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Vikings in Africa

If you missed our 3,5 month adventure, feel free to read about it here:

As we set off from Norway on the 15th of July we had everything ready for the perfect road trip. I had bought 12 popup tents, burners and kitchenware for cooking and I also brought boxes full of foods such as pasta, died soups and crackers, some which ended up lasting us through the whole trip. Already after a couple of weeks around half of the tents were destroyed and we ended up having to buy some new ones in Malaga before boarding the ferry that would take us to Africa, where we discovered another problem: that the gas valves were completely different from the ones used in Norway so we ended up replacing the whole cooking gear as well. Other than that we had a really good time both in Europe and Morocco, where we did not have a single day or rain, but quite some heat driving through the Sahara.

– that was all except one of the members- a 66 year old, semi handicapped, and slightly miserable woman who had expected to join a tour where everything was laid out for her. That was until we came to Gambia where she got a tooth ache which ended up becoming our relief as she decided to leave us to get the medical help she needed.

From Gambia onwards we were a cohesive group, which was also needed as the roads and conditions became much tougher where everyone had to contribute. For example by pushing the car whenever it was stuck in mud. This is also where some of us, around half of the Norwegians in the group were refused entry to the next country, Senegal and we had some interesting attempts at crossing the border illegally by motorbike before we finally got a visa from the Senegalese embassy and was allowed to cross legally. This was our welcome to the “real”, or the Wild West Africa that people had signed up for.

When we got to Conakry, we found out that the roads onwards to Sierra Leone and Liberia had been destroyed and that it would not be possible for us to travel the route we had planned. We then decided to drive through the highlands of Guinea which proved to be an even more scenic route, with camping in green grassy fields and pristine waterfalls. One thing about swimming in freshwater in Sub Saharan africa though, is that there are worms swimming around that can get inside cuts and wounds. One of the members found one in her foot and had to leave us quite in a rush to get medical help back in Norway. 

She was greatly missed the days after but the trip continued as planned, where we went chimpanzee tracking in Ivory Coast, visited beaches and finally Tom took one of the cars and continued even after the trip was finished into Togo and Benin. 

Now you might think that you would never manage to come on a trip like this, but I have to tell you that West Africa is the toughest area of the World to travel and things like these might happen. If you ask the people who came along they will tell you about so many memorable moments I have chosen not to include in this post for the simple reason that there would not be enough space.

I hope I did not scare you off, but also hope it can work as a reminder that anything can happen on a road trip, but then again it is usually when thing don’t go quite as planned that you have the most memorable experiences 😉

Have a look at the video that Aude from France made and decide for yourself if you think it would be fun- she is also joining the whole next trip and I hope to see you too there! 🙂

Leg 1: Oslo to Malaga

This part will be pretty quick, as the real adventure lies in Africa.

Oslo- kick off with a welcome dinner and get to know your fellow travelers for the next months.

Kristiansand- We will camp by Jørn Bjørns cousins’ magic bus and wait for the ferry to Denmark

Copenhagen- Here you have the option to stay in a hostel or join us camping at Roskilde camping (35kms away)

Hamburg- Here you have the option to stay in a hostel or you can join us rivercamping at ElbeCamp (18kms away)

Luxemburg- This is where we will try to do our first night of bush camping. We will get up early to do a full day drive.

Montpellier- We will be camping by Tom’s relatives where you can do day trips to Monaco, Marseille or Andorra

Valencia- We will do bush camping on the way between Montpellier and Barcelona, somewhere around Valencia

Barcelona- Here we will stay at a hostel before continuing to the last drive of the first trip leg. Or we can skip and do bush camp

Malaga- Here we will camp, drink wine and stock up on the goods and equipment that we will need on the trip

Leg 2: Malaga to Dakar

On this part we will enjoy beach, surfing and relaxing before crossing the Sahara. Click on the city names to see more.

Chefchaouen – Called the blue city. We will camp at a cheap campsite in the nearby hills and visit the city in the daytime

Marrakesh – We will camp on rooftops and show you the old city and markets. Optional day trips for those who want

Laayoune Also called El Aayun, is the capital of western Sahara. You are free to explore for one day before continuing

Dakhla Visit the city World famous for its kite surfing. From here we will start our desert crossing through the Sahara

Nouadhibou – First meeting with “black” Africa and Mauritania. We will go to one of the Worlds biggest fish markets

Nouakchott – We will get some visas while some will do an optional trip on the longest train in the World

Terjit A visit to an oasis in Sahara where we will drink some tea, go for an optional swim and hike the nearby mountains

St-Louis – A city known for its jazz scene and for being the first city in Africa to be colonized by the French

Dakar A city rich in history and some of the best surfing waves in the World. We will get some visas and have the cars serviced

Leg 3: Dakar to Freetown

This part will be REAL Africa. We will go surfing, visit villages and see wildlife. Click on the city names to see more.

Dakar A city rich in history and some of the best surfing waves in the World. We will get some visas and have the cars serviced

Gambia – We will most likely cross by the capital, but also have the option to drive inland of people want to do bird safaris

The Sine Saloum Delta – Driving up to the Water Well of West Africa where we will spend some days in villages

Cap Skirring – Here we can relax for a few days, do some partying, surf and chill on the beach 

Bissau – Visit the capital of the Worlds 16th least visited country. Do a day trip to a nearby island and eat portuguese food

Labe and the Fouta Djalloun – Visit a village and hike to a big waterfall where you have the chance to go swimming

Conakry – We will go to the city to get a visa which takes one day. In the meantime you are free to stroll around

Bureh Beach – Bureh is paradise. You can rent a bungalow or camp on an empty beach. The surf waves are excellent too!

Freetown – We will spend some days in the capital of Sierra Leone to get visas. You can also stay in Bureh (55kms away)

Leg 4: Freetown to Accra 

Freetown – We will spend some days in the capital of Sierra Leone to get visas. You can also stay in Bureh (55kms away)​

Bureh Beach – Bureh is paradise. You can rent a bungalow or camp on an empty beach. The surf waves are excellent too!

Tiwai Island – Visit the wildlife sanctuary run by a non-governmental association

Kabala – Famous for the cloth and tailoring, get yourself a “ronko” gown, a traditional Limba and Koranko war shirt which is believed to have supernatural powers

Monrovia – Dive in the Liberian capital for a couple of days to restock

San Pedro – Known for its nightlife, we will make sure to rest there before heading back North through the jungle

Korhogo -Hang out at the woodcarver’s quarter, where wood sculptors can be seen at work all around.

Yamasoukro – There is plenty to see in the other administrative capital, such as the tallest basilica in the world

Grand Bassam – A beach town with some old, torn, French architechture. Visit the beach and the markets

Elmina – Witness the oldest European building south of the Sahara still standing, Elmina castle is a UNESCO world heritage site

Kakum National Park – An interesting coastal national park that contains an extremely high diversity of birds and primates.

Accra/Cocrobite – Chill at Cocrobite beach, opt to go surfing, swimming or clubbing in the capital

Leg 5: Accra to the unknown 

Our trip isn’t over though. We have the ambition to continue to Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and possibly Mali and that depends mostly on who is willing to continue with us and how far our finances can take us.

To sum it up, the countries we will go through are Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali.

We believe we can make it work and we invite you to live this experience with us.

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