The Road Chose Me: Jeep Wrangler around Africa. 2 years, 30+ countries, 80,000 mi. - Page 3 - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:03 PM   #51 (permalink)
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I was going to ask the same thing, always amazes me how people can go for years without a steady "job"
Meh, I haven't had a steady job in 12 years.

Joys of self-employment.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:27 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Woah, this blew up while I was asleep.

I'll do my best to answer everything in batches.

Keep firing away, I'm happy to answer whatever questions you have.



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Pretty neat to see your videos. Have you had to use your winch yet?
I did in the DRC where the roads basically don't exist. I'm saving those photos and the whole story for a magazine... but it will come out eventually and there is video too..

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Originally Posted by 01 View Post
Cool adventure. What are your average expenses per day, month, or year?
Most people spend something like $1500/mo for two people in a 4x4. It varies a lot based on how much beer you want to drink, how much you want to cook your own food and how much you want to wild camp.
From AK to Argentina I spent $1200/mo for EVERYTHING. That includes flying back, shipping the Jeep across the Darien, scuba diving, etc. etc.

So it's not actually expensive, that's about what I was spending to go to work each month in a city.

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Did your jeep ever get stuck or break down?
Do people ask you for money everywhere you go, "Un jus", "Donnez moi de l'argent"?
No breakdowns, no nasty "stucks".
In some countires there is a lot of begging, yes, and it gets old.
West Africa was so special because I spent months in places where tourists don't go, therefore nobody even knew to ask for money.

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Did you pass through Sierra Leon at all? One of the places that is on my to do list but I always read warnings about the instability of that region. Every photo I have seen makes it seem one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I did not. I skipped SL and Liberia.. and I kind of regret it now. A few friends have been recently and absolutely loved it. Hands down the friendliest, happiest people and like you said, stunningly beautiful.

-Dan
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:33 PM   #53 (permalink)
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That looks like a great adventure!

Namibia is on the bucket list, specifically, the Skeleton Coast. Check out Walvis Bay, there's a 4x4 outfit there that gives tours of the endless dunes that butt up to the ocean. Luderitz looks like a cool area too
I was just there! It is as beautiful as you think..
I would love to do the multi-day across the dunes, but you must take a guide and it's big $$$$$. I'm going to try and tag on the back of a tour when I loop around back there in a month or three.
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I don't mean this in a dicky way, but what do you do for a living/how do you afford this?

Sounds very cool.
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How do you fund this gig?

Born rich?

Enslaved a 3rd world country?

Brilliant financial wizard?
Funding this is all about priorities. I just decided I wanted it, and I wanted it real bad. I went to work for many years and saved every single penny I could.
No cell phone. No TV, walk to work, no eating out, no beer, no new clothes, no new furniture, etc. etc. etc. Every single cent saved went into a savings account and now I'm living on that.
I am also earning a little on the road by writing for magazines and I'm about to publish my first book.
Basically, I'm spending what could have been a house deposit on this because I decided I wanted this more than I wanted a house!
When I get back I'll have zero, maybe even some credit card debt. It will be worth it!

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Originally Posted by FANG6 View Post
My cousin Jen and her husband Jared are doing the same kind of thing. The sold their house and all non essential belongings and are now pretired and seeing the continent of Africa. It is possible if you have nothing tying you down.
Dan, it's good to see you post on Pirate. Jen and Jared have posted about you. Your adventures look like a real blast to my wife and I.
Sweet that you know them! I met them way back in the USA, and recently we hung out in South Africa! They're in front of me now on the East Coast... depending on how fast we both move I might catch them again. I really want to, they're awesome!

-Dan
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:54 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Where do you sleep along the way? Do you camp out in the wilderness or seek the safety of villages along your travels?
Are you carrying all the food you eat or do you sample local meals? Is clean water an issue or does your filtration handle any sketchy wild water you find with no trouble?

Very exciting and I'm glad all is going well for you. I take it you are sticking to well traveled roads since you're not getting stuck in single tracks and ruts and mud bogs.

Be safe, and thank you for sharing with us.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:02 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I was just there! It is as beautiful as you think..
I would love to do the multi-day across the dunes, but you must take a guide and it's big $$$$$. I'm going to try and tag on the back of a tour when I loop around back there in a month or three.
Around Sandwich Harbor | The Road Chose Me



-Dan
That's awesome! Now I'm really jealous I didn't realize how expensive it was, better to spend that money elsewhere in your case.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:18 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting here and keep updates coming! I remember reading about the jeep on expeditionforum but hadnt yet seen the travels. Great videos as well!
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:41 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Funding this is all about priorities. I just decided I wanted it, and I wanted it real bad. I went to work for many years and saved every single penny I could.
No cell phone. No TV, walk to work, no eating out, no beer, no new clothes, no new furniture, etc. etc. etc. Every single cent saved went into a savings account and now I'm living on that.
I am also earning a little on the road by writing for magazines and I'm about to publish my first book.
Basically, I'm spending what could have been a house deposit on this because I decided I wanted this more than I wanted a house!
When I get back I'll have zero, maybe even some credit card debt. It will be worth it!

-Dan
That's the deal right there. Some people slave away 60hrs a week to have a big house, 3 cars, and membership at the golf course.

I'd say your adventure is priceless.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:52 PM   #58 (permalink)
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great thread...
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:13 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Awesome adventure

I see you have plans to go way out around Somalia. Why is that?

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Old 02-06-2018, 02:29 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Awesome adventure

I see you have plans to go way out around Somalia. Why is that?

My route in the North East is far from certain, I adjust as I go based on advice from locals, other travlers, military, border guards etc. etc.

The way things look now I will likely avoid South Sudan (war) and Somalia (generally not safe), but I would like to visit every single other country.

Likely the trip will end in Egypt, and I won't be able to go across the top back to Morocco.

We'll see.

-Dan
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:37 AM   #61 (permalink)
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What a neat trip, what a amazing adventure. I’ve been around Africa a bit but mostly just big cities. Stay safe, Nigeria and Ghana are two places I don’t really want to go back to. The people in Kenya were some of the nicest I’ve ever encountered. The cities in SA can be sketchy also, lots of car jacking. Don’t stop at crowded intersections, roll slow and keep moving.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:48 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Great adventure, thanks for posting.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:00 AM   #63 (permalink)
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So cool. Thanks for posting here.




Whats the food like?
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #64 (permalink)
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I've been following Dan since his last trip, and am absolutely in love the content he has been posting from the new one. Its great for the people who have the wrong image of Africa and it's people.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:02 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Awesome adventure

I see you have plans to go way out around Somalia. Why is that?

I noticed the same thing with the DRC. Likely another area that isn't so safe.

Still curious about the safety angles and food/water, etc. Hoping to see some feedback on these questions so I'll post them again:

Where do you sleep along the way? Do you camp out in the wilderness or seek the safety of villages along your travels?
Are you carrying all the food you eat or do you sample local meals? Is clean water an issue or does your filtration handle any sketchy wild water you find with no trouble?

I take it you are sticking to well traveled roads since you're not getting stuck in single tracks and ruts and mud bogs.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:11 PM   #66 (permalink)
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I noticed the same thing with the DRC. Likely another area that isn't so safe.

Still curious about the safety angles and food/water, etc. Hoping to see some feedback on these questions so I'll post them again:

Where do you sleep along the way? Do you camp out in the wilderness or seek the safety of villages along your travels?
Are you carrying all the food you eat or do you sample local meals? Is clean water an issue or does your filtration handle any sketchy wild water you find with no trouble?

I take it you are sticking to well traveled roads since you're not getting stuck in single tracks and ruts and mud bogs.
You can find his build sheet on his website with all his current parts and mods hes running and also answers to alot of those other questions.

Jeep Build Phase 2 Complete | The Road Chose Me

Roof top tent allows him to almost park anywhere, usually he ends up at spot he feels most comfortable or at the end of a long trek by just settling somewhere. He has his own water filtration system set up on the jeep.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:14 PM   #67 (permalink)
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I've been following Dan since his last trip, and am absolutely in love the content he has been posting from the new one. Its great for the people who have the wrong image of Africa and it's people.
Thanks for the very kind words, I really appreciate that !

When I start selling stickers (soon) fire me a message, I'd love to send you a couple as thanks for being a long time follower!

-Dan
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:16 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:16 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Very cool!


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Old 02-06-2018, 12:23 PM   #70 (permalink)
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I noticed the same thing with the DRC. Likely another area that isn't so safe.

Still curious about the safety angles and food/water, etc. Hoping to see some feedback on these questions so I'll post them again:

Where do you sleep along the way? Do you camp out in the wilderness or seek the safety of villages along your travels?
Are you carrying all the food you eat or do you sample local meals? Is clean water an issue or does your filtration handle any sketchy wild water you find with no trouble?

I take it you are sticking to well traveled roads since you're not getting stuck in single tracks and ruts and mud bogs.
Happy to answer.

I did cross the DRC. I did kind of the smallest route possible, but the most adventourous of those possible routes. It was a few days to do a few hundred miles. There are tons of details starting here on my website - click "next story" after each one to see the next one in sequence.
Congo Concludes | The Road Chose Me

Sleeping depends on the country. Some countries I wild camped every single night (angola for 6 weeks, Gabon for 4 weeks, Cameroon for 4 weeks, Guinea for 4 weeks) I literally never paid to sleep even once in those countries.
Many countries I wild camped a lot, and paid to camp in a hotel parking lot or whatever when in a city getting visas or whatever else I needed (Togo, Benin, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Morocco, etc. etc. etc.)

The only country I never wild camped was Nigeria, I just didn't think it was safe enough. I did however wild camp within 10 miles of crossing the border into Cameroon in the middle of a village...

For food I stop and buy supplies in local villages. Street markets have all the fruit, vegetables, rice and pasta I need, and often meat too.
To save money I try hard to always cook breakfast and dinner.
I got in a lazy habit in South America where I buy whatever the locals are eating on the street for lunch (usually around 50cents) - sometimes it's a delicious meat stew type of thing on rice. Sometimes it's a basic sandwich, sometimes it's who-the-hell-knows-what. I always eat it
It's a good excuse to get out and talk to locals and sample the local food.

Water:
On the west Coast clean water was never an issue. Every single village has a hand pump pulling up very clean water.
Here's a good example from Ivory Coast that I finally filmed. Every country was more-or-less the same as this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GkWRQwnlEM

Roads:
In some countries I stick to the better roads (Nigeria), in virtually every other country I tried as hard as I could to explore the most remote tracks I could possibly find. Remember, this is overlanding, not "off roading" by definition, anything I'm driving on goes somewhere, and so locals are driving it somewhat. Most of what I did would be impassable in the rainy season, and I sure had a lot of close calls with water over the hood and mud, mud, mud.
See my posts on Gabon and the DRC to get an idea. Also this video shows a "higwhay" in Ivory Coast. you can see how easy it would be to get stuck there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z740focQL4U

Make sense?

-Dan
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:24 PM   #71 (permalink)
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You can find his build sheet on his website with all his current parts and mods hes running and also answers to alot of those other questions.

Jeep Build Phase 2 Complete | The Road Chose Me

Roof top tent allows him to almost park anywhere, usually he ends up at spot he feels most comfortable or at the end of a long trek by just settling somewhere. He has his own water filtration system set up on the jeep.

Actually this is a much better page to show the whole build

The Jeep | The Road Chose Me

-Dan
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:25 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I'm reading all your posts in a terrible Australian accent
HEY! I worked hard on that for 22 years!



-Dan
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:07 PM   #73 (permalink)
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How many languages do you speak?
As long as he stayed on the coast on his African trip so far, all he would really need to speak is English and French. Especially French, not so much on the English side.

Go inland and it would be good to known Fon, Swahili, and Lingala to start with, but there are a zillion tribal languages when you head in from the coast.

Most of the Northern, Western and West Central African nations speak variations of French. Ghana and Nigeria speak English, although it's somewhat common in Cameroon and Gabon too, although they primarily speak French.

Two of my sons have been living in Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, and Republic of Congo for the past 4 years or so. They pretty much speak Congolese French everywhere. It's similar to Parisian French, but the idioms and pronunciation are quite a bit different. If you speak good French and English, you can get around Africa pretty well without too much trouble.

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Old 02-08-2018, 08:08 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Hi All,

During all the dry riverbeds I found yet another wild camp that contents for best of the entire expedition.
Let me know what you think


More details on the riverbeds here: Riverbeds, Deserts and Wildlife | The Road Chose Me

After all that it was time for a change of pace so I visited a Cheetah Conservation place.
I will never, ever forget patting a cheetah while he purrs loudly:

Details here: Otjitotongwe Cheetah Guest Farm | The Road Chose Me

And then it was time for a visit to Etosha National Park. I have been told no visit to Namibia is complete without a stop.
I enjoyed it, though I think I prefer the completely wild animals. I have been spoiled already

Tons of photos here: Etosha National Park | The Road Chose Me

Namibia continues to impress. I love this place as much as I always thought I would!

-Dan
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:17 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Hi All,

I made a stop at the The Ju/’Hoansi Living San Museum where locals are the museum pieces, showing how their ancestors lived on the land for generations.
This fascinating man told me through a translator he actually hunted giraffe with his dad with this bow and arrow when he was a boy.


More: The Ju/’Hoansi Living San Museum | The Road Chose Me

After that I moved over to Khaudum National Park for some extreme elephant viewing.


How close did I get?
Close.


More: Khaudum National Park | The Road Chose Me

Everyone warned me about the deep sand in the North of the park and how they always get stuck.

It was extremely deep, though the Jeep didn't have a problem powering through.



-Dan
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