretty strong head winds and the heat of the Sahara Desert couldn’t stop Herbie from touring our last African country to visit: Egypt.

In Cairo, we met again Monserrate Espinosa, the Spanish overlander. He stays at the same hostel, in the heart of Cairo, just a few hundred meters from Tahrir Square.

Egyptian traffic ranked among the most chaotic, dangerous and challenging in the world. We drove through the streets of Cairo already in 2009, but not towing a caravan.

This time we are here, pulling our house along these completely packed city roads. And we even drove right into the center of Cairo, trying to find a suitable parking spot.

We’re staying at the Dahab Hostel, which we got recommended by the German travelers from “Remember the Birds”, who we’ve met in Wadi Halfa, Sudan, last week.

After visiting family and friends, we’ll be back on the road, heading to Port Said at the Mediterranean Sea, from where we want to take a ferry to Iskenderun, Turkey.

In Austria’s News Today!

The Austrian newspaper “Heute” published another article on Herbie’s World Tour today!

Herbie’s in Egypt!

Our Love Bug safely arrived in Aswan, Egypt. Herbie was shipped from Sudan across the Lake Nasser together with just one other car, as those barges are really small.

Monserrate Espinosa, a Spanish fellow traveler, put his four-wheel drive Toyota on the boat. He is also on his way back to Europe, after traveling Africa for a couple months.

We met Monserrate, who’s also traveling the world by car since 2009, when we went on board the passenger ferry in Wadi Halfa. Since then our paths crossed quite often.

Herbie’s Nile Cruise

We just received an email from Mazar Mahir, our “fixer” in Wadi Halfa, who was so kind to drive Herbie and the camper on the barge. As you see, he even sent us some pics of it.

Our beloved Herbie set-up is now on its way cruising the Nile across Lake Nasser (or Nuba), crossing the border totally uncrewed. Have a safe and wonderful journey, Herbie!

We’re now hoping to be able to leave Aswan including our beloved Volkswagen and the camper, QEK, on the weekend, after we’ll have finished all the customs paper work.

Across the Lake Nasser

It was again such a sad moment, we had to experience on Herbie’s World Tour, when we said “good bye” to our Love Bug in Wadi Halfa, Sudan. They divided us, because Herbie had to go on a barge, after we went on the passenger ferry to Aswan, Egypt.

There is only one passenger ferry with about 550 people on board and one barge carrying cargo and a couple cars connecting Sudan with Egypt once a week.

As usually happens, Zainab got to know a bunch of kids, who admired her Arabian appearance and charisma. They were originally from Bahrain, Sudan and Egypt.

Both flags, the Sudanese as well as the Egyptian, were ran up in the air, as the ship crosses the border somewhere in the middle of Lake Nasser (or Nuba).

And we got to know a fellow overlanding traveler from Alicante, Spain (above right), who has been touring the world in a Toyota four by four since 2009.

Every ferry going north and south is working to capacity, as there is no other official way to cross the frontier between these two countries – except by air, of course.

Also a lot of young guys are taking their chance going to Egypt in order to find a kind of work, earning a better living than in their home country, Sudan.

As we reached Aswan about 18 hours after our departure in Wadi Halfa, we could see all the luxurious river cruise ships, going up and downstream the Nile.

In Aswan, we’re waiting now for the arrival of Herbie’s boat, before we can start the process of temporarily importing the Love Bug to Egypt – our last African country to visit.

Remember the Birds!

While we were waiting in Wadi Halfa for our ship going across Lake Nuba (or Nasser) to Aswan, Egypt, we got to know the folks from “Remember the Birds” – two German couples in our age, traveling Africa in an air-cooled vintage expedition truck.

The fellow “snowbirds”, Johnny, Pasco, Miri and Kerstin (from left to right) are one of those privileged tourist groups, who were able to enter Sudan by land instead of dealing with that pretty complicated and quite costly ferry-barge option.

As mentioned before, there already exist two paved roads on each side of the Nile, but none of them are officially approved yet. But these German “overlanders” applied for a special permission and actually made it from Abu Simbel to Wadi Halfa!

For the next several months the two lovely couples will travel Africa on its Eastern side all the way to South Africa in their “Magirus Deutz” truck from 1977, named “Rotkehlchen”. Hopefully we’ll meet them again, when they return to Europe!

PS: The two girls and the woman (to the right) are the mother as well as the nieces of Mazar Mahir, who we were staying with in Wadi Halfa. We had a good time there, hanging out at his family home, meeting other “overlanders”. Many, many thanks!