Hi everyone,

Well, our journey is now over. Mapenzi has clocked almost 23,000 miles, and is currently having a well-deserved rest in SA.  We've celebrated while standing on the marker at Cape Aghulas, the southernmost tip of Africa, and it all seems quite surreal that only six months ago, we glimpsed the Cap Blanc lighthouse at the northern limit of the continent.

It really has been the adventure of a lifetime.  We've met some wonderful people, seen some spectacular landscapes and incredible wildlife, and challenged our vehicle and ourselves, physically and mentally.  When we crossed the border into SA, as excited as we were to be seeing our friends and family again after so long, we were sorely tempted to turn up north and keep going!  Perhaps next lifetime :-)

We've finally uploaded the last diary days and photos, and will work over the next few weeks to complete the prep and links sections on the website. Our heartfelt thanks to our families (and apologies to our mum's for the sleepless nights they had worrying about us!) as well as our friends for being so supportive and excited on our behalf, and to those who followed our website so diligently!

All the best, and happy travels,
Mike and Sarah

 
 

Hi all

Counting the days until we enter SA.  We've scrapped plans to visit Zim having heard brilliant reports of the parks in Botswana and decided to spend longer here. 

We're now in Maun; since we last blogged we've had a couple of less than comfortable hippo encounters, rafted on the Zambezi and negotiated possibly the most challenging 4x4 tracks to date. 

Looking forward to catching up with you all.  We'll put up more photos when we organise them.

All the best

M&S



 
 

Hi everyone,

We know, we know, we've been terrible correspondents recently.  Let's just say it's been a minor internet conspiracy - hate to make excuses, but there you go... 
We're now in Lusaka, having spent some adventurous days driving through Zambia (it's the rainy season after all!) and are looking forward to visiting Kafue National Park tomorrow.
Hope you're still with us, we've managed to upload some photos, and have bulk-uploaded the last few country's diary. Please forgive us for not having "back-to-tops" but it's taken us seven hours as it is, and we've had enough!
H

 
 

Hi All

Hope all is well with friends and family and that none have been negatively affected by the snows in the UK?

Well, it's been a while since our last update.  We took the decision to relax from life on the road, and the diary for a few days, and pushed through Tanzania to the Indian Ocean coast - skipping the parks altogether.  At Peponi beach (near Pangani) we spent a few days lazing around.  Also met up with another SA couple and shared a local motorised dhow across to Zanzibar yesterday.  We'll spend a few more days exploring before returning to Mapenzi and the drive south.

We've had a few requests to include more photos of ourselves on flickr.  We've been trying to upload only the ones we're really proud of, but if it's us you want, we'll try and deliver! I'll be practising 'blue steel'...

Looking forward to hearing your news

Love from

Michael & Sarah



 
 

Hello all,
Thanks to you all for your latest messages.  If you're still with us, you might have noticed that our diary is nearly up to date, and that we have our Kenya photos on flickr at last. Sorry it took so long!
Still to come - our diary and pics of gorilla trekking in Bwindi... Wow, what a magic experience!
We are writing from Ruhengeri, at the base of the volcanoes on the border with Congo. Rwanda has surprised us in so many ways - not only the beautiful tarmac main roads, but the wireless internet access!  People here are so friendly and really seem to be making strides forward in rebuilding their beautiful country.
We will be heading to Tanzania and its white beaches in the next few days and will try and reply to your e-mails there.
Take care, best wishes
Sarah and Michael xxx

 
 

Hi everyone,

We're writing from a tranquil campsite just outside Kampala in Uganda, after an action packed week or so since we last wrote.  Unfortunately  we are still stymied by the slow internet connections, so you'll have to be patient again I'm afraid!  As soon as we find a decent connection we'll update the diary and put up some more photos, we promise!

Kenya was wonderful.  The  game parks are prohibitively expensive, so we feel we didn't really get the best safari experience, but we did have some marvellous sightings, like Sarah's first lion kill, Mike's first black rhinos, and more.  We got stung at the border for not buying our road tax in Moyale (what road tax?!  We weren't told we had to!) and nearly got scammed into buying Ugandan insurance, but with $50 visas etc our budget is again looking rather bruised.  Hence the dilemma over whether to see the gorillas or not.  At $500US per person it may just break the bank!  Watch this space...

Wow, Uganda is hot and humid - like being in Durban in Feb.  They have a great plunge pool here, so after we've sent this message, guess where we're headed! 

Hope you are all enjoying 2009 so far, are happy, healthy and having fun.  Please get in touch, we love hearing from you!

Take care, all the best




 
 

Hi everyone,

Well, it's taken us three countries and two extra days in Nairobi to get up to date...  Wow, internet connections are slow in this part of the world!  You'll notice the new layout, with two pages for the Trip Diary - the first covering up to Sudan, the second starting in Ethiopia, taking us through to SA.  Also, don't miss our Christmas video (late but hopefully you'll still appreciate it?! We weren't able to upload it until no) and our photos since Egypt.

Trust you've all had a marvellous festive season, and that the New Year will bring you happiness, good health and all the best things!

Love from
Sarah & Mike x

 
 

Hi all,

Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed Christmas, and a happy New Year!
Since we last put up a blog message, we've crossed Sudan and Ethiopia, where we struggled with excruciatingly slow internet connections, if there was a connection at all!
We loved Sudan - such friendly people and challenging roads...  Ethiopia was hard work but possibly the most beautifully scenic country we've visited yet.
We'll be celebrating a quiet Christmas together in Marsabit National Park in Northern Kenya, hopefully overlooking Paradise Lake where the elephants come to drink.  We'll toast you all with our Awash Ethiopian sparkling wine, or maybe some Tusker beers :-)
Missing you, especially at this time of year, but hope that you're all well, and getting into the festive spirit.
All our love
Mike and Sarah
xxx
PS we will try and upload a Christmas video;the link will go on photo page.  But bear with us, we're in a one-horse town with dial-up!
PPS same issue with diary and photos, will try and sort them all out in Nairobi.

 
 

Hello,

Hope you're still with us despite the lapses in diary and photos!  Our Egypt photos are almost up to date, and accessible via the link on the photos page.  Unfortunately, our trip diary has corrupted and we've lost the last 8 days or so...  So can't upload until we've re-written it!  We don't expect much internet access for the next few weeks though, so might be a while. Please be patient!

It will make for entertaining reading though, as we've had a few dramas, so stay tuned!  Mapenzi is on board a dodgy pontoon, bound for Sudan, and we should be boarding the passenger ferry tomorrow, to cruise down the Nile and meet her in Wadi Halfa on Tuesday.  Feel a bit lost without our home!  With a great group of overlanders for the next leg, which will be fun.

Hope you're all well, please send us your news, and stay in touch.
Mike & Sarah x

 
 

Hi all!

Very quick hello from Luxor, as we join the convoy to Aswan in half an hour.  Have had potentially bad news that the ferry ato Wadi Halfa is full, and there is a holiday next Monday so no voyages scheduled, so our Sudan (mis?!)adventures begin already!

We've met up with our new travelling buddies Chantal and Wim, as well as the Belgian Angeleo truck and a French family with a dog, so hopefully we will form enough of a presence to encourage the Nile Navigation dudes to think of a solution for us...

 Have had a wonderful week or so since we last wrote - the spectacular White Desert, snorkelling in the Red Sea, and a few temples and ruins thrown into the mix.

Hope that Christmas fever hasn't swallowed you all just yet :-)  and that you're all happy and healthy.

Lots of love, stay in touch (we love hearing from you!)
Sarah & Mike xxx