You take the high road, and I take the low road...
Planning our route is a constant source for discussion. The political situation, war, changing seasons, etc... it all has to be taken into account and situations in the field can change rapidly.
If nothing serious happens in the countries on our route(keep calm you crazy Americans!), this should roughly be our route:
For now we plan to do Africa first, and then tackle Asia. Personally, we would have prefered to do the route in the other direction. The shipping however, is way cheaper this way and unfortunatly our budget is still pretty much a determining factor.
Update 22/02/2006: We finally got confirmation that travelling (from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi) trough the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) is possible! As we are very keen to see as much as possible of this country, we slightly changed our route. The old version of our route map can still be found here.
Update 10/05/2006: Since our original plan our route has changed so much we are losing track ourselves (literally). We will see were we are heading while on the route... We have adapted the route chart to reflect the routes we still have in mind:
For we now we consider the rest of the plan to be unchanged:
- Red line: We are pretty confident that this part of the route will remain as planned. Small variations are possible: Follow the coast in Mauri and Senegal instead of crossing the sahara (if it's too hot). Cross Nigeria if situation at the moment is safe
- Blue line: We would really like to do this route in Congo. We have all the information that this would indeed be possible. Big showstopper however is that we need a Permit to cross this area. It is still very unclear if we will be able to aquire this permit.
- Green line: Alternative for the Congo crossing.
- Pink line: A tour in Southern Africa. We'll see how it goes when we get there. If we cross Congo we'll do it clock-wise, if we don't counter clock-wise (or maybe not... )
- Light blue line: To Dar As Salaam for shipping
- Yellow line: Instead of spending a lot of money to ship our car, we calculated that with the same amount of money we can get to Japan overland! But that would take us another year... hmm!
Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) we load our Landcruiser in a container, destination: Nagoya, Japan. If the cargo ship does not run into a Tsunami, the container will arrive exactly one month later in Japan. During this month we would really like to climb mount Kilimanjaro, hopefully our budget will allow for it.
After the month in Tanzania, we fly to Japan(via Nairobi, Dubai, and, and, and...)Next, Asia:
In the meantime we will have reached Turkey. We'll see how we cross the rest of Europe when we get there.
We are still researching some possibilities:
Lately there are rumours on the HUBB that it is possible to get into the country without all the problems stated above...
(ex-Zaire). We would like to take the route from West to East, from Matadi to Lubumbashi. For a long time this route was very unsafe because of the civil war. Since the ending of the civil war this problem should be solved. The problem is that no foreigners have really taken that route the last couple of decennia. So it is still uncertain if there even is a passable road. We've heard a "mining permit" is required for foreigners travelling the area. At the moment some overlanders are trying to take this route... hopefully we'll get some more info from them. We found out that this would be possible after all. Extra information, and especially contacts, are still very welcome!
- China: We'd love to drive through China! Unfortunaly a number of problems arise:
- The international driving license is not recognised by China.
- Visa is relatively expensive and hard to get.
- Getting into the country with a foreign registered vehicle is possible, but very difficult(red tape) and expensive
- You cannot freely choose the route you want to take. The route has to be approved upfront by some government instance. It is also obligatory to take an expensive guide(read: watchdog) on your entire trip trough China.